An experience of faith and service in Indonesia

  • BFN - INS (ACH)
Towards the end of July 2018, I went to Indonesia to be a volunteer for a month and a half with the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I lived in the middle of Jakarta's urban jungle of cars and motorcycles in the Sisters' house, with Sisters Teresa and Nata, and two Indonesian novices, Yuta and Netris.

I mainly helped the Sisters in the nursery school, which provided free classes to the poorest families in the neighborhood. Even if at the beginning the language barrier made communication with children difficult, very quickly a contact that went beyond words was created. I discovered the magic (but also sometimes the difficulty) of being able to communicate through looks, smiles, and gestures. I lived very strong moments with them. They have, more than once, impressed me by their ability to draw joy from difficult situations, and their willingness to pray all together every morning, be they Muslims or Christians.

The importance of faith in the life of the Indonesian families touched me very much; and I realized how important it also is in my daily life. I learned once again how to assert my faith, to say loud and clear that, yes, I am a Catholic and proud of it, and to claim my religion and make it more alive.

I will never forget the hospitality wherever we went, particularly in the island of Flores and the village of Mbata. I will always remember the dedication of the nuns and priests whom we met, whose vocation resonates in them as they live it into action each day.

My engagement in this volunteer program has strengthened my desire to commit myself to the service of others.