Gardens, Goodbyes, and Gratitude

August 8, 2018

The summer has been filled with much activity, including the launching of our NEW Summer Garden Internship to the conclusion of another year of service for Redeemer Ministry Corps.  At the end of June we welcomed our first Summer Garden Intern, Eliana who joined us for three weeks to work alongside Sr Ana in the Sister’s community garden, Redeemer Valley Garden. Eliana brought new energy and a passion for caring for the earth.  It was a joy having her with us during those three weeks.  Eliana shared,

“The Summer Garden Internship opened my eyes to our connection to God’s creation. For three weeks I was able to learn so much about plants, gardening and how to take care of the animals at the garden. I had so much fun and truly had an amazing experience that helped me grow in my faith.  One of the most challenging parts was being away from my family, and I can’t thank the sisters enough for making me feel at home for the duration of the internship.” 

On July 23, we celebrated the gift of our RMC Regina at our Closing Liturgy.  The week before, Regina’s co-workers and the residents of St. Joseph’s Manor where she served threw her a farewell surprise party.  Each unit presented her with a homemade card and mini cheesesteaks were served as part of the Philadelphia theme.  It was evident how much of an impact Regina made on each of their lives.  One resident shared how grateful she was to Regina for always providing a listening ear.  The Closing Liturgy was an opportunity to express our gratitude for Regina’s joy-filled and positive presence as well as provide her the space to offer her thanks and reflection on the year. Here is a brief excerpt from her reflection.  You can read Regina’s full reflection by clicking on the file link, reginas_reflection.

In addition to my decision to leave my hometown in Germany and come to America, I also decided to step outside of my comfort zone and volunteer in a ministry I had never done before. Prior to my time with RMC, I worked as a kindergarten teacher for 10  years. This year I worked as an Activities Assistant at St. Joseph’s Manor and I can now say this was one of the best decisions I ever made…It is because of all the people I met, all the experiences I had, all the relationships I’ve formed and all the places I’ve traveled to, that made my year one of the best years of my life. So, when I prepare to leave the USA I don’t want to focus too much on all of the goodbyes I have to say, rather I want to focus on all the beauty I saw, the lives that touched me and the lessons I’ve learned during my time as a RMC.  When I leave to head back home to Germany on Thursday I will not only be taking my big bag of luggage home with me, I’m going to be carrying with me a lot of great memories about my positive experiences from my amazing year and a heart full of friends.”

Thank you to Regina and Eliana for sharing of yourselves through service and for the beauty of your presence that touched so many lives.  Many blessings to you both in the year ahead!

As we close the chapter on this past year, we quickly open a new one as we prepare to welcome the 2018-19 RMC, Jackie Hutchison.  Jackie will be joining us, all the way from California, on August 19 to begin orientation.  Please keep Jackie in your prayers as she prepares to begin her own new chapter this year as an RMC.  You can learn more about Jackie here, http://hrmcorps.org/about/meet-the-201819-rmc/.