How did you learn about Don Bosco?
Andy: When I was 20, I met a young Salesian for the first time on entering a church in Jakarta by chance. Before that, I'd never heard of Don Bosco.
Jef: I met Don Bosco as a friend of youth at the oratory. I used to go there every Sunday with my friends. The priest was inspired by the figure of Don Bosco in his way of acting with young people.
When did you decide to become a missionary?
Andy: From 2004 to 2007 I went to the Philippines and Pakistan for my postgraduate degree. In 2004, the countries of this region were hit hard by a tsunami. Many children were orphans and no longer had a roof over their heads. The Salesians in Pakistan understood this need and opened an orphanage. So I applied to put myself at the service of Project Europe.
Jef: My entry into religious life came a little late. When I was already 22, I asked my pastor if I could do something "like what he did." This is how I decided to ask to enter the "late vocations" section at the Salesian house in Kortrijk. I have now been a missionary in South America for 46 years.
How do you contribute to the future of faith as a missionary?
Andy: I do the ordinary things that have been entrusted to me in the name of Christ, of His Church, through the Congregation. Every day I try to make the love of Christ tangible with my words and actions. This is possible only by being close to people and living among young people.
Jef: I try to be very present among people, especially among young people, in the context of Youth Ministry. Here, recently, we organized a large youth congress - the 18th in Ecuador - and about 500 young people arrived.
Do you have a dream, like Don Bosco?
Andy: My biggest dream is that people - especially young people - experience love, sweetness and justice in their lives through Christ.
Jef: Yes, my dream is to continue my work with people, especially young people, helping them to discover the beauty of faith as shown by Don Bosco.
The complete interview is available on the "Don Bosco Media" website.