Here’s our video from our alternative break at Glenmary in Vanceburg, KY. I thought it would be appropriate since it talks of broken hearts—in a good way.
The trip renewed my energy for ministry (many of my colleagues can’t understand how I wasn’t exhausted by week’s end). And I now have a special bond with those who shared the experience.
Throughout the week our students have crosses that we ask them to wear, but more importantly, we ask them to give away those crosses to “someone that they see Jesus in.” Sometimes that’s a client at one of the places we serve. Sometimes it’s a random stranger or a service worker at a food bank (who received mine last year).
I love the part of the video at the end where our student leader, Megan, gives her cross to Abby, one of the farm managers who really ran the show for us throughout the week. Their embrace was one of the many images of the trip that I really was able to sit and reflect about and which has brought me much peace.
I didn’t get a cross to give away on this trip. Truth be told, we forgot to order a few extra for the leaders. However, Vineet, who has been one of the students who has been active at St. Joe’s this semester stopped me after prayer one night and gave me his cross. I never imagined that this would happen and was incredibly touched by it. I haven’t taken it off. I might even call my lawyer and tell him that in case of an accident I should be buried with it.
Experiences like this mean much to me as a minister. It gives me an opportunity to introduce people to prayer and reflection in a new context–one that they’re a bit more open to and that they engage with. It’s a short term commitment with hopefully long-term implications.
The experience of praying with other Christians also meant much to me this time. And I’m hoping to continue that this semester and take students to visit other churches and learn how much there is that unites us.
A big thanks to Walter Plummer and Abby Carty of Glenmary Farm for taking such good care of us throughout the week.