Young Leader with A Character Full of Gratitude
Who doesn’t want to achieve success in such a young age?
Billy Boen, an owner of a brand, company, and community named Young On Top once said, “ If you can achieve success at young age, why should you wait until old?”. Billy Boen must sound familiar to us, for he has shared his success story in a book and several TV’s talkshow such as Kick Andy.
At Feast, an event held by Light of Jesus Family, with the theme WOW, our MarComm team got a chance to interview this 1978 born in person. His experience and character is definitely worth to be shared with LOJFam, especially because he is a very positive person and willing to keep sharing. Check out our interview with Billy Boen below.
Q: How do you see yourself as a leader? What type of leader are you?
A: I am a leader who believes in “lead by example”. I never say anything that I don’t believemyself. As a leader, I will do things that hopefully can becomeinspiration for others.
Q: What is the key factor to your success?
A: The key factor to my success is my family. I’m grateful for the family I have now, where I can learn a lot from my parents. From each example they gave and their guidance since I was small, I have been directed to find my passion or hobby. My parents taught me to dream big. They also kept telling me to have a good attitude. I was taught not to differentiate social status, religion, race, be open to all thoughts and “go extra miles” in doing everything.
Q: Is there anything you have to sacrifice in order to gain success like now?
A: Since small it seems like my life have been shaped by my parents, where they guide me without telling me what to do and impose their will. Starting since primary school, my parents gave me a lesson about the meaning of leadership and until I finished my school, I never felt there is anything need to be sacrificed because my parents never demanded anything. I feel everything that I have done until now is my own desire, not a burden from my parents’wish. Turns out those guidancesare aligned with my desire. Perhaps without me even realizing it, I was directed since small, but I did everything with a joyful heart and I enjoyed doing it.
For example,my parents never asked me to get first rank but more to make lot of friends.When I had to choose a major in high school, my parents never forced me to go into science but I was permitted to take social class.
Q: How do you think a leader can have a balance life in spiritual and business?
A: Both is really important. When I was asked as a child what do I want to be later, my answer is I want to be successful in career because I was taught like that. But moving forward, now I believe in balanced life. We have to struggle to obtain this concept becauseIn actual life, you cannot be 100% balanced all the time. For me religion is important to keep us humble in doing business and having career. Because we might think we are a superstar when we can lead lots of people in one company. Religion or belief will always remind us there is a greater power than us who is mere human. So this belef will keep us humble, knowing that we cannot do everything alone without His help.
Q: Do you have a role model?
A: Role model? It’s so classic for my age, my fave is my father and mom. Career wise, of course it is my father because since small I saw him coming home from work everyday. I asked what did he do and he said he is a leader in a company. Since that I said to myself that one day I will also be a leader of a company. Yes, He’s my role model for my career.
Q: How do you improve yourself?
A: Back again to what I’ve said before, this is a character which has been planted on me since small. I never wait for someone else to challenge me, I challenge myself in everything. For a work that I have done, either it is good or imperfect, I will always evaluate it. I’m a kind of person who always ask every second what can i do better. It is already my character so if asked why, I also dont know what to say. Hehe
Q: What else do you want to improve in life?
A: Since my book was published, I dont have anything left to achieve. But one thing I realize after publishing this book is I have one purpose, that is to share more. If I was asked what to improve, it is to be able to give more time for sharing. I indeed have no more goals but the purpose of my life is to keep on sharing.
Q: What is the thing you really grateful for in life?
A: I am the kind of person who is always grateful for everything in life. I rarely take them for granted. I always realize for everything that happened in my life starting from the smallest one. So what I am grateful for the most is maybe how I have been taught all the basic value of life from my family. For me, having a grateful character should be made habit even for the smallest thing.
Billy Boen is really an inspirational person in his young age. Hopefully in the beginning of 2015, let us once again improve our attitude and keep on learning, especially to be grateful.
God bless you to be successful in young age! God bless you!
There`s Something about Mother Mary
As a Catholic, has it ever occurred to you and questioned why we need to pray to Mother Mary when our Savior and King of all Kings is Jesus Christ? Actually the simplest answer is we pray not to Mother Mary but through the intercession of Mother Mary to Jesus Christ. But why Mother Mary and not the others? Because Mother Mary was chosen by God to carry Jesus in her womb and gave birth to Jesus. Mother Mary is respected and looked up to by people because of the grace of God upon her. She is considered as the most Holy amongst all saints because Mother Mary is the only one appointed to become the channel of God to bring Jesus into this world.
Aside from these facts, what are the other important things to know about Mother Mary?
Mother Mary is our intercessors, similar to our preference to pray through Saints whom are considered more holy and has closer relationship with God, or the daily example is we request those who can pray for us to bring forth our wishes and/or struggles to God. Mother Mary’s role is to help bringing forth our prayers to Jesus. The prayer of righteous people with great faith has strong power (James 5:16).
Mother Mary is our role model. In the midst of modern lifestyle with its own complexity and consumerism, full of impurity, the life example led by Mother Mary becomes refreshment to us. Looking back to her age of 14, she was chosen by God to carry Jesus in her womb as a virgin, what a great phenomenon when we think using logic, is it even possible? Why was she chosen, what kind of qualities that made her deserve this position? The Lord saw Mother Mary’s humility and purity. She accepted the calling of God with by saying: “let it be to me according to Your word” (Luke 1:38).
Mother Mary will bring us closer to God. Like Scott Hahn said “It isn’t undermining devotion to Christ. It’s to express our devotion of Christ, our worship of Christ by imitating him. If we really imitate him, we do what He does and we honor and bestow glory upon His mother.” Praying to Mother Mary is not to shift our focus from Jesus, but is another way to know Jesus better by respecting and honoring the Mother as the woman who bring Him to this world, took care and faithful throughout Jesus’ life.
But what is the history behind October as the month of Mother Mary?
In 1575, a battle took place in Lepanto, in which Turkey attacked Christianity and almost defeated due to the lack of people compare to the opposition, which include those ready to defend in Spain, Genoa and Venice. To face this, Don Juan (John) from Austria as the leader for Catholic people, together with the locals, prayed the Rosary to ask for Mother Mary’s help in such urgent situation to save Christianity. And the prayer was answered on 7 October 1571, which later on was decided by Pope Pius V as the month of Rosary in Vatican mass. Later Pope Gregorius XIII decided that specific date as the Day of the Rosary.
Rahab: From Prostitution to Human Salvation
We read about His Words in the Bible. But Hollywood also looks into it because many great characters and stories are there that can be made into blockbuster. In this Bible Month, we bring you a story of Rahab, a reminder of His unconditional love that keeps transforming us and bringing us victory over victory.
