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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

An interview with Imelda Soidi (Graduate of IFFAsia Batch 9, 2015)

Interview by DS
Imelda Soidi, one of the 13 graduates from IFFAsia Batch 9 was officially commissioned during the send off mass at Good Shepherd Cathedral, Fairview Park, Quezon City on 8th November 2015. She has successfully completed her 11-month formation and will be send forth in mission to her community in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, her sending organization.

She hails from Bundu Tuhan and is a parishioner of St Pius X Parish. She has worked for three years with Bundu Tuhan Native Residential Reserve Board of Trustee, active in community project involving indigenous people concerning biodiversity and ecology, concentrating on community forest management. Since then she has developed a strong passion for the environment, care for God's creation.

Her sharing......

During my service with the community, I was also involved actively with the youth ministry in my Parish. We worked closely with the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Youth Pastoral Team. In a youth gathering, I was approached by Sister Terry fsic, the Director of the Archdiocesan Youth Office, if I would be interested to undergo a year's formation in IFFAsia and thereafter to serve in the said office as a full time youth minister.
I contemplated on the idea. I discerned on it. I asked myself, if I was fit enough for the position; mentally and spiritually. I prayed over it. I listened to my inner voice. Eventually after some two months pondering over the offer, I said 'Yes' in deep faith to the Lord, let Thy will be done.

I was excited when I received the letter of offer from IFFAsia and at the same time I was really nervous, full of anxiety. This would be the first time leaving home, out of Sabah. 

With Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanik 
Archbishop of Bangkok
I was attracted to the modules of the formation as contained in the holistic and specialized formation program for young people in Asia. The 11 month live in formation offers opportunity for students to learn to accept one another and treat each other with respect regardless of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. The four main modules; spiritual, human development, social and pastoral provided us ground for a balanced personal development. IFFAsia has eventually molded me to what I am today. I am ready for mission. I am made for mission and I am ready to go forth!!!

At Payatas dumpsite
The one month mission project in Thailand and the exposure trips gave us wonderful experience in real life encounters with the poor and marginalized. It has taught me the value of reaching out to those in the peripheries; to bring good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. (Luke 4 : 18)
Love Circle, a way to dialogue
My days in IFFAsia has led me to see things more professionally. The journey is not all smooth sailing. There are little hitches here and there; students and staff. It has given me the space to improve myself from the small problems that arose. It is after all a learning process for everyone. 
Let your light shine after the community prayer
Social Immersion at Compostela Valley, Davao
The session on environment, using the Pope's encyclical on the environment, the Laudato Si' inspired me much. It is about our common home, mother earth, subject to destruction due to human abuse. I have a special bond with nature through my 3 years experience on biodiversity and ecology and forest management. I hope to raise awareness among people of all ages to grow and love the environment, to be good steward of God's creation.
Activity with the children during our social immersion
I am grateful to all who had journeyed with me throughout my formation process in IFFAsia.

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