For this World Youth Day, I was given a specific task – to make sure that we have flags to bring to Spain – our Philippine flags and our CFC-FFL young ministries’ flags. The flags will help identify us as a WYD delegation and these will help us CFC-FFL delegates find our way back to the group in case we get lost in the multitude of people. It was a source of pride to see the SFL and YFL flags lifted high, among the thousands of flags representing different countries and organizations. I did my best to accomplish this singular task of taking care of our flags. But God had another assignment in mind for me.
Years before this trip to Spain, God had been preparing me for this “special” WYD assignment. In 2007, God called me to go on a two-year mission in Latin America. I had no idea what was waiting for me there. I simply believed that God will equip me and mold me to be the instrument He can use for the work of evangelization in that part of the world. In due time, I learned Spanish and was able to reach out to more people and share God’s love with them. After two years, I thought I have said “Adios” to speaking in Spanish. Then, two years after, came this opportunity to attend WYD.
In Spain, our CFC-FFL delegation had to be divided into two groups – SFL and YFL and each group will have to stay in separate dioceses. However, the challenge for each group was communicating with the local people in Spanish. As it turned out, there were five missionaries in the SFL subgroup who have learned Spanish on Latin American mission assignment years back. The YFL subgroup had no one to help them. Eventually, a decision was made to transfer two members of our subgroup to YFL to provide the much-needed ‘translation’ assistance. I was one of these two people who had to move to the YFL subgroup.
It was then that I realized how my Latin American mission was all part of God’s plan for me in this WYD. He sent me to Nicaragua in 2007 and taught me Spanish not only for that two-year mission, but also for this time at WYD. I did not expect this to happen, but again, I was simply His instrument and I am privileged to be given this ‘special’ assignment of translating Spanish messages to my co-delegates and vice-verse their English messages to the Spanish-speaking community. It was a blessing that God used me to bridge this gap. In the end, friendships were built and close ties were developed between the YFL members and the members of the Diocese. This was God’s beautiful plan. Thank you Lord for making me a part of it. I was content in being a flag-bearer, but You appointed me to something greater – a bearer of Your message of goodwill to men and women.