God Visits Us

God made an appointment with Sr Lucy, Melina and 6 of us.

Date:  Sat 3 Nov – Thurs 8 Nov 2018

Time: 9 am – 2pm

Place:  Restful Waters @ Nallur Road

For 6 half-days, God taught us through the gentle and unassuming Sr Inigo Joachim from the St Anne’s Mission in Chennai, India.  Sr. Inigo did not just present a series of talks as if we were at a Seminar.  For this Retreat, Sr. Inigo took us on an amazing journey through the Scriptures.   She quoted scripture verses from memory, and we had to flip through the Old and New Testaments to read and reflect on what the Lord has chosen to reveal during this visit with us.

As I flipped through Books of the Bible I was not aware of, to Psalms I have not read and to passages in the Gospels and the Letters in the New Testament, which I thought I knew but did not actually know, I learnt about a God who does not just rescue people in their distress, but a God who redeems.   The Word of God revealed the clever deception of the Evil One.  The Word of God also revealed the power of Forgiveness.

We learned how to apply the Scriptures written so many years ago to our individual lives lived now and today.  Simply, substitute the names in the Bible passage with our names.  So instead of “Martha, Martha”, it is now “Ros, Ros”.

We also learned to pray – by just remaining Still.  Every day, we practiced meditation by just sitting still and focusing only on the Breath of God, as we inhaled and exhaled.  No need for prayers.  No need for words.  Just be still and wait patiently for the Lord.

Sr. Inigo shared stories of the prisoners in the Tihar Jail in Delhi, where she ministers.  It was truly inspirational to hear how prisoners in their darkest moments of their lives have discovered Hope by reading the Bible.  Do we read the Bible and is there hope in our lives? She also shared powerful stories of ordinary people and families who have been able to forgive for heinous crimes committed against their loved ones.  Can we also forgive?

We were given a final challenge to us as we left Restful Waters.  If we have “come to our senses”, what are we going to do with what God has taught and revealed to us?  Well, I am going to proclaim by sharing the Word boldly.  I am also going to transform my life.  They shall see the Light of God in me!

Now, Sr. Inigo told us that we are not supposed to go to another Retreat for 2 years, or, until we have reflected and transformed our lives.  But I definitely want to come to savour the Word, as revealed by Sr. Inigo, when God visits us again at Restful Waters.

 Ros Lazar

 

While Sr. Inigo served us a wonderful Scriptural banquet, Sr. Lucy generously fed us with delicious home-cooked lunches. Truly, she was able to strike the beautiful balance between ‘Martha’ (Doing) and ‘Mary’ (Be-ing). Thanks to Mel too, for taking care of the logistics and ensuring the comfort of us, the Retreatants.  I am taking leave again and I am coming back!

My Memorable Experience in Singapore

30th July 2018 was a memorable day for me. That was the day I joined other sisters and lay mission partners as participants of the “Learn English in an International Community” program organized by the Good Shepherd Sisters at Restful Waters, Singapore.

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Front row (L to R): Ms Melina Ong (Singapore), Ms Maryann Yong (Korea), Sr Afrida Sri Maryani (Indonesia), Sr Thilini Rupasinghe (Sri Lanka), Sr Nilusha Kiriwella (Sri Lanka)

Back row (L to R): Ms Veronica Kim (Korea), Sr Lucy Chia (Singapore), Ms Selestina Sendiri (Indonesia), Sr Sumaira Yousaf (Pakistan), Sr Francesca Do Thi Thai (Vietnam), Sr Chrishanthi Basil (Sri Lanka), Ms Morene Sim (Singapore)

 

I arrived in Singapore on 29th July with many thoughts and concerns on my mind. However, the warm welcome of Sr. Lucy Chia and Melina wiped away all the doubts and fears I had.  I felt at home. We were nine in the group from different Asian countries, namely, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam.  Living with three lay mission partners and other sisters from different cultures was an enriching and wonderful experience.  We learnt much from each other.  I felt the interconnectedness and the spirit of St. Mary Euphrasia (SME) as we came together as an international Good Shepherd (GS) family.

We began the program with a prayer service led by Sr. Lucy and Melina. The prayer service helped me to see the days ahead with hope and trust. From that day onwards, we had creative prayer almost every morning, where I experienced God’s powerful presence among us.  I was enriched by everyone’s sharing, especially Sr. Lucy’s inspirational sharing which guided me to reflect from different perspectives. Having to lead each morning’s prayer was a good opportunity for me to improve my skills.

