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October 5, 2011

Thank You God

by carrollministry

Hola From Los Angles!!
Well we are on our fourth day in East LA, and let me just say it has been fantastic! God is working in so many ways in this community. Whether it is the women of the community, the Dolores Mission Catholic School, the Jesuit volunteers, or the Dolores Mission catholic parish; each is filled with so much love.
As we rolled into town on Saturday night all the nervousness that I had had since I decided to come on this trip hit me hard. I was scared to get out of the car, all because everyone had told me that I should be worried about gang members walking down the street with a gun. I went to bed that night with a bit of shameful worry. Now I look back and think how off base I was being scared about this neighborhood. The people here are so community oriented, and so adamant about stopping any violence. Today I have no fear for my safety.
The most shocking experience thus far on this trip has for sure been the talk we had last night with two women; Sophia and Gloria about their journey from Mexico to America. It was so heart wrenching, making several of us shed tears. At one point Sophia, (in tears) said to us, “God would not want us to have borders or immigration laws, he wants us to all be together.” Even though I have never had a personal opinion about border control I definitely do now! Not only did these talks touch me spiritually but they also made immigration laws something that I now can personally relate to. I hope and pray that these women find peace in the United States!
Today has already been such a great day. We started out our day with the Kinder, 1st, and 2nd graders of Dolores Mission School, with a prayer service in the church. It was so awesome to see the student’s excitement as they repeated time after time; “Thank You God,” for each of the gifts that God gave when he created the earth. After the prayer service we came back over to the school and worked in the classroom for a bit, I practiced my awesome poster making skills and pencil sharpening skills. I’m definitely becoming a pro, preparing me for my future of being a teacher. At 10:00 we came up to the community room and had an amazing meditation with Fr. Scott. During the meditation we focused on how we had felt welcome in the last four days in this community. Fr. Scott then gave us each the chance to share an experience that had left us feeling peaceful, joyful, and more fully alive. It was very moving to hear what each of us had to share. It was very obvious at this moment how filled with the Holy Spirit each of us is. After passing the healing oils around we shared the sign of peace with everyone! This was a most wonderful way to end the meditation.
Now I anxiously await our visit later today to skid row, and the juvenile detention center. I know that both of these visits will be sad, yet very memorable. Keep us in your prayers today as we visit both of these places. Boyle heights is one amazing place and it is clear that so much work and prayer has gone into making it what it is today!
Peace and Love Homies ☺,
Liz Thompson

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