Friday, August 16, 2019

Happy independence day, Indonesia (and a language-learning resource)

Friday, August 16, 2019
August is zooming by! The bulletin board at BIC is full.
I spend a half-day in the office before a therapeutic massage from our small but mighty Sundanese masseuse. Kirsten goes first, while I'm working. She's ready for post-flight therapy.

By the time Ibu Siti finishes with me, my frozen shoulder has a wide range of motion and my thumb is back "in place." The huge shin bump from the fall 2.5 weeks ago, is almost gone. What can I say? She's amazing - and it didn't even hurt (much).

Kirsten and I meet an Indian friend at Cafe Oz in the afternoon. It can be a bit hair-raising, leaving the car's gas tank level to W. He and the driver are always waiting to fill with a certain kind of gas. It has limited distribution and Pak G doesn't find it today either.

"Please just pull in and just put in some gas," I say. He does - with "1km range" showing on the dashboard.
W texts back, "No problem. You probably have 50 km left." Fine if he's in the car. With K and me in the car, we just want to tank up. I shudder to think what will happen in an evacuation or medical emergency. (We are probably going to be walking.)

The cafe where K and I meet Manju has been renamed "Back to Earth" #b2e #back2earth. It has undergone a beautiful remodel. The grand opening is next weekend. Love the tea set, including the funky milk pitcher.

Tonight, it's early to bed - I'm asleep by 8pm.

Saturday - Indonesian Independence Day
Today we celebrate an emerging giant - Indonesia. With the largest Muslim population in the world, it is not officially Islamic. Indonesia recognizes freedom of worship for 6 religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Animism. That's lived out and governed in various ways across the country.

Today will be full of traditional celebrations at every public park. The broadcasts of activities have been going strong since early morning. Our helpers are celebrating with their families so we don't have to worry about unlocking the house early in the morning.

Of course, I only "sleep in" until after 4am - more than 8 hours, though. That's what I'd call a good night's sleep. W leaves for morning meetings, K's still asleep. The house is quiet except for the lovebirds and the canary singing on the porch. (Only one canary - the other keeled over last week from unknown causes.) The yard dogs nap outside my office door.
My breakfast is warmed-up wonton and vegetables soup. Tasty. Along with BOH passionfruit tea in a Starbucks Christmas 2018 mug (thanks, Melissa), it's practically perfect.

**Here's a great resource for friends learning a new language. You can get a free Word-A-Day (with sentences and explanations) email from IndonesianPod101. 

In my case, I want help learning Indonesian. But type in the language you want to learn. (GermanPod101, RussianPod101, MandarinPod101, etc.) See if it's not one of the best apps out there.**


Read more:
*The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9 
*Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
*God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19-20
Moravian Prayer: Loving God, many years ago you sent your son for us. You sent him to pay the ultimate price so that we may live with you forever. Thank you for loving us even when we are not deserving. Amen.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

She's here!

Monday, August 12, 2019
Meetings - and office day. Throughout the week, there's lots of positive feedback about the new layout at #BICbandung (Bandung International Church). Anyone is welcome to join - regardless of religion, Sundays at the 9:00 Gathering.

BIC is a welcoming and warm community for any English-speakers, including travelers. For those trying to improve their English, the Community Table afterward provides a great place to snack and chat.

Tuesday
It's a stressful day for us all. Kirsten, who was supposed to arrive in Bandung today, is "lost in transit." Because of protests, the Hong Kong airport is closed. Her plane returns to the terminal and she's stuck in LA - after a 12 hour layover there. In the next few hours, she negotiates a new route through Tokyo, where she'll be in the airport a long time ... and arrive a day late at another location.

After a good meeting with the team, Waldemar and I have lunch at Maxi's up the street. I send Pak G over to Claudia's with 250 sausages to grill for tomorrow's movie night. The helpers peel the potatoes - it hurts my hand to grip them so I can't peel a lot. However, the gals miss a few in the back kitchen and we're expecting a big group (70?) tomorrow. I take my time to peel the rest, popping them into the salt water where they'll stay overnight.

