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The most meaningful Christmas - Thanks to the Salesian Sisters

A reflection on this special event “feeding the homeless” initiated by Sr. Ememma and sponsored by the Community of Scoresby.

One of the times throughout the year that I always wait for is Christmas. Last Christmas was my first time experiencing Christmas away from home and my family. Comparing to my home country where Christians are just the minorities, the atmosphere here was a bit different. Everyone was in Christmas spirit. I felt joyful and peaceful whenever I saw the Christmas decoration around the city and people did Christmas shopping. Well, I thought I felt joyful and peaceful. Honestly, deep down in my heart I felt empty. For me, it was just another Christmas that used to happen, nothing was special. Christmas was just about holiday, going to church, gathering with friends, shopping, and so on. This emptiness was haunting me until one day, my friend, Sr. Emema initiated holding a Christmas party with homeless people. Although I was excited to make it happen I felt pessimistic about how it would go. “How to invite them to the party?”, “Would they come?”, “What would the others think about us?” While these thoughts went through my head, Sr Emema helped us with ideas on how to approach these people. On the other hand, Sr. Emema was very optimistic that we could make it happen. I was so excited. To shorten the story, I would jump to the big day. Sr. Emema and some other friends were preparing the food when I came. She introduced me to several new friends. I helped to grill some chicken and sausages. Although Sr. Emema had already invited the homeless people to come the homeless people didn’t come as they did not want to leave their spots where they usually sit and ask money from people. Hence, we decided to pack all of the food into containers and distribute it to the homeless people we could meet in the Melbourne city. Then, together we brought the food and drinks to the city.

Frankly, I had no idea how to interact with homeless people, even though Sr. Emema had given us a few ideas. I was so nervous. Nonetheless, Sr. Emema did it so smoothly. She just greeted them, had a little chat with them, gave them the food, a Christmas card and some Christmas gifts, shook hands then patted them very gently and wished them well. I would not even have any guts to touch them or interact with them. When I saw the moment, I felt so amazed and inspired, in fact I was teary. I also felt ashamed of myself. That moment reminded me how to love and serve others as Jesus has taught us, which I might have forgotten for a while. We continued to walk around the city bringing a full container of food for about two hours. It was really tiring, but it was fun in the same time. I thanked God for He has given me such opportunity to experience the true Christmas spirit and get back to Him. It was probably the most meaningful Christmas I have ever had. Thank you to Sr Emema for the inspiration. You continuously support us and show us different ways to show God’s love to his people. Thank you also to the Salesian Sisters for sponsoring this event that gave me a wonderful experience. I will always remember you all in my prayers. God bless us all.

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