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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Are All God's Children

By Airene Anne Gumanas 
Pictures by Jekqwelin

SANDAKAN : 22 visitors representing the various churches in Sandakan, of which five from the Catholic Church were given the opportunity to join the Prison Ministry for the visitation to the Sandakan Prison on 11th December 2012.

As baptized Catholics, we are sent into the world to continue the works of Jesus Christ and making his name known, honored and loved. During the launching of the Year Of Faith of the Diocese, Bishop Julius emphasized that faith must be shown in works of charity for the church embrace of 'the least, the last and the lost among us', and its call to recognize, honor and support the dignity of each individual, regardless of circumstance.

We visited the Sandakan Prison together with the other Christian brothers and sisters from the other denominations for the Christmas festive season. It was my first encounter and I was most grateful to be granted that opportunity to be with the group setting foot into the prison. 

We had a service with the Christian inmates followed with a sharing on the hope promised by Christ. God did not promise the sea that there will be no storms or waves neither did He promise the sky that there will be no clouds or rains. So, too is with our lives. It is not always calm. There will be the ups and the downs. However we could always seek refuge in Him. We sang Christmas carols. We embraced one another. We were amazingly touched by the presence of God in our midst. Our visit though brief had brought the One JESUS of HOPE and LOVE to them especially during the Advent and fast approaching Christmas Season. This visit is my best Christmas gift to the one who needed most.

By Judith Liow

The second mission of the '4 Things To Do Before Christmas' was visiting the blind in St. Peter's Chapel, Sungai Manila on Sunday, 16th December 2012. The blind members are from 'Taman Cahaya' of Sungai Manila. Some 20 members of the Parish and Diocesan Youth Apostolate together with the local community attended  the Communion Service led by EMC Dimeh Koyopo.
A sharing from Angeline (yellow t-shirt)
 Felix Paul - 'Thank you for visiting us'
Solo performance by Jackie (middle)
While sharing the food, we were able to share our stories and laughter with the less fortunate. I felt happy and I learned a lot from the program. I am blessed because I have the opportunity to mingle around with them. During the program, I taught them how to do the action song by holding their hands and I experienced joy that came from the depth of my heart. 
Not only that, we also played games with them. During the whole program, I realized how difficult it is if we cannot see. I was deeply touched by their strength and courage despite of their shortcomings. Through this program, God is calling me to love and to accept them for who they are because God created us equally. We are all God's children. 'For one man is not different from another before God', Romans 2 : 11. We are beautiful in our own way..
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28

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