Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More than keeping busy

Part of the cool staff team at IES Jakarta:
typical Saturday night, post-service dinner
Can it be Wednesday already? We've met a few new people again this week, most notably several grad students on the angkot. W and I just got home from dinner - but we missed meeting a new friend from the Expats in Bandung group on FB. The roads are wet and they are in class until late, so we postponed our joint supper. It gives us time to talk through our priorities and make sure we're on track with what we feel called to do. We arrive home sated.

Sunday, November 9:
IES (International English Service) Jakarta hosted a Fun Run before the morning service, 5 km for adults (actually more like 7, but no one complained) and 2 km for the kids, who got a tattoo or stickers at every way station. Lots of volunteers made this one happen but the event was fully staffed by the time we showed up for the weekend. So we watched and hopefully learned a few things.

Anything worthwhile takes time: the view from the office at
IESJakarta of a year's worth of construction. It will be
hidden from sight and undergirds new skyscrapers
Several staff members stayed in hotels near the church overnight since their duties started early. We were heading back to Bandung after service, so we took the car, following the WAZE app to church in the morning. Big mistake. We'd planned to arrive as requested, at 8:30. WAZE couldn't figure out why we didn't want to take the main road so we criss-crossed the city. We made it in the door just before service started at 10.

The central core is closed to cars some Sunday mornings. W squeezed the car through narrow alleys - and ended up parking in a nearby shopping mall. We walked the rest of the way. Hundreds of people were jogging in the car-free zone, pushing baby strollers, or sitting and talking. Little carts with food and chochkies kept everyone well supplied with treats. By 11am, everyone packed up and the cars returned to the streets.

Hanging out and fooling around: Pastor Micha
and Julius ham it up before the Fun Run
We enjoyed the service but this one was special. Both Saturday night and Sunday morning, Pastor Dave reviewed the DNA of the church and talked about its unique mission to Jakarta and Indonesia. We left inspired and encouraged.

One of the staff couples is moving. He's Indonesian; she is South African. They'll be living near her family. She's packing and hands me two boxes crammed with yards of beautiful lace from her career as a fashion designer. When handed an unusual gift, I'm on high alert, asking, "Where will God will send it, here and there?" I have plans for the silver yardage: draped decor at Christmas!

The drive home from Jakarta is unremarkable. It's nice to come in our door 2 1/2 hours later. It has rained inside as well as out while we were gone. I enjoy setting up the end tables purchased on our quick stop at IKEA on Friday. (Today, Wednesday, we stopped by a tile shop. 60cmX60cm black granite: $4.50 = and upgraded tabletop. What do you think?)

Before: raw wood top. Love the textures.
After: what a difference a tile makes
Monday we take the little bus down the hill toward class and also notice that we haven't been walking much the last week. It takes us a little longer to get to school. It is exam time .... but happily not for us. The Korean students completing LEVEL 4 this semester lead a service, complete with worship and preaching in Indonesian.

They do an amazing job of involving all the students. W and Augustine pray. Sumathi helps lead the music. I have to read the Bible passage in Indonesian. Ah, butchery. I apologize for what I will do in advance. With Google Translate, I can ask them to stand for the reading in Bahasa Indonesia, too.

Final test before an international group
Tuesday and Wednesday we run errands after class, so I drive the car in one day and W another. Wending our way through a two-lane street with 3-4 lanes of slow-moving traffic is interesting. It's more nerve-wracking as passenger so I usually catch up on email when W drives.

On the bus: a beautiful Sundanese
grandma holds her granddaughter
We get a very nice surprise this week. Our daughter mailed a package from Austin TX full of "sweet littles" - tins of goodies and skin care and a Christmas stollen. We open it with delight. Gift-giving is one of Kirsten's more consistent giftings since childhood. It's lovely to be the recipient.

Gradually we're acquiring the basics: this week we finally purchased a kitchen mixer/blender combo and a few wall mirrors for the guest rooms. We picked up screen cloth to staple over the bathroom windows to bar mosquitoes from entering. I'd be happy if we no longer need the mosquito netting over the bed: I wake up each time it brushes my face or hands during the night.

I am also glad to find a $13 Christmas tree at ACE Hardware. It's little  - only 4' tall - but we'll decorate it this year and put it on a table for height. (We're unwilling to pay for a taller tree if there are pre- or post-Christmas sales!) Our kids sent individual ornaments along with Waldemar. Hurrah. We look forward to the season. We're hoping to host the people we've recently met when December rolls around, before everyone leaves for Christmas vacation.

We are in rainy season. I pack a little rain jacket everywhere we go. Thunder and lightning are common before the downpours that wash away garbage and bad smells. But when I look up the temperatures where friends and family live (minus13oC / 8oF in Edmonton, for example), I'm even happier to be here.

Read more:
*The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever. Deuteronomy 29:29 NEV

*God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. Job 37:5-6 NEV 

*Jesus prayed, “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.” John 17:6 NEV

*This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Lord Jesus, may our hearts be reformed each day so our lives will be a living alleluia. Thank you for receiving us and helping us to lead others to receive you. We give praise for your truth and salvation. Alleluia! Amen.

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