A Story of Love
Written by one of our mission travelers
Last night, I turned to a TV program reporting on famous American musicians’ homes. Several musicians spent 20, 30, and 40 million dollars on the price of a home just to show off their wealth!
As I watched the tour of their “wealth” and beautiful homes, it made me think of the poverty and the many struggles of our humble mission in Russia. I wished with all my heart that those who had so much would open their hearts to share and give just a tiny bit. I cried in wanting so much more for our humble mission.
I remembered the revelations of a volunteer at the mission …
|the buildings without hot water or no water at all;
|the hospital for the poor elderly with rotting wood floors so far gone one could smell the dampness and mold in every room, the moist and decaying wood giving way under foot;
|the hopeless stare of the elderly woman whose head had to be held while the volunteer fed her; the loneliness and despair of the other elders near her who were too poor to be anywhere else;
|the sick abandoned baby girl in the orphanage who was left to die on crib sheets wet and stained with mold from old urine - no one to cuddle her and comfort her (praise God she was at least in a crib);
|and most of all, I remembered the volunteer’s description of the many people on the streets of Russia who did not smile back nor return the “Hello” ... just stoic and mistrusting stares. Their hearts did not know the joy and peace of God. They had been denied him for so long.
I remembered these revelations of the mission volunteer.
My thoughts returned to our humble mission again –
|How, because of our Merciful Father and Loving Mother, hot water heaters were installed in buildings and rotting floors had linoleum over them;
|Because of our mission - because of our Heavenly Father - there was a volunteer to smile into the grateful eyes of an old woman – to sing to her, and feed her, and share joy with her. There was someone to hug the abandoned elders and bring them loving friendship;
|Because of our mission, there was someone to make a warm dry bed for a dying infant – to sing of Mary to her and caress her in motherly love;
|Because of our mission - because of our Loving Father in Heaven - there was someone who would share God’s love through a smile with strangers on the street;
|Because of our humble mission, communities gather again in the house of God, joyful and smiling in the richness of His peace, love and friendship.
Then, I remembered the greatest gift of love – the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ– the gift of Himself. His richness brought to us in so many ways everyday. I remembered the love from our Father and our Blessed Mother – the abundant gifts and greater wealth than any of us could ever imagine waiting for us for all eternity.
Then I remembered our humble mission, and my heart was not filled with want, but with great love and joy! I overflowed with tears of humble gratitude!
...30 million dollars for a house? – what greater true wealth and beauty they already possess - if they would only open their hearts and remember…!
Memories of a Mission Team Member
Dear Fr Myron,
Greetings from Modesto, I would like to take an opportunity to thank
you for all the hospitality we received from all of you, The trip to
the Parish was a heart felt experience, On a personal level a very
life changing experience, Tears of joy for all that these people will
savor in the goodness that they will encounter because of
humanitarians such as yourself the spiritual message that you deliver
in all that you do and say is felt, The freedoms these folks are faced
with will only be realized more each day their hearts and minds are as
sponges they will absorb all that they can the Lords work will enter
where hearts are open this is taking place one cannot help but to feel
the excitement that surrounds the Parish, The focus and goals are
evident in all the parishioners, To you Father a well deserved, Job
well done. And as grateful to Fr Dan and Fr Sebastian for all the work
they have done and continue to do. I believe that tears of sadness are
of our own weaknesses for to want what we cannot help or cure swiftly,
we are bothered emotionally and overwhelmed by the hardship of the
conditions of our own faith and condition, The lord brings light to
darkness and what I saw was light that surrounded the good people of
Russia this experience has served to raise the level of my Faith, I
only have applause for those who give of themselves and expect no
credit of no one except of themselves and most importantly in silent
recognition by the lord, I know that there is a tremendous amount of
work to be done I offer my services in any way that I may I do have
access to the building trades any information I may relay to you or
any of the construction crew please contact me, I hope to be of
further assistance to the Parish in any way I am able, I had a great
trip learned a lot of the city and its history I will return with
hopes of seeing all of you once again only wish I could be of help
with the on going construction, That could be a possibility, I would
be interested in teaching construction or having a hand in it in the
Parish and city, I think the people there would draw from it the basic
knowledge of material usage and application and knowledge of
This was very humbling experience I take with me very fond
memories, of the people, city, opportunity of service to the Parish.
God Bless, Harvey