Rahab: From prostitution to human salvation
There are times when we make wrong decision in our lives. Maybe we befriend the wrong crowd and eventually we are stuck in such an awful life. We live far from God and are trapped in the lifestyle we are not proud of. The same situation happened to Rahab, who lived in the city of Jericho in the time when Joshua the prophet led the Israelites to conquest the Promised Land. In those days, the fortified city of Jericho was inhabited by the pagans. Undoubtedly, Rahab was in the wrong crowd. To added more drama, she was a prostitute. It wasn’t something to be proud of. However, she wasn’t a high class prostitute. She built her own dwelling in the north wall of Jericho. But a decision of faith changed the course of her live forever. Her name was listed in the history of human salvation. Rahab has proved that her dark past didn’t determine her future. She also has proved that it was God’s mercy that changed her life from a prostitute into the ancestor of the World’s Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
The story of Rahab can be read in the Book of Joshua 2:1-24. It all started in one day when she welcomed two strangers to stay at her place. At first, she had no idea about the true identity of these strangers. Suddenly on midnight, her door was knocked by the royal troops who had been looking for Israelites spies. With her quick thinking, she daringly told the chief of the troops to chase the Israelites spies on a false direction in order to help the two spies went back safely to their camp. The courageous act was not an instant decision. She had heard how the Israelites had conquered the kings of the Amorites. Helping these spies would give her a new hope. It means she would have the change to restore her live and started a total brand new life.
Through rumors, Rahab had heard how mighty and awesome the God of Israel was. She heard how God parted the Red Seas for the Israelites and caused them to conquer the kings of the Amorites. But to hear only was not enough for her. Rahab took a big step of faith by admitting that the God of Israel is the only God in the heavens above and in the earth beyond (Joshua 2:11). Rahab was full with certainty that God was able to give the city of Jericho into the hand of the Israelites. She believed the same God who can do awesome deeds for the people of Israel, can do awesome things in her life.
How big a person can be is not determined by his action, but by how big the love he can share to others. This principle was proven to be true by Rahab. You can imagine how terrible her condition was. Through times, earn money through prostitution was a dishonor. The Law of Moses sentences a stone punishment (where the guilty person was stoned into death) for a woman who was caught on fornication. If you were a member of her family, would not you be sorry with her choice of life? Perhaps you would despise her? Or isolated her? Or even you would not admit her as your family member for she brought a terrible humiliation to the whole family. But what Rahab did displayed her big love to her family. Rahab made a promise with an oath to the spies she hid: if she hid them, then they should not kill Rahab and her family members who gathered in her house in the day of Israelites’ invasion.
From all the inhabitants of the city of Jericho, only Rahab and her family who were saved and permitted to live among the Israelites. She was given a chance to start a new life and to know God. It wasn’t long until she met Salmon from the tribe of Judah. From her family line were born King David, King Solomon, and Josef, the husband of Mary and the father of Jesus Christ the Redeemer.
There are three things we can learn from Rahab, which are, the courage to believe, the decision of faith, and willingness to love.
1. The courage to believe
Too many times we focus on our temporary situations. We think bad breaks will take place forever and, to make it worse, it is a part of the “Cross” we need to bear our whole life. The truth is different than that. God gives us hope through each of His Words and His promises. Our hope in God will not end up in vain because God is faithful to His promises. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What we need is the courage to hope and to believe that God has provided a wonderful future for each of us.
2. The decision of faith
Undeniably we need a humble heart like Rahab to be able to confess that God is a profound God who surpasses anything. Too often we limit the power of God by self-righteously determining which things God is able or unable. The truth is, the power of God can only be seen when we fully believe in Him. We need to learn that there isn’t any power that can overcome the power of God. No matter how terrible our past is, or how dreadfully our current situation is, God is well-able to turn whatever comes your way to bring you down into your advantage.
3. Willingness to love.
Most of time, we hardly forgive those who have despised and dishonored us. Nonetheless, holding bitterness will only hinder us from God’s preordained plan in our life. Forgiving is a decision of faith. It means we believe God understands the problems we have in our life. We believe God is still working in our life and God’s amazing plan will still come to pass in our life. Forgiving can also be applied to ourselves. There are times when we treat ourselves too hard and take improper punishment with the burden we don’t need to bear. This is also wrong. The grace of God surpasses all of our mistakes. God has forgiven us and has redeemed us from our sins so that we need not to pay the price of our mistakes. All of it has been paid with the Blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. All we need to learn is to receive and give up ourselves soaked in God’s love. When God’s love abounds in us, we will be able to forgive and to love those who trespass against us.
Rahab had proved that her past didn’t determine her future. She wasn’t a charismatic prophet or a special person who were visited by the angel of God Gabriel. She was just an ordinary person, who failed and fell into sins. But if she could rise from her miserable life, so can we. What God has done to Rahab, can also be done to us. Whatever decision you make today will not only change the course of your life but also the life of the people who will come in your family line. Perhaps you are the impact that has long been waited for. Perhaps you are the one who set a new standard for your family. Perhaps you are the one who set generational blessings in your family line.
Our past cannot determine our future. It is the hope, the faith, and the love of God within us that will change our life from the last to the front, from cursed to be blessed, from failures to success. (VEA)
Father Yohanes Dwi Harsanto - Catholic Youth Spirit
From Bantul, May 8, 1972, born a figure we know today, Father Yohanes Dwi Harsanto (also fondly called Father Santo), who gave his life to service “OMK” (Orang Muda Katolik – Catholic Youth) world. Romo Santo started his elementary to high school education in Yogyakarta, and continued to St. Peter Canisius Mertoyudan Seminary Magelang, Tahun Rohani Sandjaja Jangli Seminary Semarang, St. Paul High Seminary Yogyakarta, then studied at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta in the Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Pontifical Theology at the same time. Father Santo was ordained by Mgr. Ign. Suharyo on July 12, 2000 in the church of St. FX Kidul Loji in Yogyakarta. Since January 1, 2008 he assumed position of Executive Secretary of the Bishops` Commission for Youth Conference of Indonesia (KomKep KWI). He is also active in prison pastoral communities, contributor of www.katolisitas.org, teaches at school / personal evangelism courses, as well as being a moderator of PDKK Bina Nusantara University students. This year, KomKep KWI will publish his book on personal pastoral guide of OMK Indonesia titled Sahabat Sepeziarahan (Friends in One Pilgrimage). With this book, hopefully all OMK communities across Indonesia dioceses can have same understanding and work towards common goal.
Let us read the interesting story of Father Santo’s involvement in developing OMK world.
1. How did you begin to engage in OMK organization?
Before entering the seminary, at elementary school age, I followed my parents who were active in the community and parish. I joined the altar servant community, Legio Mariae, PDKK in high school, and Mudika Emanuel at Sacred Heart Parish Pugeran. I also joined the Catholic student organization in the public schools and Catholic student organization in Yogyakarta so that I became more familiar with OMK variety of services. After entering high seminary, I chaperoned FKPK (Catholic Student Contact Forum) Yogyakarta. I become more in love with OMK pastoral.
