Thursday, August 30, 2018

Up and down we go

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
After an afternoon nap, things come together for movie night. By 6:30, the food is set out and people stream into the kitchen with their plates empty and leave with them full. Tonight, we set a limit on how many sausages, meatballs, Brazilian cheese balls, etc. people can take. (The first into the kitchen sometimes used to take 7 or 8 of each - plates groaning - and had leftovers to be thrown out.)

Now, the hungriest come back for seconds and thirds, but that's cool ... there's enough for all - and some left over for the helpers to take home, too.

Tonight we're watching a musical. A few of us roll our eyes, but The Greatest Showman at least has a good score. (We'd rather have action and character development than delay it with singing.)

4 of our "sons" - a German artist, French tutor, local tour specialist, and Iranian lecturer-to-be - are together for the first time in ages. One got stabbed while riding his motorcycle last year. He has recovered but hasn't been back for 11 months. One is leaving tomorrow to become an instructor in a prestigious university in another city. Another is in the middle of a big design project. And one is waiting to hear if he got his international scholarship. We're proud of them all.

Others bring new guests, who find themselves at home. Why? Those who are here 3X or more are considered "family" - and their job is to welcome newcomers and explain the evening to them. Here's the crew from the English Center, run by Dony (center, beside me)

There's a lot of discussion afterward. We wave the last ones off at 11:30 and fall into bed around midnight. I text the walking group that I'm not going with them in the morning.

Except that I'm wide awake at 6. Might as well get into the light and fight off the tiredness of last night. So I text back: I'm coming! See you soon. We'll be walking the tea plantations on the slopes near a volcano.

W is still fighting the flu. He's been sick all week and doesn't rest long enough to recover. Wednesday morning, he heads to the wholesaler for food, then we have a meeting. After that, he sets up for movie night. After he talks to people, his throat is even more raw. He coughs a lot.

He skips this morning's walk in the hills. Gypsy refuses to come when called and won't get into the car. Cocoa is waiting in the back of the vehicle for him ... but I get tired of calling and shut the hatch. Cocoa gets the walk. Gypsy stays home with W.

It's more of a stroll today. We have to wait while a convey of jeeps, filled with tourists, head up the road.

After an initial steep incline (12 storeys, according to my tracker), it's just a bit of up and down for an hour.

Near the car, one of the most interesting-looking retreat centers is for sale. Petra and I walk up to the door and ask if we can go through. Yes, say the workers who are doing upkeep and repairs. The metal-doored kitchen is customized with the name of the owner.

There are a lot of wood walls and 90s furniture.

Some rooms look like Bavarian transplants, with painted Ludwig furniture.

The huge fireplaces suggest cozy evenings, especially since it gets cool (down to 65o) some nights.

We're early for lunch at Cafe Oz - where Robin has been hard at work to design beautiful seating and a comfortable restaurant. The food is good, the company friendly.

I'm back at the house at 1 - and fall asleep shortly after. The helpers have almost finished baking - we wiped out supplies last night so it's time to restock the ongoing cookie supply in the freezer.

By 4, my reading is caught up. I have to get moving: I leave for the evening study at 5:30. The memory of the tea plantation remains.

The evening chants from the mosques drown us out a few times, but mostly, it's pleasant on the cafe rooftop. We have a good discussion about the need to be brave and work toward what God promises his children (Joshua 18). Two of our group are not able to attend because today they are taking the most gorgeous! pre-wedding photos at the white-mineral lake south of the city.

It's a catch-up morning. We are still putting things in order from the movie night reconfiguration. Will be nice to have the house back in order! We have some guests coming to sleep over so we have to make sure all is ready.

Read more: 
*Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Beautiful in [a]elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. Psalm 48:1-2 NKJV

*See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you in festal apparel. Zechariah 3:4

*The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.’ Luke 15:21-22

*Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NIV
Moravian Prayer: Lord, there are times where both the grimmest and most beautiful things in the world can give us the most glory. Help us to know which one we should embrace. Our joy only comes from you. Amen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

How do you measure up?

Sunday, August 26, 2018
W and walk the dogs first thing - those animals are good for our health! It's a shorter walk than sometimes - W is not feeling well and the dog is still sore from getting spayed on Friday.

