03/18/2015, 00.00
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Taipei, encountering God in maths class

by Xin Yage
The conversion of Professor You, who despite his activism in “civil” spheres discovers an emptiness inside that stems from the absence of Christ, hence his decision to convert: "I appeared to be a visionary, instead I was the one looking for answers. Now if I have to help a student, I wonder what would Jesus say in my place. "

Taipei (AsiaNews) - Professor You (游 佳 穆 老師) has long been a great educator. A Math professor he spends most of his free time on the weekends helping the students of the vocational school where he has taught for over twenty years, in a small town in the province of Hsinchu (新竹 縣 新埔 鎮).

"Then in 2009 - he tells AsiaNews - I had a very difficult time, I suffered from fatigue and depression that almost led me to leave the profession. I had no motivation or energy. It was something very strange that I had never experienced before. I had always been very active, but I had no more strength, and I felt an inner emptiness. I asked for psychological support, and it was very useful, and my wife and my children always supported me unconditionally even in the most difficult period. But I wanted something more. "

This "more" came with an encounter: "At one point Sister Zhuang (莊 修女) and two young teachers who worked at the school in the center for life education (生命 教育 中心) invited me to a weekend retreat and reflection with a group of our students. It was the opportunity I was looking for, which began the real process of change in my life. Especially thanks to a young Taipei priest who had been invited to lead the retreat, I discovered the secret of authentic joy, the joy of the Gospel arising from the love of God. "

The words poetic may appear disjointed to some, "but that's what I have experienced and it changed me inside. I remember I was so impressed that in the following weeks I spoke often with the school chaplain and other teachers. I spoke about nothing else with my family. I believe that in those weeks my wife thought I was a visionary, struck on the road to Damascus. "

Then, the teacher continues, "came the fun part: instead of only thinking of myself I began to think of others, to be more interested in those around me. Not that I had never done so before, in fact I had always paid close attention to my students. But reading the Gospel and participating in the morning Mass at the school I began to wonder: 'How would Jesus help that student? What words would  he use?' And in my head, now I have the flame of hope, no longer a curtain of depression and loss. "

At that point, "I could not stop. I had to study the catechism and ask for baptism. Sister Zhuang patiently accompanied me throughout this journey, as did the other Catholic teachers of the school, including the manager. Finally the Sunday of my baptism arrived. I am 1.94m  tall. The priest who baptized me that day along with five other catechumens, had to climb on a stool to pour water over my head, but it all worked out perfectly. "

Jesus he concludes, "lived with simple fishermen. I had the opportunity to teach in other schools of higher level, we would say excellent. Our school (內 思 高工) instead, is one of the first professional institutes in Taiwan, opened by missionaries more than 60 years ago, and is located in a village of the province, with students who do not have the ability to access other institutions because they live far from the city. In hindsight I realized that this was part of a mission prepared for me , and it was in the style of Jesus: giving a chance to those who seems to start off life at a disadvantage. For this reason I thank God and the people who helped me encounter Him".

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