Updated: April 26, 2021 05:36 AM GMT
The missionary group provide free medical examinations, medicine and food aid parcels for students and local people in the remote Sa Tong commune of Dien Bien province. (Photo supplied)
Sisters of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Bui Chu along with 10 volunteers from Quan Phuong Deanery in Bui Chu Diocese made a mission journey to bring Easter joy to the periphery from April 19-21
In the Easter season, Christians are invited to the mission to reach out and proclaim to others the life of the Risen Lord.
After driving nearly 650 kilometers in 14 hours, the group reached the meeting point in Sa Tong commune in Muong Cha district of Dien Bien province. Here, each member of the missionary group had the opportunity to observe the poor living conditions of the tribal people who inhabit this mountainous region. They shared stories and listened with a sympathetic ear to the problems the Hmong people face.
Located on the top of Calavo mountain, Sa Tong commune, with 10 villages around 813 households, 99.8 percent of which belong to the Hmong ethnic group, is one of the most inaccessible places in Dien Bien province. They are not Catholics and have not even heard about Jesus Christ.
Hmong houses are shady and scattered around the mountain. The people of Sa Tong are poverty-stricken and what they desire and need most is potable water. The lack of water for domestic use and agricultural cultivation is one of the reasons that the rate of poverty and near-poor households in Sa Tong commune tends to increase from year to year.
The lack of water plus the unsanitary source of water has caused an outbreak of eczema and other skin diseases in 90 percent of local boarding school students. The boarding school residence does not have a reliable water supply — there is always a shortage of water for drinking and living. Electricity has not yet reached some villages in this commune.
They understand that a true disciple according to the Gospel is verified by the exercise of charity
In these remote mountains, the invitation to Jesus resonates with the sisters of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and their volunteers. Christ calls on them to share the love of God with their neighbours. They understand that a true disciple according to the Gospel is verified by the exercise of charity.
The missionary group provided free medical examinations, medicine and food parcels for students and local people. They work long days, often finishing late at night. The members of the missionary group also traveled on the steep, slippery mountainous roads to visit remote villages. For these missionaries, the poor Hmong people are the incarnation of Christ.
The missionary group of sisters and volunteers have completed this journey visiting, meeting, and sharing the joy of Christ in Sa Tong — for now — but the smiles of good faith, love and hope remain forever in each person. Bright smiles, admiring gazes mixed with tears rolling down the corners of the eyes expressed the Hmong elders' gratitude as they do not understand or speak Vietnamese.