I am challenged to chaperon OMK because since I was young, I was accompanied by mentors, brothers, sisters and priests. I feel grown. I compare myself to other friends who were not active in the community, they did not grow, and some even go to jail, and left the Catholic Church. I am grateful to grow in the Church and grow stronger because of joining a community, with the guidance from counselors when I was younger. I also like to read spiritual books. I am interested in the word of God, "What good will it do for people to win the whole world and lose their lives?" (cf. Mt 16:26). And again, Jesus was always young. He did not die of old age. The Church has always been young with the young Jesus. When taking part in the World Youth Day, the Asian Youth Day, Indonesian Youth Day, we are reminded of the message from Pope John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis and the bishops that Catholic Youth are a valuable treasure to Christ in His Church. (You can click www.vatican.va for reading Pope’s messages fot the youth)
2. According to you, what a difference of young people today compared to your days?
The atmosphere of my childhood and youth took place in between 1980 to 1990, lived in rural outskirts of Yogyakarta city. No hand phone, no latest technology inventions. I lived in the New Order`s political future, where all the information is controlled government and not much of other information source beside RRI and TVRI. Most of the atmosphere is different compared to atmosphere of young people in big cities in this era. My spirit of learning was challenged with the little amount of information. I diligently read anything and like to go to libraries and bookstores. Nowadays, book can be downloaded in the gadget. Content of Vatican library can easily be downloaded from www.vatican.va, right?
However, there is one similarity between then and now: Young people are hungry for self-discovery, healthy relationships that are growing, and the right process to determine the future.
For Young Catholics (OMK), their challenge before and today is the same: how to further grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ. OMK longs to meet with Christ as a divine person who live and grow,
strengthen, encourage, understand, push for growth.
3. Many judges Catholic Church being ancient/ too traditional, what is the Catholic Church`s efforts to face the world ripple? According to you, has the Catholic Church now embraced more young people?
The Catholic Church was established and secured by Jesus Christ. Christ is fully present and identifies Himself with His Church, the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church. However, the Catholic Church as His body could not and do not want to betray the teachings of its head that is Christ. Because the teaching of the Church remains: to defend life from conception until natural death, defend conjugal fidelity, fight against selfishness and evil, willing to sacrifice self for the happiness of others, educate public conscience, have dialogue with others. It all means: to follow Christ completely for the sake of eternal salvation. This is ancient teachings according to selfish people. But the teaching of the Catholic Church is always right and has produced a lot of martyrs and saints, also in modern times. How to navigate these turbulent times safely is, to implement the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church that is Jesus Christ.
Since Pope St. John Paul II launched it in 1983, the Church has a "World Youth Day", "Asian Youth Day", "Indonesian Youth Day", also at the level of the diocese "Diocese Youth Day", even in parishes there are "Parish Youth Day". "Youth Days" was set in to have OMK in motion to gather together, to explore the Catholic faith. They meet with Christ and one another as children of Indonesian compatriots countrymen.
4. What needs to be done by OMK to embrace fellow atheists or believers but apathetic?
What should be done is that OMK should see Christ in prayer, the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and then meet with Christ in dialogue with one another and in service to the poor fellow. Way to embrace it to be in process together. Invite your friends even of other religions to visit and help the poor. In Jakarta there are some communities that you can take to help the growth of faith and an attitude of faith OMK. For example, the Community of Saint Egidio invites the poor for luncheon once every few weeks. You can meet people from other religions and even those who has doubts on God. You can learn a lot from servicing the poor. Because Christ immediate action is to help those in need then He pulled every heart to Him. Pope Francis asks us to do things with Christ, with the way "from inside" to “go outside". Greet others, so that we continue the hand of Christ to stroke and greet poor people in the broad and narrow sense. People are more touched with real attitude. Well, if then come up a question about the content of teachings faith, you can answer according to your religious beliefs and teachings of the Church. You can access the content www.katolisitas.org to deepen the teachings of the Catholic faith.
5. What characters should Catholic youth have?
Just go natural as young person that reflects the spirit of God: Happy, Optimistic, Dynamic (Gembira – Optimis - Dinamis).
6. What is Catholic Church responsibility in promoting the concept of nationalism?
Church provides civic education or political education at any time. Our Church makes a pastoral letter to respond to situations such as elections, drugs, saving the environment etc. But certainly, the Church believes and exists with young people to act as apostles of the digital age in the community.
7. Any Independence Day message for LOJF and Indonesia OMK?
Act according to the name you bear. If the name contains the word "Light" "Jesus" "Family", of course you will act according to its meaning. If the name is "Indonesian Catholic Youth", of course you will really be "people" (humans living in this era in this place, not animals, not angels), "young" (happy, optimistic, dynamic), and "Catholic" (one hundred percent Catholic, Jesus Christ inside) and "Indonesia" (one hundred percent Indonesian, loving compatriots from Sabang to Merauke, from Rote island to Miangas island. Be human with independent spirit!
Journalist: Lenny /Translator & Editor: Siska
LEADERSHIP DNA: Steven Wijaya
Our feature this time is Steven Erwin Wijaya (Steven), our Grand Feast chairman, currently also associate Feast Builder, Light of Jesus Family, whose figure certainly can not be separated from his success story in leading a company in such a young age. Born on January 6, 1981, having jogging and fun hiking as his hobby, he is the eldest child with one younger sister and two younger twin brothers. He actively serves in LOJF after finishing his undergraduate and graduate degree in United States. Not only Steven, his siblings are also actively involved in LOJF activities and they become pioneers in their family.
Let us read interesting story that Steven shared with LOJF journalist team on how he continues learning to be the best leader in the Lord both in his service and business life.
1. How do you join LOJF at first place?
The story is very simple, when I was taking my undergraduate degree in Madison, I started to join a Catholic organization with a moderate scale, where the activities were also more towards fun. I became a servant there briefly, because then I moved to Los Angeles and did not involve in any service for about 5 years.
I then returned to Indonesia, after which I grew my longing to have and be active in a community. Unexpectedly, my friend who already knew LOJF, invited me to come to the Feast. I felt comfortable being part of this community. After that, I asked my siblings to join and we finally also become part of the LOJF community.
2. You have successfully led many people, both in the field of work and service at a relatively young age. What is the key to your success?
I believe Leadership is Learned. I learn a lot about the meaning of leadership, but other than that, we also need have to have the potential, intention, and capabilities towards it.
The first lesson is to always try to be the best of ourselves. In his/her imperfection, a leader needs to set the best example and not only goes around demanding people. A leader does not need to show he/she is perfect, as nobody is perfect, but needs to show that it is more about serving. Because when we serve others, they will be more appreciative of us and willing to serve back.
Second lesson is to have the ability to listen.
The third lesson is to form a team of solid and capable leaders. Roughly this time at PT. United Family Food (Unifam) there are almost 5000 people, both hired or outsourced. However, the strength of an organization is not dependent on how many people we have. The key to manage people is not necessarily the number of people we lead, but on how many leaders we have generated. Like John C. Maxwell once said, "when you add followers, you`re in the additional process. But if we add leaders, we`re in the multiplication process ".
