Saturday, August 9, 2014

Put a comma on it

It's a bit chaotic in my head when I wake on Sunday, August 10. So many details roll around and there's no way to slow them down. W's fast asleep beside me and I don't want to be tossing and turning, so I get up and breathe and breathe and smell the flowers sitting on our table. Lovely!

Language school starts Thursday but our registration has not been confirmed. We should find out Monday (tomorrow) if we'll be at this school for this term (mid-August to mid-September). If we miss this deadline, another school starts the week after, but it's a 3-month term and we'd need a variance from our organization to attend.

The realtor wants to meet us Tuesday in Bandung for house inspection and signing the lease. Expat and local friends assure us it's a standard contract without anything unusual in it, but also without real guarantees of enforcement. "You'll likely never see the landlord, so once you sign, you're responsible." (Please pray with us that the surprises are minimal!) 

Plans for transportation to Bandung and back this week have changed. We will catch a shuttle there and back to sign Tuesday, but the transport website is not working when we try to book the trip. Once the lease is secured, we'll move our suitcases and house supplies - but we likely won't be settled as hoped before school starts. That means we also need temporary housing - and perhaps storage. (If school starts in a month rather than in half a week or if the lease is problematic, we'll need to revise our housing anyway. Someone arrives to live in our current Jakarta flat later this month.) 

We had a busy day yesterday, beginning with a taxi ride to church at 8:30 for a 9-4 training session for small group leaders. We stopped briefly at the mall during the day for bug chalk to ward off the steady trail of ants in our current flat and to have insect control on hand once we move. The break, into the light and air, did us good. Then it was back to evening service at 5 and a staff meal afterwards. Pastors Mario and Daniela's helper had cooked a traditional yellow-rice cone and side dishes in honor of Pastor Gigi's birthday. How delicious. Several of us joked about hiring the chef away from them.

Friday at the office: a happy birthday party
complete with cake, candles, and singing
A general helper looks after the whole house where we are temporarily living. It contains several flats, the meeting rooms downstairs, and a good-sized yard so there's always something to do. The pastor sent the helper to mop floors and clean while we were gone Friday. (We've done the basics the past month, but it felt great to give the place a good wash-down.) What a blessing!

AT 8:30 am this morning, the security guys outside start shooting off firecrackers. It sounds like gunshots so W wakes up and leans over the porch to check. Nope. They have firecrackers. Is it a Sunday morning private party?

I'm feeling tired this morning. We've stayed up late most nights this week. I'm ready to put things in a closet rather than living out of our suitcases. W decides to visit the transport company and run a few errands today, but I'm not up to it. I'm staying in for a reflective and resting day.

We've been warned about the heaviness of spiritual engagement. Added to that, the world news reports about Gaza, ebola, Iraqi Christians being persecuted, and other disasters weigh on me. I can't grasp how much my brothers and sisters in faith are suffering pain and death.

Lord, have mercy on your children! It's time for prayer and thanksgiving to a God who knows how each day will go.

Read more:
*You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. Psalm 63:7 ESV

*For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Isaiah 60:2 ESV

*Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 NIV

*I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. John 12:46 ESV

*Paul wrote: I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 ESV

Moravian Prayer: God of Light, though you have called us to the light, too many of your children still live in a world of darkness. Show us how to bring the light of Christ to illuminate their world with hope.

Compassionate Savior, because you care for us, you hear our cries and petitions. And, in the midst of our afflictions, you come to comfort, sustain, and deliver us. For your mercy and your grace we are truly thankful. Amen.

C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity: "Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible."

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