Waldemar heads to Jakarta. There are problems with the shuttle he booked. He catches a later one at 4:30pm. That puts him in the thick of traffic but arrives at the airport late in the day and sleeps in an airport capsule hotel. (It's not the best arranged - the capsule hotel in KL/Malaysia is better and quieter.)

Wednesday
Kirsten makes it to Jakarta at 4:30 am (not to Bandung as with her earlier, more convenient route.) She's a day late - but oh, are we happy to have her here. W and K come in about noon, which makes it a 56 hour trip for her. We head for a restaurant and lunch. After a bit of conversation and unpacking her haul of American goodies, Kirsten goes to sleep.

I've cooked most of the morning. My shoulder is still kinked and my thumb swollen - so I'm careful that the food I make requires no heavy lifting. No big pots of pasta today. Clau arrives at 5:30 with the sausages (with added garlic - a flavor-changer for the curry sauce. We have a lot of garlic today - in the veggies, potatoes, and ... the sausages!) She offers her strong arms and cheerful voice, a big help.

Tonight's menu:
Rice (white and white/red)
Garlic mashed potatoes
Sundanese-creamed-coconut jackfruit
Meatballs in sweet and sour sauce
Spicy chicken wings
Sausages in curry sauce
Stuffed hard-boiled eggs
Garlic bread (fresh-baked)
Brazilian cheese balls
Tossed green salad

---Dessert includes all kinds of treats brought by guests, plus homemade cookies, casava chips, and fresh fruit salad---Oh yes, it's all yummy.

When the crowd starts to arrive at 6:15, I put on the light in the back hall to wake K. She's alert and friendly for a half hour, puts aside some food for when she's hungry, and downs some oregano oil against her sniffles. Then she goes to sleep until morning.
This might be my favorite movie so far: Hidden Figures. We ask how people are held back, how they can overcome challenges and use their gifts, and how they might boost others. It's a lively crowd. Love it. They're gone about 11pm.

Thursday
It's quiet at home. After the robot vacuums have made a few rounds (recharged in-between), the helpers clean up from yesterday's event. There are dishes - we try to recycle as much as possible. There are spills. There's upholstery to be vacuumed. Yup, always a mess after that settles down into "normal". They move the furniture back into place, too.

While Kirsten rests, W and I have a late working breakfast with friends. We sort through some concerns about facilities and agree that it's great to be partners. W and I work with some of the best people in Indonesia - everyone bends over backwards for best practices and harmonious interactions - we appreciate that so much.

I'm at the rehab doc for almost 2 hours. The appointment, icing my shoulder and wrist, laser treatments, new pain patches, and a mechanical massage are $37.

"Wow, that's expensive," sighs W. (Whaaaat! Kidding, right?) My arm feels a lot better after.

K and my big trip of the day is to the grocer, replenishing goods we wiped out for movie night (2 dozen eggs, 6 kg flour, 3 kg sugar, 12 liters of oil, etc.). She picks up a few snacks for herself. I check the rice stocks - we buy 30 kg of rice each month. We have 5 left, which should last us until the next delivery.

Friday
It's an early morning in the office, with a check to see that the hall is set up for Sunday. The view from my desk is relaxing (below). We use things from home to warm up our working spaces - this time it's a quilt across the back of the sofa (thanks to Tanya Jo who left that behind when she repatriated). Add some pillows, a wooden tissue box, and a rug. The rattan set was here - so comfy and "tropical."
I run our Roomba vacuum in the office, as we do every weekend. The driver comes with a "twin" IKEA rug from home. We have to swap out the office rug - it has more than a few drips and spills.

Seeing the marks on the carpet makes me happy in an odd way, because it means a lot of people are enjoying hospitality in our community. The office is often abuzz with visitors. Our helper will scrub the office rug clean and we'll use that one at home until it's time for the next swap.

I'm back home for lunch and a full afternoon. SO good to have Kirsten here. Did I say that already?

