Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Serving God with a different language: Language of Love

By  Joan Yap 

The organization of “New Immigrants Children” consists of children of Filipino women married to Taiwanese. These kids only speak Mandarin. Their mothers encourage them to make Mandarin their mother tongue because the mothers also wish to develop their Mandarin. I observed that many moms attend the Filipino/English mass because they have difficulty understanding the Chinese mass. They bring with them their family especially their kids.
For the Filipino mothers, being away from home, church has become their refuge. A mother’s faith becomes a gift to the community. What inspires me most is that, since there are only a few Catholic in Taiwan, they are very generous in allowing their children to help and participate in any church activities. It was through their generosity and spirit of volunteerism that the parish was inspired to organize Altar Servers for the New Immigrants Children this year. It was really not that easy to start with because of the language but we believe in the grace of God that we are able to understand each other and everything went well.  Language did not become a barrier as long as we know that what we do is for the glory of God’s name.
My experience with the Altars Servers gives me the opportunity to look back at my own childhood years. I remember, every Sunday, my parents together with my siblings would attend mass and pray. At that time, church for me was the most peaceful place, though I didn’t have much understanding what they were doing but all I knew I was there to pray. It was through attending mass that my vocation started. I remember, I dreamed to be a nun because I saw them very active in the church ministries. I appreciated the people who volunteered themselves to be in church ministries and their commitment to serve.
Young as I was, my parents usually brought me to their church work. I was exposed, involved and it became an inspiration for me. It was through this experience that my desire to serve sprouted. The inspiration in giving their life in the service of the Church brings me where I am now as a Columban Lay Missionary. The children taught me, that language is not everything there is to understand in this mission but it is always how you relay the language of love, which is God’s love. The children may have difficulty in understanding the English Mass but this does not hinder them to be of service. Just like their mother, I am proud to see them giving themselves and serving the church. It is our prayer that they become a hope in the church. That someday, as they grow old, they have something to hold on to, an experience with God, that helps them mold their vocation in life.

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