Monday, June 30, 2014

A German BBQ

Eric sharing his story with us.  He is a German who grew up in Africa. He was a great speaker.

Monday here in Sumatra brought us some new experiences; some of them new to even Kathi and I.  Our day started out after breakfast with a trip to the local high school on camp.  There we met about 10-12 students along with several teachers from the school who talked to us about their school, showed us how to play some traditional Indonesian drums, and took us on a tour of campus.   

This was quite a new experience, as we had never been to the Indonesian school here before and didn’t know what to expect.  The students who met with us were excellent English speakers, very well spoken and very outgoing.  Our team was very impressed with them and genuinely got along with them on a personal level.  Several of these students will earn scholarships to go to America to study in college.  It was rather impressive.  You could tell that these kids were the cream of the crop.  Tomorrow we will join them again to learn about some traditional Indonesian games.  It should be fun!

We then went to lunch for a little chicken fajitas and rice.   From there we had to wait a little longer for transportation than we were planning so our plan to play futsal with the orphanage kids had to be rescheduled for tomorrow.  Once we did get vehicles to take us we went ahead and hung out at the orphanage.  Games, dancing and singing praise songs ensued.  All of our team is really making some great connections with the kids there. 

We ended the evening with a BBQ meal from one of the Chevron employees who had been allowing us to use one of his vehicles.  He makes a mean grilled chicken and shared an even better testimony and devotion with the kids.  It was so great that he went out of his way to share his home and story with us. 

We apologize for so few pictures tonight but the internet here right now is very slow. We don’t know why that is. We will effort to get some more up later. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What We All Have Been Waiting For...

 Today was the day when the trip finally felt like we were in Sumatra.  It had all of the elements of life in Sumatra. 

1.     It was full of things to do.
2.     There were several changes in times and schedules.
3.     The communication barrier was evident.
4.     There were tons of smiles and warm feelings.

We started off our day attending PICF, the local international church, which in now holding services on camp.  We heard a great message, sang some awesome songs and were able to worship in a very energetic way.  All of the team members really enjoyed the service this morning.

We then headed back to the house where we are eating or so we thought.  Our bus driver took us to wrong houses and then left.  We had to be shuttled 3 times to get everyone over to the eating residence.   This is one of the many times that communication will break down and you hope it works out in the end. Good times especially with starving students.  When we finally all made it there we had some great chicken salad sandwiches.   

After lunch we went to the orphanage where we had spent about 2 and a half hours with the kids.  There were crafts and visiting and even a dance party.  Both the orphanage kids and our kids were so excited to see each other.  It was a great time!

We ended the day with some KFC at the mall and having a ”Hideous t-shirt finding” contest.  There were some beauties found by the kids. 

Well it is off to bed now.  Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wedding Crashers

Chalk up another unique experience for Team Sumatra!  Today as we were swimming at the Crowne Plaza pool in Singapore we discovered that there were flowers and rows of chairs set up on one side of the pool, as well as a DJ playing some music.  This seemed odd and it turned out it was for a wedding ceremony that was to begin soon after we all started swimming.  Yes they had the ceremony in as the pool was open for all of the other guests.  So there we were hanging out in the pool while the ceremony was taking place.  We all settled down to watch and thankfully for us it was a fairly quick service.  The pastor did a nice job and the we cheered loudly when they were pronounced man and wife.  We even asked them to come over for a picture with our group which they graciously did.  I am sure they will treasure it in their wedding album for years to come!

We made it to Rumbai this evening and after putting 48 suitcases in one of our four houses we headed off for dinner at one of the families on camp.  We had some very tired kids but they made it through their spaghetti and then back to the houses for sleep.  Jimmy, Kathi and I worked on getting most of the bags unpacked which was quite an undertaking.  It is 9:30 PM here now and we can barely keep our eyes open.

We want to thank the Lord that we made it to Sumatra safe and sound.  That all of our luggage made it safely and that all of the team is healthy and getting along.  Please pray that they will have a deep and meaningful experience this next week and a half that will strengthen their walk with Jesus as they interact with the people of PKU.

Tomorrow it is church at PICF and then a day to rest and hopefully get a trip in to the orphanage before staring our time with the Indonesian students on Monday.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Run, Run as fast you can!

 Well we have made it as far as Singapore and we are now a short 45 minute plane ride to PKU.  I would like to say that everything went without a hitch but as we have come to expect, when you are traveling internationally nothing always goes just as planned.  Even though things were a little touch and go there for a while we knew that God's provision for our group would be enough.  We also know that He has a sense of humor and boy was it on display over the last 24+ hours.

First our flight from Seattle to San Francisco was delayed for 2 hours.  So glad we all got up so early to be at the airport at 6:30:)  This delay meant that we were in real danger of not making our connection in S.F. to Seoul.  This would be a problem for a multitude of reasons the biggest one being that there was no way to rebook 24 people on a subsequent flight, effectively shutting us down before we even left the  good old U.S. of A.  Thanks to many prayers and the Lord using Linda Grierson to make many contacts with Singapore Air we were able to make our connection with about 30 seconds to spare before they shut the gate down.

Have you ever seen those movie's where people are running through an airport to make a flight only to watch it back away from the gate just as they show up?  Well that thought was running through all of our minds from the second we boarded the plane in Seattle, knowing how close the connection would be.  Alaska Airlines was gracious enough to get on the intercom as we landed in S.F. and asked all of the other passengers to please let our group off of the flight 1st, even before 1st class passengers.  This was a huge help and as soon as we got off the flight Linda had arranged for us to be met at the gate with a rep from Singapore Air who led our group at a quick jog all the way to the international terminal.    This was HUGE because none of us knew the S.F. airport well enough to have gotten our team there as quickly.  Listening to people talk about us as we ran by them was pretty funny as they were trying to guess what such a big group was doing running through the airport.

From there we then had to go to the Singapore Air ticketing desk and get our new boarding passes.  24 people all with passports having to wait on the computers to verify them took a least 15 minutes.  We then had to all go through security again where the lines were slow.  Once we made it would there we had to RUN to gate and the we were literally the last ones on the plane as they were getting ready to shut the plane door.  Crazy!  Once we got on the plane there was a collective sigh from all of us.

One of the great things about trips like this is they show how God provides for our needs.  There is no way that without his intervention that we make that connection.  If not for Him looking over our trip we would all be at home now pouring over our travel insurance for a lost trip.  God is good!

Waiting in line in to get our S.F. to Singapore boarding passes.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sumatra 2014