“Ask for nothing, refuse nothing.” -St. Francis de Sales
I remember this quotation mentioned by a priest years ago during our promotions.
This an important reminder for every missionary when we encounter people from any place.
In August 12-25, 2020, we promoted our program in Thakhek and Pakse diocese, in the southern part of Laos.
It was indeed a great journey with many worthwhile learnings. What touched me the most was the generosity and hospitality of the people we encountered.
Every time we visit the alumni’s homes, there’s always food and warm welcome from their families.
We even had to have three lunches one time as each house we visited prepared food for us.
We ate with gratefulness for the abundant blessings God had prepared.
Seeing the condition of their houses, I know that they didn’t have much but with their generous hearts, they offered the best they could to their visitors.
Through these visits, the team hopes to discover the impact of the program in their lives and how they have applied the learnings into their daily lives.
At the same time, to understand more their current situation to be able to accompany and journey with them better.
It is an inspiration to hear how our alumni has grown and become more responsible in building their lives.
Mass at Huaymood Village
During our promotion trip, we were invited to join the Assumption celebration-one of the important events in the Lao Catholic Church.
In Laos, Catholic is a minority.
They have what they called Catholic villages. These are the few villages that has Catholic families and built chapel.
The small chapel was packed with people.
I was struck during the offertory where the villagers offered simple things like 2 kilos of rice, boiled corn, scrambled or boiled eggs with chili sauce and etc.
These are the food that they grow or find in the forest. These are small things but they were willing to offer those to God.
After the mass was the feast, we ate together the offering in that chapel.
It had more than enough food for the visitors and the villagers.
“Generosity is giving abundantly.”
These two (2) significant moments reminded me of the parable about “The Widow’s Offering” (Mark 12:41-44). She offered only two (2) coins but she put everything she had.
These experiences made me ask myself, “How much am I giving up to the Lord?”
Surely, I don’t have the heart of this widow. I worry about having enough money to provide on materials needs.
Many times, I have been telling myself to find a better job outside and stop being full-time pastoral worker.
Until now this desire is creeping inside me, I would like to prepare a better future for my own family.
Surely, serving Him entails less material riches and life comfort. It can be too difficult at times.
How much can I give of myself to Him?
How long can I bear?
Surely, this is uncertain but at this moment, I stay faithful.
“Nobody is so poor he has nothing to give, and nobody is so rich he has nothing to receive.” Pope John Paul II
Young Lives Program Coordinator