The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is an Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Pennsylvania that is centered on the worship of God, the ministry of all baptized persons, and the call to be agents of Christ’s love in the world.
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Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
8000 St. Martin’s Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19118

The Rev. W. Jarrett Kerbel

St. Martin's Cloak

The Cloak is a collection of audio vignettes—stories that reveal parishioners’ faith journeys. Share your thoughts by sending us an e-mail.

We were there being the Body of Christ.

Joan Mechlin

One of Joan Mechlin’s initial impressions of the medical mission trip was the way things sounded, the different languages.

Chuexa was the first Mayan village that we went to. And we walked into the church building and there were people all over. And there was the noise of all of the voices—off the translations and the different sounds of voices. And it struck me as being like Babel, with people that were so – it was so noisy.

And then we started organizing. They were putting up the tarps for the rooms and we were trying to organize the medicine that we would be giving out and then meeting some of the health providers who would be working, we would be working with them. And that’s an important thing to know – that we were working with them. And somebody said after that day, they knew that that was really, we were there and being the body of Christ, with all of these people and with all of the noises. And that was what we were going to do, and that was our mission there. And that’s what we did.

I mean the first day we were a little disorganized, and we got better every day. But the major thing, the learning that we had about the people who were being trained – as health providers in each of the villages – were so good and experienced. And it didn’t take very long for them to understand from us how the medication had to be distributed or how the examinations were being done. That it really didn’t need language. It really got across to people of how to do this and all the working together.