Our “aspirancy” experience
We are nineteen Aspirants in the 2019-20 batch at SOLA, Sollepuram, India. We come from eight states in India and from different cultural backgrounds; yet, we live as brothers of the same family. Here we learn that the Missionaries of Africa live in international and intercultural communities. We learn a lot from each other and believe that our life in SOLA foreshadows such a community life. Listening patiently to our brothers, sharing our time and talents, working, playing and praying together are a few of the experiences, among many others, that we have seen and learned.
Our life at SOLA is centered on prayer and we spend considerable time in prayer. We have learned many prayers in English and we have been introduced to both personal and community prayers. We are initiated to pray through meditation, spiritual reading, and the examination of conscience. The quiet and calm atmosphere creates an environment that helps us to pray well. On different occasions, we join the parish community for prayers, during which we pray together with the local church. Through prayer, we are beginning to understand our Lord better, as well as His invitation for us.
A lot of time is devoted to English, and we are improving in speaking, reading and writing English. Various activities, such as loud reading, essay writing, daily homework, public speaking and quiz competitions are incorporated into our program to improve our English. Regular class tests help us to revise the materials we have covered and to evaluate our progress. All these activities are helping us to build confidence as well as to gain the necessary skills in the English language.
God will not forget anyone, even if a mother forgets her nursing child. In SOLA, we are very well cared for with the fathers of our community never showing any partiality to anyone. They treat each one of us equally, as their younger brothers. We are being shaped like pots shaped by a potter. We are happy and enjoying our stay here at Sollepuram.
On the behalf of all our brothers, we humbly ask you to remember us in your prayers so that one day we will also work in the vineyard of the Lord through the special vocation as missionaries.
By: Chilka Pawan Kumar & Anand Munda – Cebu
From SOA Newsletter – January 2020