We are speaking this morning. It's one of the things we enjoy doing together: one of us writes the talk and then we go through it multiple times to craft it in our own voices. Over the years, we've become comfortable trading off and interacting as speakers.

At the end of the talk, we take time to ask for takeaways and questions. The ensuing participation teaches us more than research and speaking.

The leadership team announces that they have asked us to co-lead the Sunday gathering for the next months. The members will affirm (or not) the request next weekend.

Lunch is relaxed - we eat at Bumi Sangkuriang with friends. The sun's out, the food is good, and the company is sweet as we enjoy the meal.

Monica comes from Jakarta in the evening: she'll be evaluating our team and giving us insights on how to work together.

W has been sick since Saturday. He's really unwell today - figures it's the flu.

We were both worn out after last week, so I rested Saturday. He walked to town and came back sick. Enforced rest ... I prefer to volunteer when I want to rest.

This is normally how we get down time = I nap a few times a week. W prefers to go go go until he gets "under the weather" and has to take a few days off. In the end we have the same outcome.

Since our kids were little, I've loved to nap or take a few hours to read and think and "do nothing." I remember once when my dear mother-in-law scolded her son about his unceasing motion: "You keep running around, but I have watched Rosemarie; she knows how to rest." (Haha At the time, I may not have been sure that was a compliment, but I've remembered it over the years, each time with a smile on my face. Thanks, Mom - your voice reminds me how important the rhythms of work, play, and rest are to my health.)

It's a blessed day for the rest of us. After a morning online conference, I cook breakfast and sit with W and Monica. The morning study is well-attended. With Claudia's facilitation, it is creative and interactive. She has such good ideas for engagement.

Then the team heads upstairs for our meeting and lunch. We can hear ongoing laughter and talking on the teras as the study group hangs out. So good. Some of them leave to have lunch together. We're a family.

Monica's PROSCAN research is invaluable. She explains the strengths of team members - we have an amazing (and I don't say that lightly) group working together. The evaluation shows that we are also working together - every strength is covered and balanced among us. She points out where we'd benefit from stress mitigation (ah, culture shock and new possibilities!) and gives us direction on working together.

As we listen and discuss, my heart pounds with gratitude to God. Each person on the team is unique. We each serve in different areas. Every person leads their area. But we are accountable to each other - and the counsel we share makes us better. This team has helped W and me work through our talks and our events: what a boost to have them alongside and ahead of us.

Some of the team choose to have their individual appointment with Monica today; she's articulate and can explain what the survey shows.

W is definitely not well. He naps during one of our breaks, and then is too sick to come to dinner with us. He relaxes at home. Sniffle sniffle. He misses a great meal and conversation.

Dr Hanna and Alice have prepared a feast! Monica and I walk over to their place. The rest take their vehicles. The table is beautifully set, the rooms full of flowers and art.

And I can't even describe the tastes of the meal ... so rich, filling, and flavorful. Afterwards, we take home a bag of veggies and soup.

The dessert - jellies and custard - is shaped into eggs, noodles, a bowl, a cone ... quite spectacular.

After breakfast together, Monica and single team members go through the reports in details. I get to hear the heart of one after the conversation is done. These reports will certainly help me understand each person's excitement and also their concerns as we move forward together.

Lunch is at Miss Bee. We share a Mushroom Rules pizza and Tofu Fritters (sounds ok - tastes wonderful). W and Monica head for the train station; she's on her way home today. We has errands and does some of my grocery shopping for movie night tomorrow.

I pull together some agendas for events ahead, read a bit, perch for a moment on tomorrow's menu, and make sure the helpers will come to help tomorrow afternoon. By the time I sit down, it's late afternoon. By evening, the beds are stripped and almost ready for the next guests, some ingredients are warming (or thawing) on the counter, and my paperwork is caught up. Crash--bedtime is 8:30!

Because I went to bed so early, I'm wide awake at 4. I love the mornings when I hear God's voice early. I listen to scriptures, kneel to pray, stretch ...

and then it's time to cook for movie night. Boil 3 kg of spaghetti, drain it, and cover it with olive oil. Grill 250 small sausages. Boil and grill 225 baskso (meatballs). Heat the sauces.

