My name is Young Mi. I am from Sun Cheon, South-western Korea. We were six in our family and were surrounded by uncles, aunts and cousins in our neighbourhood..There was nothing special about this traditional family background, except my mother’s religion. She was a Presbyterian.
Young Mi tells us the story of her vocation
The very first initiation and contact I had with Columban Sisters started as I heard Columban Fr. Jimmy Nolan’s homily in our parish.
I still remember my mother’s hard work for the ancestors’ memorial day – it involved nearly a week of preparation and was always women’s work, but then when the actual ceremony was on, she would always stand back or slip away from the place. It was her belief that we were worshiping an idol. Her faith brought enough challenge to our traditional family as she faithfully exercised it. As a child, I didn’t like my mum to be different from my aunts and neighbouring women.
My association with my friends at school was the influence that brought me to become a Catholic, the first in my family. When my aunt heard that I was going to join the Columbans, she said, “You are so much like your mum: that stubbornness is certainly genetic”. She may be right in thinking, whether I liked it or not, that the pattern and the choices of my life were so similar to my mother’s. I think that vocation is an evolving and growing process, because my personal motivation and perception of religious life has been expanded and somewhat changed throughout my 14 years as a Columban. From within my timid, reserved personality I made a decision and I joined an international missionary congregation “to proclaim the good news to the whole world”. Sometimes ignorance, “not knowing”, makes everything possible! Indeed I am in awe of the word ‘vocation’ as I look back on the past and look forward to my new mission assignment in Peru. This journey is somewhat of a continuing search, yet also a commitment, for the transformation in our heart to happen and to become a true Christian.
It seems that there is at once a huge contrast and yet a beautiful harmony between my own drawing and design for my life and God’s: this does not mean that God ignores or denies mine but rather fills in the colours. Given my own fears and limitations, I often want to dwell in my own world as a little seed but God draws me out, step by step, to grow and be nurtured by the Columban spirit. I even dream to become a big tree to share the life, to share the good news with every living creature in the world.
Young Mi Choi is missioned in Peru since 2008.