Move a Mountain, Change a Life

Annie Snyder '21, Co-Assitant Editor

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Last June, I traveled to Kingston, Jamaica with the “Move a Mountain” mission team for a week long mission trip. I was one of 17 high school missionaries to stay at Sophie’s Place, about a half an hour into the mountains outside of Kingston in Gordon Town. Sophie’s Place is a home for around 30 disabled and abandoned youth. Another group of primarily Oakland and Central students stayed at Jacob’s Ladder in Moneague, a home for disabled adults.

 

Instead of chronicling the days and nights of my stay at Sophie’s Place, I think it would be more beneficial to reflect on the trip: my influence as well as its influence on me. I went into the trip with an open mind, I wanted to welcome the discomfort and nervousness that came with entering a foreign situation. I realized as I got there that this was easier said than done. It’s hard to remain patient and loving with children and adults who don’t know boundaries or social cues. Still, it brought me joy that I could relieve a little of the stress of the Aunties, or caregivers for the residents, who work tirelessly. I felt needed and appreciated by the residents for the entirety of my stay, despite some uncomfortable moments. However, all these residents want to do is love, and as soon as I responded with complete love and patience, things became a little less awkward. As I became comfortable around the residents, I learned from them more than they could ever learn from me. Their awe-filled love for God continues to inspire me to this day. One anecdote I will share is that of Nadia from Jerusalem, another Mustard Seed apostolate we visited. Nadia gave a touching prayer encapsulating her love and gratitude to God. Specifically, she spoke of her thankfulness for us volunteers. The prayer brought an extreme sense of holiness and joy over my soul. The realization that these residents have so little in terms of material goods and still love God with so much desire and purity will always amaze me. My feeling in that moment will forever linger in my thoughts and, specifically, in my prayer life. I have countless more little stories of my encounters with Christ through the residents. More than ever before, I truly understood the idea that Jesus is within us all. I grew tremendously in my faith through daily mass, adoration, and the testimonies of the other missionaries. I recognized the purpose of life is to worship God through his creation. For that, I will be forever grateful to the Mustard Seed residents, employees, and community.

 

If you are interested in Move a Mountain for the 2020 trip, stay tuned!  Applications should be uploaded on their website www.moveamountain.org shortly.  You can also contact me at [email protected] with any questions or to make sure you receive the application.  Additionally, the February Jamaica trip with Dorrie has many fundraising opportunities at OC that benefit Mustard Seed Communities.