South Sudan, 24 May 2023 -- Two missionaries from our EAO region share their experiences: Cl. Peter Tran Quang Tri (left in photo) and Br Joseph Thuan Thien Truc Tran (right in photo). Both were members of the 152 missionary expedition (2021) and were sent to South Sudan.
My name is Cl. Peter Tran Quang Tri, I am 31 years old. Before becoming a Salesian I studied college in Ho Chi Minh City in electronics. I was attracted to the missionary life through sharing of Salesian Vietnamese missionaries in Africa.
At present I am working in Maridi, South Sudan. There is parish, oratory, 2 primary schools and 1 secondary school, clinic and aspirantate. I am the principal of a small primary school of 80 students. The students in my primary school come from villages around the school within the area of 20 kms. They all come walking everyday. Often they come to school sometimes with a sweet potatoes, or fruit, but often they come without eating. They stay until 1.30 pm and return home. My greatest joy as a missionary is to be with the students because I realise that through their education we can help them to build their future.
My name is Br. Joseph Thuan Thien Truc Tran. I am Salesian coadjutor qualified in information technology. Presently, I’m living in Juba. On our compound there are also the community of the FMA and the Caritas Sisters. We Salesians take care of three primary schools, a secondary school, a technical school, the parish, IDP camp and pre-novitiate. The number of students there is around five thousand, we are like a small town of young people.
When I was a vacation animator, I had the opportunity to watch a movie about the Salesian korean missionary in South Sudan, Fr John Lee. It was a touching story. Father Lee was a well-educated doctor who sacrificed his life and career to come and serve the sick people in this country. As a doctor, he should have been able to help his family and elderly mother in so many ways. But it was God’s love that motivated him to respond to this invitation to serve in South Sudan.
I still can't understand why many people are scared when they hear about me living in South Sudan. They often ask me: “Why do you there? Is it safe there?” For me, being in South Sudan is not my own decision and choice. I heard God's call through the Salesian Congregation through the appeal for missionaries of the Rector Major. I responded with total availability.