Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Everyone is somewhere

Some snapshots of our side of the world:
Traditional Sundanese garb - an angkot rider, happy to have W take his picture
Today I was struck by how many of our acquaintances don't live in their hometown. Many of us aren't even in our homeland. W lived in Germany for a year. He and I crossed the border from Canada to live in the US as university students. We returned home to pastor and study - and then shifted to Seattle in our late 20s. We stayed 29 years, putting down roots, making friends, and birthing our fourth child (a dual citizen, like his sister who took out citizenship in the US).

Cute kids hanging out beside the clotheslines and a poinsettia shrub.
In Seattle, we buy these plants in nurseries ... at Christmas
Over the years, some of our friends have stayed in the city where they were born. But we've watched people come and go across the continent or overseas, too. For many years, I sent letters, cards, magazines, and anything else I could think of that might interest them. Since we've arrived, we've had two pieces of mail (one was a credit card replacement) but hundreds of emails. We do feel connected! Well, sort of. In some ways.

17 is the legal age for driving a motorcycle. 9-12 is more likely.
How I admire early travelers in the faith who lived without connection to home. Mail boats might bring news every few months. Parents and siblings died without them knowing. Joys and tragedies happened at home and they were so far away. Out of touch. We read the stories in biographies and summary paragraphs, think, "Hmmm must have been hard," and move on to the next item on our agenda.

10 minutes from our house, a trail through a jungle valley
Even with all the connections today, we miss our parents, kids, and grandkids - and friends. We can see their faces on a Google Hangout, but we can't give a hug or put a hand on their shoulder. It's really strange being on this end of the we-miss-you!s that we said to others. We're in a big city with a roof over our heads. Many serve in deserts, jungle villages, or on the sea. I'm filled with wonder at God's choice of destination for each one.

A typical street between houses for motorcycles. Pedestrians. Bicycles. Carts. Chickens. Cats. Lizards.
Hope you enjoyed the walk through our neighborhood today. Where is Jesus sending you?

Read more:
*The Lord says, “If you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine.” Exodus 19:5 ESV

*The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. Numbers 6:25 ESV

*Does God speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19 NIV

*Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:5-6 NIV

*In Jesus Christ every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

*The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:9 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Dearest Jesus, thank you for allowing yourself to be the paramount manifestation of God’s love for us. 

Lord, the blessing of your love is made manifest through your Son. May his light shine through us to the rest of your world. Amen.


  1. I thank God for what he has given you. Matthew 25:15 . And I'm excited to see the fruit that will come from this as I read a portion of a Max Lucado devotion today (He talked about how God gave us each unique talents to accomplish his will in our lives) I thought of you. I am even challenged to dig deeper to see all God has given me and not get stuck in what I think I am limited to but see further to what he has planned. May God bless you richly and restore your strength. Salam

  2. I also thought you would like to know my mom's comment to your picture of a gentleman on the angkot she said "oh that's not just an ordinary man. . .see the ring on his hand?! We used to call that a "tiger's eye" and he has TWO! She wanted to tell me more but couldn't find the words. . .she thought he must be "highly respected".

    1. Just saw this: he was very gracious and seemed humble, but I also thought there was a presence around him. Wonder who he was... we prayed over him.