Every year when Pentecost comes missionaries name will be announced…when I heard their names I also used to feel that one day my name would have been announced. In the year 2016, it has become true in my life too.
I was in mother Dones community at Vinukonda, it was on Holy week Wednesday night around 8.30 one phone call, while the phone was ringing the inner voice talking to me this is for me from Mother General, by that time one of my community sisters called me it is for me, so I ran with anxious and took the phone it was Mother General Rosilla Velamparambil. And she gently started to speak to me, asking about me and activities then slowly she said that I am destined to PNG mission, are you ready to go? Without thinking anything I was happy and said “yes!”. Mother Rosilla encouraged me to be courageous and surrender myself to the will of God.
After that, I was sent to Visvadeep at Bangalore for one-year spirituality course as a preparation for the mission. Today I feel it is very much effective in my Apostolate. I feel proud to say that during my preparation to the mission, God was at my side, He worked many miracles and wonders in my life, very often I was strengthened by these two divine words, “One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple (Ps 27:4). “ Your face, Lord Do I seek, do not hide your face from me” (ps27: 8-9). On January 4th of 2017, I made my missionary mandate along with Sr. Helen Antony; it was a remarkable day for me, where I could feel that I am especially strengthened by the spirit of the Lord, as everyone prayed for us during Holy Eucharistic celebration. I could feel one kind of new energy and courage to continue my new mission in my promised land PNG.
ARRIVAL OF PNG AND INSERTION PERIOD
On the 27th of September 2017, I started my journey to PNG, with the support and blessings of our dear provincial Sr. Mary George, her team members and Secunderabad community sisters. During my fly to PNG, God was so good to me, my travelling was so pleasant and I was very happy. When I reached Singapore God gave me one more Angel Sr. Irene Kuwm, who also was travelling with me, so my happiness was doubled and we had a safe journey to PNG. Sr. Bridgit Suvakeen and Sr. Lucy Dsouza came to Airport to receive us, and as we reached home our hostel girls welcomed us with beautiful dance, and we were given PNG Blum and Lap lap. It was something new, which brought me a lot of happiness and I felt I am well accepted. Though my delegate superior Mary Cheenkallel was on holidays, she used to call me now and then and encourage me to be a happy missionary.
For a few days I was in delegation house, the community sisters, Sr. Bridgit, Sr. Lucy and Sr. Kala were very understanding and kind towards me. They used to share their mission experience with me and tried to help me to feel at home. Sr. Bridgit arranged a very beautiful program for me to go to different communities to learn and insert myself in the new culture. As I went most of our communities, the sisters were very active in their mission work, joyful, generous, sacrificing and ready to do anything. I was taken up by their simple and sober life.
MY MISSION IN VANIMO COMMUNITY
On December 19th I reached my community at Vanimo along with my community sisters who also travelled with me from Port Moresby to Vanimo. Sisters, novices and some mothers welcomed me and made me feel at home. My community sisters’ love and support made me able to learn new responsibility, to love and respect people and culture, and to continue my mission effectively. As I was asked to take up the responsibility of Sr. Elizabeth Joseph, to coordinate family life Apostolate in the Diocese. She taught me many things especially patience and humility also she was a good inspiration for me to continue my work faithfully. As a new missionary, I too experienced a lot of support and encouragement from my Superior Sr.Marilena Kizhakekara and Sr. Alessandra Camatta.
CHALLENGES AND DIFFICULTIES
God is good all the time not only a good time but also a bad time. As I was in a new place, people and culture, God was with me all the time as a good shepherd to take care of me and protect me from all the dangers. In my mission field, there is a lot of challenges, first of all, being a new missionary everything was new for me, and the things are not going in time as we expect. Need to have a lot of patience and wait for hope. We may understand the needs of the people and plan for better things to happen, but there may not be financial support and cooperation. Diocese does not have enough money to help us; the Government may promise but only words no action, also sometimes people don’t realize that we are doing some good things for them. Sometimes there is also discouragement when people don’t cooperate and realize our presence. but some good people are all the time at our side, cooperating and helping us, so those people encourage us to go ahead with hope. In general, people are very poor they come very often for help but we are helpless.
In Papua New Guinea there are a lot of social problems: domestic violence, multi partners, no respect for one another. Women and children are often deprived of their rights, children are abused and neglected, youth are jobless, drug-addicted, with also problems of prostitution, abortion, and HIV.
Travelling is another risky but all the time God protects me from all the danger as the Divine word says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Is 43:2). This is true in my life too especially when I go to bush areas or remote areas I experienced the protection of Jesus.
Bless the lord, o my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (Psalm 103)
Yes, I feel only to thank and praise God the almighty for His marvellous love, goodness and kindness that I experienced almost three years of my missionary life. He is faithful to me, I need to be faithful and grateful by doing His mission with patience and humility.
sr. Rose Mary Arlandu – Papua New Guinea, India – Hyderabad