Sharing: On Line Ministry from Hong Kong for Nias-Indonesia

When I was working, I used to donate a small amount of my salary to several charity works including educational fund for several children. I also gave away gradually my first salaries when I got the lesson about “Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Proverbs 3: 9-10) in one of my classes at School of Personal Evangelization in Surabaya-Indonesia.
I used “ABe Foundation” as my way to be an anonymous donor, with the wish would be for women and children even though it’s not registered yet as a foundation.
Upon resigning from my job for my discerning process to religious life, I cut down my donation. So the thought “if I work and have salary, I can be a donor” would come in my mind whenever I got a donation request. I am not financially independent anymore which was my wish upon finishing my university.
Almost 40% of our income is from gifts and contributions of our sponsors and donors (http://www.mklsisters.org/images/pdf/financ8b.pdf). I used to help in our donor office in New York to open the letters from our generous donors/sponsors with cheque or cash or credit card number, in hundreds USD and also one USD bill. And now, Maryknoll Sisters is sending an annual spring appeal to look for donation including for my two years mandarin study in Guangzhou http://www.mklsisters.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1297&Itemid=0&atype=appeal.
In Nov 2009, Fr. Thomas Maduwu, OFMCap sent an email request for educational fund for two senior high school students in Nias-Indonesia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nias. I got his name through Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community in Canberra and we met when both of us attended National Conference of Charismatic Catholic Renewal in 2006. He works in Togizita Parish, Nias which have 24,000 parishioners in 79 out of stations. Their economic, health and education life are below standard.
I started to send an email to several Indonesian friends in my yahoo address book as the students are in Indonesia. I gave the information about Fr. Thomas and the students.
Glad that one friend wants to be a donor for one year even though it’s not enough for one student. As the school year would be finished in June 2010, I sent an email to the second batch of Indonesian friends. Two friends are willing to be a donor. The good news is one of students wants to be a priest so there will be enough funding for the other students to finish her senior high school. Then Fr. Thomas submitted request for another two students who want to study in the college. I only could say I would try to look for it. I sent an email to the third batch of Indonesian friends. Seven friends are willing to be a donor and their funding will be enough for two years. One of the donors invites a friend to be a donor. One of the donors is looking for a girl to be supported. Thanks be to God.
I sent the bank account details upon receiving their confirmation as a donor. I ask the donors to remit directly to Fr. Thomas’ account while I organize it by giving a number to each donor and asked them add the number on their remittance so Fr. Thomas will easily recognize the remittance. Several donors remitted lumpsum, several others remit monthly for one year. As Fr. Thomas gave brief information about the children, I ask the donor to contact Fr. Thomas directly if they need more information.
Even though I am not financially independent anymore, even though we are still looking for donation for our mission country including for language study, I still can help the students in Indonesia as I have friends who are generously willing to support this project. I was transformed from “I want do it by myself” to “I can invite my friends to participate in the work for justice locally” as St. Gregory the Great said “When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.”
The internet connection is really a big help for this project, making the connection between Fr. Thomas in Nias, donors in several places (Surabaya, Jakarta, Malang, and Singapore), and myself in Hong Kong. It’s my first online ministry outside our mission country as we don’t have any sisters in Indonesia after the independence of East Timor.
Thank you very much for all your generosity in supporting this project. May God continue to bless you in your missionary journey.

The ministry of the body of Christ is not really something that you try to do, although it calls you to do many things. Ministry is the fruit finding your gifts and offering what you have. Ministry is not something that requires professional credentials. It is a vocation each of us claims by virtue of our baptism in the body of Christ. Ministry isn’t something you do for certain hours during the day and then you come home and relax at night. Well, who knows? Ministry might happen while you are relaxing [or online, bold added by myself]. (Henri Nouwen)

Guangzhou, Sep 6, 2010


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