Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Whatsoever You Do...

"Anvan m' di nou lòt bagay, kite m' di Bondye mèsi pou nou gremesi Jezikri."
"First, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you" ... (Rom 1:8)

Firstly, I want to thank you all so much for your prayers for my recent medical mission in Haiti. We passed through customs in Port Au Prince without having to pay a stiff customs tax (read: bribe) and got all the medicines in safely, by the grace and mercy of Jesus! Despite a bout of dysentery that afflicted most of the team, myself included, we saw over 450 patients in our makeshift clinic. Other than a brief exchange of gunfire we heard one night, we felt safe and ran into absolutely no problems walking the mile to the clinic daily. I will blog more on it over the next few weeks but will continue to keep my posts limited during Lent as I promised.
My wife, Prodigal Daughter, accompanied me on a previous trip to Port -Au -Prince and wrote this poem based on our experience. I would like to share it with you.

"I Saw the Face of Jesus"
Today I saw the face of Jesus in a woman with abdominal pain who didn't understand why the pain disappeared when she ate. As the doctor prescribed antacids and gave her money for some food, I remembered the Scripture "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat."
In her, I saw the face of Jesus and prayed.

I saw the face of Jesus in a young woman with malaria who could not afford the medicine so she came to us. As one missionary gave her some of his water to take the first life-saving dose I thought, "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink."
In that young lady I saw the face of Jesus and gave thanks.

I saw the face of Jesus in the smiles of the women who wore the skirts brought down by the missionaries year after year. "I was naked and you clothed me."
In those beautiful women I saw the face of Jesus and rejoiced.

I saw the face of Jesus in the little children who crowded outside the clinic windows with outstretched hands reaching through the iron bars yelling "Hey You!" just waiting for a touch or some kind of response. As I looked into their eyes I thought, "I was a stranger and you invited me in."
In those little ones I saw the face of Jesus and I smiled.

I saw the face of Jesus in a young widow who sat on the crowded bench after she had seen the doctor. There was peace in her eyes as she waited patiently for her medicine and a prayer. I saw the smile on her face as she was given her bag of prescriptions and the humility in her heart as the missionary knelt before her and prayed. "I was sick and you cared for me."
In that young lady I saw the face of Jesus and I worshiped.

I saw the face of Jesus in a frightened little orphan who sat on the bench waiting to be seen by the doctor. When I said "hello" to her she did not smile. She had no Mommy to cling to, no one to reassure her that we were not going to hurt her. She was alone. All I wanted to do was hold her in my arms as I thought "Whosoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me."
In that little girl I saw the face of Jesus and wept.

When the day was over, I heard Jesus say, "It was wonderful to spend the day so close to you. When you touched each one of my children we became as one."
"How can that be Lord?" I asked. He replied, "I tell you the truth. Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me."


May Lent be for every Christian a renewed experience of God's love given to us in Christ, a love that each day we, in turn, must "re-give" to our neighbour, especially to the one who suffers most and is in need.
Pope Benedict XVI

Thank you for your prayers.


5 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy said...

Deo gratias! Welcome back TJ, I was thinking of you a lot over the past week. Glad everything went well.

March 11, 2007 3:47 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Nancy, thanks so much for your prayer support. I really appreciated all the prayers. I will post about some of the adventures later on. God bless you

March 11, 2007 5:21 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

*speechless*

March 12, 2007 10:53 AM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Amazing, amazing, amazing grace.

I am reminded of our work in Mexico; I worked in a practicum for women and men in prostitution: "lepers" of society.

I remember going in and a moment of revelation when I saw Jesus in the eyes of one of the women we were there to serve.

I remember having thought that these people might not think we accepted them, and the lesson that came to me; it was THEY, who had to accept US!

I was so humbled by that. And I remember how sweet, kind, and welcoming they all were to us as strangers in their land.

As I'm certain the people of Haiti welcomed you with open arms.

I learned in class yesterday: We cannot understand and be merciful without first experiencing mercy.

So I have to ask you and your wife: Did the experience of the mercy YOU received from the people you served change you?

March 12, 2007 5:28 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes very much so I believe. They were extremely kind and sensitive to our many needs there and not once did we ever feel they resented us. (which is how I would feel as we took out our expensive cameras taking photos of people who could never own one)
as a matter of fact every year when they send us off with goodbyes and prayers, I am left with a sense that I am the one with poverty and they are truly the rich due to their immense faith in spite of horrendous living conditions.
We sold the McMansion in the burbs 6 years ago and bought a very small twin in a not so nice part of town because of our sense that we were given much by God and needed to simplify our lives .

March 12, 2007 6:23 PM  

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