Surabaya Corner


By Ramon Martillano

Last year was truly a spiritually blessed year for our family! (Thank you Jesus!) I am referring to several servants of GOD who stayed in or visited our house. There were five of them.

First was Sis. Gemma, a Filipina nun from Laguna. She stayed with us for a week. She was asked by a group Indonesian and Filipino nuns based in Flores to assist in building a new house for the congregation. Her assignment in Flores was just temporary and she’s now back in Manila. Well, she may be a nun, but amazingly she can surely do some tasks that are usually assigned to men!

Then Surabaya Bishop Vincentius Sutikno Wisaksono came to visit us. What a blessing! It’s like “Jesus visiting Matthew’s house.” A Bishop visiting sinners like us!

Fr. Flavie from Makati City, Philippines was then staying with us when the Bishop visited our house. He gave some teachings to the community, one of which is about the Blessed Sacrament. He said that when we go to the beach for sun bathing, all we have to do is just lie down, do nothing while the sun transforms our skin to become tan. The same thing is true when we pray before the Blessed Sacrament. All we have to do is “just sit or kneel before the Lord in silence, doing nothing and just allow Him to transform us into better Christians.”

Fr. Ferdie from Talisay, Batangas in the Philippines came next. He narrated to us that for the last 2 years he has been eating almost everyday: mie goreng (fried noodles), kangkong and pechay. Once he raised some chickens so that he could eat something different. However, before he could benefit from these chickens, without permission, somebody took the chickens from their cage. He exemplified the true meaning of “Living simply so that others may simply live.”

Next came Fr. Allan a native of Pampanga in central Philippines who also stayed with us for a week. He celebrated Mass at the Redemptor Mundi Church in Surabaya. It was a very powerful and yet solemn Eucharistic celebration! You could truly feel the presence of GOD inside the Church. His homily left me teary-eyed! He encouraged us to be “Care Givers” for the needy. He stressed, “We give because we care!” He also mentioned that actually giving is 2-way traffic. We help the poor but the poor also “help us” by giving us the chance to share our blessings with them.

Indeed, we are truly blessed for having Jesus’ “disciples” in our house. Our daily meals during those four weeks that they were with us were always “spiced” with the Word of GOD and with never ending sharing on the goodness of the Lord! By the way, all of the above three Filipino priests are presently assigned in Timor Leste.

We praise and thank GOD for giving us this very rare chance to serve His servants! Thank You Jesus! Alleluia, Amen!