One Minister’s Musings
Springing into Action: God’s Work. Our Hands.
Seven people from St. Andrew’s Church/Lutheran Campus Center leave on Friday for Nicaragua for a Global Exchange Trip. We are eager and excited to go. We are bringing several bags of school and dental care supplies with us, which have been gathered by the community over the last several weeks.
This trip is unique in that it is a mission trip with a twist. Indeed we will work at the local school, help teach dental hygiene at the health center, help build a pigpen for a micro-credit project and help build a house. Yet, even more importantly, the trip will create an opportunity for exploring a partnership with the coffee picking community of Santa Emilia. We’ll talk with the local leaders, learn about their culture, experience daily life with them, and hear about their struggles, hopes, and dreams.
Even as we go to help others, we will come back helped by them. We will be helped in our understanding of their culture and explore building a more long-term global partnership that is committed to combating extreme poverty and increasing global understanding.
We are joining a group called JustHope. Check them out at www.justhope.org
As we prepared for the trip, seven of us (Esther Portnoy, Steve Portnoy, Laura Miller, Paige Crutchley, Peter Keefe, and Kelsey Peterson) stood in front of the congregation on Sunday to receive prayers and blessing. We each lit a candle and then heard this prayer.
Blessed be the work of your hand, Holy God. You hold us in your hands.
Blessed be the hands that have touched life.
Blessed be the hands that have nurtured creativity.
Blessed be the hands that have held pain.
Blessed be the hands that have embraced with passion.
Blessed be the hands that have closed in anger.
Blessed be the hands that have planted new seeds.
Blessed be the hands that have harvested ripe fields.
Blessed be the hands that have cleaned, washed, and scrubbed.
Blessed be the hands that have become wrinkled with years.
Blessed be the hands that are scarred from doing justice.
Blessed be the hands that have reached out and been received.
Blessed be the hands that feed those who are hungry.
Blessed be the hands that comfort the dying and touch the dead.
Blessed be the hands that greet strangers.
Blessed be the hands that guide the young.
Blessed be these hands — for they are the work of Your hands.
Each person then held out their hands to be marked with the cross and oil and heard the words, “Bless your hands for they do God’s work.”
We are eager to go as we gather with others, grow in understanding, and give from our hands to be involved in God’s work. More stories will come.