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The celebration of this coming Holy Week marks the first 3-month anniversary of the arrival of the Verbum Dei community in Vietnam!
The first major event in which our two missionaries assigned there were able to participate in was the celebration of the New Lunar year, also known as TET. For the Vietnamese people that celebration is very important: many of them return back their country to celebrate with the family the arrival of a New Year; the streets are adorned with numerous flowers and the women bring out their best traditional costumes. In addition, each one of the days of the celebration is dedicated to honoring the memory of important people: ancestors, parents, teachers and friends. They are days of being able to celebrate and give thank for the gift of life together with our new friends.
Later the main focus of attention for the 2 missionaries was the search for a house to live in - since the first month the missionaries were living in the facilities of a parish. After touring numerous places in the city, they were finally able to move to a rented house located in one of the popular neighborhoods of Saigon. From there, they travel every morning to the University to study Vietnamese, the main priority for these first months there. Our dedication to the Word of God means that being able to communicate in the local language is essential for the future development of our mission there.
Thank God we have numerous good Vietnamese friends who help the community in this complex process of adaptation. In them we can see the hand of God that does not abandon us or leave us alone. We also appreciate the prayer of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family here in the Philippines, as well as the sponsors who are making it possible for us to take these first steps. God's dream that all his children know him is the main motivation that helps us move forward despite the difficulties.
It is a sobering thought for us all here in the Philippines that two thirds of the world’s population lives in Asia, but so few know Christ. That is why we as Verbum Dei, as a missionary community, have to continually reflect and be challenged to bring the faith beyond our own shores, “to push the boat out further.” Let us continue to pray for the growth of our Verbum Dei community in Asia! We pray in a special way for our mission in Vietnam! (Note from James, WordNews team)
Here are a few more pictures:
With thanks to our missionary contributor and the WordNews team
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