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Thursday, December 12, 2013

An interview with Evelyn Doikin, graduate of IFFAsia's Batch 7

Name   :           Evelyn Doikin
Age      :           25
Hometown:     Tamparuli, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Sending Organization: Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd / The Good Shepherd Welfare Centre.
Your employment prior to joining IFFAsia:
·       Youth Coordinator at Youth-PREP Centre, Alamesra, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.  
How do you come to know about IFFAsia?
In 2011, through YouthPREPLink programs at the Dioceses of Sandakan and Keningau I met Anna and Roselinah. They are faithful servants of God, faithfully and confidently journeying with the Sabahan youths. Their commitment attracted me. I had a good time sharing with them about IFFAsia. From there on, I had a desire to join the formation. During the 3rd Sabah Youth Day in Tambunan in 2012, Anna introduced me to the IFFAsia team. Two months later, I received an invitation to join IFFAsia. 
 Retreat on Personal Development Plan ~ we started the formation year with a retreat to understand our call as young disciples and to get to know what is IFFAsia all about. 
What were your expectations when offered a place?
·      Improve my leadership skills
·      Learn how to prepare, organize and run programs
·      Improve my communication skills

Does IFFAsia meet your expectation?
Yes, IFFAsia had helped me to increase my self-confidence and to take on a more proactive role in giving service. My spiritual life has improved and I discovered more of myself.  IFFAsia had also helped me to understand more about the roles of the young people in the church and society at large.
 Social immersion, a component of our training in IFFAsia. We made analysis of situations, its development and problems based on the see, judge and act approach
What does IFFAsia offer?
This formation offers four modules;
  •      Human Module
  •      Social Module
  •      Spiritual Module
  •      Pastoral Module.
The sessions of the four modules enabled the students to discover themselves more and grow in spiritual life. It promotes healing and transformation in the context of a diverse living community. We are given the opportunities to improve on communication skills and understand more about the inter-cultural sensitivity. IFFAsia also enables the students to be more aware of the challenges in the society today through exposure visits, internship and mission project.  

What one component that attract you most?
The Pastoral Module

Give your reasons:
During the Pastoral module sessions,  I discovered many new things in life. It has helped me improved my skills, both leadership and communicative and has enhanced my self-confidence. It has enabled me to have a better understanding about the needs of the church and society through the sessions and exposure of pastoral internship, the Spirit of Vatican 2, pastoral / development leadership course, youth ministry, discernment skill, mission project and etc.
Faith Walk is part of the formative process during the Lenten season in preparation for Easter. It is also a culmination event of our human formation module in thanksgiving for the wonders the Lord has done in our path of transformation and healing. I have time to reflect on my inner self in term of my faith, to prepare and strengthen me for the coming of Holy Week and Easter. This experience, enables me to have a better understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in my life.
What is your most memorable experience in IFFAsia?
My most memorable experience in IFFAsia is Community life because it allows me to experience living with people of different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. Learning of the challenges they encounter in their country, the way they proclaim God in their life, the desire to serve the poor and reaching out to young people really touched me.
All events were well prepared and effectively implemented. Events such as the retreat on Personal Development Plan, towards a New Life, Faith Walk, Mission project and etc. had enhanced and enriched my self-confidence. Our daily interaction had cemented a good relationship bond with one other. The good relationship bond built, made my journey in IFFAsia joyful, experiencing God’s love and mercy. My mission became clearer and am set to use the experience gained to reach out to the young people. 

