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St. John tells the beautiful after-Easter story in chapter 21 of his gospel, about seven disciples fishing at night. Jesus calls from the shore and creates the miracle of 153 fish in a net which had previously caught nothing. Impetuous Peter jumps into the water to get to shore faster. Jesus invites them to breakfast on the shore where after the meal He asks Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” Three times, Peter answers, “Yes Lord, You know I love You.” In the midst of all this beauty and symbolism of resurrection and forgiveness, Jesus says, “Feed My sheep” three times.

In our Sunday morning Bible Study we have approached the question, “What does God expect of us?” Like Peter, we have, through thoughts, words and deeds, denied Jesus many more than three times. Is our mission the same as Peter’s—to feed the Lord’s sheep? Is this how we demonstrate our love for Jesus, by loving and caring for others?

As you may have heard … twenty members from Saint John’s are going to Haiti in June to help love and care for his sheep in a very destitute place not far from the shores of our very blessed country. So close that desperate Haitians often make it to the U.S. shores in boats when circumstances in their country became unbearable.

During our week in Haiti, we will be working for missionaries who have spent the last twenty years feeding God’s sheep in Haiti. Their names are John and Beth. They provide jobs for almost 100 Haitians, a home for teenage moms, a maternity center for expectant women and vocational cooking and sewing programs for women. John believes in feeding God’s sheep by teaching them to be healthy and to sustain themselves through vocations. His facility, Heartline Ministry, is currently expanding to include a men’s vocational program as well.

While John expresses his love to Jesus in Haiti, we each do so in the place where God calls us to be. The Haiti Mission Group from Saint John’s has received much love and support from our congregation as we prepare for this trip. It will be an amazing adventure to see what God’s love looks like in a place like Haiti, full of poverty, Voodoo and hopelessness.

We look forward to having our trip dedicated to the Lord in May. We also anticipate our return with stories and pictures to share with our family of Saint John’s. We pray that God rains down blessings on us all as we feed His sheep, tend His flock and care for His lambs.

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness”, “mercy”, “loyalty”, “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself”, active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?