Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sad for Seahawks

You can buy lunch, snacks, newspapers,
stickers, and toys when your car stops in traffic.
Saturday, January 31

W and I can't believe that January is almost over. It's warm and green everywhere. We love it and this year we didn't miss the cold or winter one bit. Others tells us that will change in coming years. Maybe. I can't remember liking winter. Ever. Brrrr.

We pack for Jakarta. Ibu A comes at 7, washing through the house and ironing the clean laundry. We don't have much for her to do, but her family depends on her income. She's on her way home with a full day's pay by 10:30. She smiles and says, "I really like working for you." Good. She takes home food and goodies we can't use nearly every week. Those little luxuries add up in job satisfaction. She's a fine helper and we like her too.

W takes the car to a Bandung bakery, buying treats for the IES Jakarta staff, as per tradition. Pak Joseph comes to the house at 9am. A friend of Pastor Herry in Seattle, he lives in Jakarta but has family in Bandung. He brings breakfast pastries so we can't treat him to a meal at Miss Bee's down the road. His generosity gives us time to share what God is doing and how we can work together.

Hang on! This older couple perches
on the back of a loaded pickup
We're on the road to Jakarta just after noon. W offers me the chance to drive, but he's getting better at negotiating traffic so I demur. Driving requires complete focus: after our morning reading (Act 8 today), there's no conversation. I'm a stressed-out hostage on a joy-ride. We're used to processing life and ministry on long trips. Here, you'd need a driver to do that. And maybe we will eventually hire someone; these 7-9 hour trips (back and forth to Jakarta) are a real waste of time when one of us has to block out everything but movement around the car.

It's faster to head straight to UOB Plaza downtown in Jakarata, but we pause for supper. The restaurant we like has moved elsewhere so we go to Tony Roma's, an American-based barbecue place. The food is not great, the servers are attentive, and it is very expensive! ($30 for a meal) We agree that it's never going to be a mandatory destination for us.

The focus of the IESJakarta service is Presentation Sunday, commemorating Jesus' dedication in the temple. The prayers center around couples who want children and have not been able to conceive or have a live birth. We have seen God answer prayers miraculously in the past. (Pastors Dave and Gigi's daughter is a miracle because of those prayers 19 years ago.) It's such a pleasure to pray with people and I look forward to tomorrow's services as well.

IES Jakarta staff feast together
Lew, pastor of one of IES's churches, brings a luxury feast for staff dinner afterwards. He cuts the 4 kilo roast (10 lb), done rare and med-rare (hurrah!) and presents us with corn-on-the-cob, potato wedge fries, vegetables, and more. Someone has brought tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. We dig in with gusto. The person next to me remarks on my small portion: actually, having eaten 3 hours ago, this is a lot of food to put on top of a lot of food.

Substituting for the Jordan River
And by the time we are ready for bed, my stomach rebels. The guacamole tasted off a bit so I should not have had a second bite. Oh well. I try charcoal tablets and water and immediately lose my food into the porcelain bowl. I guess Sunday will be fasting day (the fastest way to nip stomach troubles, according to our tour guide in Israel a few years back).

I stay home. Avery, whose flat we're in, comes in after service for a shower and change of clothes. She buys me a few bananas and some Pocari Sweat (awful name for Pedialite). She's a treasure!

I manage to down two small cuts of banana and a half-cup of Sprite and water. I consider it a reading day, but I sleep on and off while my stomach settles. W's gone for both morning services and a baptism, returning after 6pm with ginger tea.

W falls asleep at 8:30pm. I'm out for the count by 10.

Enthusiastic Seattle Seahawks fans
Super Bowl happens at 6:30am. The intro starts at 6, so W joins Dave and several other Seattleites to watch the game. I put on my Seahawks t-shirt and come in at halftime. Katy Perry's entry on a tiger is cool. We tease Dave that he'll have to come in on a Seahawk next Sunday if we win.

For halftime, I head back to do laundry, dishes, and write. I don't need the adrenaline rush on a stomach that is settling. I keep track of the score on the blog. The flat is sound-deadened so I miss our loss.

Read more:
*Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV

*Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 ESV

*For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Psalm 86:5 ESV

*I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2 NIV

*We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8–9 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Heavenly Shepherd, we give you thanks for protecting us every day. Forgive us for not bringing our cares, temptations, and fears to you more often. In our times of trial, let us focus our faith on you. Amen.

C. S. Lewis, Letters
The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time—I know your problems must be much the same as mine (with the important difference that mine are of my own making, a very appropriate punishment and, like all God’s punishments, a chance for expiation.)

 Isn’t it hard to go on being patient, to go on supplying sympathy? One’s stock of love turns out, when the testing time comes, to be so very inadequate: I suppose it is well that one should be forced to discover the fact!

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