Today I tried something new. Something outside my comfort zone. I packed up the 5 little kiddos and attended our parish Soup & Bread luncheon. It's something the lovely ladies of the Mission Commission host each lent, and something I've wanted to attend in years past, but just figured it wouldn't be a great fit with little ones in tow.
Wow. Am I glad I went.
The guest speaker was Linda Thieman (from Mercer County ways...St. Henry to be exact) and she was speaking on her many (50+?) mission trips to Haiti. Awesome to hear her stories...I could have listened much longer.
There were several great points she mentioned, but a couple jumped right out at me...
1. "If someone asks for one, they probably need two." (this was a lesson her mother/father taught her as a young girl. Often local nuns would come to their family farm seeking a bag of grain...her parents always had two ready for them.)
What a powerful statement on giving more than is asked, or giving more than is expected. I should work harder to inspire my own children with great lessons such as this.
2. In commenting on her many trips to Haiti, she mentioned that she learned early on that her calling was not to build schools, or provide medical care, or other large projects. Rather, her calling was to "open hearts/eyes" of folks here...the many numbers of students and adults that travel with her. She brings the unfathomable reality of extreme poverty to life...and puts names to faces...that others might find a way to lend a hand as well. So often I feel like my very minimal donation to Food for the Poor or some other charity certainly can't be doing much, and yet she recognized her part in this body of Christ...and encourages others. Truly inspiring!
What a wonderful opportunity to hear her, to chat with others over a great meal...one that provided food for nourishing both body and soul this Lenten season.
As a side note...I laughed with John this evening, that aside from my kids I was probably the youngest person in attendence...then I remembered my sister-in-law and her kids were there. But in general it was largely attended by the retired members of our parish. What a shame that so many more young'ns weren't there. I know there are plenty of other stay-at-home moms and maybe even dads who would have thoroughly enjoyed this, shoot even college age kids lookin for a hot meal and some fellowship...perhaps one of St. Augie's best kept secrets. I'm doing my part to spread the good word for next year...you must come.
Oh, and if anyone knows who made that Creamy Chicken Tortellini soup, I'd LOVE the recipe.