I got off the minibus at the last stop on the hillside in Huaycan, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. The road ended here so I walked on the unpaved sandy track up the hill, past the shacks that seemed to sprout on the bare slopes. Sand, dust, dirt. Not a blade of grass. Not a flower.
Fr. Thomas Nan was ordained in 2002 and spent eight years in Peru as a Columban missionary. “When I was young I never knew the Columbans. I was an altar server in my parish and always thought I would become a diocesan priest.
It’s hard to remind yourself to have faith every day. Especially when it comes to having patience or to being confident in God’s plan when it is unknown to you. I have found myself saying, “God has a plan,” a number of times over the last few years.
The Rainbow Community, a foundation offering services to peoples with intellectual disabilities in South Korea, founded by Irish-born Columban Fr. Noel O’Neill, received the Manhae Award in the field of social service.
“What is it that keeps you going?” is a question that I frequently ask other Columban missionaries who live and minister in very difficult circumstances.
I left Taiwan three years ago and returned for a two-month refresher course in Chinese Mandarin in March 2015. It was great to be back in a place where I am familiar, a place where I feel secure. It is fair to say that Taiwan is my place of comfort, my second home.
For many years, the Columbans have been sponsoring the Education Commission of Myitkyina and Banmaw Dioceses, in Kachin State, Myammar, in their provision of boarding hostels and schools in the remote areas, where war and poverty are widespread.
The road from Lima to Samanco passes through a number of fast growing coastal towns but for the most part the traveler has no choice but to contemplate the bare rocky or sandy hills that fascinate by their ever varying forms and their multiple colors from shades of white, cream, brown and black.