On Saturday, I am accompanying thirteen young adults from the Athens area (all students at UGA and several, parishioners at St. Joseph parish) on a Spring Break Mission trip to the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization in the Diocese of Miragoane, Haiti, run by LifeTeen.
In my experience, LifeTeen is one of the few places in the Church in the United States which provides serious formation for young adults to grow in their faith, and their commitment to Christ. I've gotten to meet and hang out with several of their full-time and part-time missionaries on my various visits to Camp Covecrest near Tiger, GA, accompanying our youth group, or being invited to hear Confessions from different parish groups from the around the Archdiocese.
The missionaries are all committed disciples, i.e. at some point Jesus Christ became a real person who mattered in their life, and they're giving of their time, of themselves, to help youth and teens encounter Christ in a new way, and follow Him in His Church. All the one I've met have a contagious, infection joy, which is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and an inspiring generosity of spirit.
I've also had the privilege of knowing three guys in my parish whose faith has deepened tremendously by serving as LT missionaries. One is currently a full-time missionary -- if you feel moved, check out his page, and drop him a line, some prayers, and a few bucks!
Last year, one of these guys returned from a spring break trip to Haiti, on fire. He asked if I'd be open to coming along on a future trip. I agreed readily, and here we are. [In God's mercy, my mother's health has much improved, and even though I'm on leave from active ministry to spend time with her, it's worked out for me to go to Haiti with this group!]
Check out this little bit from a blog by one of the missionaries in Haiti.
Me “When you pray, what do you ask God for?”
Ti-Malen: “To be able to find food every day.”
I know enough about Ti-Malen’s life to know that she doesn’t eat every day. That was what prompted me to ask the next question.
Me: “So if God doesn’t give you food that day, does that mean He doesn’t love you?”?
Ti-Malen: “No, He loves me a lot. He just wants me to make a sacrifice for Him.”Wow. Read the rest!
Here's a promotional video about the apostolate in Haiti.
So, pray for us please as we journey to Haiti, and seek to be instruments of the Lord's mercy, and to experience His mercy!