Note: My column for the September 22 issue of Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church’s newsletter “The Chosen Word”
“An individual has not started living until he or she can rise above the narrow confines of his or her individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.
“The guarantee of one’s prayer is not saying a lot of words. The guarantee of one’s petition is very easy to know: how do I treat the poor? Because that is where God is.”
—Archbishop Oscar Romero
“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
In a few days, a 16-member mission team from PHPC, including myself, will be preparing to leave (if not already en route) for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti for a week from September 24 to October 1. During that time, we will be
- working with Architecture For Humanity on the reconstruction project at the Haiti Child Sponsorship program’s Good Shepherd School
- assisting the folks at The Apparent Project who empower women and families to create a sustainable living through jewelry-making, book-binding and sewing, and…
- visiting the Sisters of Charity orphanage to feed infants, play with toddlers and deliver more than 200 “lovie” blankets.
One of the mission team members, Meg, has created a blog for the congregation to keep up with our daily activities and experiences in Haiti as well as witness how God is presently at work among people who continue to recover from the devastating earthquake of January 2010 and decades of injustice and oppression.
Even though most of the congregation is not physically going to Haiti, all of you are part of the journey and the mission work that God is calling us to do in the country. Some of you have made “lovie” blankets while others have donated funds, school and craft supplies, soccer balls and cereal boxes. Several volunteered to be prayer partners for individual team members and many more of you will pray for the team during the week. The mission team and I are grateful for your loving support and the ways in which you help us prepare for the trip and also welcome us back with comforting embraces and listening hearts.
Often, colleagues and people in the community ask me to tell them about PHPC, I always and without hesitation, joyfully share the church’s passion for serving those in need. I am proud to be an associate pastor of a faith community that takes seriously God’s call to care for the hungry, poor and oppressed in the Atlanta area, in the U.S. and abroad. It is truly a blessing to work alongside you to care for others whom society has mistreated and forgotten. I look forward to the ministry we will continue to do together to help make God’s loving and mercy-filled kingdom a reality in this world.