"I felt the intense joy of the Gospel and of Communion through discipleship with my friends. My heart leaps at the thought of returning to Jamaica next year, hopefully with a strengthened and renewed faith in God. "
In Matthew 17:20, a well-known Bible verse, Matthew writes “He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” This year was my second year spending a week at Mustard Seed Communities, more specifically with the residents of Jacob’s Ladder. Going into this mission trip, it’s safe to say that my faith might have been even smaller than the mustard seed of faith we need to move mountains. This lack of faith persisted throughout the beginning of the trip, and I felt a sense of shame and hopelessness that things might improve. I continued to pray and to try to persist, and finally, near the end of the week on Thursday, I prayed to God and I asked Him to let me truly open my heart to His love. That day, I felt extremely content in the trip and in the work I was doing but still lacked some sort of innate instinct to truly offer my work up to God. Then on Thursday night in Adoration, I was prayed over by the adult leaders of our trip and I asked them to pray for the same thing, a stronger sense of faith. As they prayed over me, I broke down and teared up. I made the decision to allow God to start to reenter into my life. Friday was one of the best and worst days I’ve had with God in a while. My soul felt content because it had reached a point of being reunited with God, but my heart and intellect felt saddened by the fact that this was our last day with the residents at Jacob’s Ladder. That night as we affirmed each other and went to Mass, I felt the intense joy of the Gospel and of Communion through discipleship with my friends. My heart leaps at the thought of returning to Jamaica next year, hopefully with a strengthened and renewed faith in God.
"This mission gave me a whole new outlook on life and showed me how to take the challenges I’m given and overcome them and as well as inspiring me to appreciate the gifts I have been given."
For two days on the trip, we visited with children and completed work projects at an apostolate called Matthew 25:40. The residents of Matthew 25:40 are teenage boys living with HIV/AIDS but besides that they live a completely normal life. They attend school and play soccer and cricket and express so much joy and love that you would never even know that they are sick. Their strength when dealing with such a devastating autoimmune disorder struck me because I’ve allowed my illness to slow me down but these boys didn’t let anything slow them down. Witnessing their strength and courage reminded me of the strength God gave me to be able to attend this trip and inspired me to push through this mission even when I was tired or feeling sick. This mission gave me a whole new outlook on life and showed me how to take the challenges I’m given and overcome them and as well as inspiring me to appreciate the gifts I have been given.