Today’s reading, and the ones that will carry us through this cycle of Ordinary Time, comes from the Gospel of Mark. In it, we will learn how Jesus sought his first disciples.

Instead of telling the story of Jesus’ birth, Mark begins with John the Baptist and his preaching. John’s arrest marks the end of his ministry and the beginning of Jesus’. In many ways, Jesus’ preaching is a continuation of John’s. But unlike John, Jesus marks the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Today’s reading begins in Galilee. John has just been arrested and Jesus arrives to proclaim the gospel of God. Instead of waiting for disciples to approach, Jesus approaches them. This breaks from the traditional relationship between disciple and teacher in religious schools of the period.

We learn that Jesus’ first disciples are Simon, Andrew, James, and John. These first followers are fisherman by trade. But when Jesus approaches them, they abandon their boats with immediacy and become his disciples.

At CMMB, there is a great sense of immediacy in much of what we do. Our programs and projects are designed with the mission to ease the hardships of vulnerable communities around the world. Though each success is a mere stepping-stone to achieving our vision, each one signifies a small but meaningful change—a mother receives prenatal care, a family has access to nutritional food, a child receives an education.

Our network of Community Health Workers makes these stepping-stones possible. They connect us with the most vulnerable, forge connections with communities, and connect them with our resources. Like Jesus, their mission is not to wait for those in need to approach, but to seek them out instead.

The role of a Community Health Worker is not easy. It takes our staff to the outskirts of communities and confronts them with challenging situations. But for every mother they educate on the importance of seeking healthcare or, in the time of a global pandemic, teaching lifesaving measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a child will learn healthy practices by example.

We will conclude today’s reflection with an excerpt from a story about Kerna, a Community Health Worker in Haiti. If you’re interested in learning more about Kerna and the role of Community Health Workers, you can read her story by clicking HERE.

Kerna, community health worker in Haiti

Kerna with a newborn baby in Haiti

“When you work in the field it’s never easy. Once you visit a family, you become responsible for them. I’m trusted by my community and I work with all my heart because I love my job.” – Kerna, CMMB Community Health Worker, Haiti.

The day-to-day, on-the-ground work that Kerna does has the power to change entire community’s access to healthcare in Haiti. She knows improved health could forever impact the people around her – her friends, family, and neighbors. Despite the long hours and the weight of responsibility, Kerna said she will continue to walk long dusty roads to far away homes because watching young mother’s learn the importance of hygiene and nutrition, and seeing families live healthier lives brings a smile to her face and heart. As she said herself, “Santé est la richesse,”(Health is Wealth).

In grace and peace,


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