Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Getting ready to move

Our friends from Jakarta, Pastors Stefano and Livia, took us on a 3-day fact-finding trip to Bandung. Our tasks in the next few weeks are to:
  1. sign up for language school
  2. find housing
  3. experience the setting and people, praying grace and favor on them - and that we feel at home in this new city.
Rice bowl, leaves line the basket
We wonder if some of the best food in the world is made in Bandung. Over the three days, we especially enjoy Maxis and Roma Enak Enak, blown away with tasty menus. When the bill comes, we are astonished: we four eat for the expected price of two. 

Deeeelicious fish

We eat breakfast on the second floor, overlooking the hotel pool. It's shaded in early morning and I'm a warm-water swimmer. (They were doing maintenance on it when we arrived so the pool has just opened.) Two little boys splash into the pool from a Little Tykes slide. They stand at the top of the slide, jump over the sides into the water, and dive to the bottom of the 3.5 depth. 

Trying to imagine this breakfast view in the USA: no lifeguard,
no safety rails on the Little Tykes playspace...
The realtor and friend come by again at 10. We go to House #1, take a lot of pictures, and ask a lot of questions. 

Pastor Livia on the front porch
"What about the furniture?" I ask. There are multiple shelf units, 2 or 3 beds, lots of occasional tables, a dining set, and two living room ensembles.

"Come for supper" - a kitchen and dining area
"Think of the furniture as a bonus," smiles the realtor.

I ask him to check if the owner would be willing to let us live in it for a week and then remove the parts of the "bonus" that we didn't need? Could they clean before we get in? It has already been cleaned once, we're told.

A place for company - entry / living room 1
When we look up at the high ceilings, a 6" lizard sits near the top. 

Can you spot the lizard?
"That's what the spots are on the sofa," says the realtor. (Oh, lizard poop. Where's the vacuum? We can take care of that in a jiffy.) Livia says we don't chase out those lizards: they eat mosquitoes and other bugs. Yay, a house lizard - a good sign. And the kitchen is open to the garage, which has vent slats open to the outdoors. Couldn't keep lizards out if we tried, I guess.
Back yard shade
Perhaps these things can be negotiated, the realtor says. We make an offer for a year-long lease but haven't heard back by Tuesday (today). Please pray with us; perhaps this is the place to begin.

In town, we eat another great lunch. Then it's a long drive back to Jakarta: 5.5 hours ... and S & L are still miles from their own place when they drop us off about 8pm. Pastor S has to preach in the morning, too. We pray together over the services tomorrow and the accomplishments of the weekend. We are grateful for the generous attention of the IES Jakarta church and our friends during this transition.

Classic BMW motorcycle in the hotel lobby
At 11:30pm, we get a text. Our visa is partially finished. We need to hand over our passports tomorrow in church and appear in person to sign the visa next week. Whaaaaat? Don't we need the passports to get on the flight to Lombok tomorrow? We partially repack our suitcase for the next retreat - and fall into bed after midnight. God - and Indonesians in the know - will have to sort things out.

Pastor Dave's family lives down the hall from where we're staying. They are back from a trip to the States and offer us a ride to church at 8. PD (as he's called here) introduces us to the congregation and asks people with Bandung connections to consider a one-week-a-month commitment (for three months) to bring local friends and family to the service, once we open. The meeting is refreshing and inspirational. Between services, we walk quickly to a nearby mall and find the moneychanger to exchange funds for the retreat.

We're told not to worry: we can use color photocopies of the passport and passport sticker (temporary visa), with a letter from the church explaining why we don't have our passports in hand. Pastor Stefano writes the letters, makes color copies, and sends us off in good shape. (What would we do without him?!)

We have to finish packing so we go back home in a taxi. We get caught in a jam a kilometer from home, so jump out and walk the rest of the way. We set off for the airport at 2pm to make sure we get on the 6:15 flight. The driver is the first woman cabbie we've met here. She heads to the toll ring road and gets us to the airport in good time. We have supper in a local-style restaurant before meeting coworkers at the Starbucks. 

It's an uneventful flight but W's luggage takes a half hour to unload. Our fellow travelers wait patiently before we all catch the shuttles to the hotel, an hour away. It's 11pm by the time we reach the Sheridan and later still when we settle into sleep.

We miss our granddaughter's third birthday. It does our hearts good to look at new Facebook pictures of her and her little brother.

It's a full day in Lombok. What a glorious setting upon awaking. The palms wave outside the balcony, with the ocean beyond them. The breakfast buffet includes several counters of international dishes. I eat lightly: the conference schedule includes snacks as well as meals.

The welcomes are warm all around as coworkers from across Indonesia meet. It's clear that the field is united in purpose. I have a quick swim before our afternoon business session, which is conducted efficiently. W and I watch and listen. Diverse personalities and ministries are encouraged; differences of opinion are aired without criticism. Participation in the evening worship session is enthusiastic and wholehearted, led by Pastor Gigi Kenney and her sister, Chelley Rody.

The beautiful pool in the evening
Over breakfast, the SE Asia Area Director Bill his wife Kim, and Pastor Dave (and daughter Isabella) help us understand procedures and expectations. We need permission to travel, submit receipts a certain way, and should consult on anything we have questions about. The field committee will discuss particulars as they come up. We're grateful for mentorship - and offers of friendship - early on. 

The morning business meeting concludes this year's business agenda. The field committee has been expanded to 3 men and 1 woman. At the lunch buffet. Katie sits with us and shares her heart for Community Development. She's interning this year at IES Jakarta, learning by working with their staff. At 23, her heart has been captured by Indonesia, so we will be praying that she continues to find direction and make an impact. Please include her in your prayers, too.

We go back to the room and nap. Then I have to write. Thank you, everyone. It takes a while to get the internet connection, so most of the afternoon and early evening are gone by the time I'm done.

God's peace to you - and loving prayers from Lombok, for all that you need for life and to carry out the mission of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment