I pray that everyone reading this had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. I apologize once again for the necessarily long intermission between blog posts. Felix and I have been working overtime since returning to the Dominican Republic. We leave early each morning and do not return until after 7:00 p.m. My writing skills, which were elementary to begin with, have been unable to muster up the creativity necessary to produce an adequate blog post. Thus, rather than write some half hearted synopsis of our mission, I wanted to make sure I wrote a summation that would merit the attention of my limited, but wonderful, audience.
I thank God for the opportunity to have spent the holidays with my family, especially my Grandpa. I arrived safely back to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of January. Felix did not return to the DR until ten days after me, so for the first week and a half I was able to spend some quality one on one time with his father. He is a very spiritual and disciplined man. Every morning at 5:45 he wakes up, makes his bed, and goes out to his front patio to pray the Angelus, a morning prayer, as well as the Gospel reading for the day. I was able to join him several times and it was very beautiful to hear him thank God for all his blessings and ask the Lord to protect his family (he even threw my name in there a few times)! I told Felix what an amazing blessing it is to have someone pray for you every morning, without fail. Felix brought a special surprise with him when he arrived back, his mother! Her presence in the house has been quite the blessing. She is such a sweet and loving lady. After meeting both of his parents, I now understand Felix much more fully. He derives his spiritual drive and relentless passion for justice from his father, while his enormous and gentle heart stems from his mother.
I am quite regularly in awe of God’s grace and power and have arrived at a very beautiful (and humbling) conclusion since being back here in the DR. This thought came to me early one morning while Felix and I were preparing to embark on our usual route. I was standing outside at 5:45 a.m., holding my violin and carrying a backpack filled with 20 sandwiches and several books, waiting for Felix to come outside. As Felix came outside, holding two plastic bags filled with 10 sandwiches respectfully, I couldn’t help but smile. In fact, as I thought about just how ridiculous it must look to an outside observer that two grow men are waking up at 5:30 to deliver (on foot) 40 sandwiches to the homeless in Santo Domingo, I started laughing. It should be noted that of the many gifts God has bestowed on us, a sense of fashion was not one of them. Felix typically wears baggy jeans with no belt, an old and colorful ball cap, and a tee shirt with a social justice message written on it. Given the amount we walk as well as the persistent heat, I usually wear short shorts and a tank-top tee shirt. When Felix asked me what I was laughing at, I replied, “We might just be the goofiest and unorthodox team ever assembled.” Only God could script such a tale!
People often tell Felix and I how wonderful our mission is and how great we are. I cannot help but laugh at such observations and invariably respond by saying, “Thank you, but I am simply an instrument, and a sinful and miserable one at that.” In fact I often feel unworthy to have had this opportunity and routinely find myself wondering aloud, “Lord, thank you for this blessing, but there are so many wonderful people out there who are so much more qualified to carryout this mission…why me Lord?” Felix and I have discussed this theme at length and ultimately concluded that God uses weak and poor souls to fulfill His mission, in order to demonstrate His almighty power and love.
Thank you for humbling me Lord!