Friday, February 17, 2017

A Walk in the Clouds - missed

We missed our walk in the clouds for 2 weeks. Haven't had time to head into the hills and we miss it!
Two friends showed up Wednesday evening
to chop fruit and vegetables for the helpers.
The kitchen is where the action happens.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
I lead service in the international church (a last-minute request). W's theology class has 20 people. He loves teaching - and it shows. The response is positive.

Walk. Bible Study. Language school. Pictures for Seattle. Bake over 200 cookies.

Our landlord shows up at night, while I'm in a conference call. I pause the call to cosign our house lease - another 3 years, coming up. We are grateful for a pretty and very functional space.

Fall into bed. ZZZZZzzz.

I fry 4 trays of sausages and make 2 quarts of curry
sauce. Good thing a stiff wind blows through the
front doors into the kitchen or the house
would really smell!
I spend the day cooking and doing other prep for tomorrow ... IbuA deep-fries 7 kg of cut-up chicken breast. She doesn't wait for the cornstarch to settle on the meat, so we have oodles of crumbs. The sesame sauce I make is tasty but the crumbs wick it away. Oh well.

Some gals come by to ask if they can stay here for a few months. They're from a sister group, working with impoverished children. Maybe. We have a few things to talk through first.

Ibu A agrees to swap work days. She'll come tomorrow afternoon to help IbuS clean and prepare for movie night. After everyone has eaten, they'll do dishes and mop the ("you know it's going to be messy!") kitchen floor. Then she'll take Thursday off. Her family has an impromptu wedding this weekend and she's the chief organizer, mama-in-charge, and cook for the clan. The gals work hard when we have so many guests and often leave about 10:30pm. Thursday off is a good thing.

It's an impromptu national holiday, called by the president. (He announced it without warning on Monday.) It's a pleasant surprise because the nation is voting today for governors. Schools scramble to inform parents that they're closed. Yup - that kind of chaos hardly rates a mention here.

Regardless, we have our Chinese Bible study on Mark 1. It's in another neighborhood, a mere half-hour away. I bring fresh-baked cookies and introduce Claudia, who will moderate whenever I'm away.

I have to hurry home afterward, but first we drop Claudia off in her neighborhood. By 1:00, I'm back at work for our monthly movie night.

For the first time, on Monday, W restricted the number who could sign up: 70 max. The list was full in 12 hours. Then the negotiations began on WhatsApp:
"Sorry, I have to work so #35 open."
"I'm taking #35."

"#65, 66 - my friend and I are sick and can't make it."
"Taking #65, 66. Bringing my classmate."

"Can we bring 8 people?"
(Um no. The list is full.)

Because of a downpour in the city, "only" 50-ish show up. But no one seems unhappy - at least we have room on the floor! and no one goes hungry.

We gather from various islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Germany, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Iran, China, Korea, Australia, and the USA (=countries that we're sure were represented.)

Some students bring parents or parents bring their children.

Menu: Sesame chicken, mashed potatoes, spaghetti in bolognese sauce, 6 baguettes of garlic bread, French toast, nangka (cooked jackfruit), Indo-style veges, cocktail sausages cut and reassembled into heart shapes, and rice (of course we have rice - but this month hardly anyone eats it so the helpers take it home).

Some of the attendees bring chocolates and one bring a box of cookies. Yummy.

Look at these faces!
I ask: "Who would like to learn to cook or bake these Western-style foods?" Most put up their hands.

Ok, that won't work. 6-8 in a class at a time = maximum. Some teachers beg for Saturday afternoon classes. Hmmm. Add schedule restrictions. (Maybe I'll consider this in a month or two.)
The living room overflow is the terrace
We also announce our first IESBandung event: Easter lunch at a restaurant. (That's actually what is taking up most of my prayers and headspace.)
A country of beautiful women
It is great fun to watch the movie "A Walk in the Clouds" together. I hear much laughter but also see some tears.

Halfway through the movie, we break for Valentines cakes, cookies, cut fruit in yogurt, and chips. Afterward, everyone talks with those around them. Our topic tonight: "What does your family think is important? Who has paid the price so you can keep your core values? Or what price have you paid for others to do so?"
Discussions are lively

One young man lost his mom last Christmas. He gives me a heartfelt hug, which makes me feel like I'm close to our own boys.

We say goodbye to the last young people at 11. W takes down the projector. The living room waits for cleanup - maybe in the morning?

Calm after the storm
All is quiet. In the afternoon, we go to the restaurant for a study - a few regulars are missing, but we have a new guest as well.

We're reading Exodus 17. We contemplate how the people refused to ask God for help - they only complained. But Moses constantly went to God with the people's complaints and his own questions on leadership. Sometimes we feel inadequate to lead: it must have been overwhelming for this leadership novice to shepherd a nation "in the middle of nowhere".

DrW and I start with an hour-long walk at 6:45am. Between school business (syllabi, paperwork, etc.), we start to pack for our trip to the States.

I'm reading As Kingfischers Catch Fire (By G.M Hopkins) every day this week. It reminds me that God has designed each being, every stone and bell, and every facet of creation to show off his glory and his goodness. My soul is full of scripture and poetry. What's not to love?

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