The Past, The Present and The Future

IMG_5100By Andrew Bishop
Accounting Teacher; Deputy Principal at De La Salle Holy Cross College, Johannesburg 
Young Lasallian!!!

I am, You Are, We Are … Lasallian!

Veni, Vidi, Vici …
I came to a symposium of Young Lasallians in Roma!
I saw a whole bunch of strangers who became brothers and sisters
I conquered the doubting thoughts that the Work is too hard and the Hope is to vague.

I ended my last reflection with “A dream, dreamt on its own will remain a dream
A dream, dreamt together – will become a reality”
To have been part of the realisation of a dream through five days of sharing, discussion and commitment has been a life changing experience.
My career has become my vocation, my goals have become my mission – and my personal journey is a shared voyage.

I met a crazy Irish girl who is passionate about being a Lasallian, whose hopes and dreams for her two-year-old son are not about wealth and riches but that he becomes a Lasallian.

I went to Mass with a Palestinian woman, who waits two to three hours every morning to cross the border, so that she may do God’s work. Her belief in the Gospel and the beautiful interpretation into how she lives her life (like covering her hair when receiving communion) allowed me to pause, reflect, and appreciate.

I befriended my brother from Cameroon and overcame the language barrier. I persevered with the Spanish delegates – and just nodded when they spoke quickly as my Spanish ended with Dora the Explorer, “Uno Boots!”

I made friends with whom I laughed and laughed and laughed …. And laughed.
And I had to put my sense of humour in check, as it wasn’t always understood, and then I met Tim and we laughed and laughed and laughed some more…
… and I cried when I missed and thought of the pure innocent love of my five year old and how my responsibility is to raise her in the Lasallian values – she is my Hope, she needs to be the next Young Lasallians
I realised I have so much to learn, from amazing youth … although they are not brothers, they are my brothers.
I remain inspired … “change the life of one child, you could change the world” – “Challenge Accepted”

I felt the support and unsaid word of care when I was homesick and missing my family. How my fellow Young Lasallians knew when to speak and when to go for a Gelato or a beer. They were the strength God sent me to help me carry the cross over that hurdle.

I ran to and from metro trains a made some and missed some curfews. Although we may have lost a few people in the shopping centre and by pushing them off a train – we always found them.

And when all else fails… pray, share, and laugh and then laugh some more!

My academic studies have prepared me with the theoretical knowledge of how and why we put things in place to get things done. But I have seen how important St. John Baptist de La Salle’s concept of Human and Christian Education has become.

Listening groups – what an awesome concept!

In five days to get total buy-in from 42+ delegates, who communicated in primarily three main languages, on a strategic vision for the next 6+ years – an amazing achievement that some of the biggest business firms would pay huge amounts to achieve.

I am enriched, empowered, and skilled to implement process and structure that will instill Hope in our world, through the work being done by the youth.

I will Listen
I will Act
I will Transform
I am Lasallian!

The only way in which we can repay those responsible for this awesome opportunity is to make sure we do the work. We have been invested in – now to get to paying the dividends …

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