3. How do you see business success and spiritual success?
Successful business is a business that has a good reputation. To have that, we must have good integrity, beginning from our words that can be trusted. This value is also the same in the service. This key to success is precisely what makes us try harder. There is a difference between us being successful in the wrong way and the right way. If we build a business in a way that is not correct, there must be a conflict between services and business life. But if we build it based on integrity and trust, the existence of the spiritual values and principles (of the Bible) becomes a major key to success.
Spiritual life and business life are not two different things because both can run simultaneously and in support of one another.
4. How you can divide your time to achieve the `work-life balance`?
It`s hard for me, but I learn how to make a priority. Within 24 hours, how we use time more valuably. I still have room for improvement here. This time, indeed most of my time is spent in work and business, then for service and then for time with family and relationship. In the future, my effort is to make it for relationship and family foremost, then for work and business, and then for service.
5. How can you win business competition that is getting stronger?
A wise man once told me, a company to be feared is not a company that continues to bother other people, but a company that continues to improve itself. My focus is how to improve ourselves, and have a strong foundation, so I am able to face the competition out there.
6. What is your passion and how do you fill your days and continue to create a positive person?
Leading People & Envisioning is something that I love, and preaching is one part of leadership. In having a Positive Mental Attitude. I believe we are not called to be positive as much as we are called to be grateful. When we are grateful, we automatically become a positive person. And I myself need to continue learning to be grateful. I also equip myself with quality reading from John C. Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, Robert Kiyosaki, Bo Sanchez and many more.
7. How do you see the role of Jesus in your life?
For me, Jesus is a place to vent. As a best friend who can accept me, with my strengths and weaknesses and my sins. I feel God loves me so much even though I am far from perfect.
8. Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration may change over time. But Mom and Dad, is the foremost of family. Dad is a patient and calm person while my mom is a career and business woman that to her family is the most important. Both inspire me and maybe some of my characters were derived from them.
9. How do you need prayer and regular prayer life? How do you build your spiritual life and prayer routine?
Maybe I am not the right person for this question. But I think prayer is very important because through prayer we can know ourselves. So we get to know God. The biggest challenge between our current situation and what we aspire to be is not our situation and condition but ourselves. For example in a relationship, we first need to understand what we want. In this situation, prayer will help us to direct our lives and move forward.
My foundation is to have quiet time when praying without words in the morning, for around 20-30 minutes. I am trying to do it every morning and I’m still learning to adhere it. I also go to the adoration chapel to pray for 45-60 minutes.
10. How do you see the progress of LOJF so far? Going forward what is your particular mission with LOJF?
I feel grateful to get this far because LOJF Catholic community is currently the most rapid growing community inJakarta, but this should not make us arrogant. There are many homeworks, where LOJF foundation should be strengthened further, especially for the Feast and Care Group. This is where we reach out to the unchurch. Whereas through these activities we can better fill ourselves. I serve solely so I could be near God and used by Him always. I believe recovery can happen when we restore others and when we become God’s tool. When God works through us, God blesses us and restores us as well. I hope God gives me the opportunity to answer YES to all of his calls and become His tool in life, like the Light of Jesus slogan.
11. What is your hope for LOJF friends in Indonesia?
Hope for all the friends in LOJF, let us serve. Do not just stop growing, but also be fruitful. Through LOJF we also can open up to all the sinners, like LOJF mission itself, because we do not have to be pure to enter into this community. We should be able to be a second family to our unchurch friends. Let’s be a light to our family and friends.
Journalist: Joan Translator/Editor: Siska
Rissa Singson Kawpeng: Beautiful in God`s Eyes
Star Profile June 2014
Sister Rissa Singson Kawpeng: Beautiful in God’s Eyes
Living in a God’s way is her wisdom. Rissa Singson Kawpeng, or more known as sister Rissa, is a mother of two children, a preacher and editor-in-chief of the Philippines’ most widely read inspirational publications –Kerygma.She was once a stand-up comedian in Philippinesand an actress.
In her young age, as a fifth daughter out of six children, she waited for a man to be her husband. She became more impatient at her waiting time when her older sisters got married. Sister Rissaeven questioned to herself, “What’s wrong with me?” But then she finally found the one she’s been dreaming of.
In her free time, she swims 3 times a week for exercise. From the first impression, she looks so energetic and alive. Her character, her talents, her successful career and her journey to marriage life willdefinitely inspire us. Let’s see how a woman can have a happier lifethrough her perspectives.
Q: What is your definition of a real woman? What is your biggest challenge in the journey of becoming real woman?
A:A real woman is someone who celebrates her femininity and rejoices in how God has uniquelycreated her. I think the biggest challenge we face is to love ourselves and accept ourselves regardless the worldly messages and influences that media bombards us every day. We have to learn to see the beauty God has put in each of us and honor it in ourselves.
Q: Is there any experience that has influenced your journey in developing Godly woman character?
A:I grew up in a small Bible sharing group with five other full-time servants of the Lord. We named our group Feminine Company, inspired by the passage from 1 Peter 3:3-4. "Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, 4 but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.”
For many years, I didn’t wear makeup or jewelry, trusting the Lord to let His beauty shine through me. Keeping such principle during my youthhas allowed me to focus more on developing inner beauty instead of vanity that the world usually promotes.
Q: Magazine and media nowadays talks about being an independent woman. In what extend do you agree and disagree towards this issue?
A:I believe every woman has to be independent, whole in herself and not relying on anyone to complete her and make her happy. The only dependence we should have is on The Lord.
Q:Society often defines how woman should look like and should behave. Thus we are conditioned to follow mainstream role model with attractive physical appearance to make guy’s jaw drops. Therefore girls are forced to fit into the society’s definition of being pretty according what most people concept of pretty. For example one should go outside their home wearing make-up, dress up nicely, moreover to the extent of performing plastic surgery. What would be your comment to this situation and what is your advice to stay truly beautiful?
A:I`ve written a book entitled "Discover Your Inner Beauty Queen." There, I talked about true beauty that comes from the inner disposition of our hearts and not from external means. Yes, of course, we need to be presentable and beautiful. But we should not stop there. Because what`s really more important and lasting is the beauty that comes from a calm and gentle disposition, which is beautiful in God`s eyes (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Q: It’s impossible to respect value and admire great leadership if you can’t identify what makes a leader great. So what are the qualities you consider women should have as a leader both at home and in the workplace?
A:I think the most important quality of a leader, whether man or woman, is integrity. The best way to lead is by example, and you can`t do this if what you preach is different from what you practice.
Q: How can you be an editor for Kerygma books? Do you have a mentor to teach you how?
A:When I was young,I had a mentor. She was my editor-in-chief and she happened to also be a teacher. So she taught me how to edit. But I also took a magazine writing course in the United States and took other short courses now and then to expand my knowledge.
