Here is the testimony of the Toan family that explains how they went through this ordeal with the help of God.

My name is Toan-Dung Le. My family belongs to the Saints-Martyrs-du-Vietnam parish. I am a pastoral associate and Youth Ministry coordinator. I am also on a diaconal journey, as an acolyte. I am the father of a family of six. Our youngest child is 3 years old and our oldest, 12. 

The challenge for me is to adapt to a new way of life, to be quarantined because of the pandemic. I have to learn to cut contact with the surrounding society. As a consequence, I have not been able to visit my relatives and friends, and my family and I miss them. Although we can communicate by phone and see each other via the Internet, their physical presence remains irreplaceable.

On the other hand, the grace that came with this sanitary quarantine allowed us to take time for ourselves. Since the beginning of the lockdown, my wife and I have started getting in shape. She trains at home and I jog outside. We have had the opportunity to share and admire the beauty of God’s creation in all its forms. Plus the lockdown brought us closer and helped us progress in our interpersonal relationships. Gardening, among other things, was a great family activity. All family members helped built “the Garden of Eden”.

We blessed our family meals every evening, which was not the case before the lockdown. We have all felt more deeply the love and joy that resound during the prayer of praise. In short, the lockdown allowed us to taste more fully the Kingdom of God. 

The Catholic Church, through the Youth Ministry, was particularly active and present in our parish during the lockdown. The Church took the initiative to contact us. I did not feel isolated because the Catholic Church knew how to accompany and support us morally during this difficult time. Our community was invited to recite the rosary in May and June. Four families took part of it.

ife has its difficult moments, the COVID-19 pandemic being one. As for me, I believe in the necessity to surrender to God by trusting him. The Sacred Scripture brings us words of comfort, for instance those of Saint Paul to the Hebrews: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hb 11:1). When we rely on faith, we know that God is there to help us weather the storms of life.

In Christ the Servant,
Toan-Dung Le—Acolyte