This Summer McDowell Mountain Community Church headed up a group who traveled internationally to the Dominican Republic. There, we met up with a crew of Food For the Hungry staff and volunteers who we partnered with for the week spent in a small remote village called Hoyo Oscuro.
It would be a hard pressed task to sum up the trip into less than a dozen pages, but I will do my very best to break it down to one encompassing word: compassion. You see, each morning after breakfast and before we set out to make home visits, construct latrines, host a Vacation Bible School, provide a spa day for the women, or conduct a mini conference with the teenagers we would take time to turn our hearts and minds back towards God. During our daily devotional we followed a structure laid out in a book I brought along, and went something like this: Opening prayer, reading of Psalms 103, reading of daily scripture, readings for reflection, prayer, song, and a closing prayer.
This whole week our devotions followed the theme of compassion and I believe everyone on the trip can attest to the Lord using this time to move and prepare us for what we had in store that day. One of my favorite readings for reflection came from a book titled, “Beginning Contemplative Prayer,” by Kathryn Hermes. In her words on compassion she states:
Through prayer our daily work becomes wrapped up in the heart of God’s compassionate love. Just as Jesus was broken and given on the cross to feed our desperate souls, through work we are broken and given in order to feed and serve others.
A wise person once said that there are three kinds of givers in this old world: the flint, the sponge, and the honeycomb. To get a flint to give, you have to hammer at it and then it only yields sparks. Sponges you must squeeze, or else you get nothing. But the honeycomb drips its own sweetness.
Reminiscing on the blessed impact that community had on those who went on this mission, I have full faith that each of us gave of ourselves in a honeycomb fashion, in abundance, and remnants are of overwhelming sweetness. The prayer continues for those remarkable people in Hoyo Oscuro that the Lord will multiply our efforts there and the impact will positively endure for many years.