Submitted by the Soropadan FCJ community and novitiate in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The FCJ Sisters in the Soropadan Community decided to do an act of social service as one of our charitable actions during the time of Lent. We cooked and delivered fifty packets of food intended for people who live and work on the streets: beggars, scavengers and those who drive manual tricycles. We joyfully did this on the weekend of 13th and 14th March. Two of us had done the shopping for our cooking on Saturday 13th. We cooked early on Sunday morning and then we delivered the food just in time for lunch.
We allowed a longer time for sharing at dinner later that evening and each of us discussed our experience of delivering the food. The journey was made by walking, cycling and driving our motorbikes into the main streets around the city. Unexpectedly, most of us delivered the food in a short time.
There were a lot of hungry people who were terribly in need of food but what we noticed even more was much they cared for each other.
Through this social service, we experienced one form of the contemporary crosses in today’s world. It happened when two of us delivered the food together by motorbike. We stopped to give our food to a woman who was struggling to manage her cart while at the same time, watching her two children, aged about 8 and 9 years old. When we gave her the food, the woman started to share details about her life. She was a single mother of three children. Her oldest child had died recently from an illness which was her biggest sorrow. She hoped that her son would be able to support them financially because he had finished his university studies and was now working. It was surprising to us because people usually do not usually share a deep story of their lives to strangers. This poor, sorrowful woman did. She was in great need for people to listen and to share the struggles of her life. Leaving her with smile on her face, we continued our journey. By listening to this story, we were reminded that there is a great need for people to talk and be listened to with compassion.
It was a beautiful experience for us. We did not just offer the food; we had a meaningful conversation with the person who received it. Each person brought an interesting and lovely story from the journey. Amazingly, it gave each of us a reflective, spiritual experience and much joy.