Mongolia Delegation, Ulanbaatar Mongolia, 15 May 2020 -- Interview with Fr Paul Leung.
How was your experience of hosting volunteers in your community?
Generally speaking, my experience has been quite positive, for most of the volunteers are very collaborative with us; and their enthusiasm and their energetic presence also inspires us.
What was one of the greatest joys of hosting volunteers?
One of the greatest joys of hosting volunteers was the sharing. During sharing with them, especially sharing with their dreams, I could see the wonderful works of God that He calls and guides the ones He chooses. Through these sharings, we Salesians are also enriched and our enthusiasm for mission is also strengthened.
What was the one of the biggest challenges of hosting volunteers?
One of the biggest challenges of hosting volunteers for me is the accompaniment with them. They come from different countries, different cultures, having different objectives and even different “hidden agenda”; some have a stronger Catholic background and religious formation, some have less or even are of other faiths. Without knowing well their background and the preparation they did before coming, it is rather a case of accompanying them to have holistic growth during their service.
Can you share one thing you learned from hosting volunteers?
I learnt that God has His wonderful way to execute His plan of salvation despite the limitations of each individual. For through the presence of volunteers which, to a certain extent, is complementary to the SDBs, the people in need feel more the presence of God among them.
How does the volunteer presence impact on your community life?
Since our community is quite open to accepting volunteers, there is no big negative influence on our community life, only when accepting female volunteers, we have to be more careful in our manner and provide more privacy for them. On the other hand, because of the enriching sharing, there is more joy in the community.
How does the presence of volunteers enable you to live the dream of Don Bosco?
First: It strengthen my conviction that the mission of Don Bosco not ONLY belongs to SDBs, but it is a shared mission.
Second: Seeing the enthusiasm of the volunteers, my zeal of mission is also strengthened. Their creativity also inspires me the ways of fulfilling the mission.
Third: The accompaniment with the volunteers hopeful can help them to see God's plan for them more clearly.
Since the early days of the Mongolia mission (2001) there have always been some lay (missionary) volunteers from many different countries.