Mission El Salvador Day 2:
The missioners in El Salvador truly run the gamut of ages, sexes, professions and experience with mission work. Every night Sister Gloria makes a list of the sites that need workers and what roles (construction or child play) each site needs. She then allows the missioners to assign themselves to roles. Though simple it is a remarkably ingenious system because it allows each missioner to choose the task they are most called to do. With so many needs to fill, digging, painting, crafting, nurse work, not to mention cooking, cleaning, blogging, organizing. The body of Christ needs you. For my time in El Salvador I want to experience all the roles at least once. For the second day I chose to work at one of the construction sites.
At our site we were building a foundation that would soon be the house for one of the poor families Sister Gloria works with. Sister Gloria works with a lot of homeless in El Salvador. In one family a young women became pregnant by a man who was not her husband. Her husband threatened to leave her if she did not disown the illegitimate son. So she left the children with the mother of the father who refused to acknowledge his children. Sister Gloria discovered the family was going from door to door asking other families of they could spend the night.
Before we could lay the foundation we had to first create a level surface. This was hard, back-breaking work of shoveling and moving dirt away from the site. Of course it left the missioners exhausted but the El Salvadorans who worked with them were quick and joyful. It occurred to me that this is much like our faith. We say the Jesus is the corner stone of the church, he is the foundation of our faith. But we can’t simply lay that foundation on top of the blindness in our own hearts. Our ignorance, our selfishness, our pride, creates a loose uneven ground. Before we can lay Jesus down we must dig deep inside ourselves and moving this out of the way. For El Salvadorans this is easy work. They have very little to distract them and much practice needing and putting their trust in God. But for the rich (and this means you) this is long, back-breaking, humbling work. That is why so many Catholics avoid it. They take a shallow faith and let Jesus wash away in the first heavy rain.
My challenge to you in this post is to dig down more deeply and honestly, ask yourself what keeps you from loving? What is it you truly rely on? How deep is your faith planted? Pray for the people of El Salvador. And pray for a deeper stronger foundation.