Last month, Mustard Seed Communities led a team on our first mission trip specifically focused on bringing together and engaging new and returning mission trip leaders. Two leaders, Kate Foley and Roxanne McDevitt, plan to be the next Mustard Seed youth group leaders at Christ our Light Parish in Cherry Hill, NJ. Read on to hear how the experience impacted them. (Pictured right: Mission Leader Group with our wonderful Missions staff enjoying the views of Jamaica.)
Roxanne shares what brought her closer to the residents during her time at Mustard Seed and what she hopes to share with others about her experience:
“Growing a closer relationship with Jordan (and all the residents) by helping feed him was a personal encounter I hold close to me. A specific time where we weren't just physically getting closer to the residents, but emotionally closer as well. Learning to be authentically ourselves just as all the residents are authentically themselves.
My experience with Mustard Seed was beautiful in every way, and I want everyone to throw out the stigmas, stereotypes, dangerous ways of thinking about people with disabilities and help individuals see how these residents live such joyous lives.”
Roxanne feeding Jordan at Sophie’s Place
Kate Foley with Jevoni at Sophie’s Place
Kate reflects on what she learned from the residents and aunties, our female caregivers, at Mustard Seed:
“The residents and Aunties at Mustard Seed Communities are teachers of the soul. One of the greatest teachings I learned from the residents was acceptance. The residents have a gift of embracing their true authentic selves. It was inspirational to watch them literally dancing like no one was watching during circle time. I remember watching as residents at Jacob's Ladder pulled anyone that would join them onto the dance floor. It didn’t matter what size, shape, ethnicity, race, ability, or disability, the residents didn’t see a difference. We are all one created by God.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from the Aunties was respect. The respect and dignity that each Auntie has for all of the residents is inspirational. One of my favorite memories of my time was hearing one of the Aunties sing 'Jesus Loves Me' to the residents at night before they went to sleep. I also enjoyed participating each morning in helping the aunties wheel all the residents from Sophie's Place to the Chapel for a daily prayer service. This was so special because it gave the residents the chance to pray as a group each day.”
We are so grateful for Kate and Roxanne’s leadership and are excited to see them back in Jamaica next summer with their own mission group!
Mission Leader Group with Monsignor Gregory after a discussion on leadership at Mustard Seed Communities headquarters, My Father’s House.
If you are interested in leading a mission trip with Mustard Seed Communities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!