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Davao : Third group gets under way

24/09/2007: Philippines

Dear Brothers and Laypeople : Greetings from the Philippine Islands. Sentiments of gratitude are the first ones I feel in your regard, because hope and joy come from knowing that we can rely upon your encouragement and your prayer.

In this third Davao session linked to Mission Ad Gentes, there are ten Brothers presently participating. One other participant ought to be present, but he has been unable to arrive so far because of visa problems. Three other Brothers are here as well: Brothers Tim, Alfredo and Roy the three being members of the coordinating Team. On the Institute webpage, under the heading Mission ad Gentes, you can find a brief sketch about each Brother who is making the course. In addition, you can have a better idea of the Brothers concerned because their photos appear under the same webpage heading (Enter).

During our first days, under the guidance of Vicar General, Brother Luis Sobrado, the over all plan of the course was explained to us in detail. We were presented with: the work timetable in the community residence; the various off-campus activities; an explanation of the work one must perform in various social centers; community dynamics; and familiarization with our immediate milieu.

In my opinion, everything has been well put in place, and sufficient steps taken so as to go forward both personally and communally towards a new mission work, in a new culture, and with Brothers of different nationalities.

The second week - time passes quickly - was dedicated to sharing about the present rea-lities and the past experiences of the Brothers in the group. The exercise was exceptional and had a touch of the Divine, since by varying paths God has brought us all together in one and the same mission. We also went into some depth regarding what it means to go from the sense of security we feel in our native lands to one of insecurity in a new land. We experience insecurity about language, customs, the lack of affective support: aspects of life which always provide us with a sense of security, elements which are a solid support (Marist Brothers, friends, family, etc. . . . all of whom have been part of our history.) To speak about the way in which have responded to these new situations was also very interesting.

The General Council has assigned two countries to the Brothers in our group: India and Thailand. This has now become our concern. Such have been our activities so far, and we will continue next week with another kind of workshop. Each workshop lasts one week.

Once again, THANK YOU for your prayers and your support, warm brotherly greetings,
Br. Ventura

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