Thursday, July 23, 2015

Macet between study days

On this first Friday after Ramadan, the chorus of Muslim prayers have been ricocheting off the hillsides all morning. We're not sure if there's a special post-celebration day or what. Morning prayers at 4, 9, and noon are the norm.

The display at a local grocer,
paper maché camel included
This week we called our granddaughter for her 4th birthday in Seattle and our sis-in-law for her (mumble mumble) birthday in Switzerland. Some days we feel the separation more than others.

We have to drive to Jakarta and get an early start at 6:30 am. It's not early enough. Within an hour, we're stuck in macet or traffic. It takes 5 hours to get to IESJakarta - so we are late for staff meeting.

Where we were ...
About 20 pastors, staff, and interns gather to worship, give reports, and share prayer requests. One of the highlights for me is Pastor Oyan's liturgy - it's comforting and uplifting to pray the prayers of history with a group today. But we come too late to enjoy it today.

Beautiful central Jakarta
It's Pastor Dave's last meeting before a sabbatical. He demonstrates leadership and empowerment in a few ways = always good demonstrations for W and me as we start IESBandung. How grateful we are to be part of a great team. The staff is always welcoming - and lunch (noodles, HURRAH) is delicious. W picks up some electronics brought back from Seattle by our friends, the Bramonos.

We have a few more errands - including a stop at IKEA to buy picture shelves for Dr H - before we drive back to Bandung.

Dr W has a slough of coupons from spa specials and takes me along for a facial Wednesday. Nice! The sun is very hard on my fair complexion though I slather on sunblock each morning. It takes a while for the cream to absorb. Until then, I look a ghostly blue-white from the zinc or whatever's in the sunblock.

Night tea-time
It's mostly a study day but late in the evening we get a cup of tea at a little hole-in-the-wall friends told us about Sunday. A darling little boy runs up and down and hugs family members as they arrive. The children of Indonesia are beautiful.

See why it's called Star Mountain? We're almost there.
The group does a good walk. No part is too steep though we have a few long uphill climbs to the "Star Mountain" (Bumi Bintang). We overlook the valleys in awe: God's world is stunning.

A restaurant (right) is perched on concrete block "stilts" above the valley 
The trails are dusty and slippery. Three of us tumble onto the ground today - S falls twice, I go to my knee once, and just before we reach the cars, Mariska does a double flip and wrenches her knee. She limps to the car and ices the knee over lunch.

Taking in the view, but we leave
when we are charged $2 to sit there
Lunch is at The Stag, a faux-British, kind-of-clubby restaurant. Nine assorted chandeliers hang from the ceiling peak, white plaster animal heads decorate the walls, and at least four different wall-finishes (brick, plaster, faux copper paint, etc.) compete for our attention. A bit busy at lunchtime and they don't have the Australian dessert we want to try. (It's kosong, or zero / out.) But the other food is okay.

Walking back through the fields
We're at DrW's for cookies and sweets in the afternoon. So is the Johnson family, staying at our first house next door. They're back after 2 months in Texas. They've resumed language school and are becoming quite adept at using Indonesian (which makes my own lack of progress even more frustrating.)

We enjoy time with DrW - she's an interesting and educated lady whose friendship encourages and welcomes us in the neighborhood.

Read more:
*I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained. Jeremiah 30:19 NIV

*When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:8 ESV

*Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:31–32 ESV

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

*Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans13:8-10 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Blessed Father, we rejoice in your abounding love! Help us to grow in faith each and every day and to share that faith with those who remain in the dark.

Precious Lord Jesus, your light is a beacon for all! Let us share the warmth of your light as we encounter others throughout our daily lives. Help us to share your love with all people! Amen.

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