Sunday, November 1, 2015

A rich life indeed - family and friends

Josue, Claudia and kids
Sunday, November 1, 2015
I’m wrapping up grading from great students of Hermeneutics and Research Methods. Perhaps neither of those courses sound “exciting” to you.

But if you’d meet the wonderful people who gather in Singapore from around the world to study and learn, your heart might start pumping faster, too.

While in Singapore, I'd really enjoy the students and learned from them. For example, I was inspired by a Brazilian couple who served me delicious home-cooked food as well as warm conversation. I chatted with a woman who has lived in the UK, Singapore, Africa, and Indonesia. Those times stay in memory long after papers are graded and flights are history.

Lunch together
My brother and his family arrived in Bandung from Europe after a week in Vietnam. They unloaded a suitcase of chocolates, marzipan, salad spice mixes, vege pate and bouillon cubes, and other treats. It was an early Christmas. Best of all, they brought a raclette maker. WOW! We love raclette = a very social Swiss meal. I confess I feel a bit overwhelmed at their generosity – but am so happy to have some tastes-of-home.

Our family likes each other and generally tolerates each other’s flaws and strengths. The older we get, the more we realize what a treasure our parents gave us: the love of siblings under the umbrella of a healthy home.

Cousins and good friends: Kirsten and Kristi
We’ve had great conversations already. Lawrence and his daughter Kristi spoke in church this morning about grief and loss and the beautiful reality of being loved by God through it all. It was nice to hear Kristi sing. Several friends who aren’t regular attenders showed up, too. So we visited under the shady canopy of BIC after service.

We invited people to come to the house after service if they wanted to continue the conversation. We’d sent Kirsten (our daughter) ahead to secure a table at our neighborhood restaurant. When several people indicated they’d like to come to our place, we jammed out. (A table for 9, so rare! and today quickly acquired and rejected.)

Doris, my beautiful s-in-law
We ended up with 18 people over for lunch. Doris, Kirsten, and I made a quick and hearty meal (spaghetti, 2 sauces, salad bar, and desserts). And when the bread I’d stirred up in the early morning finished baking, our guests consumed almost a loaf … after lunch and dessert.

God is full of surprises. Though we invited people on impulse after hearing the talk, our helper was at the house when we got home. Her husband had chosen his “morning off” (since they’re Muslim) to work on a broken door at the house. She was assisting him and keeping him company. She was happy to put on the rice cooker, enjoy the lunch menu with her husband, and wash the dishes we heaped beside the sink. We sent her home with leftovers, some European cookies (thanks Doris!) and other goodies (thanks Kristi and boys).

The two grand-nephews (8, 10) had a busy day too. After church, they visited the helper’s grandkids down the side of the mountain, played a bit of soccer with boys in the field nearby, gasped over a lime-green dyed chicken, and prayed aloud via WhatsApp for a friend’s son who was feeling sick. They were thrilled to hear a message of thanks back from the other boy almost immediately. (Technology!)

Ibu Asih and grandson
The monthly newsletter and book reviews are written, our suitcases are unpacked for the next while, and we have new people attending our study groups. One driver disappeared to pursue other interests; another took his place. One of the helpers brought her cucu (grandson) to show us last week: what a cutie! We admired our grandkids' costumes on Oct 31. They're cute too!

We feel surrounded by prayers in this adventure. God is good.

Read more:
*Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 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
 *Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:7 ESV
 *Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8 ESV
The neighbor's hedge
*Jesus asked the disciples, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. Mark 9:33–34 ESV
* … having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints … Ephesians 1:18 ESV
* Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb! Revelation 7:10 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Guiding Light of the world, may we be inspired by the courage, spirit, and commitment of the saints who have gone before us. Let us celebrate our common call to serve and love you above all.

Father, we look forward to the Great Rest. We know that you will be there to take us home when we are done here. We shout with joy, knowing you have made the perfect place for us. May we earn it. Amen


  1. Rosemarie! A raclette maker, chocolate, and marzipan. Oh the joy that must be around your table, what fun. Praying for you.

    1. It was like Christmas as it came out of the suitcase! Thanks for those prayers. Love the pics of your little ones.