Left: Food rations donated by Singapore Catholics. Below: Indonesian students carolling at people’s homes.

Members of two Singapore parishes delivered food to residents of Indonesia’s Karimun island and took part in a carolling programme for them over a recent weekend.

Forty-nine Catholics from the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Church of Nativity visited needy families living in wooden and zinc houses on Dec 10 evening.

A total of 50 families each received a 20-kg sack of rice, dry noodles and another bag of food, paid for from church donations and participant contributions.

Students from a school, led by nuns, also took part in the programme. They sang carols in English and Bahasa Indonesia at residents’ homes, joined by the Singaporeans.

The homes the group visited were scattered about and a few were quite far apart. Though there was some moonlight, participants had to use torches along tracks flanked by lallang. Often, they had to walk in single file on uneven ground.

Apart from visiting families, the Singapore group also visited the Church of the Sacred Heart, built in August 2009 with donations from Singapore Catholics.

There are more than 2,000 Catholics on the island, according to a Catholic source.

Many participants in this outreach are from the Epiphany Parish Mission Group at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The group has been teaching English to children on the Indonesian islands of Rempang and Bintan on a fortnightly basis since 2007.

Karimun is less than two hours’ ferry ride from Singapore.

By Edwin Yeow

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