Christmas Letter 2011

It’s the last day of Christmas Octave today. I just finished the Christmas Fun day with my sisters in Hong Kong. It’s really fun time together by singing, playing and eating together.
Here are my Christmas Octave stories. Fr. Peter invited several Indonesians and GIVEN choir to sing Christmas songs and have communion service with the Indonesian patients at Fuda hospital on December 17. A week later, several Indonesians and I visited several Indonesian patients in Fuda hospital again to pray together with them and their families.
On December 24, I went to Cathedral around 4.00 p.m. to see the crowd before going to Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel to pick up the wine for the Indonesian Mass. There were many visitors and several policemen around Cathedral. There were five masses inside Cathedral including in Korean and three masses in the hall. The Indonesian mass was attended by around 100 Catholics and non Catholics. After mass, I went to Cathedral again and I saw more visitors with the lighted Christmas hairband. Most of them are young adult who were willing to queue in a cold night for more than one hour to go inside Cathedral.
A Chinese student and I attended the Mandarin CCD class followed by a birthday party for the CCD partisipants in the morning of December 25. He is studying master degree in Christianity. I accompanied him to attend Mass for the first time in the third Sunday of November and then he registered for CCD class on the second Sunday of December. As I would attend the Indonesian Mass, so I couldn’t accompany him to attend the Christmas Eve Mass. Unfortunately, it’s too crowded for him so he decided to go home. After lunch, I attended the English Mass in Cathedral. There were still many visitors and several “angels” were distributing booklets about the Church. There are more visitors than ordinary Sundays English Mass. Before attending the Christmas celebration in Cathedral, I had a supper with one of my sisters. There were several choirs singing the Christmas songs including GIVEN choir, Phillipines choir, African choir and Korean choir. A priest gave a reflection and then followed by Taize prayer and blessing by the priest one by one. Later on, Sr. Mary Clare invited me to see her new office so I arrived dorm around 11.00 p.m. Even though the last Christmas Eve Mass in Cathedral was at 10.00 p.m., the Cathedral was opened till December 25 around 01.30 a.m. as so many visitors wanted to go inside Cathedral. More information about the Christmas celebration in Guangzhou can be read in:
After class pictures taking on December 26, we had lunch together with two of our teachers. The last classes would be on December 30 as the final exam will be on January 4-6, 2012.
I enjoyed the visit of Br. Rano, Br. Herry and his father on December 27 while preparing the black sticky rice pudding. In the evening, two Chinese and one Equadorian friends were enjoying the Indonesian fried noodle and black sticky rice pudding. It has been several times that I cooked Indonesian desserts e.g. rice pudding, black sticky rice pudding, and sweet potato and banana with coconut milk on Tuesdays for several friends. A Vietnamese student moved to Xiamen last September so she gave me her rice cooker. I didn’t think to use the rice cooker until receiving invitation from one of the teachers to eat a Cantonese dessert. Her invitation gave me an idea to invite my friends for Indonesian desserts. So that’s how God put the two together, the idea and the utensil.
A Chinese friend called me on December 28 as she wanted to see me so badly. She said something happened to her that’s why she didn’t contact me for almost one year and she would tell the story when we meet. As I had a supper with friends that evening and she would leave Guangzhou the next day so I decided to accept her invitation to have second supper with our friends. Her baby is being hospitalized for four months and her husband went back to his country. For several months, she didn’t want to tell me the condition of her baby as she didn’t want to make me sad but now she is ready to tell me about it as she heard that there is a good treatment for her baby in Indonesia. I failed to get her number through our friends after her number couldn't be contacted for several months. Amidst all the problems that she has, she still as optimistic as the last time I met her. When I invited her to pray together, she said she didn’t know how to pray anymore as she prayed a lot already. I lead our prayer together and then after prayer, she said that she has a hope now.
After the optional class HSK exam on December 30, I went to Hong Kong for the New Year. It’s a time to be grateful (again) for what God has done in my life during this year especially in being presence in China, to be more aware that “Immanuel-God with us” in my daily life.
And, last but not the least, I want to thank you for all your support, gift, love and prayers during this year and wish you:

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
May Jesus, born into this world…be good to you…and be your strength and consolation at the beginning of the New Year. (St. Louise de Marillac)

Hong Kong, December 31, 2011

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