Hello everyone, so nice to see all of you here today.
Now, I would like to introduce myself. I’m Sister Anastasia Lindawati. I was born and raised in Indonesia in a Chinese family. I was baptized when I was 18 years old. As you can see I am wearing a Chinese style blouse and this fabric is an Indonesian batik.
I entered Maryknoll in 2007, after completing a live-in experience with Maryknoll Sisters in the Philippines. I spent two years in our formation house in Chicago: studying and doing part-time ministries in a home for people with AIDS, also in a non-governmental organization, which helps women with unexpected and difficult pregnancies; in a day care center and did some hospital visiting.
On Mission Sunday 2009, I was assigned to China. During my Mandarin language study in a city in Mainland China, I worked part time with the Indonesians both in that city and in Hong Kong.
After finishing language study, I continued to visit English, Indonesian and Mandarin- speaking inmates at two women’s prisons in Hong Kong. The reasons they were in prison were varied: their visa had expired, working without a legal visa, burglary, drug trafficking, either as a paid courier or trapped by others, and so forth. I met with them one on one, consoled and prayed with them.
I was the leader of a financial literacy program for a non government organization, which assists distressed migrant mothers and their Hong Kong - born children.
I helped in workshops on the Bible, human sexuality, marriage, and so forth, for priests, Sisters, seminarians, and lay leaders from Mainland China. In 2014, I organized a retreat for priests, from both registered and unregistered communities. Several participants did not have proper training in the seminary nor an opportunity for a retreat for several years.
I also did pastoral work in a Church in Mainland China. This Church is registered with the government as a place of public worship. I worked with the parishioners- the children and the youth, with adults and the elderly, both single and couples. We organized youth and volunteer gatherings as well as a renewal of marriage vows, pilgrimages, and so forth. When we had a youth pilgrimage to the Basilica Rosa Mystica, I invited the youth group of the unregistered community in that city to join us.
Each time I crossed the border into Mainland China, I brought books, to be distributed among priests, Sisters, seminarians, and lay people.
While I am here in the United States, I continue my cyber group ministry which now numbers almost 6,000 members in several places in China, consisting of over 20 cyber groups. Several persons, whom I do not know, asked me to join their cyber groups, and to send them faith related information. I don’t know how many people are actually reading the information I have sent. Isn’t this electronic age wonderful!
I will return to China in August to continue my work, including being a bridge between the Universal Church and the Church in China, and between their registered and unregistered communities.
If you are interested, you can read about my mission journey on my blog, which you can find on the Maryknoll Sisters website.
All the above mentioned preparations, my missionary works both in the past and in the future would not be possible without prayers and the generous donations of you here today, as well as all our benefactors around the world.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for all your support of Maryknoll Sisters during all these years and I hope you will continue to support our missionary works. I assure you of my prayers that God will continue to bless you and your families.