Posted by Rana Brogan
on 5 March 2020
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another. (1 Peter 4:10)
As Lasallians, mission is central to who we are. Service to the "least, the last and the lost" is what we identify with. Our hope is to always expose our students to different cultures, where there is great need and to continue to grow their understanding of the concept of "Lasallians Without Borders".
As many members of our College community know, last year the "Yaluwo" Immersion to Sri Lanka was postponed due to the sad and unfortunate Easter Bombings. Given that the security warnings from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Australian High Commission in Colombo, Smart Traveler and the College travel insurers, the College, at the time, felt that it was in the best interest of student safety that the Immersion to Sri Lanka was put on hold for 2019.
However, as an alternative, were fortunate enough to have been able to make contact with the De La Salle Brothers in Papua New Guinea and establish an alternative arrangement for the Year 12 group to travel to De La Salle Secondary School, in Bomana.
It was wonderful to travel to with a group of 16 students who were committed to making a difference to the community at Bomana and also to the staff who committed their time and support to our students and the community at Bomana.
Travelling with a large group of students and staff with their hearts in the right place is always important. If there is anything to take away from such an experience it is that whilst we can't always do everything, we can do something, and we can do it well. The group worked tirelessly day in and day out re-building the old Chapel on the school grounds. A complete team effort support by four local Papua New Guinean trades men that supported us on site each day. Our work also included sanding down and re-painting three classrooms.
The people of Papua New Guinea, and most especially the Brothers, teaching staff and students at Bomana must be thanked for their warmth, hospitality and generosity of spirit. St John Baptist de La Salle reminds us to "often ask God for the Grace to touch hearts," but is was us who left with our hearts touched and moved by the Brothers, the staff and students at De La Salle, Bomana. Enough can't be said for the way each of us were challenged to aspire to be more than we are. Our evening reflections were moments of personal encounter with one another and God, and as a group, kindled the Lasallian spirit within us. Our hearts were touched immensely with the honesty and depth of sharing.
Our days shared together in Bomana will not be forgotten. The people we met, prayed with, broke bread with, will remain in our hearts for a long time. The immersion taught all of us to give more of ourselves and to be open to new possibilities and experiences. We are all called to apply these experiences, these encounters to our lives and to the lives of those we encounter to provide hope and to be more for the other.
Live Jesus in our hearts!