This past week was jam packed with meetings and happenings. Along with two other missionaries, I traveled by train, along the beautiful Hudson Bay, to Newburgh, NY. On Saturday night, we traveled out to the hilly, green town which is outside of the city in order to wake up and itinerate at a humble United Methodist Church in the morning. A couple from the church opened up there home to us for the evening. It's always overwhelming when complete "strangers" make you feel completely welcome in their homes. Surrounded by trees, the aroma of grass, and hills made me very aware of the presence of God. New York City is an adventure and has it's own unique beauty, but nothing beats being out in nature.
The session which had the greatest impact on me, since I last posted, is the Simple Living session. We discussed living simply involves not necessarily buying cheaper items, but buying resourcefully and intentionally. We talked about the huge impact shopping in local markets not only has on our own budgets, but the money also positively impacts the local economy. The session made me realize how much I do not need, yet I think I need things for comfort. Then, we met Lorenza. Lorenza is in ministry with the poor and marginalized, advocating for systemic changes by living on the streets in solidarity with the poor. Yes, she is living among the homeless in order to be a presence of God on the streets. She is an extremely humble lady and I know I'm not going to do her story any justice because her ministry is overwhelming to simply even hear about. She showed us the many things she carries in her pack- everything she owns she carries on her back. On the outside of her backpack, Lorenza has a wooden chalice and plate, in the past, she carried a metal chalice and plate for communion, but one homeless shelter denied her entry claiming the chalice could be used as a weapon. Instead, Lorenza spent the night on the bench, but was awoken in the middle of the night and handed a ticket by a police officer for sleeping in public. She has spent different nights in jail in order to passively protest how our justice system criminalizes the poor. Like I said, my few simple words can not even begin to describe how inspiration that is Lorenza. I do know I definitely saw Christ in the eyes of this beautiful woman.
|Mission Interns and US-2s with Lorenza.|