the Future of the Church of Medan
July 17, 2006 was my first day in Seminari Menengah. It was a day of expectations and at the same time of fear for the teaching job is not easy; and to teach the young Seminarians, who, if not all of them, some of them might become the future "shepherds" of the Church? Well, as I often remind myself; a great privilege and a responsibility.
For more than two months now that I am sharing my time as a teacher to the young Seminarians and also to the Faculty members of the Seminary, I think I am enriched with many new experiences. One of my best experiences is the felling to be at home everybody. I never felt to be a stranger even if I can’t communicate well in Indonesian language; neither it’s a barrier nor a difficulty to take a step for interpersonal relationship. The Seminary offers much opportunity for me to learn the culture, custom, and language of the people. It provides me somehow of what is important in dealing with others, particularly to people with lots of differences. My teaching experience also helps to widen more and more my way of judging and of looking persons and events.
In my teaching experience, I could say that it is quite a difficult task since I have to consider the condition of the young Seminarians when I come to English language. Majority of them are really intelligent and diligent in their studies. They like to learn and make experiences. When I was asked to teach in the Seminary, I was also forbidden to talk in Indonesia language so that they will be forced to speak in English. For this, they never heard me talking in their native tongue.
One day, I was trying to explain the meaning of a word in English witch was not so familiar to them, and since it took already some time to understand it, I was compelled to tell in Indonesian and a burst of laughter and applause of pleasure of immediately filled the room!
Simplicity and spontaneity… these are the characters, which I am glad about to know of these young people. There is complexity in their study now of the English language and I understand the reason. Many of them know the language but perhaps the chance to practice it more is very limited. Sometimes in my restricted time, I was trying to get along with them and talked more in a very informal way just to let them feel confidence in using the language without being laughed at. They are filled with assets and talents to share to the world. These young Seminarians, I could say, are the future of the Church.
The teachers are also very accommodating. I’m happy also that my presence forces them to practice their English. I am much pleased when some of them show concern so that I could familiarize myself in my new environment. What I’m really about is the time of break when they have still the time to share laughter and stories in the midst of their busy schedule; even without understanding of what they were telling, to see them joyful in their daily works really inspired me more to enjoy my teaching job in Seminari Menengah.
Written by Sr. Imelda dela Cruz, FIS