LOMBARD – Montini Catholic High School in Lombard recently welcomed former student Julian Milcent, a member of the class of 2010, who is a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps.
A graduate of North Central College, Milcent is serving in Indonesia where he teaches English in an Islamic school of approximately 700 students. He and his wife, Emily, who also volunteers with the Peace Corps, live in Lumajang, East Java.
"The Peace Corps is not missionary work," Milcent told students. "We are not there to convert others to Christianity. We can, however, talk about our faith if asked."
Milcent said his experience in Indonesia has helped him to see the similarities between Islam and Christianity, as opposed to the differences heard about so often.
Milcent’s volunteer work began with 10 weeks of intensive training and learning in language, culture and technical relating to his assignment. Teachers with the Peace Corps are teamed up with a counterpart teacher – each learning from the other about the customs and traditions of their countries.
Milcent is working on a project of helping to build up the school's library and shared a video he made of his students enjoying a typical day of school in Indonesia.
“Peace Corps wasn't really on my radar until after I met my future wife, Emily," Milcent said. “We met while studying abroad in Ireland and she planted the seed in my head. My education at Montini Catholic as well as North Central College introduced me to a life filled with service. So when I'm asked about why I joined Peace Corps, I always say that I wanted to do something selfless for God, and I wanted to feed my desire to meet new people and experience new cultures.”
Milcent wrapped up his talk with Montini students by giving those who expressed interest insight into becoming a volunteer.
"Peace Corps is often touted as 'the toughest job you'll ever love,' which I full-heartedly agree with," he said. "It may be a tough job but it is so incredibly rewarding. I would highly recommend it. Peace Corps works in all sectors and no two volunteer experiences are quite the same."