Christmas Letter 2010



(The Indonesian version is available in the bottom of this letter)

Hi...greetings from Guangzhou-China! I hope you had a blessed Advent and are ready for the Christmas celebration.
As you all know, it’s my first Christmas in mission. I have class on Dec 24 till 6 p.m. so I decided to attend Christmas eve mass in Cathedral. I will celebrate Christmas Day with the Indonesian Catholics. Here are my ”Emmanuel-God with us” experiences during the last two months of 2010. I am still updating my blog regularly including this Christmas Letter as it’s one of the ways to share my mission journey. I want to appreciate everyone’s part in my mission journey by mentioning their name but I also want to appreciate everyone who don't want to be mentioned. One of our sponsors sends donation for my mission after reading my blog. One of my friends knew about my father’s death after reading my blog. I am so glad that more people are reading my blog. I use English even though the grammar is not good enough as the main language because it’s connected with our conggregation website. I also update my status especially my new articles in my blog through yahoo, facebook and twitter.
I am so blessed that I can be a full time Mandarin student in Guangzhou and commute to Hong Kong at least once a month. I am still enjoying my study even though I still can’t pronounce the 4th tone and several initials. Once a week, I attend the review class by postgraduate students of Chinese as a Second Language and have one hour tutorial with an internship teacher. Writing the characters around 30 times helped me to memorize the characters especially during the dictation.
There are many restaurants around dormitory but I should be careful as I am easily getting stomachache after a meal. Once, I got stomachache after eating corn and beef barbeque but the other times, I am fine with the beef barbeque. I usually order meal by pointing out the meal or the picture.
I was moved during the last part of our Thanksgiving prayer. When Sr. Maureen asked to pray spontaneously, I wanted to say thank you for all the support, love and prayers from my sisters but then I started to cry. I was moved again during our prayer in dining room and had tears in my eye when my sister asked whether it's because of my father. I am not sure about that as I didn't think of him during our prayer.
When I revealed my state of life to one of the Indonesian Catholics, she said she was proud of me. She said it’s a surprise and an inspiration. She asked why I didn’t reveal it earlier (as I knew her for almost three months) and I only could say “I don’t have to (reveal it).”
I was moved during the Eucharist of profession of final vows of two sisters of Immaculate Conception on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It reminded me of the grace that I received during my first profession of vows last year.
As I had Monday off due to the opening ceremony of Asian Para Games, I decided to visit the Indonesian women in Lo Wu correctional institution on my way back from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. I made arrangement to visit them before I left for Guangzhou but there was no room available. It’s one of how God prepares the way for me to continue my part time ministry for the Indonesians in Hong Kong. Sr. Flora, RGS and I got a room but then the officer gave another room for me. I was tense when I was listening to one of them as she started to cry. I met two of them for around one and a half hours. They are grateful for my visit.
A patient supposed to have operation for her 7cm cyste ovary upon being hospitalized. Two days later the doctor allowed her to go home and postpone the operation till May 2011. Four months later, the doctor said she will not need an operation. Thanks be to God. It’s a miracle. Fr. Reggie, SVD, she and I prayed together on her first night in the hospital. While accompanying a cancer patient who is hoping to be healed miraculously, I only can pray with her and her family besides pondering the quotation of Francis MacNutt (http://christianhealingmin.org/) "who will get healed and when (and why some people get healed and others do not) is a mystery. Our job is just stay obedient, do what we can, and leave the rest up to God."
I visited Baiyunshan Park and also Museum of the Nan Yue King Mausoleum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Han_Nanyue_King_Museum to see their collections art exhibition of mental disabilities http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guangzhou_Huiling.
There are several wholesale stores near Cathedral which sell the Christmas decorations since October. And now, several wholesale stores sell Chinese New Year decorations. There are Christmas trees in the front desk of our dormitory, stores, and restaurants as you can see in the pictures. Christmas songs sometimes can be heard from the store near my dormitory. My classmates and I, twelve of us, sang “Silent Night” in English, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Chinese for our New Year celebration at school.
The quotation of Jean-Marie Howe in ”Cistersian Monastic Life/Vows: A Vision” is my reflection during these months: ”...We must let ourselves be plowed so that the furrows of our person become deeper and deeper, so that our earth becomes softer and softer. This is something our being craves, but this plowing is kenosis (emptying, ...) and kenosis is not easy. In the measure that our being becomes porous, open, grace can penetrate to us....” and I am so grateful for all the ”Emmanuel-God with us” experiences during my first eight months in mission.
Thank you very much for all your support, love and prayers during 2010 and wish you: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May peace and joy be with you always!

