Times are tough on this side of the subcontinent. And with war now going on in Afghanistan compounded by volatile local political situation, insecurity due to terrorist threats, high rates of unemployment and increasing prices of basic commodities—our future could even get tougher. Yet in such a difficult and seemingly discouraging situation, we are sustained by the silent and slow yet steady work of grace that we encounter each day. We are witnesses to the unfolding of stories of hope—little miracles and successes that Don Bosco is able to achieve through and in the lives of our students and lay collaborators.
As we journey with the young people of Pakistan and strive to provide them with the opportunity to learn and to live and grow together in harmony and mutual respect despite their differences—in religion, in caste, in tribe and in dialect among others, we see as well their growth, their transformation. These things keep us moving and motivated despite the difficulties and discouragement that we sometimes encounter. Though we look to the future, we work one day at a time; though we hope to reach out to many, we focus on those God has sent us for now.
And as I more and more immerse myself in the mission entrusted to us here, I am also able to better appreciate Don Bosco’s approach. Joy, optimism, reason, loving-kindness, music, sports and above all, Jesus’ message of compassion, forgiveness and understanding possess an irresistible appeal that penetrate into the heart of the young regardless of the faith they profess, the language they speak or the color of their skin.
Pray for us then, Salesians here in Pakistan, and for all our lay mission partners as well as all the young people God sends us that we may continue to dare and to hope and to see, beyond our daily troubles and trials, the work of divine grace, slowly, silently but steadily strengthening us as we forge ahead.