The Life in ESM-Manila:
A sharing about the experience in ESM-Manila
Since I discovered the presence of God in my life, many things have changed. The biggest change is attending the ESM Manila program. I can experience many things by living here.
It is the first time for me to be involved in different kinds of missions—wherein with these, we try to bring Christ to others at the same time, become closer with God and our brothers and sisters. After some months in Manila, I have learned many things. I am learning not only the skills how to do but also the attitude of looking at the mission. We try to do our best in mission not to prove ourselves, but realizing that God is the center of the mission and of our life. Therefore I felt being equipped as I desire to live as a missionary in my ordinary life.
I can say that, the activity that occupies much time in ESM-Manila is the intellectual formation. We are studying not only topics about the Church, the Catholic faith and understanding other religions, but also the way to live in our day-to-day life. I enjoy discovering more and more the lessons, with different kind and friendly teachers/lecturers who are experienced missionaries. I was struck by our teachers so much, having broad knowledge, and being able to live as missionaries for many years. With their capacity and knowledge, they could choose other ways in their life that many people wish, with high position and earn a lot of money, but they chose to be instruments of God, and they are very happy with this choice. Their testimony made my desire to become a missionary stronger.
For me, the main source of our life in ESM is the spiritual life: adoration, praise and mass every day. In my work back in Vietnam, I wished I would have time to live with God, here my dream came true. Moreover, we also have some retreats: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, self-giving retreat, and others. I found that we grew up obviously after every retreat. We have been nourished so much by these activities.
Embracing all pillars is the community life, we are very different. In the beginning, almost of us felt alone. Sometimes we have misunderstood each other. However we need to do our service together. We realize that we did not choose our brothers and sisters, but God chose all of us to be here, eventually learn little by little to understand more each other, and everybody can share deeply with one another. Each of us is a gift for one another. We enjoy our community life and learn from one another how to accept others as who they are.
To be a missionary is not so easy, but at the same time not too difficult task to do. Our daily life in the Emmanuel School of Mission has a lot of happiness and challenges. However we know that this year is a precious and wonderful gift for all of us. We enjoy our life everyday in the love of the Lord and our brothers and sisters. Like what Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Not all of us can do great things, but all of us can do little things with the great love”, we will continue to endure and enjoy the rest of this year.