Theresa Shares About Her Journey In Singapore And How She Came To Find Her Place Of Belonging.
I first came to Singapore in 1982 for my studies.
I came alone, not knowing anyone from here.
Coming from a big family, I was the eldest of ten. My family was close-knit and my parents always taught us to look out for one another.
Thus, from a close-knit family, it was natural that I sought out a place of belonging in Singapore.
Seeking Out Friends and A Place Of Belonging.
To make more friends, I joined several singing and choral groups. These were fun moments for me as I got to sing, interact and make new friends.
While the friends I made in these groups were wonderful, I still felt that the feeling of belonging and home was missing.
Like most Filipinos, I was a Catholic from birth.
For me that meant attending Mass only on Sunday.
I remember praying to God and asking Him to let me feel some sense of belonging to something. I also asked Him how I could serve.
Led To Community And Opening Herself To Social Mission.
In 2001, I decided to become a Catechist. I soon became more involved in the life of the Church. Teaching the primary 1 kids was a new experience for me. I learnt about my faith and also experienced the social mission of the church.
The Lord opened my mind and heart to understand and have compassion for the elderly who lived on their own, orphans and vulnerable migrants.
I had been living in Singapore for more than 20 years. But I was unaware of the predicament of many of the poor in Singapore and their struggles.
Slowly, the Lord led me to the Charismatic Renewal Community at St Ignatius Church and it was there where I first found my sense of belonging. I found friends there and was touched by each member’s openness and vulnerability.
I continue to serve in the ministry till today and am at awe of the number of people who have found healing in the Holy Spirit.
Send Your Spirit Of Love To Others Lord!
Little did I know, I found myself at ACMI in 2016. It has been an exciting and challenging journey since then as I walk with many of our Migrant Brothers and Sisters.
Like me when I first came to Singapore, all of them come seeking for a place where they can feel loved, belonged and understood. They seek friendship and the gift and the presence of the other.
I’m grateful to God for having allowed me to have experienced this sense of belonging in the Charismatic Renewal Community.
I’m also thankful to God for having placed friends and companions along the way who have pointed me back to the Father whenever I felt lost or alone.
Truly, I hope that the migrants who journey with us may not just find the help that they need but also a sense of belonging to a family and a safe environment in which they can discover their talents and fulfill their dreams.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, do not be afraid.
Have the courage to be present to the people that God has placed in your life.
Be present to them, sit, listen, cry, laugh.
That is the best gift we can give from ourselves to the other person!
Theresa Sun looks after the Skills Development Centre at ACMI. Her experience was first shared to colleagues and other member organisations at Agape Village on 12 September 2019. His sharing was inspired by the 4th point raised by the Holy Father “It’s Not Just About Migrants: It is Seeing That No One Is Excluded”
This is the Fourth of a series of reflections on the 10 points raised by Pope Francis in his 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees Message.