At Nativity we believe every member is called to ministry, both here at home and out in the world. We call ministry to the world Missions. We believe this is a charge to serve in our own community, elsewhere in our region, and even to the ends of the earth (You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth Acts 1:8).
While we host mission efforts throughout the year here in Baltimore, summertime is mission time when it comes to travels elsewhere. This year, we sent three teams of member-missionaries to Charlotte, North Carolina, Monarch, Haiti, and Kiu, Kenya. Our Nativity Missions Team is documenting each trip day-by-day on their blog located here. Here are a few excepts and pictures:
We partner with Catholic Heart Work Camp. CHWC structures projects in and around Charlotte in coordination with local community agencies and non-profit organizations to determine real needs in the area.
Monday was our first full day. Most of our missionaries are supporting residents and community centers with various projects such as painting, cleaning, hanging window dressings and much more. After an early rise, morning Mass, and a hearty breakfast, our team made its way to several locations to begin working. One of our teams wrote:
“Our team learned to work together to slowly clean the house we were assigned to. There was limited space with lots of challenges. In order to protect and respect the space and owners’ property, we had to work together to move and clean things in shifts and sections. The group is coming together, new friends are being made, and a real spirit of Christian service is motivating everyone.”
One of our missionaries writes: “I noticed that the people of Haiti have lots of plans for the future but the older community members do not expect to see those plans come to fruition. They are gathering the resources, laying the plans for sustainability and educating the young people on how to build a better future. We’re here to support that investment.”
We partner with an on the ground organization called “410 Bridge” who help us identify and invest in vibrant communities with community leaders of integrity and commitment. The community of Monarch, where we are currently serving, is one such place where our focus here will be on students, making an investment to enhancing and strengthening their community program of education. We even ran a soccer camp. That has been a big hit. The children here are a joy to be with.
Our African missions team had a spectacular first full day in Kiu, a small village in a remote rural area of Kenya. They were honored by an elaborate welcoming ceremony featuring music, dance, speeches, and prayer. What made it extra special was a chance for some team members to connect with the children they have been sponsoring through Nativity and 410 Bridge, who work with us here as in Haiti.
Our missionaries write, “The team has met with community leaders, learned about community projects and especially enjoyed touring the medical clinic we helped organize on last summer’s trip. It’s hot, but we’re glad we’re here.”
Check out our Nativity Missions blog for daily updates at: www.nativitymissions.com