“I am blessed to have served at three Mission trips”: Velasquez Alessandra Ysobel De Vera

My younger brother Lucas and I believe it is important to live our Catholic faith by walking with God and sharing His love in all we do. The challenge for us as cradle Catholics, however, is to go beyond what we have.

 

Stepping out of our comfort zone

Before the pandemic, I was blessed to have the opportunity to share the love of our Heavenly Father at three mission trips. The first was in South Korea in 2015, and the second in Mongolia in 2018. My most unforgettable experience was in 2019 when my father requested me to sing The Lord’s Prayer in Tetum for our Timor Leste mission.

Ysobel singing in Dili, Timor Leste

Timor Leste has the highest percentage (about 98%) of Catholics in the world. During the mission there, we wanted to connect with them in a way that convinces them that God is truly present and alive in their faith journey.

As much as I was thrilled to sing for them, I was worried initially. Yet, with practice and by God’s grace, I was very happy that those who listened were touched and filled with joy upon hearing me singing The Lord’s Prayer in Tetum.

As for Lucas, he went on two of the earlier mission trips. His most unforgettable experience was in Mongolia. Despite the language barrier, he played a lot of games like ping-pong and air hockey with the children and had fun.

He also sang The Lord’s Prayer in Mongolian for them. Even though they did not understand English, we could share the love and joy of Christ with them through non-verbal communication which spoke volumes. We are truly grateful for such outreach experiences which we would not have had, if not for our parents’ support.

Lucas presentation during the Mongolian Mission

 

Personal Challenges

On a personal level, I am striving continually to be a better person.

I have to deal with the challenge of wanting to give up on my grades, while recognising the importance of education especially as I want to be an aerospace engineer to explore the vast universe that God has created. I pray constantly for the strength to persevere, and indeed, God has encouraged me not to give up but just do my best.

As for Lucas, he was stressed during his exams last year and could not concentrate. At times, his brain went blank. He overcame this ordeal through prayer and did well eventually.

 

Our Anchor

In living our Catholic faith, we are thankful to have our parish and school communities to anchor us in the  faith and help us grow in knowing and loving God. We attend mass and catechism regularly at the Church of Saint Anthony. I am studying at the Assumption English School, while Lucas is in De La Salle School.

Ysobel as a Lector during Mass in school

Both of us enjoy serving with our peers in our ministries. As the Vice-President of the Young Montfortian Associates (YMA) Exco in my school, I am also a member of Youth for Christ (YFC). Before the pandemic, Lucas was a member of the Holy Innocents Children Choir and Cosa Angelica Choir. He is also active as a member of Kids for Christ (KFC).

Being closely connected in our ministries mean we can journey with each other, have shared experiences, and grow together through the friendships forged.

 

The Future Ahead as a Catholic 200SG Community

At home, we encourage one another to keep the faith alive. Not only do we attend physical mass a few times a month and receive the Eucharist, we also worship as a family via online masses when we are not able to go to Church.

We strive to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation monthly. We recite the rosary when travelling in the car and say our family prayer at night too.

Family that prays together stays together

My prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary

I pray for peace and unity, especially amongst nations, races, religions, and God’s people, regardless of where they are. In the same way, Lucas offers up his humble prayer that the Church will continue to grow in faith, and that more people will get to know Christ.

 

 

 

 

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