Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Connections and contacts

The tropical panoramic view from my desk: the wind chimes
are tut-tutting on the porch as the breeze comes up.
The landlady said the chimes chase away the fruit bats.
Sunday, May 17
One of the kids is sick so I stay home with him while W and T's family attend a charismatic Indonesian church. "Wow, a professional production that feels like a transplant from anywhere in the West," everyone remarks upon coming home. They like the music and W thinks the theology was good. I'll go on the next visit. 

I can't remember much about Monday. My stomach is not cooperating but it's thankfully not heaving. It must have been the fresh cucumber which I thought was thoroughly washed. W didn't have any and he's fine.

I'm almost finished putting away the heap from our move. We tossed everything into a room nearest the gate outside - all the rooms have sliding doors to the patio or outside. That makes for great ventilation and was convenient when we were running our things from one house to the next.

Please let the guest rooms downstairs be sorted soon, I think to myself. What a chore! We have enough sheets and pillowcases, a huge blessing. But after a few years of storage, they need washing, hanging on the line to dry, and ironing. Ibu A and I been at it for over a week. Now, if I sew a few more flat sheets into duvet covers, I'll stash away the bedding and be guest-ready.

Bundas and Friska from the Center, exploring
partnership possibilities among teens.
The leather chairs doing their job upstairs.
Upstairs, Paul, Laura and the two kids settle in. We've asked them to move things around, to fully live in the space, and let us know what other guests would need. They're assembling a short-list of house quirks and "good guest" expectations. (THANK YOU!)

Gradually we stock up on basics together: kitchenware, furniture, and cleaning supplies. They occasionally raid our cabinets for a pot-lid, spices, etc. How grateful we are for the generosity of friends back home. We may be tightwads and bargain-hunters but some things can't be done without ... seating in the upper common room, for example. We found two leather armchairs, dusty but in beautiful condition, in the back of a second-hand office supply shop @$75. We'll take them, thank you.

My head is in a vice: throbbing and sore. We have been looking forward to meeting Riga at the Bamboo Shack to discuss a Bible study. About 3am I WhatsApp her that there's no way I'll be able to attend. She replies at 6am (normal time for moving around here - the sun's up, after all). W walks to Miss Bee's and gets a sandwich for each of us. I swallow half and that's more than enough, according to my stomach.

I run the stairs to the laundry a few times; we still have bedding and the painter drop-cloths (future slipcovers) to wash and iron. Ibu A steams through another heap before leaving at 3. The Bundas are exploring children's work and visiting the International School near downtown.

Ibu A has made nasi goreng ayam (chicken fried rice) and stashes it for supper. Everyone says the rice is fabulous. But my appetite has gone missing. I try to stay out of everyone's way. No one needs this headache.

W and I meet for brunch with Pauline, Pak Agust, and Maria at Miss Bee's Restaurant. They're with the seminary where we studied language, wondering if we're available to teach grad and doctoral courses. We map out possibilities but tell them we'll need permission from our non-profit before committing to teaching there or elsewhere. (What a strange thing, figuring out the "self-employment" parameters.)

My cousin Elaine and I - 41 years ago
They come over to look at the house and ask W about scanning documents. He shows them his AeroPress coffee-maker, too. On Jawa, good coffee is almost as important as tea. Bandung is famous for Kopi Aroma, a 3-generation coffee company. (They sun-dry coffee beans before letting them age in burlap sacks for 8 years in their warehouse. Serious about their coffee!)

I hole away in our bedroom most of the day, coughing and under the weather. My dad is scanning old slides into digital photos: the memories are happy as I look through them. Family reunions, friend get-togethers (including my 18th birthday), and church events. The light-hearted look into the past cheers me and makes me laugh aloud at times.

Ibu A's back to make lunch and swoosh through the house. Bundas host a guest, Friska from The Center, a non-profit that gives English classes and support to Bandung teens. We are thrilled by the connections being made. Who knows how God will use them in future, to bless local children and their families.

Read more:
*And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:8-10  NIV

*You are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea. Psalm 65:6 NASB

*May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 ESV

*Do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. Colossians 1:23 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Heavenly and merciful Father, help your children be more prepared in faith and in actions according to your word. Lead our steps each day to go wherever you may take us. In the name of your son Jesus we pray. Amen.

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