“O God, to those who have hunger, give bread. And to us who have bread, give the hunger for justice.” This prayer from Latin America was featured as a song at Diocesan Convention a few years ago. I copied the words and they now sit above my desk to remind me of world-wide need. At it’s most basic level the prayer is about sharing. This was much in the forefront of my mind the last Sunday in October when Dr. Mitzi Davis spoke about her trip with a medical mission to Haiti and shared slides. Our Adult Forums on “Church-First” Sundays give us a chance to listen to one another in such ways (you might recall Philippa’s presentation detailing her trip to Kilimanjaro last spring).
The situation in Haiti is about as desperate as it gets with unemployment about 90% and the land stripped and unproductive from massive sugarcane planting in the 19th century. The opportunities for a livelihood are scarce as are medical resources. Mitzi and her group, largely from Day Kimball Hospital, traveled to 3 locations to provide basic assistance. One of the themes of her trip was the ambivalence of such care. The plan was to do a little for as many people as possible. The hard truth is that many need so much more, not to mention follow-up. Neither of which was likely given the compromised nature of the healthcare system. And yet, do nothing?
Since talking with Mitzi last spring and inviting her to share with us Dr. Sherry Kroll also went on a medical mission to Honduras with her daughter Erica (who was a J2Aer some years ago). Mitzi will be going back to Haiti in December and sponsoring Jake Battye (another past J2Aer) to join her. For me listening to Mitzi was another learning about “making a difference” something we’ve been trying to do with our outreach funds for a number of years. Intriguingly, as our budget is set up for 2015 we may very well have an opportunity to do even more as the Diocese has rolled back our “assessment” by 2.5% and asked to use that money for “hands-on” mission work. Perhaps Dr. Davis and Dr. Kroll are already giving us a few ideas about how that might happen.
In meantime one of the key ways we help out in our community and world is by making Social Outreach Grants. Coming up shortly is our St. Nicholas Fair, Dec. 6th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which raises over $10,000 for this work. If you are a parishioner please consider being part of the Fair or attending and supporting it. It’s a lot of fun as well. Here is list of the Booths that you can either work in, prepare for or patronize on the day: StNicksFairUpdate.11.2