My life as a Columban lay missionary has been an amazing journey that was guided by faith, fueled by hope, and has resulted in transformation.
Latai (left) listens intently during the orientation for tree-growing in Brgy. Dansolihon, Cagayan de Oro. Photo: Columbans Philippines
As I reflect on the past three years of my life as a Columban Lay Missionary assigned in the Philippines, I am overwhelmed by a flood of emotions. This journey has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences in my life.
I had no idea what to expect when I first embarked on this mission. I heard stories of the struggles and triumphs of other missionaries, but I never imagined that I would experience them myself. I was filled with excitement, anxiety and a sense of uncertainty as I stepped aboard the plane and headed to my new home.
The first few months were a blur of new faces, unfamiliar cultures, and strange languages. I struggled to understand the customs and beliefs of the people I lived with. I struggled to communicate with them and make sense of the poverty and injustice I witnessed all around me. As I slowly understood and connected with the people, I began to see the beauty in their lives and the resilience of their spirits.
The mission was not always easy. There were moments of doubt, fear, exhaustion, and above them all, I missed my home. But amidst those moments, I was reminded why I was here and what I had to offer. I saw the impact that my presence and work had on the people I served, and it gave me the strength to push through difficult times.
I also saw the power of hope and the resilience of the human spirit. I saw young people who had lost everything smiling and moving on, and I saw women who had been oppressed standing up for their rights and fighting for a better future. There were three wings that I always carried with me through my three years journey, and those are FAITH, HOPE, and TRANSFORMATION.
FAITH has been the foundation of my mission. It has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and trust in God's plan for my life. It has reminded me that I am not alone in this journey and that God is always with me, guiding and strengthening me. My faith has also been strengthened by the faith of the people I have met along the way. Their unwavering trust in God, despite the difficult circumstances, has been an inspiration to me.
HOPE has been the fuel that kept me going. I hoped that there is a brighter future ahead and that we can achieve it through God's grace. It has reminded me that no matter how difficult things may seem, there is always a glimmer of hope.
TRANSFORMATION has been the fruit of my mission. It has reminded me that change is possible and that we can be transformed through God's love and become the best version of ourselves. The transformation I have witnessed in the people I have journeyed with has been a testament to the power of God's love.
My mission as a Columban lay missionary has been an amazing journey that was guided by faith, fueled by hope, and has resulted in transformation. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve, the people I have met, and the rich experiences that developed who I am today.
Latai Muller is a Columban Lay Missionary working in the Philippines.
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