Occasionally I get an email, Facebook message or comment that reminds me that there is a pretty great community out there reading The Bluffton Packet and, apparently, this column.
It's really touching to hear that people found something I wrote helpful, or that it gave them new insight into God and life. It's changed how I see the world, because now everything is a potential story to share with y'all.
So, Bluffton, how do you feel about Nicaragua?
Recently, my friend Gayle called to tell me about a mission trip to Nicaragua with Mustard Seed, an organization dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable members of society.
Mustard Seed has two missions in Nicaragua. The first is caring for abandoned children with disabilities. The second is an outreach to the 1,500 men, women and children who live and work at the local dump -- selling and eating what they find scavenging there. Gayle's leading a trip the week of Thanksgiving for young adults like me who have the time and are willing to care for the children, assist with maintenance and distribute food to the families living in the dump.
I'm hoping to join this trip and am currently raising the $1,000 it takes to participate. I'm paying for my airfare and travel expenses, but the extra money is being raised to go directly to Mustard Seed and will be used to give the children they serve a voice and sustain and develop their mission.
I'm really excited to share the experiences I have in Nicaragua with all of you.
I know that most of the Lowcountry can't go to Nicaragua for a week and hug abandoned children, clean bathrooms and visit a dump where people live and work, but I am confident of your thoughts and prayers and that I can be a good ambassador for the Lowcountry.
For more information about the mission, visit my blog at www.teamcatholic.blogspot.com. If you're not tech-savvy, you can also just call me at 843-384-4762 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can share details the old-fashioned way.
Alison Griswold is the director of youth ministry at St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church. Follow her on Twitter @alisongriz. Read her blog at www.teamcatholic.blogspot.com.