I was accepted for the orientation to the Columban Lay Mission program in 1992 with five other lay people. Before saying goodbye to everybody I did an act of letting go that was very difficult to do then, i.e., burning all my school notes with a light and a happy heart. I believe that my 15 years experience as a teacher and as as a volunteer parish worker prepared me to answer the call of God to be a Columban Lay Missionary overseas; to learn, to continue my formation, and to share my faith and life. I was happy with my decision but I was facing another difficult situation to leave my mother along with my six brothers and sisters. Since the death of my father and being the eldest girl in the family I became the right hand of my mother. The first time that I explained everything to my mother and expressed to her my love and passion to become a Columban Lay Missioary, she did not say anything and I knew it was hard for her to me go. But later on she told me to go and not to worry about her and my brothers and sisters. I thank my mother, my brothers and sisters for the support, though it was not easy for them to see me go to a faraway land. It was not easy for me either to leave them for the first time but I strongly believed that time that God won't leave them alone. If it is His will then everything will be fine and He will allow me to reach the place where He wants me to be.
Indeed, to be a lay missionary is a call and challenge to value and defend the life of all creatures. Recognizing the presence and the face of God through my experiences with the people of different cultures and ways of celebrating life is a gift. I am evangelized by all who journeyed with me . The treasure that is apart of em and I will be bring it where ever God wants me to be to continue to tell Christ's story. The uniqueness and beauty of the different cultures, realities and the people that I encountered and who journeyed with me teach me to appreciate and value your own culture. yes, life is a mission where everyone is challenged to take care of one's life in order to take care of others and the life of the earth. God is giving us the gift of life and the life of the earth in order to live and enjoy the beauty of His creation but with th responsibility, to take care of it, this is mission. I am very thankful to God for giving me the gift to be in mission and the passion and the energy to continue this journey to be a lay missionary. A million thanks to my family, friends, Columbans and he people of Brazil and Peru for this enriching experience and the sacred space of being partners in misision. I am what I am now because of all of you. There is always something to learn that prepares us for the next day.
|CLM International Meeting, Tagaytay, July 2011|