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By: Eduardo Guevara, Florida, USA
My name is Eduardo Guevara and my wife, two children, my sister and her daughter had the blessing of visiting with the Missionaries of the Poor and serving the poorest in Kingston during the Advent Season. I was introduced to MOP through my daughter, Marilyn, as she had gone earlier in the year with a group from her college, Belmont Abbey College. Firstly, I would like to share my deep gratitude to all of the Brothers for their dedication in caring for the poor. Our experience has strengthened our Faith and our love for Christ as we administered to the poor.
I had many beautiful and touching moments in all of the centers but I had one in particular that stuck with me. As I was feeding an elderly gentleman close to his death. MOP founder. Fr. Richard Ho Lung walked in and a different man next to us who was sleeping but also close to death woke up as the Father approached him, the man said. Father I’m praying for the Brothers and went back to sleep without saying anything else. Father Ho Lung responded, Thank you, for your prayers your suffering is giving many people happiness.
At that moment I realize what a great man that elderly gentleman is. He is offering up his suffering just like Jesus.
I would have guessed that the man would ask Father for something, but instead he wanted to reassure Father Ho Lung that he was praying for the Brothers! At that moment I started crying in silent while feeding another elderly man and praying for a more merciful and loving world starting with myself. I realized that we need to pray and do more for a better society as a family.
We all had different experiences. My wife, Marta spent one of the days at Jacob’s well and met a particular resident named Cleopatra. As we went through our week, we were constantly reminded that in loving and caring for each of the residents we are loving and serving Christ in each of them. This became a close reality to my wife as Cleopatra approached her and simply said. “Jesus loves you.” We often forget or even ignore this fact but this moment flooded my wife’s soul with blissful peace.
MOP and the residents touched us in ways that are not easy to describe but they do leave a permanent mark on one’s soul that is not easily forgotten. It is easy to come to the aid of the physically poor and the sick in Jamaica but there is still a poverty in our own country.
The poverty in America is not visible but is rather that of a spiritual kind. As we have learned to serve in the poor in Jamaica, so we must put on the eyes on Christ as we return and serve the poor in our own country. We gave everything we had in Jamaica but received so much more through the graces God wished to bestow on us during our stay.