Sharing: Home Visit 2009

As my Christmas letter (here is the link:, I arrived safely in Surabaya on Dec 23, 2009. Upon arriving at airport, I felt heavy for a moment, then I saw pink roses in the restroom, I knew it's a consolation. My parents and my youngest sister Ling Ling picked me up at airport.
I went to Carmelite Monastery in Tumpang-Malang the next morning in a 5 hours ride with Ling Ling and her friends to celebrate Christmas. I visited Widya Sasana College of Philosophy and Theology and Postulate of SVD in Malang.
Upon coming back from Tumpang, I stayed at ce Lani-ko Roni's house in Surabaya and went home on Dec 31, 2010 with Ling Ling. I found a dark pink t-shirt with a quotation "never look back" in a shoping mall in Surabaya so I bought it. I attended anticipate masses in my home town and met Fr. Djoko Noegroho, Theresia and the community.
I lost my USB in an internet cafe in Surabaya and almost lost the other one as I forgot to pick it up upon leaving. I met my Cybercell friends (Erlina, Wiwik, Djojo, Roy, Sandra, Mimi, and Luki), School of Evangelisation friends (Bu Ida, Pak Hoky, Bu Binar, Pak Handoko, Pak Adrijoko, cik Pauline, Mira, cik Felly, Bu Wahyuni, Sukandi, Surya), Peksy 89 friends (Tjiang, Novi, Adjon, David), Fr. Armada Riyanto, CM, Ayda, Irma, cik Shirley, Ninik, Harti, mbak Irawati, Bu Nining-Pak Nanang, and Deny. I visited School of Evangelisation (Bu Judy, Bu Betty, Mira, Surya, Bu Ayu) and Ritra Cargo in Surabaya. It was a surprise for my former staffs as they thought they would never see me again as I live in USA. I also visited Mgr. Vincentius Sutikno, Bishop of Surabaya Diocese as I met him in the Philippines in 2007.
I had stomach problem and coughing in the second week. I went to restroom each time I ate for almost one week. I think living in the USA for 2.5 years influenced my digest system.
I stayed in 6 bed rooms for the first 3 weeks as I also visited my extended families in Sidoarjo, Mojosari, Tulungagung and Surabaya.
I visited Linda at OCD Claket through Prigen coming over a beautiful shrine of retreat house of Griya Samadi Vinsensius (a retreat house owned by Vincentian Fathers). I also went to Madura through the new Suramadu bridge.
My parents, Ling Ling and I went to the temple in Tuban. It's in front of the sea. My parents prayed as their usual rite and I went around the compound. We celebrate my nephew Edbert's birthday in Madiun. I stayed there for several days . My youngest nephew didn't know me as I left for USA when he was 4 months old and he just learned to call me when I should leave for Hong Kong.
I stayed at Soverdi Jakarta and met Yohana, Josh, Affandi, Wina, Surya, Suyin-ko Tony, Natalia, Monica, and Pak Jeffrie. I visited Fr. Agust Surianto of OBOR, Fr. Hardjono, Arnold van der Veen-Elis-Christian-David, Hendrie, Selly-Heydik - Devita-Nico-Denan, RGS Jakarta community and Ritra Cargo. I stayed with FMM Regina Pacis Bogor and met tante Agnes-om Handoko, Peter, Fr. Ridwan, Fr. Gaib, Fr. Sudarto, Fr. Driyanto, Kak Tuty-Pak Andy, Tim Pendamping (Dyo, Wahyu, and Hung).
I accompanied my sister to go to Singapore as she would have a check up including going around in Orchard Road, Merlion Statue and Sentosa Island. We stayed at Cecilia-Sandra Karta's house and attended the Indonesians' prayer meeting. I met mas Kunto and Bu Jane. There was a big pink heart and toes of tiger at Changi airport as the decoration for valentine’s day and Chinese new year of tiger.
Chinese new year is always a big celebration in my home as my extended families would come to celebrate it. There were around 30 persons for the day. I also visited extended families to say "Gong Xi Fa Cai"
I had a chance to attend Chinese new year celebration with around 65 senior high school friends and also their family in Malang. I stayed at Herlina-Irawan's house. I couldn't hold my tears when thanked God for the chance to meet them mostly for the first time after 20 years. It's the biggest reunion for me. I went around Batu and visited Fr. Verbeek, OCarm and Fr. Anton Rosari, SVD.
I stayed overnight in Telaga Sarangan with my family, rode a boat and horse with Ling Ling. I couldn't hold my tears as I left my younger sister, brother in-law, and nephews.
Several friends and I prayed together mostly through telephone as they asked a prayer and ended up with a prayer for me including the last minute at the airport just before boarding.
According to my mom, my extended families, and friends, I am gaining weight even though I wasn't as my weight was still 121 pounds. Maybe because they remembered me before I left for Philippines as I was gaining 4 pounds in the Philippines and another 2 pounds at home before left for USA. At the end of my home visit, I am gaining weight 2 pounds.
Several friends asked how to call me so I said that they can call me whatever they want to call me (I have a Chinese name Oei Li Li and then I changed to AB Lindawati Padmadewi as I became an Indonesian citizen in 1989) but in public , I am asking to be called Sr. Anastasia to avoid confusion.
I shared my vocation story and mission of Maryknoll Sisters shortly during the Mass at Christ the King Church, Surabaya on January 16, 2010 and St. John the Baptist Church, Surabaya prior to the launching of my collaborative book (here is the link: http : / /
Several people asked about religious habit so I said that religious brothers and sisters are allowed not to wear religious habit since Second Vatican Council and our sign as a Maryknoll Sister is a Chi Rho ring. Several friends appreciate the decision not to wear habit. A friend reminded me to be mindful as nobody knows that I am a sister.
The last week of home visit was going so fast. I should hold my tears when I said good bye to Ling Ling as she went for retreat several days before I left.
I couldn't hold my tears on my way to Surabaya on February 27, 2010 after saying good bye to my parents. I attended an anticipate mass at St. John the Baptist Church, Surabaya. After communion, I said "God, You know I can't do it, but from my experiences, I know how You prepares everything to make me never look back "and I couldn't hold my tears.
I gratefully said no to my friend who re-offered to work in his company, an offering which was given one week after my resignation in 2006.
My brother Hero drove me to airport the next early morning. I couldn't hold my tears in the plane to remember the consequence of my decision to be a missionary in a foreign land.
Thank you very much for all of your time, support, insights, warm welcome, hospitality, cards, gifts, monetary gift and especially your prayers during my home visit. May God continue to bless you in your missionary journey.

"I am able to do all things through the One who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).

Hong Kong, March 19, 2010

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let's do simple things with simple love to make God's love visible