Having gone on mission last year, I was a bit hesitant to go again this year since I had just completed my studies, and I needed to hunt for a job. Also, the thought of being unable to visit my hometown often, once I start work, longed for me to spend time with my family instead. But I had a deep desire to serve ever since I encountered Christ 7 years ago. Keeping all of it in prayer I surrendered to God and finally decided to go for the summer mission in West Bengal.
Back home my family was not very happy with the decision since I was also attending another program in May and hence, my time with the family would be retarded. But there was no looking back. We left for West Bengal on May 17th and 3 days later, we were in Alirpurdua, extremely tired from the overnight bus journey. Upon arrival, we were divided into groups and our group travelled to Central Doars for the Household Training program. Since the youth there had holidays and had gathered at Church, we decided to start with the program after quickly freshening up. But in my mind, I longed for some rest. Here God made me realize, what I sacrificed was nothing compared to what they did for us, some of the youth worked the night shift at a factory and during the day tended to our needs. When I realized this, I couldn’t stop praising and thanking God instead of complaining.
Following this, we travelled to Radharani to work with the youth there. They worked during the day but were enthusiastic about the Household training after work hours. Throughout this time, I witnessed God working mightily. One morning we awoke with news that the previous night we had been in danger of being attacked by an elephant that had entered the village. I truly believe God’s hand of protection was upon us. I was amazed at the love and hospitality we were showered with. Having gone there last year, it felt nice meeting the same old people again and making new friends too.
Being a part of the community, I have learned the beauty of visiting the Blessed Sacrament and participating in the Holy Eucharist. Looking back on the lives of the youth in West Bengal, these are not so common for them. Yet they are devoted and still experience God in their daily routine.
The job I am currently working at may be far from my living quarters but I make the most of the chapel that is situated close to my workplace. Imitating the youth of West Bengal, I have a renewed devotion to visit the chapel as often.
Now, do I regret my decision for a mission trip? Absolutely not! I may have lost out on a vacation with my family, but the mission was an experience I learned from and the sacrifice was absolutely worth it!