Jellferlyne Joseph hails from Sandakan and works as a Programme Officer at the Good Shepherd Welfare Centre in Sandakan since 2010. She journeys with the migrant community, teaching the children of migrant workers the basic 3Rs, running community and capacity building programme and conducting women empowerment sessions. She has a rich experience in the migrant ministry. She has just completed the 11-month formation at IFFAsia, at Fairview, Quezon City, Philippines.
When I was offered a place in IFFAsia, Philippines in January this year (2015), I was nervous and anxious with many questions on what IFFAsia has to offer. I did a research on IFFAsia and consulting my seniors from IFFAsia, based in Sandakan, had sorted out many matters that bothered me.
Initially I encountered many challenges and conflicts living in a community of various nationalities of different backgrounds, cultures and practices. It took me awhile to adapt to the setting. After some months in community living, I realised I had learnt more about myself and have grown more mature in my outlook. I am grateful that the environment in IFFAsia promotes the spirit of tolerance and acceptance.
I discovered more about myself through the human development module, one of the four modules of the formation process in IFFAsia. I am more aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. I appreciate and love myself for what I am and this leads me to see the beauty in others. God’s love is unconditional and I am grateful for what I am and it is an invitation for me to accept others as they are.
The one-month exposure and my encounter with the children and women of the Rohingya refugees in Thailand in September 2015 has opened my eyes to the pastoral approaches adopted by the Suratani Diocese. They have good programmes and strong support of the lay faithful in their outreach mission to the refugees.
IFFAsia has challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone. It has formed and transformed me. I am well prepared to implement my Development Action Plan.
Thank you, IFFAsia, my sending organization, the Good Shepherd Welfare Centre Sabah, all sponsors and supporters and my family members for the opportunity and support given me throughout the journey of my formation.