I have heard for a long time that I am a part of the Body of Christ, but it took me going to Haiti to get a glimpse of what it really meant.
While I was on a mission trip in Haiti, I met some girls named Sophie, Kristal and Catlin. They spoke Creole and I spoke English, but through our mutual faith, we found a way to connect. The first time I saw them, I showed up with a couple other missionaries to a community prayer service in their neighborhood. I used the few Creole phrases I had memorized on the plane to ask them their name and that was about it in terms of conversation. But that night I prayed with them. I didn’t know the prayers or even what we were praying for (it was all in Creole), but I tried as hard as I could to pray anyway.
Two days later, Kristal showed up at the Life Teen Mission Base where I was staying, asking me to come pray with her and the other girls. So I grabbed a couple other missionaries and followed Kristal to her home. She introduced us to her mother and to her brothers and sisters running around outside of their home. Then, Sophie and Catlin walked up, and introduced us to their families.
Even though these girls and their families had very little, they invited us to sit down in chairs they had brought out of their homes and even cut down coconuts off the tree by their house so that we would have something to eat while we were there. And then we prayed with their families. We prayed in English for the health and protection of their families, that they would continue to grow in their faith and that God would continue to bless them. Then they prayed for us in Creole.
I will never forget these girls, their families, or what they taught me that day. These girls from Haiti understood better than I did as a missionary that we were all linked together in the family of God, the Body of Christ. I am back in America now, but that experience has changed me. I want to love and pray for every member of the Body of Christ the way I loved and was loved by those girls that day.
So, I challenge you to join me in praying for your brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ in Haiti but also for your brothers and sisters at your youth group and in your parish, especially those you see everyday because in Christ, we truly are all family!
As a body is one, though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body are one body, so also with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, we were all given to drink of the same Spirit. (1 Cor 12:12-13)