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A Missioner’s Story of Kontum

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Journey – Monday, 7 Dec 2015

The day started with mass, a queasy gut and a slight headache from yesterday “Jar Wine Happy Hour” at student Chil’s place with her family: eldest and younger sisters, cousin, brother-in-law. Philly, Ko and Hyan (our students).

After breakfast, missioners Bernadette, Xavier and Gerard proceeded to the classroom to prepare for lessons for Phase 1 students Soan, Hyan and Ko. This will be their first time teaching and working with the ethnic minorities in Kon Tum, Vietnam.

With the lessons set on its way, I had the opportunity to sort out the new arrival of books and the much needed “TLC” for the library. The students certainly needed much motivation, if not guidance, as of how to maintain it. I managed to rope in Phanh, Chil and Philly (Phase 2 students) to help so as to ease Soan’s “big sister” responsibility. She was in her eighth month of pregnancy and soon to be away to nurse herself after delivery and care for her new born.

By sunset, the library was completely cleaned, furniture rearranged and four newly purchased floor mat placed. The mats were for the kids to sit on during Soan’s Catechism classes.

Dinner as usual (on the dot), with Bishop Peter, Father Truyen and the rest. After dinner, the usual recap, reflection and sharing session for the day with the missioners. Today’s session was quite tense yet critical, especially on yesterday’s visitation. It was heartening yet heart jarring as all missioners shared their thoughts and feelings.

Looking forward to tomorrow morning mass as it is the feast of Immaculate Conception of BVM.

Journey – Tuesday, 8 Dec 2015

(Start of Day)
The bell tolls for His followers. Mass was a spectacle in the ethnic Baha way. The choir singing was strong. The dance performed by a young teenager was like a flower moving along with the wind.

When the choir sang the song “Adoration” in Baha and while the whole church knelt (including Bishop, Father Truyen and the other priests), I was transported back to Novena Church. Tears built up, and next moment, the dam just broke, and tears flowed freely down my cheeks.

“Blessed Mother, bring us closer to your son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We want to be His disciples, like you, and the missioners, to do His will. Help us gain wisdom, in order to be able to discern Our Father’s words and will. Amen”.

(End of Day)

The library was completed with the following sections:

  1. Shelves were grouped into two sections. Each with a different level of reading competence;
    a. Fact and Fiction
    b. Beginners and Intermediate (level of competence)
  2. Library was grouped into different corners;
    a. Childrens’ Corner – with colouring, drawing activity books and flash cards/books on display.
    b. Language Corner – with English Language learning books on display.
    c. Mathematics Corner – with Math Text and Activity books on display.
    d. Articles and Comics Corner – with article cardboard text and comics on display.

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