|THE REPOSE OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT DURING SISTERS' STAY IN BEREINA|
|PLACE FOR THE MASS AND SKILLS' TRAINING|
|SR. ELMA TUZON, SSJ WITH VILLAGERS' LEADERS|
Bereina Diocese, 3 hours trip by land from Port Moresby continue to be an inspiration and a challenge to our community. Why?
Inauaia where we regularly go every month for a 5 day outreach in Basic Cooking and Basic Sewing is a very simple parish with so many women aspiring to be accompanied in their quest for human development and empowerment especially in acquiring basic skills to improve the quality of their lives and to earn a living for their family.
The Parish of Inauaia is composed of 7 villages and most of the women are just staying at home, they go to their garden but most often, they stay home doing nothing. Development and Empowerment of women is urgent in the diocese but who will do that? Who will go?
Fidelity to our Charism, inspired by St. Bonifacia and Fr. Francisco Butinya continues to impel us to go to Bereina every month to give skills training in Basic Cooking and Basic Sewing. The interest of the women, coming from the villages of Inauia, Eboa, Bebeo, Inauabui and Jesubaibua to attend our training courses in Basic Cooking and Basic Sewing, is for us God’s clear invitation that we take the challenge to share our Charism through skills training and make “industria Cristiana” a reality in spite of inconveniences like: fetching water from the well or water tanks of some families to be carried to our house for our daily water consumption and using firewood to cook in the training. There is no electricity but power comes at 6:00 pm up to 10:00pm from the generator of the Parish to give us light for our evening prayer and dinner. We charge our solar lamps during the day to have light in the morning for our morning daily necessities: to take a bath, cook for breakfast (already good for lunch and supper) and pray Lauds. What a simple lifestyle for a Sierva de San Jose in a mission village!
In Bereina, we really use water wisely. We wash our soiled clothes and the water used for soaping and rinsing are stored in a bucket (plastic container) to flash the toilet. We bring our drinking water from Port Moresby or we boil the rain water stored in the water tank. Cooking water is also boiled for health purposes. These inconveniences are nothing when the participants come to the house with their smiles, bringing their garden food for our cooking course and their hand machine for their sewing course; sit patiently on the ground or floor to prepare the cooking ingredients or sit on the floor to make their patterns in sewing; and cut the material and sew them with their hand machine on the floor because we have no tables. It is a very beautiful and enriching experience to be one among them who are so grateful for the opportunity to learn simple recipes which they can use to start a small business and earn a living.
For the sewing students, to be able to sew a meri blouse is for them a big achievement. After the training course they can already sew a meri blouse and sell them to earn something. They used to tell us, “sista” (sister), your presence bring light, joy and hope to the parish. We are very happy and grateful. Now we can earn something… now we can wear a meri blouse sewn by us”… These are words of life expressed by them and words of challenge for us to continue reaching out, making our Charism alive in the reality of so many unskilled, underdeveloped and underprivileged women.
Mary, the simple and humble woman in Nazareth must be very happy for these women discovering their skills, learning how to harmonize prayer and work, how to put the hidden ingredients of peace, joy and love in their cooking and the hidden ingredients of patience, love and joy while they make their patterns in sewing. They have discovered that every movement of their hands are opportunities to encounter God, the God Who loves them, the God Who journeys with them, the God who continually tells them: You are Precious to me… I love you… truly, every moment shared with any woman is a graced moment…a moment of encounter with Jesus Who has a special love and concern for women… “ I have loved you with an everlasting love… You are mine..”
SR. ELMA TUZON, SSJ
SR. ELMA TUZON, SSJ