Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Welcome to the China Bulletin, October 2013

Mission Team in the Frontiers

Retreat for Priests 

September was a month of missions. Our team of lay associates moved to various places in China to bring the Word of God and helping the needy.
Teresa Li is one of our editors for publications in Chinese. Four years ago she joined us in our work in China. Of late, she began to conduct retreats to religious groups; and also something never seen in China, to give a retreat to a group of priests accompanied by their bishop!  
Teresa shares her story with us:
In September, 2013, I was invited to give annual retreat to the nuns and the priests in one of the dioceses in Mainland China. The participants were 23 nuns and 17 priests.

I have been giving retreats to the nuns, but it was the first time for me to guide priests through spiritual exercises. I felt so nervous. I turned to God for help in prayer. I had surrendered myself to Him and made myself available to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

felt that the Lord wanted me to focus on discipleship. We all, priests, religious, and lay are called to be disciples of Jesus, to be his witness in the world.... To drive my point, I chose the Gospel of Mark 8:22-10:45, known as “the Mark’s Way”. In this passage of Jesus three times tells his closest disciples about his journey to Jerusalem and its outcome. Three times they fail to grasp its meaning. As I was making my point, I saw how they were touched by the fact that it is their story as well, it is every Christian’s story. Seeing themselves in those disciples they saw their own failures in their following Jesus.
God is great! At the end of the retreat, they shared what they have experienced during these days. Majority were telling that the guiding method is new to them. They had enough time to reflect, to pray, to meditate and to be with the Lord. And the retreat helped them a lot.

What a great Power! The power of the Holy Spirit! I prayed hard everyday there. The experience was great. I am so grateful to our Loving Spirit since I really felt His hands upon me for this mission. He has been using me to guide His people. Our God is always ready to answer!


Visit to Leprosy Patients

At 200 kilometers from the border with Macau, in China, there is a group of about 100 people affected with leprosy, half of them abandoned by their families. A group associated with our mission, together with the Fr. Mario Bonfaini, CMF departed on September 28 to bring them the joy of the company, the loving presence of God and the Word: Mass, confessions, blessings and joy.

Jessica is a business woman. She runs a furniture company in Hong Kong, with imports and exports to different countries. She has helped us to settle in Hong Kong through her contacts, efficiency and generous help. Ever since she got in touch with us, even in the midst of her thick business schedules, finds time to delve into what she calls 'her other family' - of leprosy patients; visiting many centers in China alongside our missionaries.

The following is her testimony after her last visit on September 28, 2013:

When you see these pictures, you can easily feel all of us are very happy and enjoy being together; it's a really family gathering.

Ling Lung is a place that I might have regretted stepping in, because since I came to this place, I cannot detach myself from these people any more. I have been coming here for four years to play with them, sing with them, going with to the farm to pick different types of fruit. As we stay overnight, they show us the moon and stars; we talk and enjoy the breeze.  I love to see them laughing with us, and holding my hand while walking, always telling me how to cook this and that.
Fr. Mario and Sr. Beatriz [also our Chinese editor] 
distributing communion to the sick
All of them have their very sad story and most of them do not want to mention this to others, because they may also want to forget who they are and where they are coming from.  After knowing us better, some started to share their stories with us, and we sat down and listened quietly. However, I know each of them have their very sad and painful story.  We see their smiling face now, but we still can feel how their heart has been broken in the old days after being abandoned by family and their beloved ones.

A very kind man told me he still has a sister and a brother, but he never let them know he is still alive. The reason is that he cares for how other people will view his brother and sister after knowing they have a brother who is a leper.  This shows a very great love, willing to sacrifice because he wants to protect his family. Another woman told me she comes from a very good family, she has a husband and children, but she was forced to leave them in order to get medicines for healing her sickness. 
We all love them and hope we can bring them a little happiness, love and care!  Letting them know there are still many people willing to travel far to this place to give them a hug.

My husband told me few years ago: “You should be thankful to the person who introduced you to these places.”  Very true! Thank you, for Fr. Jojo, for leading us to this place, and making our life more beautiful.

May God Bless All of our Brothers and Sisters in this place!

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