VOLUNTEERING IN EAST TIMOR
“Go! Make others happy! You will know what joy is.”
Since the beginning of my studies, I had the desire to “swap my sofa for walking boots” as Pope Francis invites us, to go and serve others.
I was sent to East Timor by Dom&Go, the Dominican volunteering organization. I shared the mission of the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary in Oecusse for six months.
I taught English to the girls of the dormitory, I went to school to accompany Daniel, a young disabled boy, helping him in the class. I helped the sisters in the household chores and designed a house they planned to build. (When I left the construction of the building was in progress)
I discovered with time that the cruz of the call to go on mission took shape in the “to live with”. “Living with” means to give priority to the encounter with the person. That’s where the secret of joy in the mission lies.
During these 6 months, I really experienced the words the Lord Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I gave my time to serve the sisters in the community and the children in their mission, and I received so much!
I share with you these words from Pope Francis: “Dear young people, feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line. Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to the others, it pays! For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying yes to love, without ifs and buts.”