I am Wanteilang Khyllait from the Province of Shillong (INS), from a village called Ladpnarrim, in Meghalaya, North East India. We are seven of us in the family including my parents, two sisters and three brothers. I grew up in a pagan family, and in the year 2010 I got baptized and received the first holy communion at the same time. In the year 2013, I encountered Fr. Jose Varickaseril sdb through whom I came to know about Don Bosco and the Salesian Congregation and after my schooling, I joined the salesian aspirantate, and then pursued my Salesian Vocation. I made my profession on 24 May 2020 at Don Bosco Sunny side, Shillong, Meghalaya, and now I have completed my philosophical studies at Divyadaan, Nashik, Maharashtra. Currently I'm placed in the Salesian Community at Mawkyndeng, where there is a parish, school and boarding, to prepare myself for my missionary vocation and complete all the requirements to obtain my visa to go to Brazil.
What inspired you to make this choice to become a missionary?
My missionary desire began in the parish when I first encountered one Khasi Salesian priest Fr. Patrick Warjri SDB from Mawroh who is working in Argentina as a missionary. I was helping out as a sacristan, and one morning I met him in the sacristy and I asked him some questions about Argentina, about the place, weather, the faith, food, life style and the background of the people. I was listening attentively to him and was very much impressed by his activities and ministry as a priest. People loved him so much that they even named one street in his name. Every day as he reached the sacristy I would ask him new questions and he would happily answer me. I was really inspired by his work, his love for the people and his mission over there. One thing that struck me was the vocation crisis in Argentina; he told that very few young boys and girls join the religious life and that there are still many works to be done for the people of that region. At one moment I jokingly responded “Do not worry father I will come and help you over there”. He replied to me with a smile and said “surely we need missionaries to help the people over there and to share Christ to them”. Thus began my missionary vocation.
Are you happy about the new place where you are going? Have you any fears and inhibitions of the place, culture and place?
I have received the official obedience to go to Brazil as a missionary ad gentes, to the Province of Porto Alegre. Firstly, I thank God for this missionary vocation and I am happily and eagerly waiting to go to the mission. I have no fear of the new place, culture, as so many missionaries have gone before and continue to go. I am confident that God would not abandon me, and with His presence I will be able to face and overcome all the difficulties in the mission.
How did your family members, friends and confreres react when you told them about your missionary vocation.
First of all my mom was not surprised at my decision, because I had already confided to her my decision after I met Fr. Patrick Warjri, the missionary in Argentina. My mother told me that as long as I do good always she has no problem wherever I am. On the other hand, my friends and batchmates were shocked about my decision, as they were not aware that I was preparing myself for the past seven years to be a missionary ad gentes.
What are your plans and dreams about your missionary life?
My only plan and desire is to make use of the gifts and talents that I have, for the young especially the poor and the dropped out students. I want to help the young people discover their problems and help them to overcome them, and positively involve them in games, prayer life, competitions etc, and above all to bring them closer to God.
Have you in mind some great model of missionaries whose style and life you want to follow?
I have lived, witnessed and learned many things from the missionaries who were working in my region. Some have really done an impressive work, especially in proclaiming Christ to the people in the remote villages. My missionary model is Fr. Jose Varickaserril sdb with whom I had lived. He had come all the way from the state of Kerala to work for the people in the North East India. Another model for my missionary life is Fr. Patrick Warjri in Argentina. My encounter with him and the sharing about his mission, has given me lot of enthusiasm and positive energy.
What is your message for young people about missionary choice and vocation?
My message to the young people is “be happy always with what you have, wherever you are and whatever you do. If you want to be truly happy in your lives, first you must accept and welcome God in your heart and mind and God would surely help you to be happy. He can transform your life and help you face the impossible and achieve great things in life”.