Sojourner in Christ: a reflection on the Hope for the Future conference

Marina Setyati and Hendy Matahelemual lead singing during the Hope for the Future conference in February. — Juan Moya/AW

Attending Hope for the Future 2024 was truly an extraordinary experience. During the conference, I could feel the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit in each session. The worship service, led by Hendy Matahelemual and Marina Setyati, was in various languages and provided a heavenly atmosphere among fellow believers in Christ.

The life experiences sister Abby Endashaw shared about when she first came to America, as a student, also reminded me that I am not alone in the life struggle, as a sojourner in Christ. Even though it is not easy, God’s grace is always present.

On the second day, I was deeply moved and surprised by the learning lab, “God’s People on the Move,” led by Ana Hinojosa. The lesson beautifully and interactively integrates the life stories of sojourners in the Bible with the life stories of immigrant sojourners in America. I realized that none of the sojourners’ journeys were easy.

Sojourner migrants who succeeded in achieving freedom did not necessarily receive a celebration, but they arrived with heavy memories, instead. In this session, I also imagined how hard my own ancestors struggled as immigrant sojourners, to the point in which the next generation and I could finally enjoy the results of their work.

I was inspired by the importance of archiving in an organization and also in the family. Dr. Felipe Hinojosa taught that archiving has an important role in the work of restoring relationships, especially in recording the historical moments in the formation of multinational collaboration. The truth-telling, in the form of archives, carried out by Mennonite Church USA has brought restoration, transformation and collaboration with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) groups.

This session also left me with a question that I will continue to wrestle with: What legacy will I want to leave, as a mother and Christian sojourner, to the next generation? May God find my life to be pleasing to God and life-giving to others.

A slightly different version of this reflection originally appeared on April 22 as part of Mennonite Church USA’s MennoSnapshots series. Used with permission.

Chialis Thuan Santoso

Chialis Thuan Santoso is originally from Indonesia. She is married to Andi Santoso, and she is the mother of two Read More

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