“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:14-16 (NAB)
This reading, from The Gospel of Matthew, on Tuesday of this week, was a timely reminder for me and seven friends as we prepare ourselves for an immersion mission trip next month to Appalachia Kentucky. We hope that our actions, through our investment of some sweat equity into improving the living conditions of a few residents of Auxier and the surrounding Floyd County, Kentucky area, will, in a way, be the “light of the world” to those families.
This mission trip is a return visit for my friend, Clay, and I. We led a youth group last year from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Lebanon, Ohio to Auxier, where we spent four days working with Hand in Hand Ministries helping to bring necessary improvements to the homes of several families in the community. That trip, our first time to do anything like it, was truly an enlightening experience for us. (You can read about our experience in Opening the Door Between Heaven and Earth). Clay and I were so taken by the love and generosity we experienced during those four days that we decided to make another trip this year to the same place, again working through Hand in Hand Ministries.
Unlike last year, however, we want to sow the seeds deeper within our home community and we are making this an adult mission trip. We have slots reserved for 15 adults and are encouraging others from the St. Francis de Sales and the Lebanon community to participate in the mission. We have eight adults signed up as I write this and we still need seven more to join us.
If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of others, in bringing the “light of the world” and hope to our brothers and sisters who really need it, please consider joining us. To sign up, or for more information, please respond by comment to this post.
If you are unable to join us for the trip but would like to participate by donating monetarily to the cause you can do so by visiting our fundraising page St. Francis de Sales Group to Build Hope in Appalachia. The cost to participate is $250.00 per person but, although there are many folks who would gladly give of their time and talent, they will struggle to afford the cost. Your donations will help ensure that we fill all our slots with men and women who are able and willing to provide an uplifting experience to many who are less fortunate.
Even if you choose not to participate, I ask that you please share this post with friends through your social media. I know there are many caring and generous people out there who will gladly help others help others. We just have to reach them.
Thank you for your help. God bless you.
(Be the Light was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)
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