A reflection on the book El Camino de Santiago
By Julius Eguia, CFC FFL Fulltime Worker
I came from a religious family, raised and born as Catholic. I learned my faith because of my parents and I also grew up with the community as my support. My father is also a full time pastoral worker. People can say that my journey with the Lord might be “easy” but must say it is not. I’ve been active in the community ever since but during my college years, I turned away from God, Yes, I attended activities but I was living a double life. But God never left me during those years.
To cut the long story short, I was invited to attend an all brother’s activity and from that day on I found myself returning to the Father just like how it is in the story of the Prodigal Son. Unworthy as I am, I answered the call of the Lord to be a mission volunteer and then after some months, I decided to be a full time missionary. My journey as a missionary was really a privilege from the Lord! An unworthy servant being called to lead the God’s flock is really something to be serious about because I was called not just to be a leader but to be a servant leader for everyone. I was called to be a servant first before I became a leader. A lot of my relatives and friends were questioning me of the calling I chose but I know God is my promise keeper. A lot have doubted my decision to say yes to be a missionary. I realized that a lot of people may mock us with our convictions in life but we have to remember that all we need to do is to follow God no matter what.
One of my most memorable mission trip was when I had the opportunity to go on mission in Koronadal, South Cotabato, Mindanao. Well every mission was memorable but this one really holds a special in my heart. The experience was overwhelming! We went to our “Blaan” brothers and sisters who were living on top of a mountain. The only means of transportation that can be used to get to their place is the “habal-habal”. We went there to conduct a Youth Camp and other activities for YFL and KFL. What was striking for me during that time was their stories of how their tribe was evangelized by the Passionist Missionaries and how CFC FFL had supported them and helped them in their faith. Truly remarkable!
I will never forget how some of the participants came from another mountain and walked for 3 hours and some 6 hours barefoot just to go to the Youth Camp! Can you imagine their thirst for God? Unbelievable! I asked myself during that time if I am in their place, would I do the same? From this mission experience, God brought me to so many more missions which had taught me what it means to be a true servant leader. It may be difficult, but thinking about the people who are in search and who are thirsty for God, the path of a missionary life would always be worth taking.
All of us are called to be a servant leaders and Jesus is our ultimate model. We have to be like Jesus Christ to everyone. Our very calling is to share Jesus to all. Our servant general once said, “You are the most selfish person in the world, when you know that you have Christ in you and you do not share it”. Someone was sent to us for us to enter into a relationship with God, let us do the same! Whenever I am being challenged with my calling to be a servant leader, I will always remember my mission in Mindanao, and I would remember those Blaan Youth who were thirsty of the word of God and I would tell to myself that a lot of these people needs Christ. Let us not allow challenges and trials to shake our faith and destroy our convictions. In strength and grace, we will continue to do the work of the Lord. He is counting on us! We must remember that we may not be rewarded here on earth but our gains will be endless and eternal in heaven.
My prayer is “Lord, make me worthy of your calling. I am weak but I know that you are with me”. Our life is a journey. It may not be easy but because of God, it will always be worth taking.