Made for a mission
Toñi tells us about the experience of a mission which took place in the Philippines with young people from South Korea and Japan, countries that have a history of hurt and division. It is interesting to read how countries where Christians are a minority have ended up evangelizing the Philippines, where there are more Catholics. Their motto was: "MADE FOR A MISSION", because they joyfully spread their experience of Christ´s love and friendship.
From January 27 to February 5 2018 the first Asian mission of our community took place in the Philippines, with support from Korea and Japan. The motto was: "MADE FOR A MISSION". And it really was a time to experience the joy of being missionaries, of going out to meet others and of sharing the faith with them.
In the mornings we began with a time of prayer, and then during the day, everyone participated in the missionary activities of our small community in the Philippines: visiting the sick who belong to the different chapels, bible sharing, retreats with young people and activities with the thousands of children in our neighbourhoods. We also painted our chapel! We ended each day by sharing our impressions and impacts and with a short time of prayer, feeling in our hearts that Jesus said to us ... "it is Him we had loved" (Mt 25, 40).
I thank God for the atmosphere of family and fraternity which we shared together, and for the gift of faith, which allowed us to discover that we are all brothers and sisters, even though we have harmed each other in our history.
I was very impressed by the experience of faith that the Japanese and Koreans expressed as well as the challenges that exist in their countries. Seika, one of the young people of Japan, told us that in Japan only 0.3% of the population are Catholic, and that there are not many Catholics in Korea, compared to the Philippines. It seemed a miracle to see them transmitting their faith and defending it, and it made me realise just how strong God’s love is in each one of their lives, changing, transforming, and conquering their hearts.
Another subject that came up are the large number of youth suicides in Korea and Japan. I said to myself: "these Korean and Japanese brothers and sisters who are here now, could have been one of those victims if they had not known you, Jesus". I thought about the urgency of bringing the gospel to people on time and I asked Jesus to help me not to forget this and to live out my everyday life in this perspective. As it says in the song by Marcela Gándara: “I am here for this moment in time". That's why we are missionaries!
May our greatest fulfilment be to see the change in so many faces,
which were previously serious and indifferent,
after waking up to the joy of loving like Jesus!
Mission in The Philippines: page-1525