“Made for a mission, made for great things”. This was the motto of our 5th Asian Mission -10 intense days of prayer, mission and fraternity. It took place from February 10th to 20th in the Philippines Young people from South Korea, Japan and the host nation participated. After three years of not being able to travel due to the pandemic, you cannot imagine how happy we felt when we finally met up again. We became closer and closer as the days went by, sharing our dreams, our life and our problems in different languages.
This time round, 8 young Japanese and 9 Koreans took part. Some were believers and some were not. For non-Christians it was an opportunity to approach the Catholic faith for the first time and get to know it a little better. A large group of SMYs (Servants Missionary Youth) from Malasiqui and another group of young people from Nampicuan also participated. Throughout these days of mission we were a sign of hope for our world full of wars and divisions.
5th Asian Mission
The first weekend we went to another province called Nueva Ecija. We were very grateful for the wonderful reception we received. We visited families, gave catechism classes, played games with the children, and organised a cultural festival and a time for Taizé prayer. Of course, this cultural exchange, sincere group sharing and making new friends has been enormously enriching. We all felt like missionaries because we left our comfort zone and as we reached out to others we received far more than we were able to give.
The mission continued in Malasiqui going around different classes in one of the Institutes and the University, sharing our faith. We visited the sick and we cleaned a burnt-out house belonging to a family very close to all of us. We were also lucky enough to spend some time with the bishop of our diocese, Fr. Socrates Villegas. The icing on the cake was the final Mass of the Mission. There a group of the SMY who had completed the training stage of the program made their commitment to participate as young members of our community.
To sum up, they were a few special days of being together and experiencing the power of love and unity, beyond our cultural and language differences.