The dogs stand hopefully at the door, waiting for burned offerings. They get two 2 sausages that blackened while I was going between the "dirty" kitchen where the spaghetti is boiling and sauces are bubbling ... and the inside kitchen where the meats are grilling on the stove. Lucky dogs. They flop happily outside the door and wait for more treats.

By 8am, I'm done for now. Ready for a break. We have a 9:30 meeting nearby. The agenda is on my desk, close to the door.

I try for a shower before W comes back: we have limited water (1? hour yesterday) so have to time our hygiene. He's driven to the east side of the city to buy more sauces for tonight and the next 2 movie nights.

The dollar store plates we brought from the states are cheap, sturdy, and ready to be set out; the cutlery is in its holder; the cups are on the cart used for infused water. When the ibus (helpers) come at 3 or 4, they'll wash rice, thaw the curried nangka (jackfruit from our tree) that they cooked last week, chop lettuce and fruit. (Later, they'll wash dishes and take the leftovers home. They don't seem to mind working a late shift for that!)

Our meeting is postponed until after 11:00. W and everyone else in traffic are slowed to a crawl by a group of youngsters who park their cars on both side of main streets to make a statement. Everyone gets the point: they're not behaving in line with their stated beliefs. Oh well, we're glad he's home safely, though his cold is acting up.

Lunch is leftovers from Dr H's house Monday. The beef soup hits the spot, as do the veggies. Such a treat not to have to cook anything else today. And then it's 2pm and I'm ready for a pre-social nap.

Read more:
*The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Psalm 97:1
You in your mercy have led forth the people whom you have redeemed. Exodus 15:13 NKJV
*Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?"'
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that
they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ Ezekiel 33:10-11   

*Live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. Ephesians 5:2

Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations! Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? Revelation 15:3-5
Moravian Prayer: Jesus, lover of us all, you have taught us how to love by setting the best example for us to follow. When we need your saving grace and mercy, you are never far away! We give you thanks.
Father God, you call us to be witnesses to your people. Through your son Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, you amaze us with your mighty works! Witnessing your work in our lives gives us the strength to share your greatness with the world! Amen.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A stroll and a spay

Thursday, August 23, 2018
Hurrah! It's my first time in months to walk the Bandung hills. The hills of Baguio (Philippines) were good training for high elevations and steps. We have to make a video for one of our sponsors, so we pause to say hi before we get all sweaty and hot.

This morning, the air is clear and hot. The lookout is spectacular - we perch over several valleys and enjoy the view.

We are very slow this morning, walking 5 km in 2 hours. There's a bit of up and down - a few steep sections and the obligatory getting lost. Overall, it's a chatty slow stroll. The dogs run off leash. They love being in the hills.

 A man and his dog: Cocoa is firmly attached to W.

We eat at a noodle place with a good reputation. $3-4 a dish? not bad.

In the evening, we participate in a study of Joshua 16. The group has a good discussion about the way God leads and guides us. It's 9 before we get home.

We walk the dogs down to the grocer, where squid and ice cream sit side by side. Organization is just different in the shops. (I'm happy when I see a freezer or fridge for meat and seafood, though.)

I marinade 6 chicken breasts for tonight, get the vegetables cleaned and the potatoes peeled, and into the slow cooker it goes. Cooking for under a dozen seems like no work at all.

W and I go over a talk we're giving Sunday. Then we then take Cocoa to the vet to get her spayed. (All our dogs get neutered or spayed: there are so many unwanted half-breed dogs and cats around that I can't bear to add to the number.) We don't want street dogs bothering Cocoa, either.

The vet remarks on how calm Cocoa is and what a lovely dog. She rests for a while in the waiting room - so different from the luxury accommodations of western vets' offices, where animals have better post-surgery rooms than humans.

A tech watches her and keeps her on a sterile pad until she's had enough IV fluids. She's flat as a bag of bones - so relaxed. When we carry her to the SUV and home., she sleeps most of the day. I nap as well.

For supper, nine of us sit around the dining table, chat, and catch up. "This is so different from Indonesian meals," says one. "We are used to people coming and going, not sitting to eat together. Usually we hold our plates in our hands and move around the room." I hadn't thought about that, but it's accurate.

We start with pumpernickel bread, hot from the oven (thanks, Christine!) "We like it best with dill dip," she says.