Q: Who’s your role model and why?
A:Aside from Mother Mary who`s the hands-down best role model of all, I`d say it`s my mom. She led me to Jesus. By her life and examples, she taught me to love Him and serve Him with my all.
Q: You are a mother of 2 kids, a wife, an editor and servant of Lord. How do you manage your time being in multiple roles? How can you serve whole heartedly without getting burnt out/ restless?
A:I don’t like complicating things. I’ve accepted that I can’t have as much things on my plate as I used to when I was still single. So I’ve learned to say “no”to many things and not to overload my schedule so I’ll have time for the things that matter. That means prioritizing my family time. At the end of the day, my most important roles are not being preacher or worship leader or seminar speaker; it’s being a wife and a mom.
Journalist: Joan / English Translation: Joan / Editor: Siska / Erica
Father Nilo: Say Yes! to God`s Calling
The special calling to serve God is so huge and powerful that one can explode if he doesn’t answer that calling. -Father Nilo
Having a beautiful wife, a great career, and having financial wealth were one of his dreams. But God called him to be His servant when he almost reached his dreams. “Are you REALLY a REAL priest?” Almost everyone he meets always ask this same question to him. In this rare opportunity, Father Nilo will share his inspiring life testimony to us.
Being a priest must be one of your biggest steps in life. Have you ever thought about it before?
I had never thought about becoming a priest. I was born in Catholic family but I was assured 101% I didn’t want to be a priest. My parents only have two children, my little sister and I. Being the only son in my family had pushed me to pursue the same common dreams as my own relatives had. When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a lawyer or a philosophy lecturer. My family was not the faithful one. Even we felt it is enough for one member of the family who attended the Sunday mass. So we attended the mass in turn.
However, God used my ex-girlfriend in university to prepare me in my calling as a priest. Studying philosophy for two years turned me into an atheist. My ex-girlfriend was very religious. She never got tired to draw me closer to God. Every day, she attended the daily mass the church, she prayed the Rosary, prayed the Novena, and prayed other devotions. I loved her too much so I always made my time to receive her invitation, not for the relation with God in prayer, but just to spend my time with her. We followed the daily mass at our university’s chapel. The sermon brought by the priest from the Dominicans Order of Preachers (Ordo Praedicatorum) touched my heart. Slowly but sure, I started to realize my calling as a priest. My spiritual experience before I fulfilled my calling as a priest was so ordinary and I never thought how it would felt like to wear the priest’s robe, which I was once consider it like women’s garment.
How did you cope with yourself before eventually answered “Yes” to this special calling?
My first struggle was my ex-girlfriend. She released me because she felt she was the one that draw me closer to God so she would not be the person who stands between God and me through my calling. At first, she prayed for me to become a believer not to become a priest. But her willingness to release me so that I could enter the seminary showed how she loved God and me. My second battle was my own success. I have received the doctoral certification from Vatican that allows me to teach as philosophy lecturer everywhere. But one day, the certification was damaged because I unintentionally spilled out orange juice over it. It became clear for me that God wanted me to serve Him as a priest not a philosophy lecturer who pursues career and worldly wealth. My third struggle was my family. They were hardly burdened when they eventually allow me to live my calling as a priest. The power of prayer was the key of success in overcoming my own resistance and my family’s confrontation. The special calling to serve God is so huge and powerful that one can explode if he doesn’t answer that calling. In the same way, I eventually answered “Yes!” to God.
Have you ever thought to stop when you are dealing with your challenges? What makes you stay faithful in living your calling as a priest?
The challenges for me are losing my energy in the mind, heart, and physical body. As a priest, I have a very tight schedule from early morning to the evening, both in my personal activity such us prayer, and in serving people. Praise the Lord, I have never thought to quit, but I always think, will this worth? I have done many things for others. But, how about myself? How about my family? When I have such discouraging thoughts, when I am weak, I remind myself my main reason why I am where I am. I have chosen to answer God’s calling and I have taken a decision to bear the responsibility serving God as His personal servant. Every morning when I wake up, I remind myself: “Nilo, you are a priest! Don’t do anything that against it. Don’t be anything except being a priest. God’s grace of commitment encourages me that I do all things to God. This decision and commitment rebuild my passion to live my calling.
By being a priest, you must understand and love the Catholic Church. In your opinion, what makes Catholic special?
The Catholic Church is so special because of our founder who is Lord Jesus Christ, the Whole Truth itself. I‘m not saying that there isn’t any truth outside the Catholic Church. But we can learn more about the Truth through the Holy Sacraments. We also have many devotional prayers and guardian saints. We can pray in adoration to draw ourselves to God. We also have and love Mother Mary who always pray for us. We are given the free will and a chance to repentance through the Reconciliation Sacrament. There are many things the Catholic Church offers as the door for us to reconcile with God.
What is the main focus of your ministry in the Catholic Church?
My main focus of ministry is to build up people. I have been given an assignment to guide young seminaries in Indonesia. As the coordinator in my congregation, I draw myself closer to the Catholic communities of young people, both in Philippines and in Indonesia, especially in Surabaya. I do the best I can do to help young Catholic people to find and answer their calling. I involve myself in many prayer meetings and Bible study, especially as speaker. Through this personal approach, I greatly hope the young people will be encouraged to find support from me as I can help to guide them to the next level such as entering the seminary.
How do you see the role of young Catholic people today and their future impact to the Church?
The young people are the Church’s future hope. First, they have a massive energy that is very useful to build the Church. I strongly hope they can use it in positive direction and not to waste it in useless actions or damaging themselves. Second, they have unlimited creativity. I aware that the Catholic Church is full of tradition, by which it may serves as barrier for their creativity. Though so, I believe God will guide them personally to develop and use their given creativity to build the Church. For example, through praise and worship, musical drama, or any creative ways. Third, they have love to be shared so that many people can come to God through their life. I strongly hope the young Catholic people can focus on these three things: energy, creativity, and their love, to build the Church.
In your opinion, how can we place our plan in line with God’s unfathomable divine plan for our life?
I think the only way to know that is to open yourself to God. In my past, all I wanted is to possess great wealth, expensive cars and houses, a wife and a happy family. Now, I have none of it, but I am happy. I realize it is all God’s work in my life. It is for my goodness so that I can stay humble and meek. If I didn’t open myself to God, if I refused to answer God’s calling, I might not be as happy as I am today. I believe when I put God first, when I allow God’s plan to come to pass in my life, and when I surrender myself totally to Him, He will take care of me and the people I love.
Do you have any message for the young Catholic people?
First, be a Catholic! Be 100% Catholic. Don’t move anywhere. When we become a Catholic, we have the responsibility to understand our faith. The second and the most important is, love your faith. By loving our faith, we can understand our ultimate purpose, that is Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Jurnalist: Lidya/Mei Ling / English translation & editor: Erica
Fernando Sonah: Living the Preach
Preach what you believe, live what you preach.
