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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another sharing by Anna Theresa Peter Amandus from Fondacio

Hello Bishop Julius and all friends in the Diocese of Sandakan,

 Anna, 5th from left middle row
How are you? I hope that everything is fine in Sandakan. Gosh! It has been awhile since my last email to you. Well, we have just completed the Human Spiritual Module which ended last month in the Enneagram Retreat. It was really a wonderful experience for me personally. This month we are entering into the Social Pastoral Module. 
 At a training session
For the past three months, the session held was basically for personal discovery. What was special for me is that I was transformed in such a beautiful way. Yet it does not mean I am perfect enough as a human being. There is still space for improvement. There are still weaknesses here and there. Life is like a “Roller Coaster”. Sometimes my life is up and sometimes I’ll be way down. However a passage from the bible reminded me that God does not count how many times I fall but how many times I stand on my feet. 
Truly Asia - Anna 3rd from left
Discovering myself is total challenge for me. It was painful accepting the person I am before coming to IFFA, especially being a ‘big’ person and having a hell of a past, back in my yesteryears. Well, when the times finally come and in HIS time HE makes thing so beautiful for me. 
 Anna during an exposure program
Aha…let me share you about my Theology for Beginners class which also ended last month. Our professor Dr Manny had made my world of Theology, a journey to remember. On our last meeting with him, I and my classmates really have a real blast enjoying our class. Our exam for the subject is to express our experience with God in our everyday living through dancing. We were divided into four groups and all of us  danced based on  the same song “THUNDER”.  I will always remember what Dr Manny taught us:
    1. “There are those who dance to impress others, but there are those who dance to express themselves”
    2. “There are those who paint the sun yellow, but there are those, because of their creativity and intelligence, paint a yellow and it became a sun”
    3. “Take the road less traveled and make a difference in this world” 
This month we are in the Christian Anthropology class with Fr. Daniel Franklin Pilario @ Danny, Dean of St Vincent School of Theology. In this class we are often challenged by him to think and ask questions regarding our human existence and God. In our recent class with him we discussed about “freedom”. We even have been challenged to express our freedom creatively in front of the class. “Dare to Dream” that is my theme in my expression of freedom. I may be a dreamer yet I can make my dream possible. If I don’t try I will never know my limitation. It is better to try than doing nothing at all. Dare to take the risk to freedom and “If I believe I can be flower, I can be a flower”. 
 A presentation by Anna
For the past two weeks the students of Institute Formation Fondacio, Asia (IFFA) was exposed with an in-house session regarding conflict transformation and peace building. Indeed all human beings have conflicts  in life and even bigger conflicts in the world. Let me share with you my conflict transformation here in this institute. Even among the students here, we do encounter conflicts every day. “Our culture is like this and our culture is like that… ” Or “No, I can’t do that because my culture says so….” This phrase is often heard in IFFA and for me it is a limitation for me to free myself and grow. 
 Continue building bridges
Well there is a point where it has erupted the “volcano” within me. Yet I remembered “Peace begins with me…but how?” I calm my anger, swallow my pride and face the reality. It was indeed hard however I should not look at the differences that we have but the common thing that each of us have that is our love to God. Life is about making choices. I can choose to be bad if I want to. I can choose not to care what is happening, I can choose to even fight with my fellow friends if I want to but I choose not to do such thing. Peace is about building up relationship and not destroying the friendship I have here in IFFA. Peace is about making the first step confronting the fact and making a decision what is best for each one. Peace is being in a position of humility and respect.
 Anna, 2nd from left - a desire to change
As Mahatma Gandhi would say “We must be the change we wish to see in the world” and let the change starts with me.

 A heart for the vulnerable
What a journey and for this I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my wonderful parents and siblings, to my beautiful youth and friends, to all the special persons in Diocese of Sandakan and to you Bishop for your prayers, trust, love and support towards me as a person and in my year of formation here in IFFA. My prayers and love goes to all of you. Thank you so much and may God bless you. Till then goodbye and have a nice weekend.

anna/ds

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