An old article...
OBV family praying to Virgin Mary
It was the 1st of January, 2013. It marked the beginning of another year and reminded of the commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The OBV Vietnam home went picking New Year's luck. Before going, we gathered at the altar of Virgin Mary and saints for a prayer. Mother N, then, said "not until today that people start this tradition, Eva was the first ever of men to 'pick new year's luck'. God has blessed Eva and Adam, and given them authority over His creations that they rejoiced in. Though, for disobeying God, the fruits from Eden were ridded of them; the two hid away from God's love. It was such a sad tale of a woman 'picking new year's luck'. But have men learned what 'luck' they've been lacking? I'm telling this story not for the sake of superstition, rather than reminding you to be better aware that as the new year is an important time for all of us we only wish the best for each other, and try to stay clear of mistakes for a good and peaceful year throughout." She quoted a prayer from the readings this morning, O Lord, turn Thy face toward us and give us peace.
An old article...
At 12:30 Pm on January 1st, 2011, we departed HCM city on our "Love Connection Journey" to Phuoc Lam parish, Ba Ria, Vung Tau. Journey participants include Father Nguyen Ba Thong, the psychologists, the educators, the medical doctors, and the collaborators of the Bridge to Happiness Center. Our journey departed from HCM city to Phuoc Lam parish, Our Lady of Bai Dau, and our final destination was Lai On parish, Ho Nai, Dong Nai.
Tomorrow is Papa'birthday, and the children of OBV competed to see who could write the most loving tribute to their beloved father. (Some extracts from letters the girls wrote to Father Martino)
"Thank you father, for allowing me to go back to school. I heard mother say that the 13th of January is your birthday. I don't have any presents to give you. During the last exams, I was given a certificate of high achievements. I want to send you my certificate as my birthday present to you. I wish you a happy birthday. I wish you success in all of your work and good health. I promise to always be a good student, to pay off on all the sacrifices that you made for us."
T. lives with her mother and her 89 year old grandmother. Her father passed away, and her sister got married but didn’t keep in touch with her family. T.’s mother works as an assistant bricklayer to make ends meet. She used to be a very healthy child with 50 kilos in weight. Since the terrible incident happened to her, she has lost a lot of weight and now only 25kilos. Even worse, she turns pale, couldn’t sleep and suffers from diabetes. Doctors and nurses instructed her family to inject her with insulin, so they can do this when she is allowed to leave the hospital and back home.
When Christmas comes, everybody is busy of year-end work; and I got a chance to prepare Christmas celebration with OBV children, hurried yet filled with joy. From this surprise to another one that made me amazed: at first elementary students themselves practiced the dancing act, and then singing in English and Vietnamese – what angelic singing voices! I once thought elder children were shy of practicing the first line of the song, but after a couple of days, they performed confidently, which surprised me much.
I am Nguyen Thi T., a management staff at OBV house in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. I have just taken this job for two weeks; and with the responsibility of a managing staff, I live together with OBV family. Even though time is not long enough to live and feel, I soon get familiar with this house which I see my new family.
A dance routine on Christmas Eve
Christmas – the season of love. The children this year had an extremely fun and meaningful Christmas. To welcome Baby Jesus, the children gathered to decorate the house, turning it into a festive and bright creation. Setting up the Nativity scene and Christmas tree was the highlight for the girls, which each girl admiring their handiwork to the point they forget about dinner time! This year, the children also put on a show with dances and skits for the local church. Eagerly they rehearsed their routines to perfection.
His work calendar is always maxed out, yet the Parish Priest was able to squeeze in Christmas dinner with the girls. This year has been a most memorable and meaningful year for the girls. The older girls went to confession and received the holy communion for the first time. One of the younger children, although only newly baptized was extremely eager to learn more about the Catholic teachings. This past November, she received second prize for a contest titled 'I study the bible' across the dioceses of Phnom Penh.