by Kristina Viscariello

Last week, I asked St. Martha’s Parish if a few of the students could speak at their Masses and take up a collection to help subsidize the cost of the trip. They were more than willing to let Cody and I speak at three of their Sunday Masses and one daily Mass. While I was trying to prepare what I was going to say to the parishioners, I realized that I had to let them know that they are doing mission work along with us. One of the parishioners reminded me of this after Cody and I spoke at one of the Masses. We were thanking her for being so generous, and she told us that we have to share. She said that she couldn’t go to Joplin herself, so she wanted to help us get there. We are all called to different missions. Not all of us were called to go on this mission trip, but we were all called to be missionaries. The people who are praying for us at home are just as much a part of this mission as we are. If we didn’t have their support, then we wouldn’t be able to go.

A group of us from Hofstra have been going to daily Mass at St. Martha’s and that is where my mission work began – sitting in daily Mass preparing my heart to go be the hands and feet of God. I have to have a relationship with God myself before I can go spread His message. For me that started with praying about the mission during daily Mass. I have also been preparing by making other aware of what I am going to do. I have been informing as many people as I can about Joplin and the help that they need. By informing others, I have made them part of this mission trip. Missionary work does not start and end when we leave and when we come back. It is ongoing and it starts right here, at home.