News & Events

Give and Receive Love

Posted in News

By: Arlene Torres, New Jersey, USA

Arlene sharing a light moment with the residents of Lord’s Place, Kingston, Jamaica

MY DAUGHTERS AND I first visited Kingston, Jamaica after we heard a teenager’s witness in church nine years ago. My purpose for the trip was to expose my children to the poorest of the poor. I wanted them to realize how lucky they are here in America.


The first center we visited was Beatitudes Home, where, for the first time, my daughters saw mentally and physically challenged children on the floor and on wheelchairs. My oldest daughter cried for at least 20 minutes at the door until a young boy came to her and raised his hands asking to be held. When she carried the boy, she stopped crying and played with the children.


My youngest daughter was behind her sister, her eyes caught by Omar’s happy dance. My daughter could not understand how Omar could dance when his feet were bent backwards. The Brothers told us the sad story of Omar and his abusive father who disfigured him so he can beg for money.


A young volunteer help feed a resident at Jacob’s Well Home, Kingston, Jamaica

My children learned to love these children who give unconditional love! Their sparkling eyes looked at you with big warm smiles. It was as if God was looking at us waiting for our response. My daughters’ outlook in life changed forever!


As for me, when the Brothers asked for my help as a nurse, I felt I didn’t have enough materials to do what I needed to do. But then I realized all they really needed was love and care, attention and human touch!


When I encountered the residents at the centers and the patients at the MOP clinic, I could not help but see their need for love, care and treatment: my love for them and care for their wounds just flourished.


For the last nine years, the MOP Brothers have taught me and my children how to give and receive love. Initially, I could not understand how the Brothers so joyfully care for the poorest, the mentally and physically challenged children, abandoned men and women 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Only until I personally experienced the lives of the MOP Brothers that I understood and felt what it means to receive love and give love. Learning to love the poor gives such warm feelings that I cannot really explain it. I feel full of the fire of the Holy Spirit. Giving love with the great reward of a smile and a hug is more than enough.