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Thursday April 22, 2010

Posted by on Apr 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Category:Mission Trip

What a whirlwind of a day Thursday was! This post won’t do justice in adequately capturing the day’s events, but we will try.

The day began at the Mustard Seed orphanage. Some of our missionaries went to play and spend time with the children. The other crew prepared food to distribute at Christ in the Garbage mission. Christ in the Garbage is another program from Mustard Seed which ministers to the village through school, food distribution and community outreach. We helped support their efforts by putting beans, rice, pasta and vegetable oil into bags for the families who scavenge through the dump. We made 75 bags and loaded up the bus to head to the dump. Even before we could see the landfill, we were greeted by swarms of flies and the putrid smell of garbage. As the bus pulled to a stop in the middle of the landfill, people started to mass around the vehicle. We got off tentatively and engaged the locals. Some of the people we interacted with were those who attended the clinic the day prior. It was a heartwrenching sight in coming to more fully appreciate their lifestyle. The “mayor” of the landfill attempted to organize and coordinate the people who were to receive the food bags. The scene turned chaotic and it was difficult to equitably distribute the food. We did our best and left knowing that we helped feed many families.

After we returned to Mustard Seed, it took some time (and some group hugs) to process what we saw and what had happened. We had some downtime and prepared for the baptism of 9 orphans. They put on their best clothes and many were accompanied by their biological mothers. Their was a touching story of a young mother who traveled over 6 hours and 500 km to attend the baptism of her child. She was so happy and proud to take part in the special day and still painfully cognizant that the life her child had at the orphanage was better than what she could provide.

In addition to some of the locals, our missionaries had the honor and privelege of becoming a godparent to an orphan. In a humble and beautiful ceremony, Fr Taillon baptized each child. After each baptism, the entire audience present burst into joyous song. This delighted the orphans, missionaries, staff and locals. It was such a blessing to take part in and to know that all the orphans here had been officially welcomed into the Church. After the baptism ceremony, Fr Taillon administered the anointing of the sick to all the orphans. We celebrated with a little meal and beverage which was enjoyed by all.

Next, we got ready for mass at the local church. Those orphans who could walk, made the trek down the street while others were loaded on the van. Fr Taillon was the celebrant in a beautifully simple and holy celebration. The mass was a mix of French, Spanish and English. This, however, didn’t deter from the message reaching all those in attendance.

It was a full day and one in which the entire gamut of emotions were experienced. The joy of the sacraments contrasted with the poverty and condition of the dump left us all profoundly humbled and somewhat drained.

We will begin our trip home in just a short time. Once we are settled, more videos and photos will be shared, especially of the baptisms, anointing of the sick, and the community Mass.

Thank all so much for your prayers and support. We can assure you that this journey was filled with many blessings!

Written by Andrew Raucci & 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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