Friday, February 16, 2007

The life of a Claretian Missionary in China

After almost 6 months in China, one of our missionaries in Beijing, shares what he has been doing there…

Since August 28 until now, I have felt God’s abiding presence in our life and ministry in Beijing.

Putonghua Study. I began learning Putonghua(Mandarin - Chinese Language) in September full of enthusiasm. Though I had never studied Putonghua before, I found it quite familiar, specially writing Chinese characters. And soon, I was among the best in the class…

English Classes at the National Catholic Seminary. I began teaching English to the seminarians and priests at National Seminary on November 4, 2006. I go to the seminary on Friday afternoon and stay there until Sunday lunch, after which I either go home or to the South Church to meet the catechumens I introduced there. A room is reserved for me in the seminary, where I keep my books, and the seminary fathers, though many of them do not know English, have warmly accepted me as one of them.

Online Course at St. Michael’s College USA: Computer-Assister Language Learning. I did not expect that an online course would be more demanding than the traditional face-to-face course in a classroom. It is a new learning experience for me, which is quite interesting and taxing at the same time. I have to do a lot of reading, surfing the net, evaluation and assessment, and a number of tasks and projects.

Sunday Household English Discussion Group. I volunteered to teach English every Monday evening at the South Church where the parish offers English courses on weeknights from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. I had about 20 professional men and women, and one elementary pupil in my class, most of who were non-believers.

Additional English Classes at the Capital Railway Health School to nursing students. One of the women mentioned above teaches Pharmacology at a nursing school. She asked me if I wanted to teach her nursing students, so she arranged for a meeting between the vice-director of her school and me. The vice-director offered me 2 classes of 2 periods each every Tuesday and Thursday for a total of 8 periods a week. I also begin teaching there mid-March.

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