Sr. Lucy, Melina and the team had organized this program very well. Though it was named “Learning English”, it was more than this. True, we had Grammar lessons, writing assignments on different topics, presentations, etc., but we learnt much more.

The teachers were not just teachers. They were very simple and committed, even to the extent of volunteering to carrying out the little tasks. Their commitment, GS spirit, the way they taught us using the scriptures and other congregational documents and their passion for the mission serve as a tremendous inspiration for me. They were all drawn by the spirit of SME. I really liked the word “OUR” which most of them used whenever they spoke about anything related to the GS mission or the Congregation. This showed the love, belongingness and the oneness they had within, as a GS family. I experienced this not only from the teachers but also from each and every one who was engaged in the different GS ministries in Singapore.

Participants with their teachers and programme contributors present at the Closing Ceremony

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Front row: Sr Afrida Sri Maryani, Ms Maryann Yong, Sr Francesca Do, Sr Sumaira Yousaf, Sr Nilusha Kiriwella.  Middle row: Sr Lucy Chia, Ms Joan D’Cotta, Sr Thilini Rupasinghe, Sr Chrishanthi Basil, Ms Selestina Sendiri,    Ms Melina Ong.  Back row: Sr Joan Lopez, Ms Morene Sim, Ms Agnes Yeo, Ms Kuang Ser Yee, Ms Veronica Kim, Ms Susanna Chan, Ms Agnes Ee, Ms Cecilia Lim, Ms Cecilia Ee, Ms Nan Bandara

 

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The session on St. John Eudes, St. Mary Euphrasia and their mission partners, facilitated by Sr Helena Vytialingam and Sr Maria Dipal led me to re-think and update my past knowledge besides thinking about my responsibility as a mission partner to bring together our lay mission partners in Sri Lanka, at least in my ministry.

The discussions and sharing we had on social issues and the ministries carried out by the different provinces enriched and empowered us to feel and understand each other’s struggles, pain, hopes and dreams for the future. We were taught presentation skills and given opportunities to identify our capabilities which we were not aware of. We were also able to build our self-confidence by relating stories and sharing our views.

The “Knowing Self and Others” session facilitated by Sr Lucy and Melina was helpful for me. It helped me to understanding myself and others better.  No doubt it will also help me to relate to others whom I come into contact with in the future.

The Peace Prayer Walk was another touching and new experience for me. I felt the love and concern of the volunteers towards the women on the streets in the red light district of Singapore. The volunteers were so eager to show the women their understanding, acceptance and kindness. Though we wanted to talk to the women, that was not encouraged due to the presence of the pimps. We could only offer our silent prayers and wish them peace.

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Peace Prayer Walk with Cecilia Ee, Agnes Ee and team

 

The excursions and visits to places of attraction in Singapore brought me much happiness and joy. As a group we experienced joy and togetherness in those moments. The creativity and the passion of the people who built those places were amazing. On 9th August, which is  Singapore’s National Day, we realized that as a nation, Singaporeans had labored and made sacrifices to bring their country to this level of development.

When I came to Singapore, my dream was to learn and improve my English, especially my presentation skills in order to use them for my mission and to gain some international experience. Today, as I look back, I feel really happy and grateful to God for the opportunity to learn much more than I expected. I was also able to enrich myself in countless ways.

In conclusion, I remember with a grateful heart, the late and dear Sr. Susan Chia who initiated such a useful and helpful program. My heartfelt gratitude goes also to Sr. Joan Lopez, Province Leader of Singapore-Malaysia Province. I am very grateful to Sr. Lucy, Melina and the team for their hard work and the spirit they put into organizing this program so well, which helped me immeasurably. I also appreciate my own Province Leadership Team for providing me with this opportunity to participate in the program. This experience will definitely help me carry out my mission more efficiently and effectively.

Written by: Sr Thilini Rupasinghe

 

Sr Chrishanthi Basil of Sri Lanka shared, “The days I spent in Singapore enrich my life to make it more effective in my dedication to serve the people of God…

Coming to know different cultures and listening to social issues and problems of the different countries paved the way for me to think globally.  The reality is in many ways very challenging…

I was challenged to see and experience the commitment of the mission partners.  Their dedication is so amazing.  It is evident that they are really God given gifts to the Good Shepherd mission in Singapore.  Apart from English lessons, the sessions we had on diverse topics were so inspiring and added knowledge.  All the activities were inspiring and significant.  I was touched by the session given on Leadership.  It made me reflect more deeply about my own commitment.  There were many inputs which I may practice in my life.