Read more:
*He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. Psalm 23:2-3

*Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods: His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
To him who alone does great wonders: His love endures forever. 
Who by his understanding made the heavens: His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1-5

*God says, "I want you to fear and respect me." Zephaniah 3:7

*Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Matthew 4:17

*Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10


Moravian Prayer: Triumphant Lord, our instruments and voices are not loud enough to ring sufficient praises in your name! Reveal your greatness to us each day. Take us onward in your service, producing good works through your people. Remind us that all we do is for you. 

Heavenly Guide, although we have come so far over many years, we know there is much yet to be done. Diversity throughout peoples and nations is a testament to your creativity and awesome power. Carry us forward, serving every unique member of your worldwide family. Amen.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Just look at it another way - and Happy Birthday, Dad!

Sunday, August 11, 2019
It's my dad's birthday today. I'll have to stay up late to wish him a happy birthday: they're 14 hours behind us - so I can't call before 9:30pm. I have the best dad. He's the ultimate protector of our family, watching diligently that we live with integrity and cheering us on when we do something creative.
"Of course, try it," he's always said if my 3 brothers and I wondered if we should attempt something. And mostly, we do. We're each risk-takers and creatives because of his encouragement. Each of us has had curious and wonderful wins, with a few spectacular failures thrown in for good measure. No one cares about those again, except as learning opportunities. And no one holds those against us - that's because of Dad's training and lifestyle.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to the world's #1 DAD. Love you so! And I appreciate that you're still encouraging me to look at the world in a new way every day.
---   ---   ---

Next Saturday is Indonesian Independence Day. Beautiful "red and white" decorates houses, gates, and fences, and flutter on thousands of private and public flagpoles. Bandung International Church will celebrate our host country Indonesia and all the other places represented by our community. We'll wear the colors of our countries and bring food for an International potluck. Can't wait.

But today is very special, too. The new "surround" hall layout gets a lot of positive comments. The children's dance is lovely - and the kids are so happy that they ask their leaders when they can do it again. (How about in October? We're looking forward to it.)
The topic at BIC today is Daniel, who is the complete opposite to last week's reluctant prophet, Jonah. Daniel obeys fearlessly, doing whatever God says. And because of his wisdom, he is counselor to 4 different kings from 3 different empires. When else does that happen in history? What a special man.

BIC's own Daniel leads the design team with Ruth. He's put silhouettes of the biblical Daniel's life on backdrop screens. The artists have created a great setting for the next series of bible stories. How we appreciate their spirit of innovation.
My definition of an artist is someone who see the world from a particular angle and lets the world know about it through the senses - with words, art, music, smells, movement, and touch.

After W and I speak, Lena (an experienced thespian) creates vignettes with human statues (volunteers from the crowd). They depict 3 scenes from Daniel's life before she asks the audience for takeaways.
The Community Table is heaped with Della's treats. And Waldemar teaches Theology 101 (discussing questions about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit today.) It's a busy and joy-filled morning, all around.
We have so much to be thankful for, including lunch with old and new friends. Table talk turns again and again to God and his work among us. We're from various backgrounds, so everyone gets to contribute.

The food at #BumiSangkuriang is good as usual. They've created e a short-cut for us to walk from Green Gate across the street to eat at their place. Thanks for that, Mr. Manager. Very kind of you.

The smell of saté (roasting goat) starts to permeate the neighborhood. Smells delicious. Our Muslim neighbors and their families are celebrating Eid al-Adha (see Genesis 22).

Read more:
*Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

*The ransomed of the Lord shall return, they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 51:11
*We will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
*We are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Ephesians 2:10
Moravian Prayer: Vivacious Creator, mold our spirits into those of peace, joy, and truth. Grant us the inspiration to reach for the highest of potentials you have for us. Place on our hearts the desire to be like you.
Heavenly God, as we await our call home, we continue to do your work here on Earth. The day is coming where we will see you face to face, and it will surely be a day full of joy and gladness. Amen.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM (Happy 66th Anniversary, too) and some creative flares

Lots on the move this week. Where oh where is the part-time executive assistant I'm praying for? Been wondering how to spend the next 6 months or 2 years? Seriously, is anyone out there with great administrative and leadership skills who would dive into this crazy adventure with us? Give us 6 months or a year or two of your life. There's lots to see and do in our wonderful city!
This week the flower arrangement fades quickly so I arrange a bit of humor on a tray in our entry. I need a smile. I haven't been sleeping deeply during the first bit of the week; my arm's sore enough to wake me up every time I turn.

