Friday, May 13, 2016

Team Canada 1: hosting an ideal service team

A great group of children, staff and volunteers this week!
The BBC reports why I couldn't remember Indonesian during the first set of lessons: apparently the termite poop dropping on my face at night (waking me multiple times) disrupted memory acquisition. I remember that it became automatic to wake up many times each night to sweep my hands over the sheets and push the frass onto the floor. (We never went barefoot in that house!)

First supper together Saturday night
"Simply waking up humans or animals when they enter the REM phase, for example, causes stress and other problems that can confound any memory tests." (BBC summary here.)

So ... there was a physical reason why I couldn't acquire the language. The home we're in now is better, thank God. We can sleep.

Well, let's catch up on the week, working with a wonderful service team of 8 Canadians. Bit long, so skim through if you prefer. Hopefully the pictures will give you an idea of the great time we're having with this hard-working bunch.
Sunday, May 8 Mother's Day
We call our moms, who feel far away. It's strange to celebrate Mothers Day without parents or children nearby. We are offset by 14 hours, which always complicates calls.

Our guests, who arrived yesterday, are happy to have their children with them. W picked them up Saturday afternoon from the airport, hiring a second car and driver to bring luggage and people. They're home in 4 hours - fantastic traffic for a weekend.

It's fun to have visitors at church. Every week, people from around the world stand to introduce themselves in BIC fashion (Bandung International Church). "Hi. My name is (Alex? / Nancy / Aris / Siti, etc.) I'm from .... (country, Indonesian province, etc.)"

Afterwards, we eat at Bumi. We pray and the glowering clouds keep their rain during lunch. We see sheets of rain falling on the hills around us. A few stay to swim and the rest of us catch a ride home with W, who has run back to the yard for our car.

We pick up Dr. H for the afternoon study at the Bamboo Shack. It's fun having a larger group around the table. Everyone participates and we all learn from scripture. What a surprise when the hour has flown by.

This is the first morning of work at the orphanage. One of the team is ill. She and her mom stay at the house while the rest pile into the van.

Trudy and her family have organized craft projects into bags and have everything ready to go. The supplies they have brought are staggering: tools like glue, staplers, and scissors - and paper, hats, giveaway pins, postcards, scrapbooking pages, etc. Every member of the group has worked with children and teens in camps, service trips, and church. So they are happy to see the smiling faces before us.

We are introduced and the children are shy until they warm up to the visitors. During the week, the group reports that the kids hug them, sing along, howl and scream at games, and ... well, generally act like well-behaved children having fun. It's easy to see that the staff is doing an excellent job at communicating love and respect - these kids are well-dressed, clean, orderly, and generally happy.

The guys and Kaylee play soccer, while Lorraine, Trudy, and Jess start a craft with the rest of the kids. Each child designs a personalized bookmark. They love the stickers, the dress-up figures, and the decorations. Some paper bookmarks are so! artistic.

My legs are not used to being under me on the floor. They hurt after only 5 minutes. I am constantly shifting position. It's rude to show the foot soles, and women shouldn't sit cross-legged (comfy for me). So I try every alternative. And when I have to leave for the study at or house, everyone carries on - it's amazing how well-disciplined the team is, how they love the kids, and how genuinely they communicate a sense of enjoyment.

We love studying scripture - and this morning we read about Jesus and his commitment to obey God, no matter what the circumstances. Oh for such single-hearted obedience.

At lunch, the group chats with students on a university campus. They are people magnets and have a great time. They hand out our contact information so students can find out about movie night (Wednesday). Lots of kids promise to come.

And after lunch, it's back to work / fun with a new group of children. This week, high schoolers are writing national exams. Some of them will compete for scholarships so they have to study rather than attend the crafts and sports.

Before the team comes back to the house, they play soccer with kids from another care organization. Everyone is soaked by rain and sweat and ready for a shower when they come back. It's hot and humid out. They're mildly jet-lagged but excited to be here. They share their day before everyone drops into bed.


It's "volcano day" and Aaron's 22nd birthday. Most travelers love to spend time in nature and sight-seeing. We climb down to the shore of the lake that has formed where a mountain once loomed. The water is ice-green but warm. Plumes of smoke rise from the vents along the shore.

It takes us a few hours to drive each way. We eat ramen for lunch at a hot spring spa. It is beloved by locals, not a fancy resort for tourists.

We stick our feet into their fish spa, where minnows nibble at the calluses on our soles. When an especially big fish nips me, I've had enough. I enjoy the squeals and shrieks of the others as they get used to the fish who swarm anything in the water.

The guys want to stop at a knife store on the way home. They buy a few souvenirs and by the time we get going again, the local market is closed. We're all weary anyway, so the few hours home are quiet - and everyone's happy to relax. (Next blog post has the rest of the week.)

Read more:
*Do not fear or be dismayed! Joshua 8:1 ESV

*I will save you that you may become a blessing. Zechariah 8:13 NASB

*Paul wrote: Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5 ESV

*Fight the good fight of the faith. 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Gracious God, we give thanks, knowing that when we are going through the storms of life you are there. In all areas of our lives, help us to let go and let you work in us.
Lord, you continue to breathe the breath of life within us. Purge our spirits so that your life anew in us will be pleasing in your sight when we recognize that all things come from and through you. Let your glory be revealed. Amen.


  1. To read of what this group came and did rekindles a desire to do the same. . . work with the children there. Although I know the time is not right, I will not forget this. Tuhan memberkati Anda.

    1. Hope there is a time where you remember and pray for all the kids and those who serve them. Thanks!