I realized there were some personality changes in me.  I am so grateful to God for His presence with me.  For leading me, enriching me, for allowing me to get in touch with my own self.  It is very important during the past month that I really tried to give time for myself.  Here I was able to listen to myself more than what I do when I am in my home country. Thank you, Lord.”

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Veronica Kim of Korea wrote, “It has been a challenging and valuable time in Singapore.  I am grateful for all the participants.  Every single day, I feel that God is around us.  The programme consists of creative prayer every morning, English grammar class, discussions about the Good Shepherd mission and presentations to practice speaking in English clearly.  I’d like to recommend this English programme to all Good Shepherd partners to learn English and to have a new vision of the Good Shepherd Mission in an International Community.   It is a time of grace and also a time of supreme experience with Good Shepherd values through the best partnership between Sr Lucy, who is in-charge of Restful Waters and mission partner, Melina, Manager of the Cross-Border programme in Singapore.

Sr Marie Jean, Province Leader of Korea has a plan for “The Shepherding Course”.   I am a member of the committee for preparation of “The Shepherding Course”.  All the experiences here such as the international community, seeing the bigger picture, the way people are treated, will help me as we prepare for “The Shepherding Course”.

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Sr Francesca Do of Vietnam said, “It has been an enriching experience with much happiness.  I wish more mission partners, like me who was so afraid of speaking in English will have the opportunity to attend this course.  This course has given me the confidence and daringness to speak.  I will continue to speak and learn this beautiful language.  I dance with joy with new found courage.”

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Reflections on Mission Trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Good Shepherd Mission Partners from Singapore with the community in Ho Chi Minh City

“What touched me most is the vibrancy of the sisters in doing what they do.  Though the sector may have limited resources, you are all very rich in your heart with compassion and zeal.  You are all very sincere and ready for action for Good Shepherd Mission. For example, when we said we wanted to bring peanut brittle back to Singapore, sisters readily agreed without hesitation. You want your stories to be heard, and we could feel the passion for the mission in each one. Despite your busyness you went all out to see to our comfort.  Nothing seems too difficult for you to carry out as I experience the exuberance of love and joy of the community.” Sr Lucy Chia

20180316_125001(0)Mr Roger Tan, Sr Lucy Chia, Sr Jacinta Duong, Ms Melina Ong, Ms Cecilia Lim, Ms Morene Sim

“I have always been concerned about the water our students and sisters drink every day.  It was our wish to have good water to drink whenever we felt thirsty.  Good water to drink is a necessary need for everyone. I am happy that Restful Waters team has come and from now on we have good quality water to refresh our  bodies after work and study.” Sr Jacinta Duong

“I feel happy and thank God for the team’s visit. I can’t imagine that Sr Lucy, who is nearly 70 years old, is so full of zeal.  I will always remember the image of her assisting us in the kitchen, making peanut brittle with joy and professionalism. She inspires me through her simple and gentle words. I can see the zeal in the hearts of everyone in the group. They encouraged me. I am touched by their generosity. I appreciate everything they did for us and I have very good experience from their visit.” Sr Josephine Tran

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“During the three days we got to know the group personally. I am inspired by their
enthusiasm and words of motivation. “Never give up when you do for the poor”, that
sentence from Sr Lucy inspires me.” Sr Rose Virginie

“I feel truly blessed by my encounters with the Good Shepherd Sisters in Vietnam.  They toil in God’s “farm” joyfully, and love every single child that God sends to them.  They are
excellent “farmers” who patiently nurture and develop the children under their care. They are able to do so much with so little! I am amazed by their creativity, energy and hard work.  Each sister in an inspiration to me. They are multi-talented and use their talents to do God’s work cheerfully despite the challenging conditions and limited resources. Thank you, Good Shepherd Sisters of Vietnam!” Morene Sim

“You come to us as guests from God. With your presence, I see God’s help through you.
Your sincerity and zeal really touched me and made me more engaged in my mission. Thank God for your presence here with us, and I hope to co-operate in the Good Shepherd Mission.” Sr Francesca Do

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“I really admire your spirit. Everyone has a good heart and kindness. You want to help us
in whatever you see. You inspire me to commit myself for Good Shepherd mission especially for the dignity of the poor. I hope to have a chance to learn from you about school management. So grateful to you all.” Sr Assumpta Tran

