Another Vincentian Volunteer for the World shares her story

Date Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:06 PM



One of the hardest things to do in life is to trust God completely; harder still is to trust Him when one is in the middle of a pool of doubts and dangers. But for Francia Pingul, a scary experience taught her to trust God in everything.

Francia Pingul is one of the volunteers sent to different parts of the world to do apostolate and fulfill charity missions under the Vincentian Volunteers for the World program of the Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES). A Mathematics teacher by profession, she had a hard time deciding whether she will push through with doing volunteer work in Laos or just stick to her job. While serving the poor has always been her passion, giving up her job would mean losing her livelihood. Faced with this dilemma, she turned to God; trusting His work, she eventually decided that she would do everything for His glory. 

Francia was sent to Laos, a Buddhist country, to work in various apostolates, like migration, youth empowerment, children and women, the elderly, and human trafficking. She also helped in different Vincentian organizations there. Apparently, not everything went smoothly for she described her journey as a life-threatening experience given that Laos is generally a Buddhist country that has a strict adherence to its religion. She would rather not elaborate on what she went through in respect to the host country; in spite of that ordeal, however, she still considers Laos a blessing to her life. The trip taught her to be even happier with her life. 

She recalled one of the most memorable experiences she had while in Laos wherein she was asked to give a talk in Cambodia about the situation of families in Laos. In preparation for that, she conducted research, gathered data and did surveys, in the process encountering a lot of challenges because of strict Laotian laws. Almost on the verge of giving up, she asked God for help and guidance; with a strong faith and persistence she was able to complete the research work. She was finally able to deliver it in a talk she gave to a mixed audience of Laotians, Cambodians, and Australians with a lot of success. 

Francia also shared the experience of holding a Laotian Youth Camp activity under the guise of a New Year’s countdown event in order to be safe from the strict surveillance of the police. For safety reasons, she had to pretend to be a native Laotian to avoid the suspicions of the police authorities. 

Even with the hardships and challenges she experienced, she had put her trust in God and opened her heart to the signs He sent her. Her trip to Laos may not have been easy, but for Francia Pingul, it made her faith even stronger. “In my life, I have God,” she proudly stated.