• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 27 November 2020 18:47

Vietnamese student gains insight into PNG missionary life

 

Joseph Phan OTP in PNGVietnamese SVD student Joseph Hoang Quoc Phan set off for Papua New Guinea as part of the Overseas Training Program wishing to gain experience “in a real mission area”, and, thanks to COVID-19 border restrictions, he got even more mission experience than he bargained for.

Joseph’s OTP training has reached its conclusion, but has been extended because of the pandemic-related international travel restrictions.

He says he was attracted to religious life from a young age and credits a prayer that his mother taught him as a young boy: “May my parents have good health to raise and educate us to be your disciples, O God”.

“That simple prayer was deeply imprinted on my soul as a living ideal,” he says.

As a child and teenager he was an altar server in his local parish and then after he finished school he joined the parish choir.

“After high school, the flame of God’s call started burning strongly in me,” he says. “The support of my family  helped me keep going on the path of serving others.”

Joseph’s sister, a nun, provided him with information about the SVD and in his second year of university he joined the Divine Word Missionaries, while also finishing his degree in Sociology and Community Service.

Joseph Phan OTP in PNG with parishionersAfter his postulancy, Joseph continued to the novitiate and completed his studies in Philosophy before signing up for the Overseas Training Program, which provides young missionaries with experience in living and serving interculturally in SVD communities.

He says his experience as a missionary in PNG has had a big impact on him.

“Through this mission, I deeply acknowledge the effort of the former foreign missionaries in the early time to bring the Catholic faith into Vietnam,” he says.

“Besides spending time studying the new language, culture, and mission skills, I also served at parishes which are run by SVD missionaries.

“In particular, I was assigned to work with the youth, the altar servers in Kunjingini every Saturday. We spent time praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy after Mass and doing other activities. I also went out to farther mission places with the pastor to celebrate Sunday Mass for those who could not come to the parish.”

Joseph says that every missionary faces certain difficulties in terms of language, culture, food and lifestyle, but PNG has added challenges, including difficulty in transportation, disease and the shortage of goods, medicine and nursing equipment.

Joseph Phan OTP in PNG in tribal dressJoseph was also robbed at gun and knife-point when he first arrived in PNG.

“I was a little bit nervous at that time,” he says. “Being robbed in PNG is normal. Practicing simplicity in daily life, I got over those trials by my effort and by my acceptance of whatever I have or receive from the congregation.”

After serving for about two years as a missionary outside his homeland, Joseph will return to Vietnam when COVID restrictions allow to continue his study of Theology.

“Nowadays, the number of the youth involved in the act of sowing the seeds of the Good News is decreasing, while the needs of the harvest of evangelisation and re-evangelisation is immense,” he says.

“I myself, resolvedly hold to the ideal of dedication for the mission of evangelisation of the SVD and of the Church.”