“I had the opportunity to partake in the RO project with the group, Sr Lucy, Melina, Morene, Cecilia and Roger. Through this project I benefited and learnt both the process of carrying out a project professionally and the spirit of readiness to share, support and respond to the urgent needs at Asia Pacific level. It has shown a radical way of networking. “Do well all that you do” (St Mary Euphrasia), I am hopeful for the future… our cooperation for Good Shepherd Mission.” Sr Agnes Nguyen

“My plan was to go and fulfil the water project at the school in Ho Chi Minh, but I received much much more. I see young sisters so dedicated and energised. The common good, the gathering of sisters exudes team-spirit and sisterly love among one another…” see how they love one another”. It was truly a God-filled experience, even when the water system did not arrive on time as scheduled, everyone showed patience and made us feel at ease.  I was also very touched by Sr Agnes’ perseverance, never giving up, going personally from office to office to ensure that the RO system arrived before we left.
I am grateful for the open and honest sharing we had with all the sisters and was very taken in and inspired by Sr Theresa’s leadership.” Melina Ong

Life-Giving Water

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38

“You must come!”. That was the urgent plea from Sr Jacinta Duong of Vietnam Sector.
Jacinta’s sharing of the yellowish and sour water which 300 children and the sisters have
been consuming over the past 10 years moved us. The drinking water was pumped from a bore hole located in Binh Hung Hoa cemetery area in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) city. We did not hesitate to answer this call to ‘come’, and bring potable water to Tan Son Nhi Elementary Charity School, a school run by the Good Shepherd Sisters since 2009.

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We sprang into action following an email from Sr Theresa Pham, sector leader of Vietnam inviting us to help despite the fact that planning had started from the day we heard Jacinta’s story. The sisters in Vietnam were most helpful and patient, answering all our queries and requests; even to the extent of providing lab test results on the quality of the water, photographs, measurements, architects’ report on the structure of the building, etc.  Such information was invaluable and critical to the evaluation and planning of the water filtration project.

Five contaminants were identified from the lab results…Our initial proposal of a BioSand
Filter System was found to be insufficient. We needed a more sophisticated Reverse Osmosis (RO) System as advised by our volunteer consultant.

We were blessed with a sponsorship for the system.

Just as we thought all was progressing well according to plan one week before we left for
HCM, we received news that the shipment carrying the RO system would not arrive in time.  Trusting God to be on our side, we set forth on the journey on 13 March 2018.

Looking back, I realised that it was all in God’s plan. The delayed arrival of the RO system enabled us to focus on the piping and iron works which required a longer time than planned. It also allowed all five team members (Sr Lucy Chia, Mr Roger Tan, Ms Morene Sim, Ms Cecilia Lim and Ms Melina Ong) to participate fully in the activity for all the children of the school. We are also thankful for the opportunity to sit down and have meaningful discussions with all the sisters in community. We learned about the ministries in HCM, the challenges they faced, and we witnessed the zeal, creativity and audacity of all the sisters in there.

The RO system finally arrived just-in-time on 15 March and was installed successfully. Clear and quality water began flowing through the taps at 7.35pm. There were cheers all around.

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It was the co-operation and teamwork between the sisters in Vietnam, especially Sr Agnes Nguyen who was the assigned co-ordinator for the project and the team from Restful Waters Singapore, especially Mr Roger Tan, that the project was carried through successfully.

We would like to express our grateful thanks to Truong, the plumber and his two assistants for their commitment, all sisters in community for their hospitality, Sr Theresa Pham and Sr Joan Lopez for entrusting us with this important mission, Sr Jacinta Duong for bringing to our attention the water issue at the school, Mr Roger Tan for his professional and technical advice, and all donors for their contributions towards the activity for the children and sponsorship of the RO System.

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Children drinking the clean, clear, fresh tasting water.

Truly, God has blessed the mission trip, its participants, the children of Tan Son Nhi Elementary Charity School and the Sisters of Saigon Community.

“I am grateful for the chance to welcome you to Vietnam. Through your presence and inspiration, you have given us much encouragement and motivation in networking for the mission.

It was also a great opportunity for our young sisters through listening to your stories of taking risks for mission. How happy are the faces of sisters by sharing their desires, hopes and plans for the future!

I am convinced by the words of Sr Paul, “we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” (Rm 10:13) Sr Theresa Pham, Sector Leader, Vietnam

A Time for Remembrance, Appreciation and Gratitude

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“Beautiful Africa!  Oh my God, how I love it!”  St Mary Euphrasia 

What joy it was to be in Angola to witness the inauguration of the Sr Susan Marie Chia Training Centre held on 15 August 2017.

