Our experiences of ‘Working for the Lord’ at Missionaries of the Poor, Old Kingston Town, Jamaica April 2010

Trevor and Tina Lambkin, Australia

Until our visit to the MOP in Jamaica we had never worked with or had even been exposed to the ‘forgotten people’ of our society; the poor, the destitute, the lame and the crippled.  About two years ago we started watching EWTN on satellite television and saw the plight of the destitute in Kingston, Jamaica and the tireless and Christ-like work that the brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor do.  At this, we felt a drawing by our Lord and our God to travel to Jamaica to offer something to the poor and forgotten people of Kingston as a sign of Christ’s love and to witness the exemplary love of the brothers to ‘the least of my people’.  Despite it being only a small contribution on our part compared to the tireless efforts of the brothers, and never having been in contact with the crippled and forgotten, we were not even sure whether we were capable of doing the work that was required of us.

After travelling for approximately 48 hours from Brisbane to Kingston, we were very excited and happy to finally be in Jamaica after two years of reflection, albeit very tired from the long journey.  Unknowingly we were unprepared for the graces and blessings that were about to be bestowed on us by our short visit to the MOP.  Prior to our arrival in Jamaica we were of the opinion that our efforts might impart some benefits to the under-privileged people that we would be working with.  Not long after working with the people and the brothers, we soon realised that we were the recipients of God’s loving grace in a number of ways.

Firstly, being in the presence of the brothers; they are always so very happy, very giving and exceedingly helpful to all.  One receives a real sense of peace and joy living in the community with them.  Witnessing them dedicate their lives to Jesus by serving the poor and crippled is truly inspiring and humbling.  They work unceasingly in the face of what would seem impossible odds, but they lovingly work together to achieve their goal of continually tending to the sick and impoverished.  We only helped out for one week, but these great men sent from God have a full time job in tending the poor, a job that will continue until they physically can no longer do it.  It was reassuring to appreciate the love of the brothers to the poor and through their actions see the love of Christ in their eyes.

Secondly, our work with the people: the children and adults in the homes.  We fed them, dressed them, bathed them, shaved them, spoke to them, touched them and held them; mopped, swept floors, cleaned tables, plus more, and despite doing this we received more than what we gave.  A smile from the people, a touch of their hand or a hug, or merely the opportunity to help them in their crippled condition; this was more valuable than any worldly treasure.  It was so special, far more than we thought could be possible.

Thirdly, we were so impressed with the generosity of the volunteers that come to Jamaica to help out.  Without these giving people, the work of the MOP would be so much more difficult.  We commend these generous people, mostly from North America, that so selflessly give their time and works to help God’s forgotten people.

In conclusion, we wish to thank the MOP for giving us the opportunity to join in the works of the Lord, and to witness the graces of God in action.  Father Ho Lung and the brothers, and their Christ given mission are continually on our minds as we think of them always and pray daily for their redemptive works.  We are now preparing and planning our next visit to Jamaica and in addition building up support here in Australia to assist the brothers in whatever way we can in their building of a mission in Flores, Indonesia.  Overall we thank God for opening our eyes to the treasures of working for the Lord through helping the weak and the marginalised.

SEE ALSO: Article in The Catholic Leader – Brisbane couple inspired by missionary trip