In January 2022, a team of professionals from Technopark, Trivandrum set out on a month-long mission programme to Visakhapatnam, aka Vizag. Few of the team share their experiences.
The mission exposure programme was a greatly joyful experience for me. It came to me totally out of the blue, I can only attribute it to God’s merciful grace. I came to be with the group just a couple of days before the journey, in place of another priest, who became unable to join.
Many came for the journey with many desires, like meeting new people, seeing and tasting the actual mission. In hindsight, I didn’t really have any such desires. I had only taken one decision – to thoroughly enjoy the days with Lord Jesus.
Made so many beautiful relationships over the past few days. To be part of a community of people who pray and desire to walk with the Lord itself is a great blessing.
One of the most touching things during the journey was the time we spent praying in the train while in transit. It was a time of open evangelisation, praying and praising in our seats. Such great positive energy, in the middle of everyone, was really challenging!
We had the opportunity to visit a couple of villages in Vizag. Each visit was a joyful experience. Even a small smile went a long way in spreading the love of Jesus among them. The very fact that a group of youths – professionals, are willing to give their time for the Lord, solely for him, in an alien place, was in itself a great inspiration for all who met them.
Everyone who came for the journey is unique – we are all diverse, united by Christ! All the time spent together in prayer, every Holy Mass, every moment of prayer, everything was a touching experience.
May God bless us all!
– Fr Naijal Thomas CMF, Mozambique
I went for the Vizag mission with a heavy heart, fighting spiritually with myself over some recent personal struggles. Even though I wanted to attend the mission exposure, and had applied for leave long back, due to a delayed project release I was doubtful if I could indeed go. When I reminded my team, they didn’t say no, even though mine was a major role in the project. That is how Jesus told me that he wanted me to go.
The entire journey was filled with prayer, fellowship and sharings. Since Fr Naijal was with us, we never missed Holy Mass. And the married couple, Shobin and Vinu, helped us understand the beauty of family life.
I was so moved by the people of Vizag I met. They had no complaints about what they didn’t have, instead were thankful and joyful with what they did. Their thirst and zeal to attend Holy Mass despite all struggles underscored the spiritual luxury we experience in our lives.
The last church we visited had a verse inside the adoration chapel. ‘Lord you have called me and I am here.’
I was overwhelmed with his joy.
– Jessin Thomas, Technopark, Trivandrum
When we first heard about this mission, the first thing that came to mind was, ‘Why should we be part of this mission when we already have a lot of challenges from family and work?’ Then we realised that mission was a call from the Almighty; God’s plan only asked for our yes. So, we first said yes and then tried to figure out a solution to our challenges.
After we took the decision as a family, we began our spiritual preparation for our first mission, with little prayers, sacrifices and Holy Mass. We took an extra step to complete our project dependencies before the mission journey. By God’s grace we were able to manage it.
As the journey neared, bigger challenges came across our way, like health issues, the pandemic situation, etc. And though we had second thoughts, and prayed together for discernment, Jesus guided us through the Word of God to take the step forward. So, leaving our children with our parents due to the pandemic, we joined the mission journey.
As the mission progressed, we could feel God’s plan and grace throughout. Mingling with the entire mission team was simply wonderful. Each one of us had our own unique part to play on this journey. Each day was a brand new experience to cherish our blessings, our responsibilities to the society, true value of sacraments, etc.
We thank Jesus for such an opportunity to grow in faith and to convert prayers to action. Once a missionary, always a missionary. This is the message we have taken to our hearts.
–Vinu and Shobin
Being part of Technopark Jesus Youth, I had a beautiful fellowship with the members of the mission team. When the opportunity to experience a taste of mission presented itself, I responded with a yes as I believe Jesus has a better plan than mine. The Holy Spirit inspired me to take up the mission exposure responsibilities and we started preparations seven months before the journey, via online gatherings.
At the mission place, along with the JYs of Vizag, we conducted many programmes for the teens and youth. I could feel God using each of us to give Christ in unique and creative ways. I learned to surrender to the Lord all that I was asked to do and I could see grace filling all over.
There is more beauty in doing things which are inspired by the Holy Spirit. It gives me more fulfillment of heart and a meaning to life. So I pray and also seek prayer support before I do anything. I would encourage everyone to be open to his plan and take up his mission.
It’s always his mission and he’ll help us accomplish it.
– Chacko Sebastian, Technopark, Trivandrum
Visakhapatnam days will be counted as some of the most blessed days in my life. I had a great experience of fellowship and was able to know more about what was happening in our world. Earlier, when I would think of going on a mission, I knew that it would mean meeting people, learning about their lives, and trying to do something for them in the name of God. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, our group was able to achieve all of that during this mission.
What inspired me the most in the mission exposure journey were the village visits. Seeing how people still struggled in their day-to-day lives made me cherish all the blessings of mine.
Thanking God for calling me to this mission journey.
– Hima Kurian, Technopark Trivandrum
Have you ever wondered why generations ago, people abandoned their futile traditions and customs and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour? How are missionaries building the Church in places that haven’t yet heard of Jesus? How do missionaries undertake missions in the 21st century?
These are some thoughts that have always spurred me to mission places. Through these mission exposure journeys, the Holy Spirit showed us how he was leading missionaries and building the Church. In every village that we visited, we could see glimpses of the early Church where people come to sing, dance and pray together.
Each mission place is unique and special but what they each have in common is the joy of Christ spread by the Christian missionaries, and the works of the Holy Spirit.
– Alex Cheriyan Paul
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