Columban Lay Missionary, Taiwan
Taken by Christ. When I was still in college, I was fond of reading different magazines about mission. One of them was the Misyon Magazine published by the Columbans. I was excited to read life stories of missionaries: priests, nuns and lay, from different parts of the world. It seems that their lives were full of joy and had a deep sense of meaning despite of the struggles and challenges they faced in their countries of assignment. Their stories inspired me so much that it made my heart yearn for that kind of life. I thought that the work I had at that time was enough to fulfill this deep yearning in my heart. But then, I felt that I want to be like them, to be a missionary someday. So I discerned about this until I finally gained enough courage to say yes to going on mission. Answering God's call has not been an easy journey for me. But who can resist the love of God? He took me out of my comfort zone to serve Him beyond my reach. He took me from my home country and brought me in Taiwan as a Columban Lay Missionary to share my gifts, talents, love, and joy for the poor and marginalized.
Blessed. Whenever I was asked why I joined the Columban Lay Missionaries, my answer would be: "Because I wanted my life be my 'thank you' to God. I felt that He loves me so much that I was moved to give my life to others as my thanksgiving to Him." I can say that this is still true now at this point of my journey as a missionary When I started my ministry with the mentally and developmentally challenged students in the Holy Family Center for Special Education, I felt a deeper sense of gratefulness towards God. Before, I would thank God through the actions that I can do for Him, but now, I thank Him more for He lead me to recognize another 'piece of bread' which Jesus also took and offered his thanks in prayer.
Since the center I am working in is just beside the parish church, I would go there and pray to Jesus before and after work. At the end of the day, I would thank Him for the opportunity to be with the students and asking God to bless the students, teachers, staff and others helping them. In my prayers, I would lift my work for the day up to God and pray for His sufficient grace so I can fulfill my work with love and joy. I was surprised with myself when I realized that this has become my routine. I think it's because it's something new in my spiritual journey which hopefully I can continue.
Being with the students, I cannot but say my deep gratitude to God for giving me this great opportunity to be part of their lives. There is deep joy every time I see them dance, play, sing, smile, and hear their greetings. They inspire me more whenever I watch them learn and grow despite of their disabilities, and see how they show their love and care for each other in their own special ways. Moreover, I thank God because I witness the loving kindness of the teachers and staff towards the students and how they put their hearts in their work. They help me change into a better person, a better missionary. I am truly thankful to them for through them I recognize Jesus, the One who has taken and blessed me.
|Filipino Columban Lay Missionaries in Taiwan|