An artist and friend, Lucky, has made a journal for me - I love it! W brings it home from their meeting. I spend a few happy hours at my desk with the journal, tea, and a candle - oh, and a favorite fountain pen.

Saturday, August 3, 2019 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to the best mom ever.
I call my beautiful mother, who celebrated her birthday "yesterday." Different time zones mean I'm calling her a day late, our time. So glad to connect across the world - what a privilege to have modern technology, though it's not as warm as a hug in person. Grandkids and great-grandkids are staying at her house this week.

Let's just say this: I'm in my early 60s and I don't know how she keeps up with everyone! She's still managing a household. Her garden is productive, too. A true lover of people, peacemaker, and my role model - that's my mom. (Sorry, Pop, I keep trying to be more like mom, sweet and thoughtful. But what a fierce, kind, and wonderful combination to have you both as parents, even when I'm wired more like you.)

SO, let me just jump ahead in the week for this event - Thursday is the 66th anniversary for my folks. Can you believe it? What kids our age have the privilege that both godly and loving parents are around to offer prayers and wisdom to them?

Though my mom and dad are slowing down, they still love each other and our extended family. They have a lot of friends around them who are in the same boat. They remember the good old days but living fully in the present. Love you two - so blessed by God with great parents and advisors!

Sunday
The talk is on Jonah, the reluctant prophet. Every time God acts or gives instructions, Jonah is sullen, unhappy, or headed in another direction. What a guy. The scriptures don't whitewash its participants - I recognize some of his reluctance in myself at times. Do you?

It's our last week in the long narrow layout at the Bandung International Church. After the Gathering, we hang around a Community Table, a feast of snacks and conversation. While W teaches a Theology 101 class, a bunch of volunteers pick up the chairs and re-set them into a circular view. Someone young looks up from their phone and says, "Oh, we're going from portrait to landscape. I get it."

We have lunch with Jon and Joy at Bumi. They're happily considering their next serve.(They're government and business consultants - we're thrilled to have them around.

***It's fun to see how many of us get near retirement and decide to contribute globally to the peace and well-being of others, instead of dropping out of service. 

How about giving a few months or a few years? If you want to know more about ways you might be able to serve with us, please email me at myfirstname.mylastname@gmail.com (Note - you'll have to fill in my names. Subject line: SERVE Indonesia.***

Monday
The week is in full swing. The study on the porch is over by 11 but people hang around. I tackle the weekend's wrap-up and plan for the coming week.

Tuesday through Friday
Meetings, artists, and technicians in full swing - that's such a fun combination. We go for lunch with friends and talk through some future possibilities. The hall is full of people looking and drilling and cutting ...  even the media "snake" gets moved into place.

The facilities manager is taking the toilets back to the bare walls. The pounding of mallets (crashing the tiles off the walls) and other rackets are sweet music into the next season.
Our helpers and driver spend all day Friday at Green Gate, the former school that hosts us with the utmost of grace and generosity. The workers scrub corners, windows, floors, walls, and toilets. They evict spiders and ants from hidden corners. They vacuum the old rugs where the drum kit usually sits.  The drums are moved to storage - we'll loan them out to our young drummers, who are learning their craft. We need electric drums for the new smaller stage.

We toss about 20 throw pillows (from movie nights) onto the rugs and steps of the old stage. I wonder who will use them. Clau volunteers to be the stage "sound police"for Sunday, if kids and teens get chatting away. (In a concrete hall, I've been wondering who we could ask for that. Hurrah for observant volunteers.)

