Tag Archives: iffasia

Bundu Tuhan lass graduates from IFFAsia

imeldaKOTA KINABALU – Imelda Soidi, one of the 13 graduates from IFFAsia Batch 9 was officially commissioned during the Send-off Mass at Good Shepherd Cathedral, Fairview Park, Quezon City on 8 Nov 2015. She has successfully completed her 11-month formation and was sent forth in mission to her community in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, her sending organisation.

She hails from Bundu Tuhan and is a parishioner of St Pius X parish. She has worked for three years with Bundu Tuhan Native Residential Reserve Board of Trustee, active in community project involving indigenous people concerning biodiversity and ecology, concentrating on community forest management. Since then she has developed a strong passion for the environment, care for God’s creation.  In an interview with DS, she said:

 During my service with the community, I was also actively involved with the youth ministry in my parish. We worked closely with the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Youth Pastoral Team. During one youth gathering, I was approached by Sr Terry fsic, Director of the Archdiocesan Youth Office, asking if I would be interested to undergo a one-year formation in IFFAsia and thereafter to serve in the said office as a full time youth minister.

I contemplated on the idea. I asked myself if I were mentally and spiritually fit enough for the position. I prayed over it. I listened to my inner voice. Eventually, after some two months discerning over the offer, I said ‘Yes’ in deep faith to the Lord, “let Thy will be done.”

I was excited when I received the letter of offer from IFFAsia and at the same time I was really nervous and anxious. This would be my first time leaving home, and going out of Sabah.

I was attracted to the modules of the formation as it is a holistic and specialised formation programme for young people in Asia. Eleven months’ living in formation also offers opportunity for students to learn to accept and treat each other with respect regardless of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. The four main modules; spiritual, human development, social and pastoral provided us ground for a balanced personal development. IFFAsia has eventually moulded me to what I am today. I am ready for mission. I am made for mission and I am ready to go forth!!!

The one-month mission project in Thailand and the exposure trips have given us valuable experience in real life encounters with the poor and marginalised. It has taught me the value of reaching out to those in the peripheries, to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. (Luke 4 : 18)

My days in IFFAsia have guided me to see things in a more professional way. The journey is not all smooth sailing. There were little hitches here and there; between students and staff. But it has given me the space to improve myself from these small difficulties. It is afterall a learning process for everyone.

The session on environment, using the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, the “Laudato Si’” has inspired me so much. It is about our common home, mother earth, subject to destruction due to human abuse. I have a special bond with nature through my three years’ experience on biodiversity and ecology and forest management. I hope to raise awareness among people of all ages to grow and love the environment, to be good steward of God’s creation.

I am grateful to all who had journeyed with me throughout my formation process in IFFAsia. 

Jellferlyne Joseph shares her experiences at IFFAsia

jefferlyneJellferlyne 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.

 

Batch 9 graduates from IFFAsia course

The graduates hold their lighted candles during the ceremony.

The graduates hold their lighted candles during the ceremony.

FAIRVIEW, Quezon City – Another batch of young leaders has graduated from the Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFAsia), recently.  This ninth batch, comprising 13 young people from eight countries in Asia, had completed the 11-month formation course: one each from China, Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, two from Laos and three each from Malaysia and Myanmar.

The three graduates from Malaysia were Sabahans: Jellferlyne Joseph from the Diocese of Sandakan, Imelda Soidi and Amylyn Bihin from the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.

The Thanksgiving and Send-Off Mass was held at the Good Shepherd Cathedral, Fairview Park on Nov 8. Bishop Joel Baylon, Bishop of Legaspi and the Chairperson of IFFAsia, presided over the Mass, which was concelebrated with seven priests.

In his homily, the bishop said that people in the contemporary world are more concerned with how people look at us rather than who we are, the actual person within us. This phenomenon leads us to wear different masks in life, to look good, pleasant and successful.

The prelate cited the two  unnamed widows in scriptures; one giving her two coins away to the treasury of the temple; the other offering her last handful of meal and a little oil to a prophet; they gave of their essence and not their surplus. Both incidents are a gentle reminder that as followers of Christ, we are to be generous in the little we may have.

Addressing the young leaders,  the prelate said, “As you go home to your family and friends and to your sending organisations, do remember these three significant matters while in mission; Look not at yourself but at others and God. Always prioritise the others. Be generous and take risk, always in the grace of God. Put your trust in God and He will do the rest.”

Alice Tan, Director of IFFAsia, presented the young missionaries to Bishop Baylon in the presence of the entire congregation to be sent forth in mission to their people and communities of their sending organisations. She asked the people to pray that God would guide the young people to be genuine witnesses in the renewal of the Church in Asia.

After Mass, IFFAsia held a special programme and refreshments at Radio Veritas Asia. Some 100 people; partners, supporters and well-wishers attended the send-off fellowship, themed “Live Christ, Share Christ.”

The event commenced with the IFFAsia theme song, “It’s good to see you here,” and “I want to know you a little more.”

Tan, in her welcoming speech, extended her heartfelt thanks and acknowledged the presence of partners who have journeyed with IFFAsia throughout the years of mission. She thanked the local churches, the various religious and lay organisations and sending organisations for their belief in IFFAsia in training and forming young leaders, and proclaiming the Good News with joy.

The slide presentation on the journey in IFFAsia began with a quote from Pope Francis, “Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gift that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things.” It touched on the 11-month  journey in the Institute, focusing on pastoral, human development, social and spiritual formation. The experiences and love acquired must be passed on to others.

The event concluded with everyone on the floor doing two traditional dances from Sabah and Myanmar respectively. – Dospo, photos by Shirley and Peter Joseph.

 

Copyright © 2017. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.