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Mission of Hope

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Friday, July 31st - Early Edition!

By Bonnie Black
First, I must apologize for not including a few assignments from yesterday! You see, the process is for me to copy down the assignment board before it is erased, but yesterday I was running a bit behind in this process because I went out on the Medical Outreach. So….my day was a bit discombobulated, at least as far as this 'note writing' process. About 15 names were not included, so here they are!

In the morning we had a team at Parajito Azul - the center for youth and adults with special needs. The group brought donations from individuals in the North Country as well as much needed supplies. Everyone's photos showed many smiling faces on all: Kelly Hale, Joan Riani, Bev Gogola, Brenda Flynn, Trish Giglio, Mary Fredette and Adrianne Longino.

And in the afternoon, an ECO group headed to Monte Verde with Mel Landers and a large group of local people from that zone preparing another raised garden: Joan Riani, Kelly Hale, Kasey Garrand, Mary Fredette, Emily Bean, Brad Willett and Rinsha Ballani.

I might as well update you on what has happened so far today. We began our morning meeting with greeting the last member of Mission #32 to arrive - Oscar Flores. We are so grateful for the Flores family's support and continuing inspiration for all of us. We heard from Yamilette that she is missing us all and wishes she were here, too.

Those who were at Parajito Azul yesterday came back informing us that they are in dire financial straits. The government funding they have had (they are the only center of its kind in the country) is being reduced due to the worldwide and national financial crises. The little they make from selling the hand-embroidered linens, pillows, doilies, pillowcases and sheets as well as their t-shirts and purses, is not bringing in enough to keep every fed. BUT…yesterday one of the women gave Bev Gogola an embroidered hanging for the Mission thanking us for all that we have done and our commitment to them and their facility. Bev tried to pay for it, but after two times of the woman refusing, she knew that culturally she need to accept it graciously. She also found out that the doctor is no longer on staff there due to the financial situation. Adrianne Longino noted that there are many residents without pants - of all ages - because they don't have the clothes. So, all of you reading this back in the North Country and elsewhere, if you have new or 'like new' pants for boys (of all ages up through young adult) please drop them off at MOHTown any Wednesday between 9:30am and 1pm. Thanks!

What is interesting is that so many people on this Mission have already spoken about wanting to be a part of that experience - many more than in the past 31 missions. Sister Debbie said that it is not be accident that the number of people wanting to be involved is growing - it is the Spirit moving us in a direction of need. She asked any who would want - and could - donate some money so that we could purchase 100 pounds of rice and 100 pounds of beans ($155) before this Mission leaves. At least it would supplement their paltry food supply for a short time.

On a light-hearted note, Liz Cofrancesco told us about a conversation she had with Joe Lewis yesterday. She was so impressed at his fluency that she asked where he learned Spanish. He responded, "In prison…," but before he could complete the sentence, she reacted with surprise. So, Joe went along with this and didn't finish the sentence at first - he is such a joker! Ultimately, he let her know he learned at work - he works in the prison system. A good laugh was had by all.

I am not sure noted that yesterday morning we ended our meeting musically with a selection made by Kayla Rabideau, "Take My Hand." It had a refrain which rings so true for us on mission: "I know that I need you, I can't do it on my own" and "Make me move from the inside out."

This morning it was Brad Willett that shared a song he has had on his iPod for a while, but listened to with greater meaning the other night after lights were out. It felt, to him, as an upbeat version of what we're doing here this week, "Upside Down" by Jack Johnson. It spoke about feeling a "change in everything as my mind begins to spread its wings" concluding, "I don't want this feeling to go away." As Sister Debbie said, "This is how it is supposed to be." And with that, the meeting concluded and we were on our way to the variety of tasks before the Community Health Fair this afternoon.

Please feel free to share the photos of the day and these notes with other friends and family by sending them to: www.pressrepublican.com. That way, they will be able to see and read it all at any time of the day or night!

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