The chairs, moved while the media team lays out their equipments, are moved again by architect Clau, who knows spaces. She takes a white-board marker and dots the floor tiles. She's marking aisle seats at the right front chair leg. We'll evaluate how people are using the space - of course, we expect attendees to move and adjust the chairs for their comfort for a few weeks.
W's under the weather for a few days. He doesn't like to be fussed over so I mostly leave him alone. He pampers me nonetheless, moving and picking up things that I'm not able to do yet.

Wednesday, we head into the hills and Gracia Spa for our date day - these hot spring pools are clean and quiet, and almost empty midweek.

I wait for my swollen hand to turn yellow from black and blue. After a week of healing, I go to see the rehab doctor on Thursday - he takes ultrasounds of my shoulder, which is still SOOO sore (torn muscle, it turns out.) "Don't move it much for 8 weeks until it heals," he advises. haha Hope he's joking.

He does a few laser treatments on hand and shoulder, has the therapist ice them twice, and does a mechanical massage (pop pop pop) on my shoulder and neck.He hands me a pack of 6 big pain patches. "You can't buy these. They're a bit stronger than usual here." Ok. I turn down a prescription for anti-inflammatory drugs, though.

When I refuse the pills, he adds another round of patches. "You'll have to get help changing them morning and evening if you're not willing to take anti-inflammatories. But," he adds with a wink, "how will the pharmacy industry survive if people are like you?"

True. It costs USD42.50, including the appointment. And the pain patches are really helpful.

Saturday
W heads to town for 3 appointments, as usual. While he's out, the new seamstress come by with W's travel trousers, 2 blouses, and a pant-skirt combo for me.

Some lucky local will enjoy it though. This weekend is joyfully celebrating the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al Adha), commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Goats are tied on every corner. They'll be sacrificed by families and neighbors. One of the oddest things I see is two guys riding a motorcycle with a goat comfortably tucked between them - he's a pet for the family until the ritual sacrifice. The skin, horns, and other parts will be auctioned off after the goat is butchered.

Saturday morning, the kids are practicing a local dance in the hall. Afterward, a young man and his Christian family come to the house just before noon. He's getting baptized soon. My heart cheers.
The seamstress comes late because of terrible traffic in town - it takes her an extra hour. She brings beautifully-sewn trousers for W and a cool batik outfit that is waaaaay! too small for me.

Midweek, she sent a note asking if to measure from the jeans I sent along or the measurements she took. Here's a typical misunderstanding: I write back, "Use the jean measurement plus add 1-2cm at the side," thinking about the jean fabric I sent. Nope. (Jeans stretch out over years of use, that's the right measurement.) However, she was talking about the colorful non-stretch cotton batik I fell in love with a few weeks ago. The new "spant" (what would I call it?) is about 3" too tight. REALLY a different size. Oh oh.

A skirt would have been a better idea - she sewed a trouser in the back with a skirt flap overlay in the front. I'm too round for any bright floral "bottom" (which I know from years of trying stuff on.) But oh well.... I thought I'd give it a try. Haha. "Massive" fail - on my body, not because of her skills.

The evening is Community Dinner Bandung. It's a fun group of about 30. Our autumn theme is the uniqueness of how God created each one of us. This time it's about our backgrounds.
We use recycled materials to create fun "new things" - God makes all things new.
One group does origami stars with their "dreams and hopes," makes a boat and a funny tinseled "person" to sail the ship - it's the most creative idea for launching into the next weeks.
The food Della cooks is very tasty - chicken rendang (spices), vegetables, rice steamed in leaves, and perkadel, deep-fried crumbs around a mash of potatoes and veggies. The sambal is hot and delicious. (1 tsp for a meal keeps the mouth sizzling. Yum.)
We're home about 8pm. The students and young professionals are out until midnight. Of course.

Read more:
(Original story here is Genesis 22; the Koran has a slightly different version.)

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altarthere and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba.And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Prayer: Dear God, you who are both Creator and Lord of all, bless your people around the world today and in the coming weeks. Let us embrace your love, serve you with all our hearts, and joyfully celebrate your Presence around us. Thank you for caring for us, for providing all we need, and for loving us more than we can grasp. Amen.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Rockabye house - and a slip and fall

Monday, July 29, 2019
It's the anniversary of my in-laws, though DadK has been gone a long time. W talks to his mom but I'm not there when he does. I think about them all day, a long life together. And then one is left. Some day that will be W and me. Sometimes I think about that - what happens then?

