Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Blessed Finale

by Lorna Yting Cañete

As I reminisce the joys and challenges in my experience in Chile over the years, it seems as if the time I spent in mission flew by so quickly. I will always remember the smiles, the welcoming embraces and kisses from the parishioners as I was introduced in the community of the Parish Sagrado Corazon de Jesus here in Alto Hospicio on my first day . 
Chile, 2017

I found happiness in being with people. I am grateful because they inspired me to continue serving despite of the challenges brought about by our different languages and cultures. I came across a quote saying, “Be deaf to negative thoughts, if your aim is to reach your goal.” Indeed, I wouldn’t have made it without having a positive disposition in facing challenging experiences in mission. 

One of my unforgettable experiences in Alto Hospicio was working with a deacon named Ibar. We worked together in a place called ‘La Toma’.

In the beginning, during times when our activities with the community did not go as planned or when people turn up late, I used to complain and become discouraged. Sometimes, I would ask myself what I was doing when no one seems to be interested. But Ibar would remain patient without uttering any complaint despite how many times it happened. 

I observed how he worked silently without advertising his works. And from his example, I learned to be more humble and patient with myself and with others. Ibar gave me strength as well as inspired in me an eagerness to continue despite not achieving our goals at times.

Mission Promotion in Malate, September 2, 2018
It was because of Ibar’s constant patience that I slowly learned to have a positive outlook in such situations. More importantly, I learned to trust in God, in His plans, and in His providence. I realized that no matter how our activities turn out, God is still working with us in our community. 

Ibar reminded me what it means to have a missionary spirit. I saw this in his way of witnessing to the Word of God, his being attuned to the reality of the people and the way he responds to the signs of the times. 

Now, I have reached my final year of my mission assignment. As I prepare to leave, I found myself having mixed feelings. I’m sad because I’ve reached a stage wherein I’ve come to know the people and to understand our community better. This was what has allowed us to work well together and I believe our efforts can bear fruit in the future. 

Having gone through trials in mission, I realized that no matter how others judge us or how we can be misunderstood or    discouraged along the way, what is important is to continue moving forward and believe. I am happy because I’m leaving with the experiences and the lessons I received in mission. All these I will treasure always.

Lorna completed three years as Columban Lay Missionary in Chile. She is now back in the Philippines and preparing for her new mission in Myanmar.

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