Radiating the ‘face of the Father’s mercy’

“Shopping is fun but it’s not the only way to prepare for Christmas,” said Jessica Anne Doss, a 13-year-old volunteer from the BEC of St Anthony, Gombak.

Dec 18, 2015

By Charmaine Amanda
“Shopping is fun but it’s not the only way to prepare for Christmas,” said Jessica Anne Doss, a 13-year-old volunteer from the BEC of St Anthony, Gombak. She was among the many youths from the BEC who felt the urgency to respond to the needs of the Lost, the Last, the Least and the Little by spending their time to repaint the home of a Myanmar migrant.

John and Christina left Myanmar six years ago in search of greener pastures here in Malaysia. They live in a flat at Setapak and are active parishioners of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Their kids Fidelis, 9 and Benedict 5, live with them. John works at a car workshop while Christina is a housewife. She is currently taking up sewing classes with the inten tion of supplementing the household income.

Good Shepherd Church Migrant Ministry has been teaching Communicative English to the Myanmar community in Setapak three times a week, in Christina’s flat. Acknowledging the pressing need to give the flat an uplift, Bernie Chin, the parish’s Mi grant Ministry Head, approached St Anthony’s BEC for helping hands. While the Migrant Ministry was willing to sponsor the paint and painting accessories, they were lacking in manpower to paint the home. The youths of the BEC then embraced the idea and turned it into an Advent project. After much planning, Gerard  Jude Doss, St Anthony’s BEC Youth Leader, gathered his team to paint John’s home on December 5.

It was indeed a tough job for the youths as they toiled for eight long hours painting, cleaning, rearranging and doing some minor repairs to the home. For many, this was their first time painting a home. The youths enjoyed bonding with each other and making new friends as they brought smiles to the faces of John and his family.

BEC Leader, Raymond Michael, who was present to give moral support and encouragement to the youths, extended his gratitude to the team for quickly responding to the needs of the migrant community and being an example of Christ’s love to  the less fortunate. “While many youths will be flooding the shopping malls on a Saturday morning, you all have chosen ‘the road less travelled’ and brought immense delight to John and his family,” he said.

Seeing the joy on the faces of Fidelis and Benedict has definitely given testimony to the words of the Holy Father — that by being merciful, we can see the face of Jesus in the other. Parish priest, Fr Christopher was delighted that the BECs are joining hands with the parish ministries to address the needs of the wider community, especially that of the migrants and itinerant persons. He thanked all those involved in this project for being a visible witness of Christ’s love in this broken world.

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