A CALLING! That’s the most important thing in a ministry, said Brother Fernando Sonah, the Feast Builder of LOJF KelapaGading. Born April 8, 1986, Bro Fernando is working as a marketing web developer and getting busy with his ministry in LOJF day by day. In between of his tight schedule, he took time to tell of things that challenging and changed his life in fulfilling the call of God. Want to know what the story of BroNando? Let’s see our interview with him.
1. Before joining LOJF, Brother Nando has been actively serving the Lord. Can you tell us how you began to serve the Lord?
The first time I started ministering was in 2004 at the campus. There was my first time to experience God’s presence in real and I was compelled to start serving God. After that, I felt God called me to serve the youths. If you have a call from God it feels like being chased. Then until now I continue to serve Him.
2. What do you think is God`s personal call to you? What is your passion in serving the Lord?
I took a long time to say "yes" to God`s ultimate calling in my life. Until today, I still constantly affirmed. I believe my main calling is to be the leader of a young people movement who do not know the direction of their life. In my initial response to this call, I experienced a lot of self-denial. At that time, I still wanted to make money, built a career, and else. But eventually it all turned around 180 degrees. Therefore, it took me a long time to make sure that this is really my call.
3. As a Catholic young preacher, you face many challenges. Can you share your story about the preacher’s world and how you can cope with any challenge you face?
Currently there are actually quite a lot of preachers. However, by natural selection, ultimately there are only a few people who are really compelled. So, in my opinion, the biggest challenge is the calling of God itself. A person could have good public speaking skills and so forth, but if there is no calling, he/she`s not going to be a preacher. It is important that he/she accepts the affirmation of the calling to be preachers.
For me personally, the most difficult challenge is to focus on developing character and gifts. As a preacher, we could have been stuck with pride, especially if we get a lot of compliments. Therefore, it is most difficult to retain humility.
4. In our society there are many young Catholics who still put no interest to know God closely through community and service. How do you feel about this and what can you do as a Feast Builder?
The difference between LOJF and other communities is the focus of the ministry to people outside the church. It`s a challenge for us from the way of worship, the evangelization, which is made differently because it is intended for the un-churched (who are lost from the church). I can refer to the statement of Pope Paul VI. I like his statement, "The Church exists to evangelist." That is, the Church exists to evangelize, to proclaim the good news. And it is actually not our proclamation to the people that already in the Church, but for those outside the Church. Actually, this is a real ministry. For this reason, the first thing we need to do is to hang out and make friendship with these people. We listen to them, show them empathy and show them that we care.
5. As a preacher, is there any principle that you hold, especially in serving the Lord?
One principle that I hold on to is, preach what you believe and live what you preach. We have to win the matters before preaching to others.
6. Is there a very inspiring figure for you in the ministry?
The figure who inspires me most is Brother Phakist (Trustees of LOJF community). The first time I knew him in 2005 where we ministered together. To date, he is the figure who influenced me most. I’m inspired by his character that is humble and always focuses on self-development. Besides him, I’m also inspired by Brother Cello for his great character.
7. Starting this 2014, you are entrusted to be a Feast Builder. How does this affect your life and your dreams?
In 2007, in a daily prayer, I had a vision through a very strange dream. In the dream, I saw myself speaking in front of many young people. Initially, I did not know the meaning of this dream. One day, when I first joined LOJF, I met Brother Phakist who invited me to become a Feast Builder. That`s when I realized the meaning of my dream. For me, being the Feast Builder is just a consequence. The reason is my calling to serve God.
Speaking of change, being a Feast Builder will change all aspects of my life. However, it is also in line with my personal vision and mission to become an established missionary. I want to be a well-established businessman but still serve the Lord. Well, as the Feast Builder, we are guided to have an established business. So our service will not only in terms of talent but also from the financial side.
8. As a preacher and businessman, you certainly have a vision for your life. What else do you still want to achieve in long term, like for up to 20 years from now?
My long term vision is to build up a Feast in Gading region (North Jakarta) to 20 years into the future. I also dream of being able to hold a Feast every week at the Gelora Bung Karno.
In terms of business, I want my business can quickly autopilot (can run itself without me). If possible, I want to be well established before the age of 35 years so that I can use the rest of my life to serve the Lord.
9. Many people say that ministering can be anywhere. What do you think?
I think it`s true. Ministering can be anywhere indeed. However, effective ministering can work well if we have a community. Like a plant that requires a fertile soil to keep growing. That is the reason why we have to have a community to help us continue to grow.
10. Lastly, is there any message that you want to share with my friends who just started serving or who are currently serving the Lord both in the community, LOJF and in the church?
Ministering should bring happiness, if you don’t happy then why do you serve? So, for those who want to go into ministry, make sure you find your passion first where that service is not a burden. For those who already engage in service and enthusiasm began to fade, try to remember back to the early days of ministry. Remember what makes you happy. That way you will still enjoy the service and remain happy.
Fams, of course we want to have a great spirit of serving like Brother Nando has. Hopefully the sharing of Bro Nando can bless us all.
Journalist : Irene / Editor : Erica / English Translation : Hanny
David Adinata: Life without Pretending
"You can’t pretend to be who you are not."
Who doesn’t know David Adinata? This young man, who is also called as Bro David, is often seen on the stage as a worship leader. With his unique style, Bro David is always full of energy and passion when he lifts up praise and worship.
Bro David, who comes from Surabaya, has been doing ministry as a worship leader for a long time. Together with a number of friends from Light of Jesus Worship (LOJW) Indonesia, he participated in the making of "Champions Arise" album (2013). Outstanding service commitment from Bro David, the youngest of nine siblings, is two thumbs up. Not surprisingly, God entrusts him greater things. This spirit-full guy, who is married to Yolanda Sastra, is now our Feast Builder for Feast Central.
Behind his laid-back and humorous attitude, Bro David takes it seriously when it comes to ministry and life principles. Check out our special interview with this inspiring leader whose birthday is in May 1.
Can you share us the early moments when you encountered God and how you discovered His call in your life?
I was baptized Catholic when I was in Year 9 of high school, following my Catholic friends and also because I grew up in a Catholic school. However, at that time I still did not fully appreciate my faith. The term "Catholic ChrisTer" is just me. I went to the church for only two times in a year, of course for attending Christmas and Easter Masses only.
Somehow, God had other plans for me. Through a number of events, I was driven closer to God. The first event was a problem with my ex-girlfriend during high school. At that time her parents did not agree with our relationship because of a fortune teller prophesied that we were not a perfect match. During the 4.5 years we were dating “backstreet” (without parental consent), but eventually I felt very tired because it was not comfortable at all and we fought quite often. There I began to remember God but I still often blamed God for my condition.
The second was when I wanted to go to a retreat in Tumpang, Malang in the year of the Great Jubilee. The cost of the retreat was Rp 150,000, but I only had Rp 50,000. Then, when I met up with friends at a school reunion, suddenly I found a friend who wanted to cancel his booking at that retreat and gave his place to me at a cost for only Rp 50,000, the exact amount as the budget that I had.
