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This the way we bake our bread



Marist English Language Learning Program for Ad Gentes volunteer

29/10/2009: Philippines

Since Mid-August, Brothers and lay mission partners from all over the Marist world asked me about our “Marist English Language Learning Program” for Ad Gentes volunteer in Manila. In response I am writing this note to satisfy their queries and specifically on the questions: “Who are we?” and “Why are we here?”

First let me say a word of thanks to the Brothers of Marist School – Marikina and MAPAC communities, with special mention of Brothers Pat Corpus, President of Marist School, and Des Howard, Rector of MAPAC. These Brothers have been supportive to us. Because of these support we were able to establish and implement our program and activities without much difficulty. With their welcoming gestures and spirit, help and assistance in procuring our basic needs, we feel their genuine and fraternal hospitality.

Who are we?

Well, as you can see in the picture, we are a mixed community of marvelous and lovely persons composed of Brothers and lay people. Six are Marist Brothers ;- two staff members-, plus four participants lay persons. Of the lay community members are a married couple from Korea, a lady from Brazil and a twenty four years old “cuate “from Mexico. We are expecting another lady volunteer from Brazil comes this November.
As responsible of the group, I appreciate the presence of Bro.Brian Wanden. He encourages the members of the community improve their English. He encapsulates this by telling everyone to speak as “one voice.”

Why are we here?

Our community in Marikina was incepted and formed to prepare Ad Gentes volunteers for the “Missionary Orientation” which will take place in Davao-( Southern Philippines). Our program’s main objective is to establish English proficiency among these volunteers; achievement of this aim will enable these volunteers to follow inputs effectively and participate actively in the Davao three months” Orientation Program”. While here in Marikina,-Manila- the members start to learn and build their capacity to live in a “mixed community”.

Twenty four hour has a day! or 24/7, is the time we spend in doing our tasks: attending classes in the morning with our committed and lovely teacher, Ms Christine Stokes, affiliated member of the East Asia Province and former Principal of Marist School; doing our assignments; praying; and even cooking, doing the laundry, washing dishes and enjoying our meals together. Every single moment is a golden and wonderful opportunity to learn and build community. Our experiences here give us many significant lessons. Among these important lessons, we learn how to become bakers of the bread shared in the building of God’s Kingdom.

Though the ingredients come from different parts of the world, the bread we bake is fresh, well cooked, and full of fiber, full of love and respect for each one. Occasionally, the bread we share does not agree with a member’s palate... when this happens we bake another type of bread. So regardless of the kind of bread we bake, we always appreciate the community’s effort, because we bake our own bread with love and affection.

Good friends from here, there and everywhere, that’s all for now. You have a formal invitation to share the special bread we bake. Come and be part of us.

I am going to start preparing some more dough for the next batch. We count your presence. Thank you for coming and for remembering us.

Visit our blog site: http://ellprogramad.blogspot.com

Brother Santos Garcia ( Shen Si )

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