Bountiful life During covid -19

Sr. Henni sidabungke rşcj

When I left Indonesia for Japan, I had lots of excitements in my heart. I was excited to live in a new culture, in a new country and new language, I was excited to begin my journey with God in different ways, I was eager to deepen my RSCJ spirit through this International experience. In addition, I was so enthusiastic to explore the country which was famous for its beauty.

Last January, when I arrived in Japan, first feeling I had in my heart was that ‘I am loved.’ The very first time, I had to adapt  to  the cold weather, I was freezing since I came from a hot country, but it didn’t last, because all the sisters – my community members, Dai- Ni community, Sr Inou, Sr Shell, and  Sr. Chigusa- gave their best to make me feeling warm. Thanks to each of you for the warm clothes and nice shocks. Then, I also  had to adapt to the situation at the International School, began the relationship with the children and the teachers. I really enjoyed my days at the International School. I learned more about the values of the Sacred Heart through the learning process, by seeing the teachers also all the kids.  I tried to be a good friend to the children and listened to their interesting stories. I had never imagined kids in their ages will have such deep stories and feelings.

There are two siblings in the Kindergarten, one is 5 years old , Reese, and she is very quiet, very compassionate and generous. Her sister, Riley, 3 years old very energetic, and talkactive. One day, when we were in the playground, Reese and I talked about her life at home, and how she plays with her sister. Then I told her, ‘Reese, I have been looking at you all these time, and I am so touched that you have a very big heart, you are so kind.’ And she answered me, ‘Once i watched a movie about a good person (angel), she is very good to everybody, and I just want to be like that person.’ Simple answer but I think it was very powerfull for a kid in her age saying that.

Just when I started to feel comfortable with the school and  get to know the teacher and the students’ names, the school was forced to take a break, due to Corona Virus. It really dissapointed me.

For a month, I felt my world became bigger, because I met a lot of people and had to learn a lot of things, but shortly after that I felt like returning to my narrow world, the world of myself. I was confined in the community. I felt bored, dissapointed, and my young soul rebelled. I felt unproductived and just couldn’t stay still because my experience here is only a year. I wanted to spend that one year fruitfully and fill my days with many faces and stories. But God didn’t want to make it like how I expected. Now, I had to refrained from people and activities for safetiness.

In the midst of my dissapointment, I began to be aware that the reason I came to Japan was because I am a RSCJ and I should continue my life as RSCJ no matter what the condition is. The pandemic has affected my life’s schedule but should not destructed my heart. That insights made my world got bigger and bigger, because in this unproductive time, I had time to deepen my inner life, to relook my life and past experiences from different perspectives and places, to see the hand of God that has shaped me, and understand the situation of the world more broadly. Besides that, I deepen the spirit of RSCJs more by being in the community all the times.

Before I left Jakarta, Sr. Lulud said to me, “Don’t worry, if you really want to know who the RSCJ are, Japan is the right place for you.”  After staying here for almost 5 months, I could understand the reason she said that. The experience of being “just at home” gave me many opportunities to learn community life, how each sister through their lives taught me to understand one another, support one another, listen to and strengthen one another.

In addition, I am so grateful because I am given an opportunity until now to visit Dai – Ichi Community. My meeting with sisters in Dai Ichi, brought me to the reflection that finally life is a pilgrimage. As a young person who come from younger areas, we often think we can do everything the way we want. It is difficult to live the vows of poverty- simple in mind and heart- because physically we are able to do everything. But here I learned that one day, I will arrive at that moment when I live not according to my wishes. So, I better practice now to have that simple mind heart, because how I live now will certainly show how I live later in old age.

In this pandemic, I enjoy my days living community life, prayer life and learning Japanese. Thank you to all the teachers who helped me, Sr. Fushiki, Sr. Takahashi and Sr. Ani when I was in Susono and of course the class of listening to the sisters while  we were at meal. Now, I can at least speak the basic Japanese expressions. In addition, I also began to deepen my knowledge of the Society by reading Sophie’s life. I also made lots of communication with friends or young people (interested women) whom I have met before.

So far, I have enjoyed my time, but it doesn’t mean I want this situation forever. Now it’s June I have only one semester left here. I really hope that this pandemic ends soon. I have missed meeting the children from the International school. I would also love to meet you all without being haunted by the fear of corona.Much love from Me,

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