We thank the Province of Angola for inviting us to this significant occasion. The warm welcome and love extended to us by every sister and mission partner we met was much appreciated.  They spared no effort in making us feel at home, and as Sr Lucy said at one of our sharing sessions in Angola, “I feel so at home here, I feel I am with family.”

Read More : Inauguration of the Susan Chia Training Centre

The World’s Best Seller

Power of the Word of God 3

The World’s Best Seller

How many of us belong to book clubs?  How many books we have read!  Wouldn’t you be keen to get your hands on the world’s bestselling book?

On the weekend of 5th – 6th of August 2017, we find ourselves at a retreat in Singapore offered by Sister Inigo, SSA of India.  This is the second time this year that she comes to Singapore by invitation of Good Shepherd Convent Restful Waters.

Sr Inigo comes to help us better understand, love and appreciate the Bible, still the first among books and our source of spiritual understanding and inspiration.

At 40+, once again the group in attendance is far bigger than first envisaged and once again her message is so warmly received that already people are asking for more.  And already we are putting into action her recommendations.

The Bible remains the world’s number one best seller.  Yet only one person in the group of 40+ attendees at the retreat had actually read it right through.  The invitation that Sr Inigo made was for us to read it at least once!

She gave so much insightful commentary on who some of the writers of the Bible were and who their audience was and what the purpose of the writing was that the effect was to inspire and motivate us to commit to reading and studying it for ourselves.

Last night after day one, seven of us at Restful Waters formed a Bible club called 73BC.  The name relates to the fact that there are 73 books included in the Bible.  We grouped on WhatsApp and I can see how it will be a supportive group, encouraging each other to read.  The first person last night to declare via WhatsApp that she had read 7 chapters of Genesis, got warm congratulations from the group.  I was spurred on right away to read 7 chapters myself!  This morning I read one more and really enjoyed the shared reflections on the readings at breakfast time.

I can see that the idea of regular discussion about the readings will have a great effect.  Together we learn more.

I’m from Australia, my inclusion in the WhatsApp group will keep me connected and as a result I feel sure I’m so much more likely to keep reading.

In response to Sr Inigo’s ideas, in addition to the group’s idea of a Bible club I also had thoughts about how to get things started in my own parish back at home.  I could hear others expressing similar ideas.  One of my thoughts is to see if I can assist in promoting more fellowship and connection among parishioners.

Today as we are about to commence day two I wonder what further projects and commitments will result from Sr Inigo’s retreat.  She is an impressive speaker, an authoritative voice which inspires.  She is clearly an accomplished academic with vast knowledge which she delivers with warmth, intelligence, wit and impeccable timing.

I’m sure we all feel that we could benefit from a long course of study with her and we shared the wish that she might be able to reach many more with her teachings.

Meanwhile the least we can do to show our gratitude for Sr Inigo’s time and care is to make our own commitment to read the world’s best seller, the Bible, right through at least once.

The Power of the Word of God

Here is some information that I found fascinating and helpful over the two days:

Mark had witnessed Jesus being arrested and in his Gospel writing was however the voice of Peter who was himself a man of action.  Mark was interested in what Jesus did.

Matthew and Luke speak about the teachings of Jesus.  Matthew wrote for new and young believers.

John as a Gospel writer was an old man, a mystic and wrote for old believers.  He didn’t want to repeat what others had written, he focused on who Jesus was, referring to Jesus as the Son of God.

God says, “I am who I am”.

Sr Inigo encouraged us to meet with Jesus through the Words, and talked of the importance of passing on the Good News and proclaiming the Word.

She reminded us that we will suffer in our daily lives.  We will suffer stress, burn out, and she asked us to look for renewal in the Word.  “The Word is where we see and find ourselves and will feel called to change.”

She says, “If you go to the Word, you can’t hide and all comes out as you meet Jesus, and being heard, you will be healed.”

She implored us as does Pope Francis, to treat our Bible like our cell phone.  To value it, to have it with us and to read it daily.

“We should be reflecting all our lives on the Gospel of the Good Shepherd.

Nothing is more related to our calling.”  St Mary Euphrasia

Written by: Ms Rosalba Fogliani

             6 August 2017

Compassion in Action

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On 10th and 11th February 2017, a group of 42 sisters, staff, volunteers and friends gathered in Good Shepherd Place to give their rapt attention to Sister Inigo Joachim as she unpacked the topic, “compassion”, which she described as “weak”.

