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Friday, July 24, 2015

My Journey - Jellferlyne Joseph

Jellferlyne Joseph who hails from Sandakan is the fourth candidate from the Diocese of Sandakan to undergo a one-year formation program in the Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFAsia) in the Philippines. Prior to leaving for the Philippines she was engaged with the Good Shepherd Welfare Centre, Sabah as a Program Coordinator. Her job required her to journey with the children of migrant workers living in plantations and outskirt of the town. She is expected to graduate by the end of the year.

“Each of you should GO ON LIVING according to the LORD’S GIFT to you, and AS YOU WERE when GOD CALLED YOU.” 1 Cor 6:17

…My stories…
My name is Jellferlyne Joseph. I am 28 years old and my nationality is Malaysian. In my family, I am the third child of 6 siblings. I grew up in many different places due to my father’s job that requires him to be transferred many times for a new position. Finally, we settle down in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia; the place where I spent my teenage life until now. After having completed my Bachelor Degree in Marketing in 2008, I began my career in a tourism company. But, it only lasted for one year. I felt there was something missing in me. It was a mismatch. I was inclined to do social work, to be with people, people living in the margins. Therefore, I quit my job on December 2009. In April 2010, I secured a new job as a Program Officer at a non-government organization, the Good Shepherd Welfare Centre. My new job has given me a new perspective, a completely new way of looking at life.
Discovery and Transformation…
Five years have passed by since I first started working with the Good Shepherd Welfare Centre in Sabah in the children’s program. I can still remember vividly my first encounter with the children of Indonesian migrant workers. I was taken aback. I was reluctant to serve because of the impoverished environment. My heart sank. 

My perception about the migrants was somewhat negative due to my lack of exposure and information about the community. However, I gave myself a try. As a result, my subsequent encounters with the Indonesian children had drawn me closer to the community. The experience had opened my eyes, my heart and mind towards the disadvantaged community. They are deprived off so many basic needs in life.

Before my encounter with the migrants, I have always been complaining about my life. I was ungrateful with what I have and that God is unfair to me. Actually I am very lucky and blessed to have most of the basic things in life as compared to the migrants. I have a fine home, enjoyed health care facilities, education, above all freedom to move around. 

There is no doubt that on many occasions I contemplated to give up this job because of the many challenges. I realized that going through the challenges is part of my growing process especially for my spiritual life. Slowly, I began to see that each person is precious and valuable regardless of their background in the eyes of God, including the immigrants. It drives me to want to know more about God’s Love – as related by one of the Good Shepherd Sister to me; “It is a call through a loving service.”

The most precious gift that God has given me is the transformation of my egoist heart into a compassionate heart. St. Mary Euphrasia the founder of the Good Shepherd Sister Congregation said “You have a heart created to love and be grateful.” I am moved with these words and it has left a strong impact in my heart. The many challenges and difficulties that I have to go through, has been an opportunity for me to better understand about God’s living words.
Today, I believe that God speaks to me through the many people I encounter in my life. The message that remains in my heart is God has a big plan and an important mission for me and now He is preparing me for it.
What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor 2:9

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