Catholics from Singapore interacting with teenagers with disabilities in Pattaya during their mission trip.
Some 50 Catholics, mostly from the Church of Christ the King, travelled to Pattaya, Thailand, and visited various Catholic charity institutions there in early December.
Redemptorist Fr Simon Pereira and parish priest Fr John Sim led the group, which included
parents and their teenage children.
They visited the Father Ray Children’s Village, the Father Ray Children’s Home, the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs, the Camillian Social Center Rayong, Father Ray Day Care Center, the Pattaya School for the Blind and the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities.
During the visits, they enthusiastically joined the children and teens in the Children’s Home and Children’s Village to play soccer, learn muay thai (Thai boxing) and play volleyball.
Their parents also participated in the activities.
Many of the young people were also seen breaking out of their comfort zones to reach out to the orphans, the blind, the poor and the disabled.
One of them, Daniel Omar, shared: “Imagine growing up poor or disabled, struggling to make ends meet or failing to do basic everyday duties efficiently. We love to complain about how we don’t have this or how come we aren’t as rich as other families, but the truth is our problems are very minor compared to those living here, yet we are always seemingly unhappy. Yet those here in Pattaya, even as they live life simply, are satisfied and grateful.”
Many of the participants shared that although the goal of the Dec 1-9 trip was to bring love, hope and joy to the less fortunate, they definitely received these from the people they met and interacted with during their nine-day programme.
The trip also saw participants taking part in sharing sessions which helped to bond parents and children, and helped the group grow closer as a community in Christ.