What do you know? I made a tofu-dill dip this morning for crudités and crackers. The bread is perfect with it. Our guests have also brought delicious tofu and black beans, vegan mushroom "meat," and yummy desserts.

I've made mashed potatoes, a salad like one I enjoyed in the Philippines, chicken in lemon sauce, and a few more foods. The apple pie is a fitting ending, thanks to Ibu A's baking skills and the freezer left by a Canadian working team 2 years ago.

We pray for each other before we get up from the table. Two other guests arrive about the time others are leaving and stay for a few more hours. We enjoy their conversation. W, who thought he'd rather wash and tidy up instead of having a helper around, misses much of their visit. But we'll have them over again. The local young man excels as an English teacher and his Chinese student is quite fluent ... after just one month of conversation and lessons. Amazing.

It's a short and interrupted night - we didn't get to bed until 11 and listened to the scriptures (YouVersion's ESV reader is best) in the middle of the night. I pull on eyeshade and pop in earplugs and sleep until 8.

We start on a short walk but Cocoa is lagging behind so we head home after a few blocks. She sprawls on the porch and snoozes.

We work on mail and tomorrow's talk before I make mac and cheese for lunch. While W wanders down to town, I rest. It's my first real Sabbath since traveling to teach a few weeks ago, and I recharge best when I'm alone and quiet. Do I feel another nap coming on?

Read more:
*How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!  Psalm 84:1
*Lord, in your great mercies you did not make an end of your people or forsake them. Nehemiah 9:31
*Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
*But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9  NIV
*In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:3
Moravian Prayer: With our brothers and sisters in Christ, together we sing our praises louder, and can share in our joys to you, Lord. You have led us through our highest and lowest times; we give you thanks. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Merciful Father, you are always giving to others. The least we can do is give thanks and pray to you. May we remember to pray for those who give and rarely receive. In your name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A bouquet for the day

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
One of the hardest things about living abroad is missing family events. Our lovely daughter had a birthday Sunday and we had to wait until Monday to call her - we're 12 hours apart on the clock. Our Sunday schedule was packed during her waking hours. Getting "best wishes" at 3am is not good, right?

At 6, W and I are walking the dogs. By 7, Martha and I chat, then Tembi and I talk online - and then ... well, it's date day. Sort of a day off?

W runs a few errands while I'm getting things ready for the afternoon and sorting out chores. W buys barbed wire for the yard man to string on one side of the fence. Our neighbors have had a few break-ins in the past weeks. "Please be careful," Dr W cautions us.

The garden is bare and dry - the yard man stripped out all the little flower seedlings I planted and clearcut down to the soil while I was away. It can be hard to communicate what we want to people with strong assumptions of what things should look like. (When I'm gone, it goes back to what he wants.)

He knocks 12 jackfruits from the tree in the driveway. He puts one aside for himself and the driver. The helpers take two, and the rest are put in the neighborhood for all to share. Dr W sends a WhatsApp to the neighborhood women, who send their helpers to get them. They'll be cooked with egg, meat, and spices and served at tomorrow's feast.

One part-timer is cooking 3 jackfruit today. Technically she's cooking them for movie night next week, but she uses our spices and stove to cook a huge portion for her household as well. From 9-5, she strips the gluey flesh of its skin, cuts and boils the fruit, and then spices the results in three big pots. The final taste is like peppery pulled pork.

We fill a few bags for neighbors. The helpers take two huge bags home for their family feast tomorrow. The other helper is stuck with ironing (good to get the bugs out) but makes lunch for everyone and sets up tea.

The Bandung Book Group comes for tea and talk at 2. We discuss a funny novel about A Man called Ove, who reminds me of our dear Scandinavian friends. Since I hosted this month, I'll present a book next month. I'm inclined to How Women Decide, an eyeopener by Teresa Huston. (I sat in on Huston's book signing in Seattle last year and found her and her research interesting.) The women leave at 4.

The dogs have taken over the yard - we know if anyone looks in the gate or appears on the only balcony overlooking our place. Coco chimes in to bark along with Gypsy. She also chases away the many roaming cats. We find out that she's not afraid of firecrackers - though Gypsy is terrified. When the pops and bangs start, we open the big crate and both of them lie down inside together. Good dogs. (I've never heard of dogs sharing a crate before.)