Sister Inigo Joachim is from the Sisters of St Anne’s of Chennai.  Currently when she is not serving as a counsellor in the infamous Tihar Jail, Delhi, she is busy sharing Biblical truth with religious congregations and laity all over India and in many other countries, including Singapore.  In 2008, she was the only female religious to present at a Catholic Bishops Conference in India; and the list of outstanding engagements goes on.  It is nearly unbelievable that her mentor, a priest had admonished the young timid nun, “Sister Inigo, please go and tell your general to keep you in the showcase.  You are not fit to be novice mistress.  You are fit to be in the showcase.” By God’s grace, mercy and compassion Sister Inigo was the Superior General of her Congregation from 1990 to 2002, and became a quietly confident, inspiring speaker whose teachings are deeply based on Scriptures.

Over the two days, Sister Inigo repeatedly reminded the audience that God is compassionate; “God’s love endures forever” as intoned 26 times in Psalm 136.  She drew out two dimensions of compassion: sensitivity and generosity through parables that our Lord taught, especially the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  Compassion essentially means to suffer with the one in pain.  The Samaritan’s heart was moved into action; he was sensitive.  He was generous to the wounded man by dressing his wound, taking him to an inn, paying for his expenses and promising to pay the dues on his return.  The audience were urged to move from merely verbalising mercy to making mercy a concrete act; to move from the heart to the hands just like the Good Samaritan.  A two-day seminar, even espoused in Biblical truth will not make any difference to the world which is full of pain and injustice, unless our hearts are transformed to be like God who is full of compassion.

There was never a dull moment during the seminar as petite Sister Inigo weaved humour into her lived-out experience of showing mercy and compassion to the inmates of Tihar Jail.  Through her stories, we learnt that the poor has the capacity to teach us many lessons, and values like hope, patience, resilience, gratitude and above all, a deep faith in God and Biblical truth.

If you are reading this and feeling that you have missed out on something, look out for the next time Restful Waters invites Sister Inigo to feed our spirituality — August 2017

 

Articled written by Ms Martha Teo

 

 

 

2nd Learn English in an International Community

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Following the success of the first Learn English in an International Community held in June/July 2015, a second run was conducted in November/December 2016.

The objectives were for participants to:

  • achieve a higher proficiency in the English language
  • grow in capacity for the life and sustainability of the Good Shepherd Mission
  • network and grow in confidence to participate in discussions and dialogues with a wider community
  • exposure and experience living in an international community
  • experience Good Shepherd Mission partnership

Apart from classroom lessons on English grammar and vocabulary, the participants had opportunities to:

  • attend a personal growth session based on the Satir Model
  • learn and practise the skills of making persuasive presentations
  • learn and practise the skills of writing an article or report
  • share the culture and ministries of their own Provinces
  • proclaim the Word of God through Lector training
  • prepare and lead at Mass in English
  • participate in the Peace Prayer Outreach walk
  • observe Orange Day and watch the screening of “Maisha: Life Outside the Mines”
  • participate in Christmas carolling
  • interact with Good Shepherd partners and experience partnership in Singapore
  • widen their world view
  • network beyond borders

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At the end of the programme, each participant was able to make a presentation confidently and passionately about a project that they are involved in back home.  It was an opportunity for the audience to hear accounts of the hardship, strife and risks of the poor as well as the cultural and social behaviours in those countries.

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“I can see a very big improvement in the sisters, not only in English but in confidence gained.” Sr Francine Muthugala, Province Leader, Sri Lanka-Pakistan

“Thank you for your caring and support, love for our sisters during their experience of international community…They expressed gratitude and a lot of thanks even for the support of projects such as English and Computer Class for the girls in our boarding in Kalimantan.  They have grown in their mission orientation.  I am proud about that.” Sr Chatarina Supatmiyati, Province Leader, Indonesia

Orange Day

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As part of raising awareness of International Orange Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, Restful Waters partnered Marymount Convent School, Good Shepherd Convent Kindergarten and Marymount Kindergarten to bring the message to young girls and children.

With the support of the Principals and Director of Kindergartens, teachers shared with students on what Orange Day stands for and the importance of speaking out against Violence Against Women and Girls.

We held the observance on 25th October to ensure that all children are involved in this project (November being the school holidays). Each child was given a postcard to bring home to their parents, an orange paper corsage and a cup of fresh orange snack as symbols of the movement.

In the evening, participants of the Learn English in an International Community cooked a local dish of their country.  Teacher volunteers and all involved in the programme were invited to partake in this meal.  The meal was significant as it represented the right to safe access to food especially for women in rural areas.  Women who had to go out in the early hours of the day in search of food.