MALAYSIA - “Lasallians In Action” is the theme of the 2021 Lasallian Encounter, which was held on 10-12 September.
There were nine Lasallian Schools present: St. Joseph's Sarawak, St. Martin's Sabah, St. Francis' Malacca, St. Paul's Seremban, St. John's Kuala Lumpur, La Salle Petaling Jaya, La Salle Sentul, St. Michael's Ipoh, St. George's Taiping with a total of 39 participants.
Brothers Marvin and Edgar facilitated the Lasallian Encounter together with Brothers Mark, Matthew, Joshua and Myron.
There were 3 main parts of the program - Self Encounter, Encounter with De La Salle and World Encounter. The sessions were all interactive.
Our thanks to the Brothers once again for making the Lasallian Encounter a meaningful one. We thank our tech support team, Justin Royan and Clifford Miranda. (Text: Mr. Isaac Stephen Anthonysamy; Photos: La Salle Centre Facebook Page)
Here are two participants who share their experience of the Encounter:
Vanessa - St. Joseph Sarawak
My Lasallian Encounter 2021 Experience
This was my first Lasallian Event and it was really an eye-opener and meaningful event. I got to know more about St John Baptist De La Salle, and I got to know more about what it means to be a Lasallian. It was a really good experience for me. I got to make some friends from the Philippines who were all really really nice.
Some of my take-aways from this Lasallian Encounter is that from the sharing that one of the brothers did on day 1, I got to understand the importance of us knowing ourselves and who we are. We are still discovering who we are as human beings, the real us day by day as it is a lifelong process. By knowing ourselves, we can gain more self-confidence in making our decision in reaching our goals. Other than that, I learnt that it is important for us to have values in life. Not only does it shape us into who we are, but it also helps us in the process of growing and developing.
What struck me was during a breakout room sharing session where someone mentioned that among all the values listed in the list, it is important to have understanding and faith in life. It is important for us to analyze and understand behind every action, good or bad, and have faith as there's surely a reason behind it. For example, there are blessings among lessons learnt and there are lessons among the blessings we get.
Other than that, I also realised how critical is the world condition right now after watching the Doomsday clock video. I am now aware of how close we were to midnight, and unless we restore back humanity, the clock is only gonna move closer to midnight.
I learnt that we, as Lasallians, as children of God, should have faith in our creator, and help each other out, regardless of race, religion, skin colour or financial background. We are one community and we should do our part by helping others who are in need.
Hello, my dear brothers and sisters in La Salle. I’m Isaac Vernon Chong from ST. Martin's Sabah.
“Every experience makes you GROW as a person.”
Before joining the Lasallian Encounter, honestly, I was a person of doubts. Each step I made to move forward was full of doubts because of the lack of faith and low self-esteem. Talking to strangers in person or online was totally a big “NO” before. I barely thought about my future, what more my ‘vocation’. In short, you could summarize me as an incompetent, unfaithful, low self-esteemed immature person who basically lived just to fulfill my responsibility as a human.
But then, Lasallian Encounter appeared on the 10th-12th of September and shed some light on my life. You might wonder HOW?
To begin with, the most noticeable change in me after this encounter is my ACCEPTANCE of who I am. I learnt to accept who I am as a person, as a boy, as a Christian, and that includes accepting my flaws as well. No matter how bad I am in my studies, how poor my family is, how different I look from everyone else, I learnt to accept it because NOBODY is PERFECT. The very first activity was self-concept and values. That was when I started to believe that nobody is perfect because at that time, we were divided into breakout rooms with fellow Lasallians from all over Malaysia, and we shared our problems and difficulties in life. All of us talked, indicating that we all have problems. And the way we dealt with each of our problems was by realizing our strengths. In short, nobody is perfect; therefore, just accept your flaws and focus on your strengths.
The next change: Isaac Vernon Chong who once had never given a thought on his purpose and vocation in life has now started his responsibility to realize what he should do in his life. I was taught to see and do anything in God’s view with the eyes of faith. With all the struggles in life we’ve been through, this encounter had shown me how God had protected and guided me along my journey, and that He will always be there. And I learnt that vocation and faith are inseparable because, in order to know your vocation, faith must come before it. Thus, my faith in God deepened.
Moving on, I can feel myself growing as a Lasallian after relating my life to the core values of La Salle and living like La Salle. I think I have become a more responsible global citizen by realizing what is happening around the world today. I realized that not everyone gets the same opportunity as what we have right now and it is our duty to help them. The break-out activities had taught me a lot about how important cooperation is, and to share our thoughts with each other. It really changed my view towards my problems. It felt really nice to share your problems and listen to others’ problems as well. Now, when I look in the mirror, I can see a new person full of confidence, faith and ready to serve.
Not to forget, I would like to thank the organizer, the facilitators, the participants and all who had participated directly or indirectly in this encounter for giving us the chance to learn and to grow as a Lasallian. I really had a great time and it was one of the best virtual camps I’ve ever joined. Hopefully, there will be more Lasallian activities coming up, because I believe this kind of activity will always touch, change and illuminate the lives of people around the world.