At 4:30, W and I finally get into the car and head out for our date. En route, we visit 15-mo-old Ben in the hospital. He caught the virus that's going around and was dehydrated after severe nausea. Hopefully he gets to come home tomorrow. He's adorable! and so well-behaved.

His parents are sweet and caring. Lucky boy. 

The restaurant where we planned to eat is closed. Tomorrow is the Muslim "Feast of the Sacrifice." Many shops are closed early so women can cook and families can travel to be together. The Koran mentions Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command but doesn't specify which son. The Bible tells the original story of Abraham and Isaac (Gen 22). (Muslims assume it is Ishmael as they celebrate Abraham's obedience to God.)

Neighbors will buy a goat together. The amount of forgiveness purchased is specific to the animal. Cows are a very expensive option but have greater merit.

The driver has complained that the goat price has almost doubled this year to $200-280.  At the main intersections, the bleating accompanies the sales. The animals will be ritually slaughtered tomorrow morning.

We finally find a place to eat, walk over to make an appointment with the nearby vet to have Coco spayed on Friday. We get into our driveway before 8pm. When the sun goes down, I'm ready for bed. I've been ready for a while.

We've had a houseful coming and going today, with about a dozen Youth Alpha members attending a film and discussion while we're gone, led by Scott and Sarah.

At sundown, the chanting has started. All night long, there's high-volume singing, chanting, and general noise. Firecrackers go off. Drums roll. It's noisier than I can ever remember. I put in earplugs.

We walk the dogs as usual. In the next few weeks, we're speaking together and traveling, so there are arrangements, study, and writing. Most of the morning, W and a young man from another place sit on the porch to talk about how church should function - the affirmation of a healthy body and sound leadership. They overlook the garden, where many flowers are blooming.

A Golden Shower orchid, hidden on the guava tree
There's continued singing and chanting in the morning and then blissful silence for about an hour during the slaughter. The noon prayers are loud and sound different than usual. I suspect there may be some famous chanters at the mike: some of the voices are deep and resonant. The mosque speakers are turned up at full blast.
A 2' fern on the garden wall
"Oh, you have alpine ginger, which won't grow below 700 meters," according to a book club friend.
It's wonderful to have the house to ourselves - everyone is off celebrating with their families. We were going to view the ritual killing, but the streets are empty of foreigners and Chinese Indonesians. We stay in. Breakfast is Brazilian cheese balls (thanks for the recipe, Claudia!) and tea. Lunch is simple as well.
In a bowl on the porch, the fish swim round and round.
Read more:
*The Lord your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast. Deuteronomy 13:4

*Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:5-8 NIV

*By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 NIV

Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
Moravian Prayer: Gracious Lord, when your spirit came upon our forefathers and mothers, you transformed our lives and helped us unite as a church. May we recognize that spirit in the world today and always. Amen.

Monday, August 20, 2018

A great class and back home, happy

Sunday, August 12, 2018
It's raining. Raining buckets. Thunder. Lightning. Some people I know love it. The cool and damp feels like relief to them.

Sometimes I think my loathing for overcast and rain (and snow) has been exaggerated. Then I experience day-after-day drizzle or deluge, and ... nope - I truly hate this weather.

I wash a few clothes Friday night, wring them out, and hang them to dry. They are still wet Sunday morning. This is such a beautiful room and the view outside is gorgeous when not obscured. I'm grateful for good accomodations.

The rain pelts down outside and splashes on the windows. The thunder rumbles and the lightning flashes. (Well, lightning is kinda cool. I love the power of God expressed in the light.) I feel damp. No thanks - an occasional working trip to rain country reminds me how much I love warm sunshine...

I found an empty bottle and put in a few leaves from my walks. I love live plants and they like the rain. Good stuff. I'm inside with condensation obscuring the view so it's nice to have something green to cheer me up.

I called maintenance about 7pm last night to see if we would have water. It had been off since before noon. The building has a few leaks so they caulked or plugged whatever was dripping in our hallway. They kindly obliged, sent a young man to scurry up the ladder to check the ceiling, and turned the supply back on.

What a relief to have a hot shower and flush the toilet. But the room just felt damper. I don't have a heater in the room (automatically controlled) so I can't turn up the heat. My hot water bottle is saving my life, sitting on my lap during the day, and warming the sheets before I crawl in at night.

