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Lamplighter - Fr. Aran

posted Feb 25, 2016, 12:33 PM by St. Thomas Church   [ updated Jul 26, 2018, 12:55 PM ]

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

As you are reading this, 26 of us are just returning, or about to return, or have just returned from our mission trip – aka “Love Journey” – to Puerto Rico.  Since I am writing this just a few days before we leave, I am not able to share with you all the things that God has done in and through us because, well, they haven’t happened yet!

But I can share 2 quick things . . .

1) PLEASE come join us on Sunday, July 29 at both the 8am and 10am services.  During the sermon time, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from many of the students and adults who were on this life-changing trip.  There will also be a very special group of guest musicians leading our music that morning at the 10am service.  You won’t want to miss it!

2) Here’s WHY we went to Puerto Rico this summer, rather than going to any number of other places around The United States of America that need help.

Puerto Rico is a part of The United States of America.  You do not need a passport to travel there.  It is not a foreign country.  For whatever reason, many people struggle to remember these facts.  But they are true.  Those who live in Puerto Rico are Americans.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September of 2017, it was a devastating blow.  But parts of The United States have been dealt devastating blows by hurricanes many times in the past.  Katrina, Andrew, Ike, Charley, Irma, Sandy… the list goes on and on.

For whatever reason, Maria was different.  While there are always hiccups in any rescue operation, there seemed to be a lot more in the wake of Maria.  For whatever reason, when a devastating hurricane hit that part of The United States of America, the response wasn’t as it had been in the past in other parts of The United States of America.

As Jesus followers, this confused many of us who are a part of the St. Thomas Youth Group.  And so, as we are called to do, we prayed and sought God’s guidance through the Holy Spirit.  It became very clear very quickly that God was leading us to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus and assist our fellow Americans in any way we can.  Phone calls were placed, arrangements were made, and several months later, we went.

We went with your love, prayers, and support.  And we can’t thank you enough for being the kind of Jesus followers who, when they see our neighbors in crisis, reach out with God’s Love and our God Given Resources.  We have been blessed so that we can be a blessing.

peace to you