“One person is of more value than the whole world.” This quotation has touched my heart deeply and changed my life.
It began when the ministry in Sandakan required me to work with the migrant community. It was definitely not my choice and not out of my own free will to serve them. This was because I did not welcome them in “my country” and disliked them, thinking they are “bad people”.
I must say that there was not a single day that I didn’t struggle with myself.
I have gone through so many ups and downs with them, individually and as a community. As the days, months and years go by, I realized that reaching out and journeying with them helped me to discover not only the truths and realities of the migrants’ lives but I also discovered myself.
Today, I am still reaching out and journeying with them.
I was inspired and strengthened by what St. Mary Euphrasia said: “I embrace them in my heart that no matter what a person’s background, nationality, personality, race, colour, culture and religion, they are precious”. I then began to see and feel differently – no more resistance and hatred. There is only love and compassion.
I have grown through all these challenges and have learned to love and serve the people that I used to look down on. The whole journey has become my daily reflection and I am grateful and happy for saying “yes” and staying on in the mission because I am now enriched and transformed.
The saying of St. Mary Euphrasia that “Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart” is indeed alive within me. Seeing a person change and grow due to our efforts and sacrifices is an indescribable feeling.
By Jellferlyne Joseph, Program Officer