The village of Parola, Tondo, Philippines, is a shantytown where the Pasig River and Manila Bay waters meet. It has been five years since a huge fire completely gutted it. No one is sure as to how the fire started but since the houses are closely packed, they were all destroyed, along with the community chapel and everything inside it.
Savenaca Momo from Nadelei in Ba Province, Fiji, is the epitome of a gentle giant. He joined the first team of Columban lay missionaries to leave Fiji. They were appointed to Ireland. He was assigned to a town called Newbridge about 25 miles from Dublin. He became well known by playing rugby for the local team.
Learning a new language is only part of the challenge for missionaries. Local people have their own cultural values and see things differently from outsiders.
In Memory of Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan
Dust of snow,
a wind that chills to the bone,
pinched mourning faces,
collars raised, hats pulled low,
the shiver of death everywhere.
Cardinal Kim Suhwan
is lowered to his final resting place.
A few years ago, I was enrolled in a university in Wuhan, China. As the class president, one of my responsibilities was to organize and perform, in subtle and creative ways, activities which would bridge understanding of each other’s cultures and beliefs. The majority of my classmates were non-Christians mostly from the middle eastern countries.
We always hear the expression “Time flies!” and indeed that is true. In 2020, I suddenly realized that I was already celebrating my 10th anniversary as Columban Lay Missionary. Truly, it is amazing how by God’s grace I made it this long, which I myself did not expect.
Dear Lord I thought this virus would be over by now.
How long more must I wait?
How or when is this going to end?
Where can I go to get some relief?
Then I recall a verse from Is 41, 10
“Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Teach me, Lord Jesus, to be generous:
to serve You as You deserve;
to give, not counting the cost;
to fight, not heeding the wounds;
to toil, not asking for rest;
to labor, not seeking any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Your will.
Good Morning God!
You are ushering in another day,
untouched and freshly new.
So here I am to ask You, God,
if You'll renew me too.
Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday
and let me try again dear God
to walk closer in Your way.
Father in Heaven,
You have blessed us with many gifts.
You chose us before the world began,
To be Your adopted sons and daughters,
And to live through love in Your presence.
Give us wisdom and insight to know Your purpose;
Give us courage to follow where Your Spirit leads us,
Give us generosity to serve You in our brothers and sisters.