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Friday April 23 & Saturday April 24, 2010

Posted by on Apr 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm
Category:Mission Trip

After a long but fruitful week, it was time for some rest. On Friday, our group took a trip to Playa Sosua, a beach not far from the orphanage and mission house. The shore was lined with vendors selling clothing, artwork, jewelry, and all kinds of food, shaded by lush green foliage. Beyond the trees was the beautiful beach- blue green water, lounge chairs, and golden sand. It felt so good to lay in the sun, enjoy the tropical water, and share time with one another- the busyness of the rest of the week made Friday extra sweet. After lunch and several swims in the ocean, we traveled back to Metro West for a quick change before our night out. The 24 of us, along with several of the people who work at the orphanage, enjoyed a great dinner at a local restaurant- it felt like a taste of home. To see these women and the way that they care for the children is beautiful. They love them as if they were their own, and even have a system of assigning each child to one of the women so that they have a mother figure to turn to. There was no question that they deserved a night out.  We loved their company and they were so grateful for a relaxing night. After a delicious meal, a little bit of song and dance, and lots of laughs, we made our way back home to prepare for our last day. The evening was bittersweet- so much fun yet tainted with the knowledge that we would be leaving the next day.

Saturday morning came quickly and after loading the bus with our (much lighter) luggage, we drove to the orphanage for the last time. No one was looking forward to saying goodbye. We joined with the children and staff for morning prayer during which Fr. Taillon beautifully likened the disabilities and struggles of the orphans to the wounds of Christ glorified. I know that I speak for everyone when I say that the orphans taught us more and loved us more fully than we did them. Their souls are so free (and more so after the baptisms) that the light of Christ shines through even the most contorted body. Saying goodbye was difficult and there were many tears. I think, despite all we had seen and experienced however, we were able to leave with the peace that the children are loved and well cared for and that our mission had been tremendously blessed. In addition, many of us left as godparents. Continuing to play a spiritual role in the lives of the children is an added blessing.

Our flights went smoothly and as of 10:30PM we were back in Rhode Island. Now begins the process of reacclimating ourselves, sharing our experiences, and allowing God to continue to reveal to us the blessings that were sown on this trip. As a chaperone I can say that our parish family should be incredibly proud of the 18 teens who truly made a gift of themselves this past week- their enthusiasm, tenderness with the children, and compassion were incredible to witness. It will be a joyful day May 21 when 13 of them are confirmed- please keep them in your prayers.

As we will continue to say- thank you all for your support of this mission, whether spiritually or financially. This was a mission in the name of St. Thomas More Parish and it would not have been possible without the support of all of you. So on behalf of all the missionaries and the children and staff of Hogar Immanuel: thank you, thank you, thank you and may God bless you for your generosity!

Written by Sarah Cullen


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St. Thomas More Catholic Parish. 53 Rockland Street, Narragansett, RI 02882-3620, Tel: (401)789-7682
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