After packing, we toss everything in the car. We're making an early morning visit to friends with Dr.H, who is an able translator. Traffic takes long enough that we don't even have time for tea, though it's offered. We love these friends and pray with them before leaving.
Pak Gum drops us off at the train statin. We have everything along to spend the day in Jakarta. We have fresh-baked cookies and bread in the bag, too.
There's always lots to see from the train windows. There's everything you can imagine on the roof-tops, to keep them from blowing away in the wind and rainstorms We see tires, tiles, rocks, metal motor parts, etc.
Our driver is a musician with connections, or so he says. I hand over my brother's contact info. Maybe they can plan some music here in Indonesia.
We get a tour of our friends' new quarters. An auditorium, classrooms, and offices are in the works. Snce I like spaces, I'm happy to take a look around. I am fascinated by the architectural imagination of cities. This nearby building has one balcony in three offset, creating an interesting facade.
Indonesia is a strange mix of modernity and the past. Even when things are built new, they are not maintained well. The sidewalks cave in or heave around tree roots, the curbs disintegrate, and potholes on side streets get bigger and bigger.
The house resounds with laughter and stories.
After supper, our friend's driver takes us back to the Jakarta train station. It's a city full of art and people. I snap a picture of a 25' statue of a war hero as we drive by.
For whatever reason, our train goes slower than usual. It arrives 15 minutes late, reaching Bandung after 2:30am. We catch a taxi in the station parking lot. The driver is overly cautious and not very chatty - probably exhausted. He drops us off unscathed outside the gated lane to our neighborhood.
"Why wake up the sentries?" W says, "Do you mind walking?"
Well, I'm itchy, but why not? We duck under the barrier gate and walk a few blocks to our place. We are enthusiastically greeted by very happy yard dogs. They eat something while we slip inside the house to unpack and get ready for bed. We're in bed after 3am.
When I wake, I am a mass of itches - welts have appeared all over my body. Looks like ...
Chicken pox!? Not again. This is at least the fourth time I've had it. From head to toe, I start to break out. Can I use my imagination to feel better? It's a bit like a sunburn rash. Maybe I can pretend that I'm on vacation and sunburned? I scratch. (It's not working.)
The helpers have loaded the kitchen cart with 1' long beans. People call them "stinky beans" because they produce gas in most people after they're eaten. They're a favorite treat - and we have an enormous tree in the backyard dripping with them. We distribute them around the neighborhood.
By morning, my whole body has erupted in a mass of spots. My scalp, face, arms, legs, and everything between is pickled red.
I can't figure out the gloves. Why did they suggest that? "It will help you not to scratch." Probably not: I'd need a straight-jacket for that.
I give W the list of things I'd normally take care of on a Sunday like tomorrow. It's the first Sunday of Advent, our Communion and Family Sunday with a kid-talk, we're saying farewell to some university interns, and we're kicking off Christmas fundraising.
Afterward, there will be a Christmas Bazaar. I've asked how things are coming along with vendors and promo, and urged planning, but it's not my event. Now I won't even be there.
W brings me a cup of tea before heading to town for some meetings. I wash thoroughly before putting a few hundred home-baked cookies in 50 bags - chocolate, peanut butter, and butter crumb cookies. I have everything on hand - ribbon, bags, baking. It looks pretty when it's done. And the helper has left the kitchen spotless, so its easy to assemble the packages.
Into the fridge they go until morning. We never leave butter-based, all-natural baking on the counter here. It's too warm. And why tempt roaches and rats?
*Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. Psalm 6:4
*As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. Psalm 103:13
*If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
*Jesus says, “I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:11
Moravian Prayer: Father, your steadfast love saves us! Your gifts abound! Help us to come to you with our true needs. We pray in the name of Jesus.
Lord, we rejoice in the compassion you have for your children. We revel in the day your people come from the east and west to dine in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Amen.