Salam dari Guangzhou! Bagaimana perayaan Natalnya?
Ini adalah Natal pertama saya di tanah misi. Pada 24 Des, kelas saya baru berakhir jam 18.00, jadi saya ikut misa di Katedral. Saya ikut misa bahasa Indonesia dan perayaannya pada 25 Desember. Berikut ini adalah pengalaman-pengalaman ”Immanuel-Tuhan beserta kita” saya selama dua bulan terakhir. Saya masih memuat pengalaman saya di blog termasuk Surat Natal ini karena ini adalah salah satu cara untuk membagikan perjalanan misi saya. Setelah membaca blog saya, salah seorang sponsor mengirim sumbangan untuk misi saya dan seorang teman mengetahui bahwa papa meninggal. Saya sangat senang bahwa semakin banyak orang membaca blog saya. Saya memakai bahasa Inggris meskipun bahasa Ingris saya pas-pasan karena blog saya terhubung dengan website konggergasi kami. Saya juga memuat status terbaru saya termasuk tentang artikel baru di yahoo, facebook dan twitter.
Saya merasa sangat diberkati bahwa saya belajar bahasa Mandarin di Guangzhou dan bisa mengunjungi Hong Kong sesekali. Saya masih menikmati kelas-kelas saya meskipun saya masih belum bisa mengucapkan kata-kata dengan benar. Seminggu sekali, saya mengikuti kelas tambahan yang diadakan oleh para mahasiswa pascasarjana bahasa Mandarin dan les dengan seorang guru internship. Latihan menulis paling tidak 30 kali membantu untuk mengingatnya terutama ketika dikte.
Ada banyak rumah makan di sekitar asrama tetapi saya harus berhati-hati karena saya mudah sakit perut. Suatu kali saya sakit perut setelah makan jagung bakar dan sate tetapi di lain waktu saya tidak sakit perut setelah makan sate. Biasanya saya memesan makanan dengan menunjuk makanannya atau gambarnya.
Saya terharu pada bagian akhir dari doa Thanksgiving Day kami. Ketika Sr. Maureen mengundang untuk berdoa spontan, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih untuk semua dukungan, kasih, dan doa dari para suster tetapi saya malah menangis. Saya terharu lagi ketika kami berdoa sebelum makan dan berkaca-kaca ketika seorang suster bertanya apakah saya tadi menangis karena teringat papa. Saya tidak yakin karena itu karena saya tidak memikirkan beliau saat itu.
Ketika saya memberitahukan status hidup saya kepada salah seorang umat Indonesia, dia mengatakan dia bangga dan terinspirasi meskipun semula dia kaget. Ketika dia bertanya mengapa saya tidak mengatakannya sejak awal kami berkenalan, saya hanya bisa mengatakan “Saya tidak harus mengatakannya.”
Mata saya berair ketika mengikuti Ekaristi pengucapan kaul kekal dua orang suster Immaculate Conception pada Hari Raya Maria Dikandung tanpa Dosa Asal. Ini karena saya teringat akan rahmat yang saya terima ketika saya mengucapkan kaul pertama tahun lalu.
Karena ada hari libur di hari Senin sehubungan dengan pembukaan Asian Para Games, saya memutuskan untuk mengunjungi beberapa orang Indonesia di penjara wanita Lo Wu dalam perjalanan saya dari Hong Kong ke Guangzhou. Saya berencana mengunjungi mereka sebelum pindah ke Guangzhou tetapi tidak ada ruangan yang tersedia. Ini merupakan salah satu dari bagaimana Tuhan membuka jalan untuk melanjutkan pelayanan paruh waktu saya untuk orang Indonesia di Hong Kong. Sr. Flora, RGS dan saya mendapat satu ruangan tetapi kemudian petugas memberi ruangan lain untuk saya. Saya merasa tegang ketika salah seorang dari mereka bercerita sambil menangis. Saya menemui dua orang dari mereka selama satu setengah jam. Mereka sangat berterima kasih untuk kunjungan saya.
Ada pasien yang akan menjalani operasi pengangkatan 7cm kista di ovarium segera setelah masuk rumah sakit tetapi dua hari kemudian diperbolehkan pulang dan operasi ditunda sampai Mei 2011. Empat bulan kemudian, dokter mengatakan bahwa dia tidak perlu operasi. Puji Tuhan. Sebuah mukjizat. Rm. Reggie, SVD, dia dan saya berdoa bersama pada malam pertama dia berada di rumah sakit. Ketika mendampingi seorang penderita kanker yang mengharapkan mukjizat, saya hanya bisa berdoa bersama dia dan keluarganya sambil merenungkan kutipan dari Francis MacNutt (http://christianhealingmin.org/) "who will get healed and when (and why some people get healed and others do not) is a mystery. Our job is just stay obedient, do what we can, and leave the rest up to God."
Saya mengunjungi Taman Baiyunshan dan juga Museum the Nan Yue King Mausoleum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Han_Nanyue_King_Museum untuk melihat koleksi mereka dan pameran karya seni anak-anak cacat mental http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guangzhou_Huiling.
Beberapa toko grosir di sekitar Katedral sudah mulai menjual dekorasi Natal sejak Oktober. Dan sekarang, sudah ada yang mulai menjual dekorasi Tahun Baru Imlek. Pohon Natal sudah mulai dipasang di depan asrama, toko-toko, dan rumah-rumah makan sebagaimana tampak dalam foto. Lagu Natal terkadang terdengar dari toko dekat asrama. Kelas kami, 12 orang, menyanyikan Malam Kudus dalam bahasa Inggris, Vietnam, Indonesia dan Mandarin pada perayaan Tahun Baru di sekolah.
Kutipan Jean-Marie Howe dalam ”Cistersian Monastic Life/Vows: A Vision” menjadi refleksi saya beberapa bulan terakhir: ”...We must let ourselves be plowed so that the furrows of our person become deeper and deeper, so that our earth becomes softer and softer. This is something our being craves, but this plowing is kenosis (emptying, ...) and kenosis is not easy. In the measure that our being becomes porous, open, grace can penetrate to us....” dan saya sangat bersyukur dengan pengalaman-pengalaman ”Immanuel-Tuhan beserta kita” selama delapan bulan pertama saya di tanah misi.
Terima kasih banyak untuk semua dukungan, kasih dan doa-doanya dan saya ucapkan: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May peace and joy be with you always!


With love and prayer,



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