So last Thursday and Friday we had our first Recollections (retreats) with the 3rd and 4th year students from Holy Rosary High School where we are teaching. Our first retreat was with the 4th years on Thursday. (The 4th years are graduating at the end of March; these are what Americans would call “sophomores”). I thought that all of these kids had a pretty good grasp on English since they’ve been learning it since elementary school… well, I was wrong. They really don’t understand too much and the little that they do know is not spoken much because they are so shy. At the recollection we split into small groups and NO ONE would speak. It was very broken English and I don’t know any Visayan and my spirit was just really down. I tried to speak as slowly and clearly as I could and kept asking if they understood and I think they did but they are just so shy. Well, my teammates had wonderful small groups that spoke and understood English and shared a whole bunch and even cried a little. So I was thinking that I just didn’t have the gift of small group leading. I couldn’t get across to them and nothing I did or said would plant a seed in anyway. My group was fruitless.
At the end of the retreat we went swimming with the kids, which was SO fun and we really got to know them and they became less shy so it was all fun and games. I had a talk with Fr. Joe and he said that it looked like the recollection went really well and he said that there is a boy whose mother is Catholic but his father is some other thing (I didn’t really catch what he said… Fr. Joe speaks faster than you trying to understand Gilmore Girls while fast-forwarding it). The boy was previously interested in becoming Catholic but he still had a lot of questions and wasn’t really sure. Well, after our recollection – he told Father that he would like to start the processes of becoming Catholic. He felt like all of his questions were answered and he is really excited! So of course we were all excited and then I asked if we could know his name. Well, his name is Ricky and come to find out, he was in my group!!! There was fruit bearing in my group!!! Praise the Lord!
Even in the times where I feel like I am speaking to the wall or not being understood, the Lord gives me the little gift of knowing that maybe I am being heard. Maybe I am a good instrument!
|Me and Ricky after the School's "Fun Run" at 4AM|
|4th year pool party!!!|