"The Oblates have invited us to know their life and mission in China Delegation and we have thought you could go with sister Lisa. Me? This summer? That were my thoughts when my Superior asked me about it. China was not in my plans for this summer, but it was in God's plans. I accepted the proposal because I know that when I am oppened to God's will, I discover more deeply my vocation as an Oblate sister.
During six weeks I could share life and mission with the Oblates in North China, Hong Kong and South China and I am very thankful for this experience. In every Oblate community we visited, they made me feel as if I were at home, sharing life and faith. Little by little I got to know their mission and the way they do it. Always close to the people with whom they work, either children or youth, migrants families or handicapped people, teachers or employees. I could feel the Oblate's love for the Church when we met the christian community to celebrate the Mass or to share our experiences. I was inspired by the way Chinese people live the faith, with deep sensibility and courage. In such a big country it seemed to me that we were as leaven in the middle of the people. The culture and the language have been a little bit challenging. But I've also realized that the mission starts with humility, learning the culture and the language, cantonese or mandarin. When you can not speak anything you may always use body and love language. Chinese people were very kind and willing to help me. They payed me dearly for this little adventure."
Sister Patricia omi
We started our trip coming to North China at the beginning of July. There, we could get to know first of all the oblate community and their daily life. And they showed us the pastoral work they are taking out. First of all we went to a small village, where they have the centre for migrant children. We enjoyed playing with the children, even though we couldn't communicate too much with them. On another day we were able to meet and share with some sisters who have a community close to the Oblates. It was very interesting to get to know how they reached to Mainland China and their daily life with different languages. They are a miracle of Holy Spirit's translation gifts. Also we got to know the English company and the volunteers working there, who accompanied us in some occasion to sightseeing Beijing.
On the 17th of July was time to say good bye to Beijing. We went by train, 24h, to Hong Kong. This time we could use to prepare some English clases we were suposed to give in Hong Kong. There Fr. Slawek introduced us to the summer programm of English class in Notre Dame Collage. As well there, the Oblate community of the Collage welcomed us. So, every morning we teached English to a small group of students with songs and videos. Also, we tried to give them some usefull values for their lives.
Then, in Hong Kong, we could get to know more the reality of the philippine workers. We had the chance to go with them to Mass and to share a dinner. On Fridays we could join the service of the Youth Group of Hong Kong to give food to people in need on the street. It was very touching to see so many people, specially elderly, making cue to get some food. And this in the middle of a city that seems to be quite rich. Some days we could know a little bit the Oblate community of St. Alfred´s Church and share dinner and interesting conversations with them.
After 10 days and the graduation of some of our English students, we went to the South China. Two boys of the Oblate Youth of Hong Kong acompanied us and an Oblate welcomed us there. First of all we got to know the center for children in one of the suburbs of a big city. It is called “Angels Love Centre”. Children, like everywhere, were quite open to us, so we just played with them. Then we got to know little by little the young people who came to join the summer activities for the children as volunteers and to form a christian group sharing everyday´s life. Even, we had the chance to live with the girls in the same appartment. It was a good possibility to get to know them and to realize closly their customs and culture. The moments of serving in the Centre, we enjoyed as well very much, even though not always communication was easy. But for example we could teach them to play the card game “Uno” and they liked it.
The moments of sharing with the young people were very joyful. Many times we played together the guitar, or listened to their beautyful songs. There were many moments of prayer and celebrating Mass together. Then we could realize that we believe in the same God and we are united in this faith. Funny moments we lived, when we tried to do some european food. It was just a challenge, but finally they liked cakes when they are not so sweet and pizza with apples and green pees.
At the end we are very thankful for all we could live together with the people met in North China, Hong Kong and South China. It was a gift of God to do this journey and sure it will grant his fruits for us and our little congregation of Oblate Sisters. We are glad to be part of such a big missionary family, our Oblate family, where we feel at home everywhere in the world.