Ethiopia Visit: A Challenge to Love

Brother Patrick Hyde is a Dominican Brother studying for the priesthood at St. Dominic’s Priory in St. Louis. Br. Patrick is participating on the Global Fellows immersion trip to Ethiopia.

“Live in my love.”

These words of Jesus have resonated in my heart from the moment we arrived in Ethiopia. I brought these words to contemplate upon in an attempt to remind myself of the need to grow, if nothing else, in love for the poor. Since our arrival, we have not had to go far to meet the poor and attempt to bring them true Christian charity.

Thirty years ago, Mother Teresa founded a home in Dire Dawa. Today, we had the privilege of visiting this house. During our visit, we came upon a mother and child sitting on a bench completely covered by flies. Feelings of disbelief, anger, compassion, and love flowed through me. How could I live in love in the presence of such an unspeakably sad scene?

Global fellows

The Global Fellows pose for a picture with Sister Marie Toma outside of the Missionary of Charities home in Dire Dawa. Photo by Mikaele Sansone/CRS

As much as I would love to change the world economic structures to ensure such a scene never happens again, I am left contemplating Mother Teresa’s words, “God does not ask us to do great things; he asks us to do small things with love.”

As much as I feel that I have grown in love for the poor, the challenge of those words extends to every part of my life. If I truly desire to bring the love that I have known in Ethiopia to someone else, that love must drive me to charity in all things and allow God’s everlasting love to transform my own heart. Even after such a transformation, I know that only the grace of God can open the hearts of others.

It is affirming to know that, as I struggle to grow in love and work to live in love on a micro-scale, CRS is working to bring those in most need the love they deserve.

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2 Responses to “Ethiopia Visit: A Challenge to Love”

  1. Charles Says:

    We must all reach out to these children of God who need our help. Every little helps:)

    God bless you for the work you do

  2. Pam Gilardi Says:

    I made this same trip to this place in Dire Dawa back in 2002 with CRS. It moved me beyond words and changed my life forever. I am writing this from Port au Prince, Haiti where I have spent this past week with CRS. I have been writing in tears about what I have seen and heard. CRS has an amazing staff. They are truly our eyes, our hands, our feet in serving the lest among us.

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