As Preludium's writer, I want to thank those of you who responded to my last post, "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright." It is alright, and your words gave me courage to press on. But for the next ten days, "Pressing On," will be elsewhere. Not being on Preludium will not be a signal that I am leaving this work or giving up, far from it.
I go to Haiti and with my dearest of friends Yvan Francois will mentor a group of 14 adults from St. Peter's Lewes in an experimental missionary endeavor.
We begin with the proposition that the first mission task is to learn (as Paul apparently did, observing what the Athenians were about and then witnessing). So we are not going to build something, make something work, heal the sick, or fix things - all of which are noble tasks and worthy of missionary effort.
We are going to encounter, as well as we can, real people in a real parish much like our own, yet different in ways we can't yet imagine.
And we are going to encounter, through the teaching of Haitian leaders, the current life and hopes of the church in Haiti and the situation of Haiti in these days.
And we hope, through the friendships made in the parish and through the contacts with leaders in the Diocese, to find ways individually and perhaps collectively to engage in a next deeper level of action and contemplation.
So our first effort is to pray together at St. Paul's in Montrouis, and to accompany members of the parish as they carry out their ministries in the parish itself, in the schools they run and in the clinic that serves the Montrouis area. Our second effort is to fill our heads and hearts with what we have learned from Haitian mentors. We will be working together with the priest of Montrouis, P. Jean Jacques Deravil, who has kindly allowed us to plant ourselves in his vineyard. We go from St. Peter's having been blessed (me in abstention) by our own rector, Fr. Jeff Ross.
Even after all these years we hear of only a few "mission" trips that begin from this point. And in a time of crisis it may seem energies are needed elsewhere. But we are aware that we have all worked to help Haiti in its time of anguish, and yet most of us know so little about the Haiti whose Day is yet completed, whose hopes are yet to be fulfilled. We are there to try to become friends, the gift that will give beyond the crisis, and perhaps well into the next one.
So there it is. If you would like to follow along on what we are doing, I hope to post daily from Montrouis (God willing and the electricity holding up), and for sure will be writing it work up on our return. Follow us HERE.