PGS, 25 May 2023 -- My name is Joël Komlan ATTISSO. I am 28 years old. I am originally from Togo. I am a member of 151st missionary expedition (2020). Since it was at the height of COVID-19, we were not able to have our orientation before departing for our mission.
I was sent to the Vice-Province of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (PGS). As a Practical Trainee I was sent to our Don Bosco Technical Secondary School in Kokopo, East New Britain Province. My missionary experience in Papua New Guinea is a joyful experience of encounter and discovery of the cultural and social realities of Melanesia.
Even if I am far from my homeland, I did not feel alone or abandoned because I was well-received and well-accepted by the confreres of the Vice Province as well as the people, especially the young. My greatest joy as a missionary is exactly to be accepted, loved, and helped by the confreres. Since my arrival I experienced the welcoming attitude, openness, and love of people towards missionaries, especially those who show them love, respect, and kindness.
This atmosphere allowed me to gradually and easily integrate into the context that was totally new to me as a Togolese. Here I realised that as missionaries we are called to love and serve the people to whom we are sent to. I’m sure and convinced that through my love and service, and with the help of God’s grace, we bear credible witness to Jesus.
Finally, I would like to invite all those feel God’s special call to be missionary, not to be afraid of the place or the context in which they will be sent. Our strength is in the awareness that the Lord always accompanies and precedes each missionary wherever he is sent.
In Don Bosco’s dream about Oceania, he saw a multitude of youth crying: “Come, help us”! Do not be afraid to come so that together we may all love and serve the youth of Melanesia!