First and foremost, we are grateful to God for calling us to be His chosen ones, and especially calling us to be part of the Dominican family as Missionary Sisters of the Rosary. We also thank Him for sending us here in Taiwan.
After two years of learning the language, we were asked to be sent into three different communities. And one of the communities where the two of us were sent is in Wanjin.
Wanjin is a small village located in Pingtung County and it is surrounded by the beautiful mountains.
Wanjin Church is known as the first Minor Basilica in Taiwan. Here we can still find a lot of Christian communities and they are still strongly practicing their faith. So, on the 31 of December 2018, the two of us from Tainan community moved here in Wanjin to be with the two senior sisters in the community.
After sometime living here, we were later introduced by Sr. Asunta, our Provincial, to participate in some pastoral works such as visiting the sick and bringing them the Holy Communion, visiting some families especially those elderly ones and also joining with some particular groups in the Church.
Besides that, we were also sent to one of the centers to be with the elderly in order for us to practice our Chinese. We find it very helpful because with them we really can learn not only the language but also getting to know them and be with them. So, being with them is not only for the sake of practicing our Chinese, but also it is a way of discovering God’s purpose in our lives as a Missionary. These people are in fact really kind and willing to help us.
In order for us to have more experiences, we also got the chance to go to the aboriginal area, a place where our sisters were working before. There we were introduced to be as volunteers in the center for the elderly and also in one of the schools.
Due to the limitations of speaking the language, at first, we felt afraid and nervous to approach much and interact with the people around, thinking of what if they ask us something regarding their faith experience, how will we answer and convince them? Thank God, these people are really kind and they understand our limitations. All the more, they are willing to help us and take care of us. And because of their warmness, little by little we are getting used to it and we had challenged ourselves a lot as to deal with them without any worries or fears.
Being with the aboriginal people is also one of the tremendous experiences. And we thank God and also thank our sisters for giving us this great chance. It is totally a different environment and the people are friendlier than the people here in city. Perhaps it might be that we share some kind of similarities due to the color of our skin or our looks which somehow is very much similar to them. In the beginning was hard to be as a stranger one among them.
Much more challenging is that in that elderly center not all are Catholics. And since we are the only religious there, we were especially assigned to lead the prayers and also to entertain them with songs or action dance. Really it was difficult and challenging. However, these aboriginal people are very loving, warm hearted and hospitable. Their hospitality somehow conquers the fears and all the worries we have. They too are willing to help us and make us feel at home with them as one family. Even though it is challenging, but God had made it to be an amazing experience for us.
Another experience dealing with the children is also one of the great opportunities for us to learn. Children are very smart and they are very alive. Despite our limitations, we too created some kind of friendship with them. And together with them we feel happy and enjoying even with their naughtiness.
As a result, we felt that all these experiences strengthen our vocation and give us enthusiasm to keep going. We are happy and we find this mission is very much exciting and interesting. Of course, it was hard in the beginning as well due to the language limitation. But thank God that He is always there by our side and leading us through our difficult moment. As we try our very best day by day, things are also becoming lighter step by step. These experiences challenge us to discover more, what really God’s mission is, in accordance with the Charism of our Congregation. We are enjoying this little mission and it is really very important and interesting. We too are actually ready to be challenged as well. We also realized that we have experienced and learned a lot. Above all, we experience God’s love and care through these people, and we do hope that through our presence they too can feel the love and care of God in their lives. We hope that, what we have learned and experienced can be also a good way of serving God and contributing our love to this congregation especially to this province of Queen of China.
Leonarda and Beatrix