Thailand May 2002
How wonderful to serve!
Meet Lay Missioner couple Tawny Thanh and Hiep Vu in Thailand.
Lay Missioner couple Tawny Thanh and Hiep Vu

Q. What drew you to mission?

We have been married for 22 years. Five years into our married life, we found out that we could not have any children. Since then, we felt that there was something else that God has planned for us. We prayed, and at the same time we joined many activities in the church and in our diocese. We attained most of the things that we ever wished for in our life. Still it seemed like something was missing. That something is the fulfilling feeling whenever a soft voice in our conscious mind tells us that there is something worth much more than our ordinary life… a concern for the ones who are less fortunate than us. And how wonderful it is to be able to serve them!


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Q. What made you choose the Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful?

Before we became lay missioners, we joined the Maryknoll Affiliate, Los Angeles chapter, for over a year. At every meeting our group did something together, such as writing letters to our State Senators to express our concern on both local and global issues. We liked the Maryknoll spirit to serve the poor and the oppressed. We were touched by the stories in the Maryknoll magazines. We put in our applications to become lay missioners… and here we are.


Q. How did you find your current ministry?

We worked with children in our parish and in our Archdiocese. Through discernment and prayers we decided to join Maryknoll in mission to work with children. We feel every child deserves at least decent meals everyday, and some education. In many ways, children are the future of our world. If today there is one less unhappy kid, in the future there might be one happier adult.

Q. How has being a lay missioner impacted your life?

There is a sense of peace and tranquility that we would not feel if we were still living our prior lives. Since becoming lay missioners, we feel closer to God knowing that we are God’s extended hands on earth. We appreciate life and value life more when we see there are so many people who do not have anything but one outfit and a torn roof over their head.

Q. What is it like living and working with other Maryknollers?

The Maryknoll world is the world of compassion and support. Even though we each have different ministries, we know that whenever we need help, other Maryknollers are willing to support us, to be there for us. Depending on where we are, we meet whenever there are chances to pray, share, attend retreat, or just hang out together. Seeing the works of other Maryknollers, we know that we can follow in their footstep to help bring better meaning to the lives of people.

Q. What advice would you give to someone considering a program like Maryknoll?

Taste and see! If you have zeal to serve God through the poor you should not hesitate to join Maryknoll. Being a missioner with Maryknoll gives you the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate God’s work through your hands… like the wonderful feeling you get from the beautiful eyes and big smiles of children such as these!
Then you will know that every little thing you do becomes something beautiful for God.