Jemely Mesa, former Volunteer from the Philippines to Indonesia
Preaching: A Labor of the Heart
There is no substitute to a witnessing community without particular attention to the condition of the people living outside of the community. As a lay person living together with the Dominican sisters in the convent, I am so inspired of how they live their vows in and outside of the house. Since we are in the orphanage of 80 to 100 children, from infants to six years of age, the generosity of the Indonesian people.
Christian and non-Christian is simply overflowing. The institution is just relying on the kindness of walk-in visitors but it has survived for more than 30 years already, through the passionate and compassionate hands of the Dominican sisters. It is customary that when our guests come to celebrate the birthdays of their children, they bring packed lunch to be shared by everyone in the orphanage from the kids to the employees.
I remember one day the prioress of the convent, Sr. Regina, O.P. asked us (the sisters and I) if we want our Kentucky packed lunch otherwise she will give it to our less-fortunate neighbors who suffered from a day’s flood. Every Idul Fitri – New Year for the Muslims, after their month-long-fasting - the OP sisters together with their Christian staff all over Indonesia, be they in schools, clinics or in the orphanage, give grocery packs to all the Muslim workers and staffs. It is even extended to our indigent brothers and sisters. With those act of kindness that see and feel in the community, I can say that preaching is a work of the heart, a labor of love. It is by how one lives the Word of God in a daily encounter of life. It is how Christ is seen in one’s whole being. Thus, preaching is a lifestyle. Be it in your homeland or in foreign place, where they have varied cultures, preaching as I say is a labor of the heart. Love is that single powerful element that is acceptable to all, a universal language. As John Macarthur says, “I don’t think preaching is going to impact culture, I think preaching is going to impact people.”
In Indonesia (the world’s largest archipelago) where I volunteered for almost 3 years, I was so overwhelmed by its varied cultures but that didn’t deter me from interacting and reaching out to everyone. May he or she be a Christian or not, a local or a foreigner like me (though some say I look and act like a local), or a professional or not, all I know is that everyone is created the same; we are created out of love, born full of love. Thus I’m privileged to give that love each day, where ever my journey of life will bring me.
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Last Updated (Thursday, 03 March 2011 13:54)