I have been fortunate enough to have been on three one week long mission trips throughout the past five years and have fallen in love with serving others. I promised myself when I graduated high school that I would commit a year to mission work post-college. As this time in my life approaches my desire to go has only increased for multiple reasons. Besides my desire to serve, I always want to fully understand situations in order to relate. Although this isn’t always possible, the opportunity to understand the lives of those less fortunate is available. I feel as if in the attempt to fully understand the lives of those less fortunate there is no better way to do so through my love of service. This experience will also help in my future as a constant reminder of those and to continue to serve.
I want to learn to practice an active Catholicism and develop a dynamic faith and resolute conscience strengthened by a broader world view. I want to have an experience that will influence the way I prioritize my thoughts and actions throughout my adult life. I was drawn to the Salesian Lay Missioners because I have felt a unique connection with Saint John Bosco since I was very young; he was my confirmation saint. Don Bosco inspired me to learn to juggle, unicycle, and master the craft of twisting balloons, in hopes that I might use these talents in the same way he did. I love children and I want to be a positive influence in their lives.
“I got tired of watching so much need in the world and doing nothing. I know Jesus wants me to go and help in any way to those who are in need. I just want to share the love and happiness He has shared with me. There is something in helping others that makes me that much closer to the love of God. I know that Jesus is present in each and one of the children the SLM’s are helping and I want to be part of that.”
After doing various service projects and going on short-term mission trips, I knew that I wanted to dedicate more time to serving others. I have joined the SLMs because they share my faith, my passion for service work, and my love for children. Through serving with the SLMs, I hope to grow in faith and love, as well as become a stronger and better person. I am excited to become part of such an inspiring Salesian family that I know will support me throughout my time with the SLMs and beyond. I hope that I will be able to help those who are less fortunate than I while also learning to not take life for granted. I hope I can share Christ with others while also becoming more like Him
John Waters writes about his response to Pope Francis’s call to go to “the outskirts of existence: “That phrase seemed immediately to gesture far beyond geography, or sociology, or ideology, beyond even the idea of allegiance to a faith. It summoned us to a responsibility that resides beyond calls to duty or compassion or even what is conventionally called charity. It struck me forcibly as a call to me in my personhood, as a human being, in my most fundamental essence–beneath everything I have learned, heard or come to believe– to call me to the question of who I am and what my destiny is. A part of this call is the imposing question concerning what my responsibility might be to others. And then, immediately: who are these “others” and who am I for them? What does Christ demand of me? It is not simple. It is not obvious.”
Joining the SLMs is an obedience to my own experience, which has shown me that we all suffer poverty of one form or another, and that we must be present to each other in order that something new might arise out of that poverty. My hope is that myself and the people in whatever community I become a part of will experience the mercy and beauty of Christ who is within us and who changes us through the circumstances of our every day life.
Maria Isabel Tan
Through the SLM mission, I hope to be a positive contributor to the life experiences of others.so that their lives maybe better than they are today.
Service has always been the largest part of my life. It is in service that I see the face of God and the beauty that is humanity. I feel particularly called to the Salesians after reading Grace Marie’s blog and being so drawn and moved by her experiences not because it was so different than any other persons but because ironically because of the grace I noticed in her narrations of her experience.
I believe that God has given and blessed me many talents and luxuries that I am always grateful for. I, however, want to make an impact in the world with the talents and privileges that God has given me. I am so thankful everyday for my many blessings, and hope through the Salesian Lay Missioners to share my blessing with others less fortunate, but also gain their blessings of happiness. Now more than ever, after prayer and thought I am ready to take a step forward in helping the world!