Let me start this post by painting a picture for you: Imagine 20 older Indonesian women (some still in their pajamas) sitting in a huge circle around a simple living room floor with eight clueless Americans, all playing traditional kompang drums. The young children are either banging their own makeshift instruments or crying from the noise, while the local teenagers stand in the doorway taking pictures. A few women sing over the drums as our translator sits in the middle of the circle yelling instructions back and forth and pouring the tea and coffee that our host family brought out for us. Beautiful chaos, right? Welcome to our Wednesday night.
We’re coming out of this second island stay with lots of stories, some funny and encouraging, others more somber, but all pointing to God and the crazy adventure it is to follow Him. Daniel and Danny had some opportunities to spend time with the village leaders, and were even told by an older man who’s been present for multiple groups like us that he’s seen a positive impact in the community. What an awesome thing to hear! Karley and I also had some great conversations in our house about faith, death and deliverance from fear; with our host family including one of the two village leaders and the local witch doctor, discussion was far from boring.
So, praises! We’re all still healthy, which is WONDERFUL. Also, the people that God has created here are some of the most beautiful and hospitable people we’ve ever encountered, and from the henna to the drum lessons, to the late night discussions over tea and cookies, we are very thankful for these friendships. Praise God for allowing us to come to this awesome country, and for working in ways that far surpass our limited abilities.
Prayer requests: With all the love we have for these people, we also see their great need for a savior. It’s hard to see so much fear, obligation, and darkness in this area when we know that God’s love, grace and power through Jesus is right here for them. Pray that they would see clearly this truth. And as the large amounts of white rice, fried foods and sugary snacks are beginning to wear on our energy levels and feelings of wellness, pray that we can remain fully present and able to set those discomforts aside for the sake of building relationships.
Here’s something fun, though: Last night we were all surprised by encouraging cards and gifts from our prayer partners, so to those of you involved in that, know that they are so so appreciated. Seriously, reading those cards and sharing goodies by moonlight on the deck was probably the best way to spend our Friday night.
Thank you, everybody, for praying for us and supporting us in this trip. Please continue to do so as we head our to our last and longest island stay tomorrow, and pray for the people here, that they would see God’s super-awesomeness. When we get back, make sure to ask about our work project in a rainstorm, the danger of falling coconuts, how difficult it is to shower in a sarong at a public well, our goodbye karaoke party, or the every-day hilarity in using a squatty potty and taking bucket baths. For now, though, just know that although following God is never easy, it’s always an adventure and He’s always with us. Have a fantastic week, friends!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2