A missionary in a new world in which he has been living for only a week may feel a bit lost and lonely. In the capital of Indonesia - Jakarta, it's easy to experience a cultural shock when you see many new things in a very short time. Everyone around you speaks a new and incomprehensible language. There are people with a different skin color. On the street there is traffic and noise all the time. From mosques you can hear calling for prayer several times a day. In addition, high temperature and variety of food in the street bars or in the good restaurants in the city center.
However, friendly Indonesian people come with help. They do not leave the "white missionary" alone. In just one week, I was invited several times to eat with the parishioners and friends of the Divine Word Missionaries. There is a lot of poverty in Jakarta, but at the same time there are rich people who want to share their wealth. I felt embarrassed when a woman had not allowed me to pay for two pairs of new sandals. Moreover, I was invited to excellent restaurants by my new friends whom I met just few days earlier. And everything happans in in a very kind and pleasant atmosphere.
Probably that is like that because I continue my journey to the Flores island, far away from the capital. Those who live and work in the capital come from this island too. They sympathized with me and said that everything would be fine there. That is why I have even felt sadness that I am leaving them. The people were very friendly for me although I have just met them once. They ask for contact and prayer. I am invited by them for the next time whenever I visit the capital city - Jakarta. It's nice to have friends who appear like angels and lead you through the streets of a new world.
I was able to communicate and make short conversations in Indonesian yet. Therefore, I noticed that it was a great fun for Indonesians who hear an adult foreigner making simple mistakes like a small child. Well, we learn from mistakes, but in the atmosphere of friendship, we do not give up. On the contrary, we see progress every day. Thus, despite minor difficulties with sleep and fatigue, I can certainly admit that it is easy to fall in love with Indonesia because of the openness and joyfulness on the faces of Indonesian people.
Prayers of SVD
May the darkness of sin
and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word
and the Spirit of grace
and may the Heart of Jesus live
in the hearts of all people.
(Saint Arnold Janssen)