The third event was in the retreat. In the first and second days of the retreat, I was still unfamiliar with the programs and could not enjoy it. But on the third day, there was a time when we had to wash feet of others, as a sign of forgiveness to everyone who hurt us in the past, also as a sign of serving and loving each other (imitating of what Jesus did in the last supper). I felt compelled to release forgiveness to those who hurt me, including my parents. I did have the emotional wound of rejection from my parents. When I was conceived, my mother was 40 years old and had already 8 children. Once I could forgive, I felt free and could sing praises loudly and clap joyfully.
Of the three events above, especially when I returned from the retreat, I started to commit to repent, grow in faith, and serve God in the HSM community (Heman Salvation Ministry, Surabaya).
After discovering God`s calling how did you start to answer the calling through the ministry?
When I first entered the ministry, actually I did not know what I could do. At that time I had low self-confidence, I felt so shy. So I followed the direction of a leader to try out all ministries and pick the one that makes me feel comfortable and enables me to grow the most. My first ministry was as intercessors. In addition, I also helped the fixtures and fittings ministry. For me personally, all of the work for the service of God is equal and indistinguishable. My favorite verse is 1 Samuel 16:7 "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” When I serve the Lord, my motivation is to allow others to feel loved and restored by God as God has loved and restored me.
Do you have any particular mission in the ministry?
While many Catholic youths participate in various spiritual activities, there are still many of them who do not understand the word of God. My mission is to do a ministry to bless and build the faith of Catholic youths.
With many ministry activities, how do you maintain your spirit to serve God passionately?
To be honest, there are times when we can feel tired, down, and have a spiritual drought when serving in ministries. In those moments we need the community so that we can keep igniting the spirit of serving the Lord. Often I see people equate prayer meeting with community. Prayer meeting is not a community. Community is where the members can share, give, grow together, and of course we pray for one another.
You have been doing ministry as a worship leader for years. Many people consider being a worship leader is pretty cool: seen by many people, accompanied by the singers and the music. But, what is actually happening in reality behind the stage?
People tend to differentiate ministries. In fact, regardless of its form, it is the same ministry. As well as the Body of Christ, one part and the other is just as important. No part is more or less important. To become a worship leader, we cannot be any different from what we do every day. A worship leader praises and worships every day as a lifestyle. Praising and worshipping God is not only in prayer and in songs, but in our every thoughts, deeds, and words that are pleasing God.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in being a worship leader?
For me, the biggest challenge in the stage to remain humble and to keep up our passion in serving. We must keep ourselves humble and keep reminding ourselves that the things we do we can do it not by our might nor our power but by God who enables us. We also need to maintain our true intention, which is for the glory of the Lord, and not merely for material things or money. I frankly believe God is well-able to bless me through my worldly work and not to allow my ministry as the means to achieve my desire but as the means to share.
What kind of attitudes a worship leader needs to have and to develop, that he/she may avoid the temptation of popularity?
I think popularity can be seen in a positive way. It depends on how you use the popularity. It is good if someone is popular, then through their popularity they become influencers (making positive impact) on others and bring them to God. So it is important to have the right purpose on the popularity itself.
You always perform well when you are on stage. What is the secret?
Giving the best performance on stage is not just achieved by rehearsal, but also of the unity of hearts, vision, and mission of the entire team. Busyness of each personnel of LOJW is indeed an obstacle to regular practice. But I am grateful because all team members are already part of Care Group (CG). There, we unite our hearts to have the same vision and mission in the ministry.
(Click here to see the performance of Brother David with Light of Jesus Worship in the Grand Feast)
Have you ever had a memorable experience when leading worship?
Once, I fell into sin, but have I served as a worship leader on stage. I felt the devil intimidated me by saying, "You hypocrites! You`re not worthy!" I felt no peace at all. From there on, I understand the importance of confession and to stay away from sin before serving God.
After the Grand Feast (5 November 2013), you start a new role as a Feast Builder. How do you feel about this?
I remember Bo Sanchez spoke at the Grand Feast that we needed to increase. I think the praise and worship ministry has become my comfort zone. The first time I preached in the Feast I was very nervous and did a lot of mistakes. But like Bo Sanchez said when the increase happens we become one level above the number 10, which means we need to learn again. So I have to read a lot more.
Performing as Feast Builder must be different from leading worship. How do you deal with this?
Being Feast Builder is being a shepherd, where we are not only becoming a preacher but also responsible in leading the people. A worship leader is leading only in the scope of worship team. When I become a worship leader I do not want to just be a worshiper on stage, but also in everyday life. It’s the same with becoming a Feast Builder, I must be able to be an example and a role model in my daily life, which means not only can talk about the Words but also walk the Words of God.
As the Feast Builder, what is your opinion about living in the community, like in the Light of Jesus Family?
Community life is very important because God created us as social beings that need each other. Often we simply choose to contribute in the ministry alone but don’t want to commit in the care group community. In fact, it is in the care group that we can grow and build our characters better. With a fewer number of people, we care and encourage each other in the care group. We will probably find out the true selves of our fellow minister that we never see before. In the care group we also learn to accept others as they are and are transformed into a better person in God.
At the beginning of this year do you have any New Year resolution?
My resolution in 2014 is to become more pleasing before God through my ministry and my daily life.
Last, do you have any message for LOJF fellows and other young Catholic fellows in welcoming the year of 2014?
Among the increasing number of temptations and challenges that bring us down and stay away from the Lord, I strongly recommend you to strengthen your faith and begin to live in the community. We cannot survive alone. We need friends or a second family in Christ to support us in order to rise up and grow in the Lord.
Dearest fellows, perseverance and the firm faith that Brother David has is one of the keys to success in every ministry. As the Word says in Luke 16:10, if we are faithful in small matters, God will entrust us greater matters. May the testimony of Brother David can inspire us to ignite our passion in the ministry.
Interviewer: Joan / Editor: Ariani, Erica / English translation: Hanny
Exclusive Interview with Bo Sanchez
Due to the Grand Feast on November 5th, the journalist team of Light of Jesus Family was given a privilege to meet Brother Bo Sanchez in person. Unwilling to waste such a rare opportunity, we used this occasion to conduct a special interview with him. Through this short interview, Brother Bo Sanchez gave his appreciation about the previously-held Grand Feast and shared his special message to all of Light of Jesus Family Indonesia’s members.
Journalist Team (JT): What do you think about Grand Feast in Indonesia?
Brother Bo Sanchez (Bo): I was so impressed with the audience hunger for the Lord and for the Word. Especially the young people, they are very passionate and energetic. I think LOJF is doing a fantastic job to attract young people because it is very important to attract young people. They keep the community alive and growing. Otherwise the community will reach only up to a certain point before it starts dying.
