By the time we leave at 9, the others have arrived: we're on our way to a student-led conference at the Adventist university an hour away. I speak for 45 minutes on crossing cultures to a room with 200 students. The translator is doing this for the first time - and she does a great job, assisted by the whispers of experienced professors on the first row.
The Q&A panel consists of an Indonesian who moved to Bandung for school, a Ugandan who is in his first of three years of a masters program, and a middle-aged woman in language school. The student questions and responses are enthusiastic.
We eat lunch together after a photo session - everyone wants a selfie with us. Lunch is yummy: vegetarian, of course. They hand me an envelope wtih a donation to a local women's shelter: how cool is that?
Monday - Wednesday
We are off to Jogjakarta for an organizational meeting. It is mid-island: 1 hour by plane and 8 hours by train or bus. We fly.
|A military plane cruises across the crosswalk from the plane to the terminal|
|Someone snaps a quick picture at supper.|
It's a relief to come into the house after travel. I unpack and set the suitcase to the side.
W lifts my Bernina sewing machine onto my desk. I match the pattern on 4 meters of printed batik fabric ($11 in Jogjakarta). It doesn't take much time to sew it into a big square and set it on the dining table as a tablecloth.
My favorite - and most relaxing - chore when having people over is setting the table. I think about and pray over our guests.
We're celebrating Thanksgiving with our team. We're either early or late, depending on the passport. Canadian Thanksgiving falls around October 11 but the Americans will celebrate next week. W's off to teach in Malaysia then - so we decide to have our Thanksgiving a week early.
W brings down the Christmas tree: I'll be decorating this weekend. It makes me happy to see the empty tree standing near the entry.
The turkey has been submerged for a day in a plastic pail filled with salt water. I wonder in advance: "Will turkey smell as good cooking in this heat as in a cool Seattle kitchen?" The answer? Yes. Everyone brings food to share: sweet potatoes, beans, and more. The table will be groaning.
Mandy comes from Jakarta in the late morning and settles in upstairs. She's been up since 3am (had to catch an early train). She unwinds, relaxes, and greet people as they start to arrive.
We prove Josue's theory of "two stomachs: one for savory, one for sweet" by eating the enormous feast and then having a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Leftovers and cookies disappear into doggie bags, to be enjoyed later.
|Whipped cream and cookies ...|
On a ribbon of paper, we write a few lines of what we're grateful for, before sharing that around the table. Then we pray our gratitude to God: what a pleasure to share good food and time with friends.
Indonesian-style, we line up for a selfie before hugging and saying goodbye to those going home. I am thankful tonight.
*I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27 NIV
*Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:3
*Jesus said, “Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Luke 13:30
Moravian Prayer: Our Lord Jesus challenged the status quo when he dined with tax collectors and embraced those who society rejected. God of grace, inspire us to extend love to all, especially those who are marginalized. Amen.