Opening Prayer for the 15th Sea Container Loading Day

Carmelite Community of the Word Hands & Hearts Haiti Ministry                                       

15th Sea Container Loading Day  October 14, 2016     

Opening Prayer

Loving Father,

For many months many of us have gathered in this building preparing for this day.  Some of us have packed box after box, finished roll after roll of tape, have sorted, weighed, categorized and placed items lovingly in boxes destined for the people of Haiti.  Many others have donated food, clothing, hygiene products and numerous other goods so needed by adults and children of Haiti.  Others have made it possible to send playground equipment and toys that Haitian children would otherwise never see or experience playing with.

Others have gathered together to sew clothing so that orphan children can receive a new skirt or dress or a new quilted or fleece blanket loving fashioned by mothers and grandmothers, aunts and sisters and teen girls and boys.  Hundreds of new mothers and babies will receive their first clothing because of the generosity of women from all over the country who have chosen to donate mother/baby kits.  Each time we have gathered we have worked with love overflowing for the people of Haiti:  those we have come to know and love and those we have only seen along the streets and in the hovels and shacks along our way. 

We come together now to send our love to Haiti in the form of so many items that we hope will ease the need that is so great in the country of Haiti.  We did not know that a hurricane would arrive to compound the dire poverty of Haiti so recently.  The goods we send will certainly ease a small portion of the suffering of some of those who have been affected by this tragedy.  We pray that in spite of the limitations of our gift, the message of love and support that it carries with it will give the people of Haiti, especially our Little Sisters of the Incarnation, an assurance that they are not alone.

We pray for safe passage of our sea container to Haiti.  We pray for a swift transition through customs and protection of these material items from those who would attempt to vandalize or steal the goods sent as an act of simple charity.  We include in our pray those who load and unload this container, those who safeguard it over the ocean, those who transfer and release it in Haiti, and those who broker each of these steps.  Let no harm come to them in their efforts.

Prayer of Giving

Loving and gracious God, we have given of our time…

We acknowledge that we will never have enough hours to give all we desire to give.

Lord Jesus, we have given of our strength…

We know that only your grace has enabled us to do all that we can for those in need.

Spirit of life and love we have poured our hearts and spirits into our efforts…

We ask you to make up for all that we lack in our sharing with others.

Lord of All Peoples,

As unworthy as we are You called us to your side Into the vineyard to do the work of this Gospel.

Some came early and others came late. Some sang a song of joy while others grumbled. Some brought new ideas and others brought the wisdom of years. Most times your work was done with joy, but too often we have been limited by our humanness.  And yet you have the grace to call us again.

Teach us to work side by side:

Appreciating the gifts each brings,Forgiving quickly   

Seeing your face in all faces, Your spirit in all spirits   

Your wounds in all wounds, Your work in all works.

Then will the world marvel at the glory of God.  

Prayer:  O Creator of all living things:
We are all hungry in a world full of abundance.
The possibilities of food for bodies and souls overflow in this beautiful world.  We ask for the grace to see the abundance of our world and enough awareness to acknowledge our sins of greed and fear.

Give us openness of soul and courageous, willing hearts
to be with our sisters and brothers who are hungry and in pain.  We ask for your intercession on behalf of every person hungry for earthly food and hungry for the taste of the Spirit of God. We give thanks that we can be part of that intercession.  This world is blessed with enough food of the earth for every person to eat and be satisfied.
We come together in awe and wonder at the Creator who loves us so much that we are invited and urged to be co-creators with God in the care of our brothers and sisters.

In the name of the tender Father of all people who hears every cry, Amen.