By Desmond and Jo, Mensa Christi
We are Desmond and Jo from the community of Mensa Christi. We chose to get married on Oct 24 as we wanted to build our marriage and family on the motto in Hebrews 10:24: “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds”. And God really gave us ample opportunities to honor our motto, even during the times when our flesh is weak (and tired) (and lazy).
One of such opportunities that God gave us was through the invitation by Father Jude to start a new community in OYP with two others. While the four of us knew each other beforehand, we never journeyed together. Through the process of starting Mensa Christi, we were very much spurred to love these new partners, then the new community members, and were constantly pushed to serve more and serve better. There were many times we wanted to give up, especially as our family was just growing into a family of three then, but God continued to call and invite us to go deeper in love and deeds. There were days when we had to bounce our baby on our laps while poring through materials on Christian communities, and there were nights where we dragged our exhausted selves to discussions after our baby fell asleep. And through it all, He has never failed to also look after us His servants and have blessed us abundantly. He has grown our spiritual family so that we are covered in more prayers; our lives have been blessed by more gifts as each new brother and sister shared their gifts and talents generously; and our faith has been watered and sustained by the testimonies from the brothers and sisters that we would not have had the chance to journey with if we had not answered the call to start Mensa Christi.
Des, Jo, and the kids!
Another opportunity is in the raising our family during this time of COVID19 pandemic. We have 2 toddlers now and the day to day caregiving is already tough without factoring the additional stresses of keeping them safe during these times. While it is natural that toddlers needs more care and attention, it can be tiring and frustrating. The lack of personal time can drain us as well. Furthermore it was difficult to draw on our spiritual well during these times due to the lack of physical masses, adorations and faith gatherings.
While we may be kept at home with our hands full, God did not leave us isolated and alone. By God’s grace, we are reminded that we are not alone but connected to the wider church through our brothers and sisters in Mensa Christi journeying closely with us. Besides the online masses by the church, the weekly sessions also helps to stir our faith. It gives us the chance to hear His voice through the words of truth and love from our community. Some weeks, we also encourage each other to contribute by running sessions in the midst of the chaos at home. Our members are also very understanding and often bear with the noise and interruptions that are natural and common with having young toddlers at home. We are also try to love one another by reaching out with calls, messaging and zoom calls. Staying connected to each other also provides us the opportunity to reach out and be Jesus to one another. Everyone was going through various difficulties through the pandemic and we learn the importance of reaching out in love and lifting one another in prayer.
As Jesus taught in John 15 “i am the vine, you are the branches” it is only when we remain in Him that we will bear much fruit and we are glad to be able to do so through our community.