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Mission Trip Reflection
CHARIS-Barré Mission Friendship | Kontum, Vietnam | 25 July – 1 August 2015
By Joseph Fernandez

201508 BarreVietnamJoseph01

I was excited going for the trip as it was my first mission trip to Vietnam and also a bit anxious as I have never taught English. Teaching as never my forte but I joined as Lilynne cajoled me into it.

The humility of the people there and their excitement on seeing us was also amazing. I bonded quite well with the youngsters – playing football and basketball with them.

201508 BarreVietnamJoseph02

Our host the parish priest was a jovial person and a keen sportsman. The parish church that we stayed in is a very good example of a community centre were English and French classes were taught by volunteers from France, Singapore and other countries there are also sewing classes and cooking classes taught to the people there.

The village visit was an eye-opener as even though they were well provided for from our observations, the children were unkempt and not clean. My view is either they were understaffed or there are other issues and that needed looking into. The other place that touched me was the orphanage behind the church that
was run by the Italian nuns and Franciscan Missionaries.

Here again the kids were wonderful, they sang a few songs as welcome to us. They had a lot of football trophies as they had a Canadian sponsor who regularly visits and promotes football among the youth there.

My student was Hyan. She is a bubbly character who is easily taken for a ride. Obviously, she is not good in following rules as homework was not done in advance but later I realised that she has classes outside as well. She is highly intelligent as she can make sentences and an essay on the spot as she is quite imaginative. She needs to be more focused and she will be very good in time.




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