We were asked this morning to sum up our experience thus far and to do it in four words. I usually have a difficulty coming up with these kinds of expressions. This morning it was easy as it was so obvious. My four words were “Amazing expansiveness of seed planted”. Fifty years ago when I set foot in Santo Tomas, I had difficulty knowing where to start. I felt so small and inadequate but during the next four years I did get some land given to us and built some basic buildings and developed a repoire with the people of the 30 villages in the area. In one way it was so small considering the task at hand. Now fifty years later I see what has happened. My contribution was so small, like the mustard seed in the Gospel, but over the next fifty years it has expanded to a size that I didn’t ever dream of. The seed was small but the many people that followed me did a great job in watering the small seed and it has grown to a size that even the birds of the air are now resting in its branches. It was the result of lots of people and lots of work to get to where our mission has come and is today.
As we have toured the facilities in Santo Tomas and the surrounding areas we have seen many services that are being provided and have been helped by the mission.
At the mission, the Clinica Maxema they are helping the people to learn better nutrition, they are treating and helping many with diabetes and they are growing over 100 plants for primarily medicinal purposes and some for nutrition.
There is another garden in one of the villages that has more nutrition foods that are harvested and given to the people.
We have also visited other clinics in the outlaying areas that have been helped by the mission to get started and are now serving their communities on their own as they are now ran by the government.
hen there is the school that was started and is supported by the diocese, they are teaching the older kids. It has primarily focused on helping students to be teachers but they are trying to add other trades like seeing and computers.
Words from other journeyers:
Presence of native womens dress
Patience of the people
We are so similar
Growing opportunities, challenges and hope
Prayers for those who have left to the U.S.
Peaceful function amidst disfunction
Prayerful, healing, beauty