Hello. This is John writing this post to get you up to date on what has been going on here as we continue with our trip. First off we want to say thanks for your continued prayers during our trip and how blessed we have been on the trip so far by our Lord. There have been no major illnesses or issues and we can see the Lord working here in both those we are serving and in our team itself. Please keep those prayers coming!
The last few days have been filled with visits to orphanages, cultural experiences and attending church here, which included Pastor Brett preaching the Word to the congregation. It was an excellent worship time and several of our talented singers from the team were able to help lead our singing in the service. It was so great to be able to worship together with believers from so many other parts of the world.
The story I would like to share with you today is one that is new to Kathi and I and one that I feel shows how Christ is working here in Indonesia. I believe that it also illustrates why having a team come and serve here is so important to that work.
Two days ago we visited an orphanage that we had never been to but had discovered as we drove past it several times last year on our trip here. We did not know anything about it but we were intrigued when we saw the simple wood shack with a tin roof that had a sign signifying it as an orphanage. It looked like it was in bad shape and that it could surely use some outside assistance.
It is amazing how God works in our lives to make things happen. There is no doubt in my mind that he has called us to help, even in a small way, this orphanage. It can only be through his guidance and direction that we could be connected to this place.
On our very first night in the city I was shuttling some of our 54 pieces of luggage from one house to another by car and there was a friend of ours who lives here who had come to visit. He went on my last shuttle run as he was going to leave right after as it was getting late and he needed to get home. As we grabbed the last of the suitcases we needed I went to go turn the car on and the battery was dead. Since AAA is not an option here in Indo and it was about 9 PM I had to call a local friend to come and give us a jump. This meant my friend and I would have to spend about an hour sitting there doing nothing but visiting while we waited.
As we sat there and caught up on each other’s lives he told me about an orphanage that he and his family had just started supporting and when he described where it was at I knew it was the one we had seen last year. My heart leapt with excitement as I knew that this could only be from the Lord. What is even more amazing is the story he told me of how this orphanage came into existence.
It seems that the orphanage was started when a couple from another part of the island came to this city to be in a partnership with a Christian organization who was working here. They were basically tabbed to run this place with the assistance and backing of this group. When they arrived here the organization and individuals they had been dealing with were gone; as in nowhere around. They had packed up and left the country without ever telling this couple.
The husband talked to his wife and told her they needed to go back to their old city and try to continue their life there. His wife asked him if they had moved here to follow this organization or to follow the Lord’s calling. When faced with that sobering question they decided to stay on and start this orphanage. They had no means of support other than their faith. They have since taken in 20 children who live in this shack with the tin roof that leaks when it rains and heats up like an oven when it is hot. Since those are the only two types of weather here you can imagine what that is like.
As we approached the orphanage the other day one of the comments which came jokingly from one of our students was, “I want to stay in the car. This place looks scary!” Not only is it a shack but it is basically in a parking lot of dirt with no green space at all. It was very sketchy looking to say the least.
As we all got out to go inside we could see right away that they took pride in their building and the children’s appearance. The rooms were made of scraps of wood, which had been slapped together to create several sleeping areas. The orphanage director and his wife stay in this place with the children as this is there home too. The floors were swept clean and there was a small library. Even the kitchen was clean. We were all floored when we say how proud they were of this little place. They kept it so well and all of the kids were clean.
Each of the children introduced themselves in English, and told us their name, age, hobby and ambition. Some wanted to be doctors, some teachers, some futbol players and even a few pastors mixed in there. Each of them attend school and are working on getting an education so they can have a life after their time there.
After we had introduced ourselves, played some games outside with them and given them some new soccer balls, backpacks and jerseys that were donated from the States we had a prayer. It was here where the director asked us to pray for their rent, which is due at the end of July. He did not ask us for money or anything else. He has faith that God would take care of the details and that all would work out in His perfect timing. He was so humble and so caring. You could tell he and his wife were all about the children and their walk with Christ and not at all about themselves.
This is one of the many ways God has shown his mercy and love to us on this trip. Showing us these people who have nothing but are giving anything they do have to serve Christ is amazing to us. It puts a lot of our own material wants and goals into perspective. It also shows us that we have a long way to go in order to have a true servant heart.
My prayer is that we can be even better servants of Christ; showing His love to others in Indonesia but also to those back home. To do so with humility and thoughtfulness of putting others before ourselves. I also pray that this orphanage would be able to come up with the full amount of their rent so that they could stay in this place for another year.
Thank you again for your prayers and we hope you are enjoying seeing the updates and pictures.