"Only the walker who sets out toward ultimate things is a pilgrim. In this lies the terrible difference between tourist and pilgrim. The tourist travels just as far, sometimes with great zeal and courage, gathering up acquisitions (a string of adventures, a wondrous tale or two) and returns the same person as the one who departed. There is something inexpressibly sad in the clutter of belongings the tourist unpacks back at home. The pilgrim is different. The pilgrim resolves that the one who returns will not be the same person as the one who sets out.”
[ Andrew Schelling, Meeting the Buddha ]
What do participants in a “reverse mission” pilgrimage do? They get to encounter and be touched by the people of Haiti and those who minister among them. They give witness to their belief in the dignity of all people by their presence among the poor. They get to confront the contrast between the rich and the poor in Haiti. They experience the love, the faith, and the hope of Haitian brothers and sisters struggling to overcome misery and realize their dream of living in poverty but with dignity. They encounter others living and working in solidarity with the poor.
What is a reverse mission pilgrimage? A “reverse mission” pilgrimage is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus today alongside brothers and sisters in Haiti, the most economically impoverished country in our hemisphere. A “reverse mission” pilgrimage is a window that allows us to glimpse what life is like for most of the world’s people. It’s also a mirror that allows us to see ourselves and our own nation in relationship to the rest of the world. It’s an opportunity to minister in solidarity through our presence and our caring and to be changed – converted – by what we see and what we experience. It’s an opportunity to experience in the people of Haiti a richness of hospitality, a richness of culture and – above all – a richness of faith. A “reverse mission” pilgrimage won’t change the world, but it could very well change YOU!
Promoting a global culture of solidarity with the poor - in Haiti, Africa, and beyond. - for a more just and sustainable world . . .