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Monday, February 21, 2011

My personal reflection - Aleona from Payatas, Phillipines


My Personal Reflection during the Mission Project in the Diocese of Sandakan

A Faithful Presence
“Hail favored one, the Lord is with you” Luke 1:28. This is my bible text of the year and throughout the year God is really faithful in His presence within me. My mission journey in Sandakan was both a healing process and pouring of blessings. 

It was a healing process of how I relate to middle class or rich people. I came from a poor family but I am proud to be because my situation molded me to be a better “Aleona”. The main problem I encountered in relating to not poor people was that I felt uneasy to be myself and out of place within their company. When I visited the Indonesian migrants in St Mark's Church, I didn’t have problem relating to them even though I could not speak their own language. I was comfortable relating to them than rich people because I am one of them in many ways.
L-R : Aleona, Bernadette, Francis, Rose EiPhyu Aung

All my foster families from Keningau to Sandakan belonged to middle class family. When I was in Keningau I did not notice this problem only when I was in Sandakan it became clear.  I stayed with Mr. Francis Tan (secretary to the Bishop) the 12 days of our mission project in Sandakan. It was a struggle for me to relate to him, his family, and friends at the beginning. God is really a stirring God. He put me in these families to overcome this difficulty.  I must say that Uncle Francis’ presence, his family, and friends helped me to overcome this feeling. The kindness, generosity, advices, hospitality and love I received from his family helped me in my healing. I know that I need this healing for my ministry because I will be encountering this kind of people and might be working with them in the future.

I can say that it was God’s faithful presence through sending plenty of angels to help us in our mission. Through the kind assistance of the Diocese of Sandakan in our accommodation, in our own foster families and session hall and the parishioners who helped us financially by buying our rosaries as part of our fund raising program and as sponsors, our mission unfolded gracefully. We really had problem financially when we went to Sabah but our faith in God that He will provide for us was evident.  He took good care of everything.

I believe that the success of our mission was not because we are good students and staff.  He worked in us and through other people we encountered. This is the main reason why the mission was successful personally and as a group. We’ve been able to make visible the Christ in us, whom other people saw in us every time they were touched by our presence and sharing. It was God’s faithful presence reigning in the midst of our mission.

Aleona hails from Payatas, Phillipines which is Manila's main dump site. Many, living in impoverished squatters pick through the dump waste to collect items they can sell.

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