It's part of my natural focus on the future. I constantly have to push myself back to live in the present. The future pulls on me every day. Most of my waking dreams are of how things will be; only a few are about what have been.

We have a study on the porch - and then head into the office. The view from our walkway is beautiful.

Tuesday
It's team day, so we take most of the morning on the devotions and catch-up. W and I present the first draft of Sunday's talk and take note of the critiques.

Over lunch, we visit with a couple who is considering non-profit work in Indonesia. Lunch at Maxi's is delicious.

Wednesday
Late Tuesday and Early Wednesday is our day off. We head for town. My eyes are fatigued and I want to make sure all is well. I meet the nicest doc and his staff - and find out his wife is an acquaintance. Small city (of 5 million)!

W and I have lunch together. W's crab and seafood plate costs $6; mine is less.
He suggests a selfie. What?! Fully acclimated to this selfie culture, I guess.
  The displays are artistic. I snap a few pictures of them.
We do a bit of shopping - browsing, really. I'd like 10 or 15 of these seats for the new hall layout - they're casual but give firm support for a body. Oh oh, when I check the tag at $80 each, it's a bit pricey! If wishes were horses...
I find a few on-sale baskets and a cute pottery pup that makes me take a second look. I'll put it on a shelf to surprise a smile out of someone. Cute, right? (Every room should have a few unexpected pieces.)
The hop itself is interesting - I like the wood spheres that house plants. Someone has forgotten to water them, though.
On the way back to the car, I skid on a round pebble, slipping off a 3" ledge into a pothole in the pavement. My shin glances off the far edge and produces a goose-egg of a hard bruise. (My knee is slightly skinned but fine.) My trousers don't even tear. (Bought them in the USA, eh?)
What hurts is my left arm. I sit still to catch my breath before W pulls me up by my good hand.

We walk to the car. "It's not far," says W.

It's a block further than he thinks, about 3 blocks from my tumble. Next time, I'll wait for the car. There's a beautiful modern building on the way, though.
Once in the back seat, I swipe a baby wipe across my palm to scrape the gravel out. W dabs a glop of sterilizer (alcohol) on the cut.

"OwH OwH OwH!" I say, almost breathless. Oh, does that ever hurt ... only for 30 seconds. Then I'm glad it's disinfected and the sting subsides.

It takes over a half-hour to get home. We buy a pack of frozen chicken going up our hill: I have to get ice on this arm sooner rather than later. And that's what was in the grocer's freezer. We send it home with the driver later, who is happy to have supper.

There's nothing broken, thank God, only internal bruising in the wrist and palm. My shoulder ligament is caught on something, too. When I rotate my arm up for comfort, the joint catches and tweaks. Yeee-ouch! Not doing that again (until Friday, when I confirm, yup, it's stuck on something.) If I don't rotate my arm that way, it doesn't hurt as much. Good plan, then.

We postpone two meetings - I'm in no condition to go out. I just rest. I'm the "one day's rest and then back to work" type, not the "suffer for a few days and then I'm out for a week of recovery."

W pampers me all evening with cold packs and a hot water bottle - I'm shivering in no time. A sleeping pill and anti-inflammatory before bedtime, and I'm out from 9 until 6, the best sleep I've had in a long while.

Thursday
While the Thursday walkers hike our favorite walk (which actually morphs into a new one), I have to stay home. My hand and shoulder are sore but by evening, I can start to grasp things with my thumb. By evening, when we go out for dinner, it's a dull ache rather than a roar. We have a good dinner at Puri Bambu, a famous old location with Indonesian-Chinese cuisine. It's fun to meet the two young men related to our host, who polish off the leftovers like they should at their age. (I remember.)

We skip a stop on the way home: I'm really finished. I toss and turn, sleeping off and on through the night.

