So, as it turns out, God can even use Skittles to remind me of His crazy-awesome, simply-amazing, never-ending, always-faithful love. About 2 months ago, I asked Jessica to see if she could communicate with someone back in the US that I would appreciate a bag of Skittles. It is no secret that I love candy and I was really missing Skittles. Jessica had communicated this to someone but they forgot to send the Skittles. When we started to receive our Christmas care packages, I would let Jess and the kids tear into them, all the while sitting back and hoping to hear that the Skittles had arrived. They hadn’t. They never did. (This is a not a plea for Skittles. It is merely building up suspense!)
I stopped getting my hopes up and figured that I would get them some day. Well, this last week, a couple who work with the Member Care department at MAF visited our team in Salatiga to spend time with us and encourage us. Jess and I sat down with them for a meeting and dessert at our home after the kids went to bed. (Jeremiah made a number of unexpected visits to the conversation but he finally succumbed to sleep.) It was a great time to share our hearts with them and receive their love and encouragement. They had some great advice for us and gave us great perspective as we are beginning our journey overseas.
Just before the couple left, they mentioned that they had brought a few gifts for our family. They pulled out a few items, some light-up bouncy balls for the boys, a strawberry plant for Adelina, a candle for Jess, and then…SKITTLES for me. What?!?! Are you kidding me? How did they know? I seriously almost cried. There were tears brimming on the rim. Not because I love Skittles that much, but because I could see my Father smiling down on me. I know that He cares for me (even for the simple desires and things that make me happy). It is just one small way out of many that I have felt God’s love. Who knew that God can even speak through Skittles?!?!
We have welcomed two new families to our team here in language school. Tim Brooks is a mechanic who will be working in Papua once he finishes language school. Tyler Schmidt is a pilot/mechanic and he and his family will be joining us in Tarakan once they complete language school. When a new family arrives, there are a few things that we do as a team to help make their transition as smooth as possible. Each family treats the new family to dinner and spends a little bit of time getting to know them. We also have various responsibilities, such as taking them around town, showing them the ATM’s so they can get money, and helping them learn where all of the MAF team members live. It was a blessing to meet these families and help them begin the process of adjusting to life here in Indonesia.
Another way we have been able to serve here in Indonesia is at the international church. I had told the lead pastor at the church I was available to help out with worship if they ever needed it. We saw he and his family at a local restaurant last week and he asked me if I would be available to lead worship that Sunday. I agreed and it was set. It was a blessing for he and his family because they were free to get out of town for some much needed rest, and I was able to serve this local body through leading worship. It was a sweet time of lifting our voices to the Lord and blessing to get to use my gifts in some small way.
In other news, we have completed our 3rd unit of language school!!! WAHOO!!! We are a third of the way done and we are excited to keep moving on and moving up. There has already been so much to learn, and we have a lot of review to do before the next unit starts in a week, but we are excited about the progress we have made. We hope to build on the foundation that has been laid after these first few months. It is amazing to think we have already been here for 4 months. It is even more amazing that we can get around town, have all sorts of conversations, and understand most of what is said to us! I am stoked because I even find myself THINKING in Indonesian.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and love. We are grateful and we pray you are encouraged as you see our Father at work the whole world over! Indonesia needs your prayers and we are profoundly thankful that you would send us here to minister the hope of Christ.
Love and Peace,