I found a new travel tip: "Get toilet paper to go. It's light and useful," says one of the students. Someone brought it to class to show us. Many toilets don't provide paper, so taking tissues along is a thing.

After church, I'm back at work. Yesterday was a lovely Sabbath and visit with Vanessa - I feel renewed and happy, knowing how God is calling young families to serve in all kinds of ways. She and her husband manage an orphanage for 38 children on the Filipino coast.

Monday to Friday
My doctoral class is wonderful - the course is on Spirituality and Ministry and people respond with stories and experiences of how God is at work in them and their areas of service.

The weather is horrid (from my perspective) - overcast, cold, rainy - but I've got clothing for the occasion. I wear sweaters and light coats over an undershirt and blouse. And my hot water bottle is a trusty companion at night.

It's a blessing to see the class bond together as they talk, pray over each other, and exchange resources for papers and projects.

My back has been cramping. The staff members recommend one of their own who is also a masseuse. I have a hard (fantastic) massage after work Thursday. She comes highly recommended and is very reasonable. I'm bruised and relaxed. How can that happen at the same time?

At 10pm, the driver has come to take me back to Manilla. We bring along the seminary president's assistant and two other drivers: our driver made the 7 hr trip to Manilla and (back 7 hrs) today.

No worries - while I sleep on the bench seat, he drives us to the airport; it's quick - 5 hours? The driver parks in the airport garage and tells me they want to wait a few hours with me. At 5am, my alarm rings and they walk me and my luggage into the terminal.

My flight is delayed from 8 to noon - but then, 4 hours later, I'm in Jakarta. I have to wait an hour to catch the van to Bandung.

The company promises a 3-hr ride, which is surely a record and impossible. Except that we weave in and out and make it to Bandung in 3 hours. The driver goes 70mph when he can ... the fastest I've ever gone in Indonesia.

W meets me at the taxi stand and we head home. It's about a 24 hour trip back ... and I can't remember when I've been happier to unpack and crawl into my own bed.

It's good to be in church again. W speaks on God's healing of the whole person, beyond the physical. After service, we head to an acreage where traditional archers are practicing their craft. A rice planter works the fields.

The archers eat together after working out.

One of the young women shows me how she uses her bow.

Then we go for lunch at a Papua New Guinea restaurant.

The gluey Sago is excellent with curry.

And the hot stone beef is tasty.

We are home about 3:30. At t, we head down the hills to a dedication and prayers at a halfway house. Jorge, Denis, and their charity are caring for juvenile offenders before they reenter the community. About 60 people show up to show support.

We're home by 9 and I finish a few more things to finish before sleep claims me.

My early conference call is postponed. So W and I walk to Jogja grocer for grape juice at 7am. They have none. The dogs are delighted to be out and around. W walks me and the dogs home and walks down the hill to another grocer. He's back by 9.

The study is excellent with 20 attendees, glad to be together. I haven't baked homemade bread (I ran out of time) so I get two slices of a store-bought loaf, a goblet, and grape juice for our celebration. We're concluding a study of the Lord's Supper in Luke 22.

Except that Jenny, who bakes bread, has brought a fresh loaf along. She offers it to us. We break bread together, each tearing off a piece. Then we dip it into the juice goblet and pray a blessing.

Then it's team meeting. Sumi has cooked two baby chickens (.8 kg each, fresh from the grocer) and heated up Nangka (curried jackfruit), plus some rice. Delicious. We discuss many things; everyone is active and finding new opportunities. W and I wave goodbye to the last person after 3.

I'm tired, still settling in after travels. But the poodle needs grooming. It takes a bit over a half hour to brush out Cocoa's beautiful hair. Then the dogs are off for another walk with the driver.

W walks to town to get books ready for book group tomorrow - while I finish writing.

Read more:
*Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight. Proverbs 9:6
*The Lord has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1
*Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. Acts 2:46 NASB
*Paul wrote: We are workers with you for your joy. 2 Corinthians 1:24
Moravian Prayer: Redeeming God, you bring righteousness to the wronged and healing to the sick. Help us to see your work in the most unlikely places.
In the week ahead, Lord, watch over the people you have put in our path to meet. May we seek opportunities to overlook the diversity among us and focus on our similarities. In your son’s name. Amen.