Friday
A 7am online call starts the day - it jumpstarts my mind with theology and analysis. After I hang up, there's just enough time to make a thermos of tea, toss cookies and banana bread into my tote, and grab my art supplies. W is already walking home from his breakfast appointment so we pick him up on the way out.
We love to go to Rumah Doa (House of Prayer) for prayer and reflection. We drive through farms and nurseries up the hill. The colors are astonishing - I love the green possibilities that line the narrow road. W and the driver joke about the snake-like progress between trucks loading and unloading plants in the middle of one narrow lane and the cars and motorcycles hurtling toward us in the oncoming lane. You have to have nerves of steel or know the flow to drive here.

Our teammates are waiting - we talk about several aspects of serving together. Periodically, it's good to consider if we are on track or on a new course.

W has to pick up a few things at a supermarket. I find some ramen I want to try. I love the noodles of Indonesia = so much variety. We drop W at a corner where he can catch an angkot (little van) home.

Pack Gum and I continue the drive. I'm off to a late lunch with the Bandung Book Group - several have birthdays, which we try to celebrate each month. The cookies and banana bread are split up between tasters afterward, when we've had our lively chats and catch up. One of the founding members is visiting from Australia: it's also her birthday so it's double the fun.
They order fish and spinach to share around the table. I don't like fish, but I'm happy with my order of spicy mango chicken and rice.
Oh yum - Akasnya Teras has good food! And I love the little ceramic tea set with a serving tray.
We're home by late afternoon. I can pick up things already - it's going to be a fast recovery, though my shoulder is still hooked up on something.

The house sways and the windows creak - there's an earthquake off the coast, felt in Jakarta (100 miles away) and here. It's gentle and kind of soothing. I wouldn't have noticed if W wouldn't have mentioned it. We walk onto the porch, but the dogs are relaxed and not concerned. "Good chance of a tsunami," W says, looking at Google. God, please keep the people on the coast safe, we pray.

Read more:
*When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them. Proverbs 16:7 
*Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. Luke 6:35 
*The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:9-14 NIV
Moravian Prayer: Protector of Peace, strengthen and unite the souls of all people. With our hearts broken and selfish, direct us toward service to humanity. Turn us from vindictiveness, and teach us to love one another. Amen.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Reimagining spaces and long walks

We've rested up a bit this week - but it was a fun one, too.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
The morning is in the office and exploring the new hall configuration for August 11 = "from portrait to landscape," as one young person put it. Ruth, Daniel, and Chandra join W and me in imagining what could be. Sanny arrives and helps move everything into place. (It will be returned to the old layout Saturday before the Sunday Gathering.) Old and new below:
Old: 
New:
Working with artists is a pleasure. Their ideas are amazing - I can see the concepts in my mind's eye before they're made. Budget and personnel (builders) will be a constraint ... but if we had unlimited resources, it might not be this much fun, right?
One of the things on my heart, because of friends with physical challenges, is to ensure equal access for those who want to participate. Universal access means building a ramp, which is a project for Pak Chandra. The finishes are nice, the interlocking sides and supporting grids keep the stage stable. I can't wait to enjoy it with Bandung IC.

Thursday
It's a day in the hills - walking with a group and our two dogs. The animals are so happy to run off-leash for most of the hike. Gypsy carries the pack with water for the dogs. Working settles him down.
It's not very strenuous walk at 3 or 4 miles: we have two young kids and a new hiker with us. They all do well and the photos show a happy day. The two boys love the adventure of climbing up rickety bamboo structures.



We're in farmland - I stop along the walk for Rp50.000 ($3.55) of pumpkins (10 little sweets). Later, on our way down the mountain, we stop again for broccoli. For the same price, I get 12 heads, fresh from the fields. We give a pumpkin and broccoli head to the helpers and our driver - after I ask him if they cook at home. (We don't take that for granted; with a small family and both parents working, it's often easier and cheaper to buy something from a neighbor's cart.)