JT: In the Grand Feast, the range of audience was quite wide, from university students, professionals, married couple and even older people. What was your strategy to talk to variety of audience in Grand Feast?
Bo: My strategy was to address to two different audiences, with focus more on the younger persons. I`m thankful that the translator was very fun.
JT: After Grand Feast which has attracted so many people, what do you think LOJF should do?
Bo: LOJF should sustain the momentum by first: Inviting people to the Feast because the Feast helps strengthen the local community who do not have the teaching. And secondly, by building an on line based relationship such as e-mails, videos, newsletters on LOJF`s events so people are aware of the activities so they can join LOJF. Furthermore, regular written materials should be sent to the audience so they can be blessed by them.
JT: What are your expectations after Grand Feast?
Bo: I`m hopeful LOJF can grow the three Feasts as well as the Caring Group. These should be the members’ source of life, while for non members, it should be their source of strengths.
I`m praying LOJF is continually growing. There will be many more Feasts in Indonesia.
Can you imagine how many relationships will be strengthened, business will be blessed, marriage will be deepened, and parents-children relationship will be restored? Those are our goals.
JT: Last question, can you share us your messages as the Founder of LOJ to the members in Indonesia?
Bo: Thank you so much for all the members` big heart for God, which inspired me so much, and your love for God and for Light of Jesus. You all should maintain the excellent service for God and more importantly the excellent love for one another.
-Journalist team MarComm LOJF
Love God, Love People
Yolanda Sastra was born on July 13th 1982, has been actively serving the God since 2002. Altough she has cheerful and full-spirited figure, she holds a significant role in LOJF community, which positioned as a chairman. Through this short conversation, she told that her journey in serving God was not flawless. She went through feeling emptiness in her life, while continuing her study in America where she was far away from her family and did not have many friends, so she was searching for the thing to fill the emptiness in her heart.
Until one day, her friend invited to join a retreat. Yolanda joined the retreat just because she did not want to disappoint her friend, yet she found God on that event.
Since then, she is always passionate to serve God. But, of course, during serving God, she found challenges to face. Starting from feeling at the lowest point in life up to disappointment. Then, how she is she able to deal with all of those problems and stay passionate to serve God?
“There are two things that I always do. First, remember our vision and mission, because these things are like a fuel that keeps us passionate. So, if I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed, I came to Care Group. Right there, I could see a person grow in God and I feel really joyful to witness it. The second one is praying. Well, it may sound cliche, but nevertheless, prayer always toughen you up because in life things called disappointment will always be there. That’s why we must live in God!”
As written on Roman 8:28 “We are assured and know that all things work together and are for good to and for those who love God and are called according to His design and purpose.” She believe that at the moment we love God, all good things will happen in life. That’s why she felt really grateful to know God that called her to become His servant. Besides, not everyone has the priviledge that she has.
When she asked of what she wants in her life, she answered that she want to become light in the middle of the world like LOJF’s mission. Yolanda declared that this community is one of her passion. She believes that discipleship lies in building a relationship. In this community she learned a lot about building relationship with God and her peers.
Her life right now seems to be a really blessed life by God. Looking at the blessings that she received, she chose to interpret it in a different way. Then, what does she has to say about ‘being rich in life’?
“According to me, ‘being rich in life’ is not just in terms of material only, but also becoming a truly intact person. Sometimes people define, rich is material. Whereas, in John 10:10 it’s written “...I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” So, rich is not only about material aspect, but, its more about our joy, how healthy is our emotions, also our relationship with God and at last is when we are able to contribute and give back to people. That’s when you can feel rich.”
Sharing! It’s what she’s often do in her life to find more “wealth” in God. Moreover, as a human being, we are not living alone. There are other mission that God wants us to do, such as, be a blessing to many people.
Indeed, in our life journey, whether at home, office or community, there will be things that makes us disappointed and doesn’t work in accordance to our will. Nevertheless, she had a special message to deal with it.
“If we love God, we surely can execute God’s mission. Because, if we love God, we love people, we can be more passionate in serving God.”
That’s why, Brother and Sister, it’s our time to spread the love to others and God. Let’s build a relationship with God’s love!
Interview with Father Antonius Antara Pr
A young, cheerful priest, happy in serving God and a technology enthusiast. This is a short description of "Father Antonius Suhardi Antara Pr", also known as Father Aan. Born on 13th april 1972 in Sleman, Father Aan currently is working as the economist of the archdiocese of Jakarta. He is the advising priest of Light of Jesus Family (LOJF). Due to his new role in Light of Jesus Family, we had conducted an interview with Father Aan as follows:
Q: Starting from November 2012, Father Aan has become the moderator priest for Light of Jesus Family. What made you interested to work with Light of Jesus Family. How do you find this service attractive, working together with Light Of Jesus Family?
A: I find this interesting because I can work together with a team of enthusiast young people who are so eager to serve The Lord. I feel we share the same dream : to care for the people who have been "missing" from the Church for a long time and to bring them back to the Church, through Light Of Jesus Family community.
Q: In your opinion, what makes Light of Jesus Family attractive as a Catholic community?
A: I`ve found that Light of Jesus Family`s activities which are separated in prayer groups, known as Care Group and ministries make this community more attractive. It makes the services become more effective and build a stronger family bond between members. The Care Group provides the opportunities for members to share their daily actual issues to each other. I sincerely hope that it will attract more young people to join the community, and they can find the answers to some of the challenges they have been looking for.
Q: In Light of Jesus Family, we celebrate mass in "HOLY FEAST". What do you think about it?
A: HOLY FEAST is uniquely different from other liturgical mass, mostly because its combination of upbeat charismatic song and official church liturgy. The result is a vibrant and jubilant celebration without diminishing the liturgical value of the mass itself.
Q: Does the Catholic Church support the charismatic movement like one we start in HOLY FEAST?
A: The Catholic Church definitely supports the charismatic movement through various means. Therefore the Church assist such communities, council them to be align with the visions of the Catholic Church. Preachers are very important, therefore we pay extra attention to them. Thus, we provide evangelism courses for people who want to develop their faith through the Bible Studies.
Q: What do you expect for Light Of Jesus Family with their activities in the coming time?
A: I hope that the young generation of the Church willing to take more responsibilities in building the Church. They can do their part by being active in their parish, local church committee, and involve themselves by living as witnesses of the Gospel as well as sharing the Gospel to the society.
Beloved LOJFams, it is our role and responsibility to give our best God, who has given everything for our salvation. Let us be more proactive in realizing the vision and mission of our beloved Church.
Merry Riana is a millionaire entrepreneur, best-selling author and motivational speaker. In just a short period of 4 years after her graduation, Merry has earned more than S$1,000,000 through her business. This achievement is featured as an article titled ‘She’s made her first million at just age 26’, in The Straits Times on January 26 2007. In October 2010, Merry was confer the Great Women of Our Time Award. As an icon in the regional, financial, and educational communities Merry has broken down barriers to become one of the most admired and watched individuals in the media today.