20year

Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.

My Reflection of Haven

 

Eric Tseng


I haven’t always had religion, but I did have faith. It’s something that all of us have, something that we all need during those hard times. I see religion as a way to practice that faith: to put it to use and help people while helping yourself. The world can be an intimidating and confusing place. We have been raised to reap what we sow, that every decision no matter how small can have dire consequences. But now that I have embraced religion, it has opened my eyes to things around me that previously have simply passed by. Just waking up in the morning and stepping outside to feel the cool wind against my skin makes me silently but reverently praise God for His magnificence. The wind is the way I would best describe our Lord’s perfection. It is something we take for granted but so necessary for the Earth to function, with the power to weather away the tallest mountains yet caresses us with a gentle breeze; unseen but felt by all.

Society is caught up in a different type of wind, a zephyr which hurls the worldly things of this life just beyond our reach and in turn we chase blindly after things we think we need. Many can justify their quest for material things by throwing words like happiness, comfort, and convenience around. But sit back and think. Does that 50-inch HDTV make you happy or the car that costs more than most middle class houses make life more convenient? Maybe or maybe not, but now think of the happiness that charity brings not only to your own life but to the people that you can help.

This past summer I took a trip to Taiwan to help out at a Catholic music camp in a rural city next to Tainan. I lived in the church for a little over a week and helped take care of a group of 60 kids ranging from the age of 5-12. Many of these kids were from poor families and most weren’t Catholic; it seemed more like a daycare than a camp.

Kids would arrive at church everyday as early as 5 AM and stay until after dark. The church provided them with fun activities and food for the entire day at no charge, and if that weren’t enough, at the end of the camp they gave presents to all the kids. I could tell that many of these kids came from broken families; all they wanted was love and friendship. They could spend all day just hugging you and sitting with you, and although I didn’t speak the best Chinese, they couldn’t get enough conversation.

The other thing that touched me on this trip was the other camp counselors who volunteered their entire week to help out. They showed immense patience and control while dealing with these children all day. Not once did I see them not pay full attention nor not show maximum enthusiasm while working with these kids.

I must admit that I was frustrated and impatient at the beginning. I didn’t know how to handle the hyper-activeness of these kids and the hot tropical sun without air conditioning. But once I learned that all I needed was to show a little love to the children, the entire situation changed for the better. It was the best experience of my life.

Web site - Catholic Music Camp in Tainan, Taiwan
http://www.catholic.org.tw/tainan/f40/

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