Maira San Juan

When I pray the Our Father

By Maira San Juan

Maira San Juan is from Taytay, Rizal, near Manila, and worked as a Columban Lay Missionary in Korea from 2007 till the end of 2012.

It’s been five years since I arrived in Korea as a Columban Lay Missionary from the Philippines. Since my nine months of language study I have been immersed in ministry with a community of persons with AIDS. On my first day there I felt a mixture of excitement and fear: excitement because it was my first time meeting people living with HIV and I was curious to know how they were coping after learning that they were HIV-positive; fear because at the back of my mind I was thinking I might get the HIV virus through them since we ate at the same table, used the same toilet, talked to each other and so on. But through the years I have been with them, my thinking and feelings have changed, not only about them but also about life, about people, about me and about God. Being a missionary involved in AIDS ministry has helped me to grow not only as a person but also as a woman called by God to be a part of his mission. Throughout my journey, the prayer that has helped me and acquired a new personal meaning is the Lord’s Prayer.

Ten Things I’ve Learned

By Maira San Juan

On 10 August Maira renewed her commitment as a Columban Lay Missionary (photo) and has since returned to Korea.

1. When I said ‘Yes’ to the mission, I agreed to be an instrument of God’s love to His people. This is easy to say but not easy to live by. When insecurities arrived at my doorstep, I was confused and started to ask myself ‘Why am I here in mission?’ Then when compliments sat on my lap and I became comfortable with their presence. I started to think ‘I can do many things by myself’. When familiarity and accomplishments touched my shoulders I started to feel ‘I’m more blessed than others’. When the word ‘missionary’ came into my head I started to think ‘I’m much better than the other people I’m journeying with’. And when I started to put many expectations on myself I sometimes forgot the reason why I said ‘Yes’.


Maira San Juan