Sr Ana Pina ACI
In listening and looking back three and a half years since we arrived in Sukaria, we give first give thanks to God for all that has happened as we passed the time of living and experiencing of His presence in Sukaria. We also give thanks for His dream for Sukaria.
We have had the privilege to be invited to “enter” into this dream of God and to collaborate with Him and from Him, so that it starts to be a reality now and for the future and with the people of Sukaria.
We were invited to put our drop of water in the dry land, our grain of soil in the construction of this community, and to plant small seeds of faith and of hope, knowing that we are just instruments of God’s dream. He is the one that transforms, creates and grows new life in Sukaria.
I believe that we discovered this dream of God through the bamboo, through its beauty and simplicity, its flexibility in climatic adversities, its discrete generosity, its hidden secrecy in the interior, and its growth always with others and in the direction of the high that talks about the people of Sukaria.
What are God’s dreams?
He dreams that each one can draw out the inner strength and value, discover how this inner strength is, develop this strength as best as one can and the capacity to resist despite feeling weak including of the feeling of being inferior. It must be a strength that makes one reach for the sky and be what they dream to be.
He dreams with a community that lives in unity and in communion because they support mutually in moments of joy and difficulties, in moments when the need of one becomes the need of all, and the strength of the group is the communion among all.
He dreams what is better for each person and He makes it grow, develop, and expand up to its surrounding. He dreams that each one accepts and respects the uniqueness of others and be tolerant and flexible.
He dreams with the people who are free, without pre-conceptions (prejudice), open to the newness, to what they can learn from others and grow with it. He dreams that they can also be free to share what they have with simplicity and humility.
God dreams with the people and also with the earth, with the rivers and lakes, with the trees that bear fruits, with the fish and the birds that are going extinct but still exist in Sukaria, and how much the people like fishing. And because of this, He dreams that people would be more caring and more protective of nature so that they can continue enjoying all and also for future generations. He dreams that people would know how to preserve and value more their land and forest (that still remains and that is not much). He desires that they would leave the inheritance to their children and grandchildren like their ancestors did for them.
I believe that above all, God dreams to be able to restore the hope in the heart of the people of Sukaria, reminding them that it is possible to realize their dreams, and have greater and larger goals even though along the way there are many obstacles, and sometimes it seems there is no advance.
The hope will help them stabilize and be on their own, and know that things are possible – that we are all in the process, that there is something that we can do together, that all have the rights and the potential to take action, that they are not alone – because God is always there and always at their side.
God dreamt with bamboo, and so do we
Through the bamboo program, apart from other pastoral activities which we are doing, we want to help the people of Sukaria to live the wisdom that the bamboo teaches us – in daily life, in relations with others, in families, in school, in the dreams and the ambition for a better future, in taking care of nature, of the forest.
Also, in the journey of faith in Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and Life, in abundance for all, the bamboo can be a beautiful symbol of this life in abundance that God wants to give to all. Bamboo grows and exists without counting and measuring, giving life full of vigor to the new shoots, and these shoots continue to support others.
As the bamboo planted in our garden grows 10 cm to 20 cm each day, time passed rapidly. From the time we arrived in Sukaria in March 2016, we received so much. We continue to learn so much with so many great people. We are always on a trial and error learning dynamic and we celebrate the failures.
The future of the mission in this land is totally open and we are disposed to give time. We want to continue deepening in the wisdom of the bamboo, welcoming what comes each day, consistently discerning and looking for new ways that can help us in our journey with the people in Sukaria.
Sr Ana Pina ACI is a sister of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has lived in West Kalimantan for three and half years in a small village named Sukaria, regency of Ketapang, where she works with the indigenous Dayak people through a development program on bamboo.