An old wisdom says “one cannot know how deep the river is unless he submerged himself into it.” There is no other way to know what missionary life is but to experience it. I always want to be a missionary. I believe that is the reason why I join this little society. It is my dream to go to other places and meet new people, explore new things, experience other cultures but above all to discover the most essential thing in life: that God is present in every person regardless of cultures, colour and status in life.
My joys of being of a little missionary lie in the depths of my heart. There is a purpose why I am here (100% conviction). I am enjoying my time in learning new things and in appreciating every experience that this new journey is giving me. The joy of being welcomed to another country with such warmth is incomparable with the little homesickness. My first months were a struggle but it taught me lessons especially how to situate myself outside the things that I am familiar with. The fear of unknown haunted me but it did not paralyse me rather it guided me how to find the light. One thing I am cherishing the most in this experience is the chance to see the movements of life. Sometimes life can be very complicated but if one is able to see it and feel he will realize how simple life is.
I cannot really say how deep the river is at this time. I think it is better to say that I started submerging my body in the river and I believe that my experiences will help me to find my ways.
The name of the school where I am teaching is “Api fo’ou” which means “new home”. I am so happy that I found my home outside my home country. Home is where your heart is. Certainly I found my new home here in the kingdom of Tonga.
Roque Rebito, SM, a Filipino Marist on Pastoral Year in Tonga