Lunch is at a new place - the food is good, the setting pretty. We'll be back.
We still stop for yogurt popsicles at Mambo's in Lembang. Mango and coconut are my personal favorites. We buy a few extras @25c each for our drivers. It's been a hot day - without cloud cover during dry season the nights are cold (66o) and the days hot (90o).

Earlier this week, I mentioned hanging posters of BIC people on our office wall. When we're driving home from our walk, I think aloud about buying slats. V offers 2 chicken crates that she has in her yard. I eyeball the slats when we drop her at home in our neighborhood: they look like the right width. W and Gum plane the rough wood and - what do you know?! - perfect size. And they're free. (That serendipity seems to happen often.)
Friday
Back in the office, there's a lot to wrap up before the weekend and the end of the month. Because I'm always planning ahead, I keep wanting to write August and September on my pages. I wrote December on one document a few days ago. Oops.

In the afternoon, DrH and I are at a book group, discussing the effects of Alzheimers on a writer. It's sad but each of us knows people with that challenge. The food is wonderful - the people friendly.
One of the group has returned from India: she brings a scarf for each of us.
While we're there, the local volcano burps steam into the sky - it doesn't reach the city but it coats a few cars in the tourist parking lot with ash.

Saturday
What a quiet day - W is in the city for three meetings. I head to the third floor (our storage area) to clear out some of the accumulation. While I'm there, I grab a purple IKEA slipcover for the LR sofa, just to mix things up. I'm easily bored with the same room and seasonal slipcovers and other-colored pillowcases are an easy/cheap way to stave off a full revamp. (W notices late at night after he's been through the room a few times. "Did you change the room?" Yup.)
While I was in the attic, I grabbed a huge $3 light shade we bought a few years ago at the hardware store. Downstairs, I turn it upside-down, put it on the African tablecloth Maschers (cross-cultural workers) gave me in the 1980s, and put a candle inside. Looks like a fancy sculptural vase. 
After that quick binge of creativity, I've burned off enough energy to read. I also write next week's talk and make its PPT. Pak Gum takes the dogs for two walks and waters the gardens - the heat sucks the moisture from everything. We're happy to stay in for a supper of ramen and a bag of the frozen chicken we're considering ordering for movie nights. Mmm. Tastes good.

Sunday
We decide to have a quick 7am breakfast at Pino Terrace before the Gathering. It's great to have a lot of guests again but also wonderful to have our regulars trickling back from vacation. W and I speak on the exile of Israel and Judah, a consequence of idolatry and disobedience. How many times have we refused God's best for us and reaped the consequences?

It's the last Sunday of the month, which means we celebrate a bunch of people with July birthdays. There's a red velvet cake baked by PeiPei and lots of snacks from Hela. Yum. People are still hanging out when we leave an hour-and-a-half after the Gathering ends.
The sun canopies cast shade on the entry to the hall. With the sun is beating down, it can get warm. I wear a long cotton coat over a silk blouse and leggings but it's not too hot for me. Total acclimation, I think it's called. The short-sleeved Australians who are in the Gathering fan themselves - it's winter where they come from.

After lunch at Bumi S, we head home to rest and write. Except that the groomers, due at 1:00, have already washed and blow-dried the standard poodle. They've started clipping her so they've been here a while. They're done in a few hours @Rp150.000 (=slightly over $10 "Or about the same as 10 haircuts for me," says W.) In the States, the same thing costs $80-100.
When I whistle, the dogs come running and sit down to get petted or a treat. Good doggies!
After the groomers leave, the dogs chill out on the porch while W walks to Borma on the next hill to pick up a few things. I read, write, and relax.

Read more:
*Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you. Zechariah 1:3
*I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micha 7:7
*Jesus said, “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9:13
*Hope does not disappoint us. Romans 5:5 
*But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:4-7 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Loving God, thank you for scripture that reminds us of who you are. You are faithful, loving, providing, accepting, and so much more. We thank you today for holding your arms open and wanting us to be held by them. Continue to guide us on your path.

Lord, you call each one of us to come unto you. As sinners, we know your truth and the door opens. For that we are grateful. Thank you for being ever-present! Amen