My story begins at a bad place. The bitter separation from my wife and child left me at a difficult crossroad; either to drown myself in sorrow, or transform it, into an experience that better understood the struggles of others.
That was when St. Mary Euphrasia and I ‘met’. St. Martha’s Hospital, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Bangalore, India had asked me to join as In-charge of the physiotherapy department in 2007. It was the young woman ‘in the picture’ at the administration office, with her mystic smile and mischievous eyes, that had me floored. A conversation of hearts had begun. Within six months, I was encouraged to initiate the ‘I-Shine Program’ that was designed as a support group for Stroke survivors and their caregivers. Perhaps, the willingness to work for the rights of those forgotten motivated the Local Leader to share about the Lay Mission Partnership initiative with me. I was given books about the story of the Foundress and the Congregation. The story was not only inspiring, but also relatable.
Gradually, we expanded to the Love-In-Action Hospital Volunteering Program, which not only supported the sick, but also drew the urban youth to selfless service for those who are poor. Parents reported that their children had now grown to be more compassionate and mindful of the least and lost around them. Personally, I was overwhelmed with what was developing, as this was not what I had set out to do. The Sisters were very supportive. The Province Leader even gave me the Conferences of St. Mary Euphrasia for spiritual guidance. The first quote I glanced at, gave me my answer. It read, ‘The Good Shepherd does not want any of God’s children to be lost in the chaos of the times’.
‘Let God Act’, Saint Mary Euphrasia says, and I did just that. I reflected on the chaos of our times and who were the least and lost today, which drew me to work for the urban youth.
Today, Love-In-Action provides a platform for youngsters to gain formation of humility, empowerment and creative development to their full potential. The ‘times’ of today calls our little ministry to embrace the ‘virtual world’ - the world of social networking. There are many youngsters who pour their hearts out in Blogs; a cry for help in cyber wilderness. Are we listening?
Through our new webpage – http://goodshepherds.in/ which is a Youth Support Services portal, youngsters in crisis of body, mind and soul, can reach out to us. Our Link on YouTube is http://youtu.be/SXlirX98cHE
We have also initiated the Good Shepherd Nursing Circle that is organized by our Good Shepherd ProLIFE Youth Ministry. We hope to be able to Seek the Lost among the urban youth, Bring Back the Strayed through our peer counselling network, Tend to the injured through our ProLIFE Youth Support Services and Empower the least and lost through our acts of tolerance and reconciliation.
You ought to be like a fig tree which keeps its bitterness to itself, but gives forth only sweetness.
Saint Mary Euphrasia
Historic first Formation and Partnership Session in Asia Pacific creates a distinct shift in the understanding of Partnership for Mission
Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region
The Love-In-Action Group of lay Mission Partners at St Martha's Hospital Bengaluru India raises funds to provide health services for people living in poverty
85 young nurses graduate from the College of Nursing at St Martha's Hospital in Bengaluru India