Monday, November 23, 2015

Friends weekend

We have visited (and eaten) so much this week that I'm afraid to get on the scale.
Friday, NU chapel airs a talk on video:
Bandung to Seattle via technology
Thursday, November 20, 2015
W meets Pascal for breakfast and gets baby pics of the little miracle, Desmond. He's perhaps the cutest answer to prayer ever!
Darling Desmond
Gypsy takes his final walk with his previous owner Mariska. She's wrapping up life in Bandung to return to Holland and her folks are helping pack up the house.
River forded, hill climb ahead!
It's a lovely few hours on "Mariska's Walk," a trip across a waterfall, up and down through the jungle, and between shrubs in the tea plantations of the hills around Bandung. We cool our feet in a river and let the dog run free through the fields.
Tea plantations
In the afternoon, we meet to study the story of rival twins, Jacob and Esau. We marvel at how God orchestrates his plans. Whether or not we feel secure in what's coming, God knows the whole story.
Teacher Bridget's birthday dinner
In the evening, Ms Bridget celebrates her birthday. She invites co-teachers from her school and two couple friends. The food is good but the friendships are precious. We love her - and wish her a year of blessings.

I leave Bandung at 7am to ride to the Jakarta airport to pick up friends Phyllis and Dale from the USA. Phyllis has been part of my accountability group since 1993 ... a long time.

They're returning from India and Thailand, where they support children and street rescue missions. They are full of stories of redemption and God's intervention. How encouraging!
Friends over the years
The flight lands on time at noon: finally I spot them outside on the curb, waiting to be found. We make it back to Bandung with on-and-off naps, conversation, and some traffic congestion: the 2.5 hour trip (100 miles) takes us over 5 hours.

We eat a late supper at Miss Bee's and talk the evening away.
44 friendship beads: matching Tiffany bracelets
W and I are up and out the door before 6 as usual; the new security dog needs a half-hour walk before breakfast or he's hyper all day. Sigh. Getting fitter, anyway - even if we are more tired. The dog brings us the leash when we are in the yard.

Day by day he reacts less to dogs on the street. We always appreciate a calm walk without wary side glances and snarling dashes towards other dogs. 

Overnight, he comes on the porch and eats the leather tops off 3 shoes: 2 of Kirsten's and one of our guest's Clark sandals. The dog owners are NOT happy with him. But Gypsy wags his tail and enjoys his walk regardless of his scolding.

It's time for some shopping and culture. We visit a few outlet stores (in this fabric manufacturing center of Indonesia).
Patient husbands waiting for wives to finish shopping
and then we head for Udjo, a venue for traditional Indonesian music, puppetry, and dance. (Below: Puppets and angklungs - bamboo instruments - waiting for the show.)

Can you spot Phyllis and Dale dancing with the kids?
After church in the morning, we meet friends Sumathi and Augustine at Raja Sunda, a restaurant with Sundanese food. We love bringing friends together - and the food is excellent as usual.
A favorite: Raja Sunda
Phyllis and Kirsten chat while Dale and Waldemar head down the hill to check on the airport shuttle for tomorrow. We try to rest in the afternoon.
Our Brazilian guests, Claudia and her two lovely kids Leo and Kathleen (ages 5 and 6) ride from the airport to our place with the driver. They need to leave Singapore for 2 weeks (re:visas). They tuck into the space upstairs. The kids discover the toys in the playroom while Claudia arranges the luggage and settles in.

North and South Americans and Indonesians gather on our porch for Bible study (Mark 8: the healing of the blind man; the query of Jesus: "Who do people say I am ... and who do you say I am?"

We head out immediately after the study, eating lunch at Porto before dropping Dale and Phyllis at the airport shuttle bus at 1:30.
And they're off - goodbye until next time
At 4pm, W takes the dog on the hash run (3-4 km) and gets home about 8. The kids are sleeping upstairs and we're about ready to do the same.

Read more:
*You in your mercy have led forth the people whom you have redeemed. Exodus 15:13 NKVJ

*One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city. Proverbs 16:32 NIV

*Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9 ESV

*Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 ESV

*“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord of all, hear our praises and our songs! Thank you for all the gifts of abundant life here today and with you tomorrow. Shape us in your likeness to share this good news with all the world.

Patient Teacher, we are sometimes distracted from your hope for the world by anger, mistrust, and doubt. Send us your peace that the burdens we carry may be released so we can follow you well. Amen.

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