By Reina Mosqueda, Columban Lay Missionary in Taiwan
For most Catholic Filipino migrant workers who arrive in a new country the priority is finding a church. This was what Kuya (Brother) Medel, an Electronics and Communication Engineer, did when he first arrived in Taiwan because he wanted to know where he could attend Mass every Sunday. For several years, he attended Mass at the Cathedral just to fulfill his Sunday obligation. But this changed when his roommate invited him to a charismatic prayer meeting in their dormitory. He started attending prayer meetings and joining the choir for the Saturday evening Mass. Initially, he engaged in these church activities to pass the time on his day off. He did not expect that he would actually enjoy himself. Moreover, he not only experienced happiness and fulfillment, but also found a family in the charismatic community. All these new experiences, and his service in the Church, transformed him into a more cheerful and committed active member of the community. Most importantly, it deepened his relationship with God, fostering a sense of peace in his life.
After several months, Kuya Medel’s role in the community unexpectedly changed. He was elected as the president of the
parish pastoral council for the English-speaking community at the cathedral. Being in this role, his involvement in the Church was broadened. Leadership was not new to him. He had experienced leadership when he served as a youth leader in his home village. He has the skills and gifts of a good leader. For him, being a good example to his fellow volunteers is the best way to encourage them to serve the Church joyfully. They saw him as a generous, kind-hearted, caring, trustworthy, servant-leader, brother, and an inspiration to all.
Like any other migrant worker, Kuya Medel also faces challenges, personal weaknesses, and troubles. Despite these hurdles, his faith in God remains strong and unwavering. Over the years, he stood firm in his faith by remaining active in the Church that called him to serve. Even when he had to relocate because of work, sometimes to distant places, it didn’t stop him from continuing his active service in the Church.
Grateful for God’s generosity throughout his life, he constantly expresses his gratitude through prayer. He pledged never to stop serving God as long as he lived, wherever he may be. His commitment is truly admirable.