Family Mission in Georgia

In December I moved to Tiger, Georgia to Camp Covecrest where I am currently working as the cook for weekly retreats. It has been a smooth transition into the life of prayer, community and ministry, and I am so blessed to be here. One of the biggest blessings for me so far was the Family Mission weekend in December.

A few years ago, the missionaries and families at Covecrest took a week long mission trip to General Cepeda, Mexico with Family Missions Company. Upon returning from the mission trip, the Covecrest community talked and prayed about ways they could live out mission more fully here in the local community. They started getting involved by visiting local nursing homes, doing meals on wheels routes and praying with the people that they delivered food to, visiting with the workers at Walmart and building relationships with them, etc. Last year they decided to have a Family Mission weekend, inviting families from the Atlanta area up to the camp for the weekend to reach out to the people in need right outside our door. This December I was blessed to be able to participate in the second annual Family Mission here in Georgia.

The week before Christmas, about 20 families joined us for a weekend of outreach, service and prayer. In the weeks proceeding the mission, Erik sought out families and elderly in need of small house repairs, physical needs, and especially those who where lonely and in need of love and attention. The weekend of the mission, families were split up into groups and sent out to various work projects such as repairing a driveway, splitting firewood for people with wood burning stoves, building a railing on a ramp, etc. Some groups went to nursing homes to visit with residents who didn’t often get visitors or had no family, while others when into people’s homes to spend time visiting, cleaning and praying with the humble and beautiful poor.

My group was sent to a Hispanic community in a small trailer park. We knocked on doors and visited with the families. The first house that opened the door for us welcomed us in, and we ended up staying for over an hour. Carmen is a young woman who speaks very little English, lives in a clean but humble little trailer with her husband, 12 year old son, and an older man from their same hometown who works in the States and send money back to his family in Mexico. As we talked with Carmen, we found out that she was Catholic but wasn’t often able to go to Mass because she didn’t have a car and the Church was too far to walk. When the mother of the family that had come with me gave Carmen a rosary bracelet to pray as she walked 30 minutes to and from her job, Carmen shyly said she didn’t even know how to pray the rosary. We asked if she wanted us to teach her and she excitedly said yes! As I started sharing with her and walking through each of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, I realized this might be the first time she was hearing all of these stories of Jesus’ life. Her face lit up as I explained each Mystery, and in her excitement, I was challenged to receive these stories anew in my own life.

As we continued to visit with Carmen, one of the teenage boys with us complimented her on a wooden carving of Our Lady of Guadalupe on her wall. She excitedly smiled, jumped out of her chair, pulled it off the wall, giving it to the family saying she wanted them to keep it. Her husband had made it, and despite the family’s protests, she insisted that they take it. Totally humbled by Carmen’s humility and generosity, we left for the day and promised to come back the next day.

The following day we returned to the Hispanic community to share some soup and bread, bringing gift bags with some of the needs of the families we had visited the day before. We started unloading the food, and people began bringing tables and benches to us to set up in the middle of the community. We were so blessed to see all of the families we had visited the day before gather to break bread with us. The greatest part of the afternoon was when Fr. Jose, our parish priest, arrived and was able to meet all of the families, inviting them personally to come to the Spanish Mass on Sunday and sign their children up for Catechism. The families were excited, but shared that transportation was a challenge. One of the ongoing ministries that has come from our Family Mission Weekend is offering a shuttle service for these Hispanic families to the Spanish Mass every Sunday afternoon.

The Family Mission was such a huge blessing for everyone involved, and made it even more real that there are people all around us in need of love and waiting for the Good News of Jesus.

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~ by martinsonmission on February 17, 2011.

One Response to “Family Mission in Georgia”

  1. Hey Bridget! I just found your blog, this post is so heartwarming and it is amazing the ministry that needs to be done here in US! đŸ™‚ Don’t have to go far!!

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