Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Birthday boy and more

W is a bit sunburned today - but we'll get to that presently.
Birthday supper at Dr Hanna's: batagor and rujak
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
We decide to have movie night despite Ramadan. I usually prep on Tuesday but I'm not in the mood. I leave everything for Wednesday morning. W and I have been exhausted. We look forward to returning to "normal" when this month is over.

By noon, the food is cooked, waiting for our "family" and guests. I'll heat it up around 6pm.

Many come a half-hour early. They break their fast with the yogurt and fruit or small snacks and water we set out at 5:50. Some go upstairs to pray their rituals. Then they hang out together, waiting for dinner to start at 6:30.

Wow - we have 14 nations. All sing "happy birthday" to June celebrants. The movie Queen of Katwe is a hit.

Denis, from Uganda, explains a bit about the slum of Katwe as backdrop for the film. "It's really like that, an area of orphans, runaways, artists and craftsmen, and poor families," he says. "Just like it shows in the film."

Discussion about today's question is lively: "What has God uniquely gifted you with, that makes a difference in the world?"

During intermission (dessert break), Beba sells scarves and bags for the charity our small groups are supporting this month. And Simon, heir of a tribal family and a good businessman, sells the beautifully-sewn cotton bags that a friend is clearing out @75c any size. We get a few to store electronic cables and stash shoes in our luggage.

The evening study is small and intense. Most people are already traveling or visiting. It's great fun to explore scripture with these friends!

W and I speak together at BIC (the local international church) about the love of God from Romans 8:38-39. It's a familiar passage to many and we don't have much new to add. But W sets it into its context of trials and hardships: we most need the reassurance of God's presence when times are tough.

After W's hermeneutics class, we eat lunch at Bumi Sangkuriang with a German pastor (left) and other friends.

Joshua and Grace, on a week's holiday from Singapore, join us at the study. Yesterday, we met them at BIC and invited them to the study this morning. The most unexpected connections can shape the future, but we don't quite know how or why. She tells us that she prayed to find like-minded people while they were in Bandung. They are a joy to be with.

The morning study on our porch includes birthday celebrations for Joshua (surprise!) and Waldemar (tomorrow).

W remarked earlier that he didn't like cupcakes made with oil. Good timing, because that's what I was going to serve for birthday cake. In a quick change of plans, Ibu S bakes bread by the time the study is done. I stick a candle and a "Happy Birthday" sign on a loaf and we're ready to party. W blows our the candle, while we consume 3 pots of tea. Along with home-baked cookies and treats others share at the studies, "enough sweets" are never an issue.

We eat lunch nearby. It's empty except for foreigners and Chinese families, who are not fasting. The playground is full of kids who are enjoying the school break.

Sausage and greens pasta. Hmm, never what you expect.
Tuesday - Happy Birthday, Waldemar!
Tuesday is typically our date day, with a half-day off work. W chooses a walk to celebrate his 61st birthday.

We send a text to a few friends: "Would you like to walk in Lembang (the city just north, near active volcanos)?" Sure, they say. So Josh, Grace, Scott, and Sarah (Australians learning language) join us in Lembang.
A brightly-colored house with white vines blooming overhead
A village mosque broadcasts calls to prayer 5X a day
Villages along the way
A typical one-lane street (you can/do pass other cars on this mountainside road)
6'  tall: "fiddleheads' of a New Zealand fern
Scott and Sarah have never been this far north, nor wandered in the landscape around Bandung.
They note that a shrub considered noxious in Australia is also blooming here. We love its flowers - so pretty. But it's also invasive - the road is overgrown in many parts with the stiff bushes and grasses. We scrape past.
The views across the hills and valley are spectacular. As always, the weather is shaping up as it hits the volcanic mountains. The rock under us is pumice. In light of recent eruptions in Hawaii and Latin America, perhaps living this near active volcanos isn't something to be excited about ...

We walk for a few hours through the tea plantations and tramp overgrown paths through the woods. We are hot and sweaty by the time we reach Gracia Spa (hot spring pools). W and I grew up near Harrison Hot Springs in Canada, so Gracia always feels like home to us.

I am slathered in sunblock as usual; a few of the others get sunburns after sitting on the edge of the pools and chatting.

When we get home, we have one more special treat: supper at our sweet neighbor's, Dr. Hanna. She explains how to mix peanut sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice (oooooh! yum) for the fried tofu and fried siew mei. And that the mangos and other fruits are eaten separately, with a sweet-sour sauce (picture above).

Movie night has a way of draining our cabinets into its delicious meals and snacks :-). We have to restock our cupboards so we're off to the store. My morning appointment doesn't show up (miscommunication) but W meets with a young man seeking Christian baptism. Tonight, guests will arrive and stay for 9 days.

Meanwhile, the helper goes on family leave for a week tomorrow. Should be an interesting week. Hope the visitors are independent sorts!

Read more: (ESV unless noted)
*Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more;  though you look for them, they will not be found.

But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. Psalm 37:7-13 NIV

*Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” Isaiah 12:2-6 NIV

*You, O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not forsake us! Jeremiah 14:9
*The Lord is my strength. Habakkuk 3:19
*My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
*In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. Galatians 3:23
Moravian Prayer: Precious Lord, in the face of utmost unfairness, calamity and despair, may we persistently abide in your promises and claim you as our sovereign. Give us grace to live by faith. 
Dear Lord, in our homes and schools this day, may we be more aware of our role in the world, for you have called us to be children of light. Train us to your higher will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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