Ethiel Roxas, AA, Adveniat, Metro Manila
As part of the mission of our Congregation to bring cultures together in solidarity and unity, a summer mission with the purpose of teaching the English language was by four (4) Filipino brothers (Ariel Vidanes, Joseph Panguiton, Christian Del Mundo, and myself). Br. Joseph and I were assigned this year to our Parish in the Vinh Diocese (the only Parish administered by our Congregation in Vietnam) from June 12 to July 26, 2022. It was a fulfilling experience because of the hospitality of the people of the parish and the challenges and rewards of the whole program.
The Vietnamese students (60 students) ranging from the primary to the tertiary levels are examples of patience and hard work because they strive to give their best in learning the languages. Their smiles, dynamics, and even their boredom at times due to the hot climate are important ingredients in making the experience of teaching worthwhile. Added to this is the hospitality of our Assumptionist brothers and the people of the parish. Their understanding and their generosity in welcoming us into their homes and in their hearts make our stay more challenging and rewarding. What I have learned from this mission is that many times though there are language barriers, it is not a hindrance for people to understand each other. Though many of the people cannot talk to us, and yet their kindness and smiles communicate more. The power of language is more than words. It is building bridges to the hearts of people for the building of God’s Kingdom within and around us.