The Indonesia Province has aimed to restructure the ministry in order to be more focused and managed professionally, since 2012. At that time, Sr. Clare Nolan (Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office) facilitated sessions inviting the sisters to map and picture current situations and realities in the ministry. The efforts continued in October 2013 with Sr. Susan Chia and Sr. Anya Borbon conducting a Capacity Building workshop. The training enabled us to identify priorities in the Province and develop human resources for the mission. We thank God for our dear Sr. Susan Chia, our link councillor for six years. Sr. Susan challenged us to have the courage to go beyond our fears for the sake of mission.
A province discernment process initiated in January 2015 called every community to reflect on the effectiveness and sustainability of ministry. We were challenged to take a critical look at mission and ministry as well as the limitations of the sisters’ capacity. Within the context of discernment the next phase continued with the support of the Singapore/Malaysia Province.
We began a three-year process of strategic planning with a workshop on Capacity Building on 8-13 April, 2015. Ms. Braema Mathi, a lay mission partner of the Singapore/Malaysia Province, is an independent consultant with expertise in the areas of gender, migration, trafficking, advocacy, and professional coaching. Sr. Joan Lopez, Province Leader of Singapore/Malaysia, introduced Ms. Braema and expressed gratitude for the history that links the Provinces of Indonesia and Singapore/Malaysia. The Singapore/Malaysia Province gives full support to the Indonesia Province by sharing their resource person for three years. Ms. Braema will assist the Leadership Team of the Indonesia Province in the process of restructuring through 2017.
Sr. Joan also encouraged the sisters to welcome lay mission partners with open hearts as we invite them to work with us to develop the ministry. For it is not about what we can give to others but what we can share as we support one another.
Ms. Braema started the first training programme by addressing gender issues. This session gave participants a better understanding of those issues and their impact on women and children.
The session included training in how to make an organizational web, ministry mapping, and the development of a strategic plan based on assets, constraints, and relevancy to the present situation. Every participant learned how to make an organizational web. The knowledge and practice of making an organizational web gave the participants the basic tools and skills for strategic planning and the ability to apply it to their particular ministry. Monitoring the process will be more effective because of clarity and focus. Twenty-two sisters working in social ministries attended the second training programme on 20-27 May, 2015. It began with a session on leadership.
Ms. Braema challenged each participant to develop critical self-analysis as a leader and to perform a self-assessment by listing the qualities of leadership they already have and to examine their quality of leadership. Later they were able to share with the group the insights gained from their reflection. The training contined with a review of the organizational web and strategic planning, including steps for implementation in the ministry. The strategic plan provides a reference for the ministry and will be monitored by the Province Leadership Team.
As a whole, the two programmes challenged the sisters to have courage and risk for mission as they proceed to restructure ministry. There is much to be grateful for: the work of the Holy Spirit, the openness, dialogue, humility, and availability of the sisters. The learning process is ongoing and continues to invite us to reflect on each situation, to search within, and to look at our potential and the qualities God has planted in order to be relevant to the needs of those we serve.
Restructuring ministry in Indonesia has a long way to go. In her closing remarks, Sr. Chatarina Supatmiyati, Province Leader, stated that the process is not as simple as closing or starting a ministry. Rather, it is a matter of developing accountability, sustainability, and continuity of the mission. Furthermore, it requires a commitment to walk together. Sr. Chatarina invited the sisters to be patient with the process and to support each other during times of uncertainty. Although it might seem like entering a long, dark tunnel, she emphasized that we all hope that the Light of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit always accompany us. We also hope that the sisters will be renewed and transformed as we continue to be the presence of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
With one heart as a province, we express deep gratitude for the generosity and support of Sr. Joan Lopez and all the sisters in the Singapore/Malaysia Province. We are grateful for Ms. Braema Matti, for her love, passion, and zeal as she mentored us during the programme and going forward as we restructure ministry in Indonesia through 2017. May we do so in the spirit of St. Mary Euphrasia, driven by our love for God and for those whom we serve.
Submitted by Sr. Veronica Endah, RGS