The Chronicles of St. Lucia

St. Lucia 2017 retreat candles.jpg

Here are a few words about the mission in St. Lucia earlier this summer. As you can imagine, there’s much more to say than what I can write in a few paragraphs. I share this with the hope that our joy may be also yours!

The first mention is for St Lucia, this island in the south part of the Caribbean Sea that was evangelized by the French and UK’s colony for many years. For that reason, people speak English and creole (a mix of native languages, French, and English). A very challenging place…and an excellent fit for our ministry. A very humble community, with many African traditions, poor, where most people live on one meal a day, small spaces, sleeping on thin mats or just on the floor, and very dependent on rain water… but above all, a place where the Catholic Church has been struggling for the last decade since the Pentecostal and Adventist churches started reaching out more and in a better way, especially in developing neighborhoods. This presents a great
opportunity for a mission as we understand it. We did home visits every day to share the good news, VBS for the children, invited to a three-night retreat, and and formed the small communities. The 30 students who formed the team for this mission have embraced many sacrifices for the Gospel… and it has born much fruit! We had 120 participants in the retreat that included songs, preaching, skits, small groups, and powerful prayers. A man went to confession after 50 years, a couple decided to get married, a family decided to baptize their three sons (1, 3, and 5 years old), a lady who was formerly a catechist in the Church for ten years and had left to be a part of the Pentecostal community for nine years came back home and re-encountered the fullness of the life in Christ, and a young lady's vocal cords were even healed after going to several doctors who couldn’t find what the illness was! We have seen signs and wonders with our own eyes. The hand of the Lord has been with us confirming our proclamation!

Let me share one more story. As we got to the island and we were being transported to our mission post in Jacmel and surroundings, we went passed the local jail (with nearly three thousand inmates). The Holy Spirit told us that we should also go there and announce the good news to His children in jail. We obtained permission to go, and went with a group of 5 missionaries to share a short version of the retreat. The doors
opened for us, and so did their hearts. Personal conversations, songs, preaching, small groups and prayer. The good news of Christ was proclaimed to the 40 inmates that we could host. We couldn’t see the fruits, but we scattered the seed. And an opportunity was opened for us for a three-day retreat next year!

Thank you all for your prayers and for being a part of the evangelization of the Church in this way. Keep praying for the people in St. Lucia as we prepare for next year’s mission, our third and final in this place!