About 9 or so years ago, my HH and I were contemplating a mission trip Haiti. Members of our parish were organizing a week or two week long trip to this country to help in area schools, building homes, as well as establishing adequate food and water.
We had been married for about two years, and while waiting for God to bless us with a child, we had been attracted to doing a Mission trip, as we felt God leading us to serve others. We attended several informational meetings about this trip as well as receiving the long list of immunizations we would need to get in order to make the journey.
I had informed my own parents of our intentions, and I remember my mother wasn’t pleased. We were newly married and I am sure she thought children would quickly follow. She didn’t think a trip to a poverty stricken country, where we’d be digging ditches was the best place to conceive a baby. I understood her concern, but we felt a strong push from God to place ourselves at His service.
I made the appointment with my doctor to get all the needed immunizations for the trip. I planned my vacation days to coincide with the trip dates and informed my boss of the trip.
Then, we realized God’s plan. What we thought was a call to Haiti was actually another kind of calling. A week before my doctor’s visit, we found out we were pregnant with our first child. I took the list of immunizations to my doctor and sought her advice. Should we still go, even though I am expecting. She was adamant, ‘Don’t go. This trip can wait. Your baby can not.’
We talked it over, and prayed. It seemed we misunderstood how God was calling us. We knew He wanted something from us, and in searching out what that was, it became clear, it was with us all the while. Our little baby girl, in my womb, had stirred an awakening in me. Even without my knowing, our baby stirred us to action.
In the end, we cancelled our trip. We felt God had finally blessed us with a baby, and we just couldn’t take any chance that the immunizations or the trip itself would cause her any harm. We heeded our doctor’s advice, and began a new journey, a new kind of service that God wanted from us.
We all have our callings. We all have opportunities to serve others. Some are called to work in humanitarian aid, others are called to teach the future generations how to serve. I pray that as God, in His wisdom kept us from Haiti, we can plow the path for our children to recognize the poverty in others as a method to serve.
CRS (Catholic Relief Services) is already serving in these countries. If all we can do, as a Stay At Home Mom at Work is give a bit of money, pray and teach our children the value of service, and the virtue of gratitude, then we have done our part.
Lord, help the people of these tragedies and those called to serve them.