What areas have you improved on?
After the formation process in IFFAsia, I realized that I had changed, not only in terms of my understanding, perception and belief. I came to understand more about the Christian Catholic faith, developing a disciplined life of prayer and bringing out the leadership in me and others.  
Even though baptized since birth, I had no discipline in my spiritual life. Sometimes, I felt that God was not important in my life and the consequences were such that, I had a foul relationship with God, others, and my family. I felt that I could do everything by myself, what I had was from me and often times I shunned God.  I lacked confidence talking and sharing about God with others. 
Sometimes, I just wanted to give up in my ministry. I had nothing to offer. I had no talent, no skill and not capable. Yet my heart and my desire was set ablaze to serve God. The formation really awakened a spiritual understanding in me. I become more aware of my strength and interest in life and God’s power. Today, this is my strength, knowing, loving Him and sharing God with others. I want to bring peace to others because of the peace I received from Him.  
The youth encounter experience. We pray for peace and unity. We talk and listen to one another. We believe God is with us, to bless each of us to build a better church in this world. Today I have a dream to see the church supporting the youth to have a better future in term of spirituality and morality. I really thank God for this new learning experience in my life. This is an awareness that God wants to show to me and to do something to the people in need.
Mission Project
Your experience:
“You are the salt of the earth, but what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? You are the light of the world; don’t hide your light under a basket! Let your good deeds shine in the dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness”. (Matthew 5:13-16) Our theme for the Mission Project is “Youth initiatives for peace”

My experience during the Mission Project in Vietnam and Cambodia was enriching, encountering with young people, FBOs, NGOs, the poor and etc. My experience really opened my eyes to see the reality of the new trend of the modern world. During the mission project, I had a good time to get to know about the local situation in Cambodia, its political-social economy, religious and cultural environment. It helped me to have a better understanding of the social mission of the church and to have a deep sense of engagement in the process of dialogue on peace among different religions and cultures.            
The mission project, an initiative and an integral component of IFFAsia's formation program had created the opportunities for students to be involved in dialogue-in-action regarding peace building. It provided us with the knowledge, skills and the right attitudes needed in our pastoral involvement. The program had also increased the awareness and my understanding of the challenges of migration, human rights, and post-civil war rebuilding process and its impact on society.  
What is expected of you upon your return to your sending organization?
I am expected to take on a team leadership role at the Youth-PREP Centre and will be directly involved in the training and development of peers as well as coordinating programs.

One comment about IFFAsia / Course:
The course is very helpful especially for young leaders and lay missionaries to have a better understanding about spiritual life, the development in the society and church, the needs of the poor and the discovery of self, our potential and talents. IFFAsia is one place that enables us an effective gain in terms of training in Human and Social Formation, Skill Training, Spiritual and Pastoral and Theological Formation, Integration Planning for projects on the ground. This kind of holistic formation really prepares every young lay leader to prepare themselves for mission.  

One comment on the staff / formators
They are very helpful and kind. I can see the love of Jesus flowing in them. They are committed and pro-active in helping to form young leaders from across Asia. They are professionals yet humble in sharing their experiences with the students.  Personally, they had created the space for me to experience the amazing journey of faith in IFFAsia. I thank God for the time, support, knowledge and love they have given me.

One comment about your course-mates
I am happy with them; they are always there for me and journey with me throughout my formation year. They are friendly and have the desire to bring newness to the church and society. They have good motivation to be leaders and are ready to serve the youths and work with the poor. I realize that many of us want to bring change to the world. Having them as friends, makes me feel that I am not alone in mission.

Your advice to the young people in your church / parish / diocese:
“As Pope Francis tells us - no one in the Church is useless, and if from time to time someone says to someone else: “go home, you are no good”, this is not true.”
Therefore all people are important. They are to play their roles in the community and in the church to be servant leaders, to serve others, to use their talents and potential to benefit society.  I believe young people can bring transformation for a better world. They have power and energy to contribute to the development in society. 
As young people of God, we are invited to love and serve Him, to share our tiny faith with one another, to bring about evangelization and to love one another. We are an important agent of change, a great resource for social development.
“Be the light of Christ, we are called to spread the word and live the faith”.

To all my supporters / sponsors
During my formation year in the Philippines, I thank God for your kindness and care given to me. I am grateful to God for making me a part of so many young people gathered in IFFAsia, for using me as His instrument in this sacred journey of life. Through all these experiences, I have gained much and my heart is filled with gratitude. 
The lives of this community have moulded me to be humble; reflected my own areas of change and growth –to be committed and persevere, to believe that each person has the potential to change for the better. Thank you for all the support, either in prayers or in financial assistance. It is really encouraging for me to stand up in answer to God and continue in my mission. Please continue to remember me and my friends in your prayers and do continue to journey with us in this mission to build a better world. 

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