Selamat Pagi (Good Morning) from Indonesia
One of the things we both love about Indonesia is getting to try new things, especially food. One of our favorite foods is called “Putuh” or Whistle cake. The guy will drive around the neighborhoods with a large container strapped to his scooter. Inside the container is a propane gas tank that is being used to light a fire and boil water. The steam is vented so it makes a whistling sound for everyone to hear and know that whistle cake is near! The cake is made by stuffing a powdery cake mix into small bamboo shoots about 3 inches long. In the middle of the cake mixture is red palm sugar. He places the stuffed bamboo shoots on end over holes where the steam comes out. After the cakes are cooked, he pushes them out on some wax paper and spreads sugar and coconut shavings on top. It is delicious!!!
I, Phil, apologize for the lack of updates concerning Jessica and her medical situation. In this case, no news has been good news! Jessica traveled to SIngapore and saw the doctor straight away from the airport. She was met with friendly smiles and hot chocolate as she waited for the doctor. The doctor was truly a blessing. She is a Christian woman who loves to help ex-pats with births and pregnancies. After an ultra-sound, it was determined Jessica would need a repeat D and C procedure. We knew this was a possibility but were hoping for something less invasive since Jessica would be traveling to Singapore alone.
As it turns out, God always knows how to meet us in our times of need. I was playing at the park at the local international school with our three little ones. Another woman was there with her two kids. She is Malaysian and married to an American and they are in Salatiga while he learns the language and they pray about where to serve. (She already knows the language since Malaysian is very close to Indonesian) She asked about Jessica and I explained the situation and how she was all alone. Well, I get a text later that day from a woman named Eleanor. She is the soon-to-be sister-in-law of my friend at the park. Eleanor said she lives in Singapore and has plenty of time on her hands. She would love to meet up with Jessica and be of whatever help she can! Wow, what a blessing!
Eleanor met Jessica right after Jessica returned from recovery at the hospital. Eleanor brought her flowers and they hit it off right away. It was such a blessing and we both felt the love and protection of God as he brought a close friend to minister to Jess after this tough procedure. Jess and Eleanor spent a bit of time together and it was amazing to hear how similar they are and how they were able to become close friends so quickly.
Another blessing was that a former MAF couple took Jessica out for a Mother’s Day brunch at a local restaurant. They are the parents of one of the MAF wives on the team up in Tarakan, where we will be serving. They also blessed Jessica tremendously and showed the love of God in such a powerful way. We are grateful to have Jessica home now and on the mend. Aside from the effects of the medicine she is taking after the surgery, she is recovering well and we are grateful for all of the blessings from God along the way. Thank you so much for all of your prayers during this difficult time. They were all answered and then some as God met Jessica in a multitude of ways! Thank you!
In addition to all of this, we welcomed a new team to language school here in Salatiga. I have recently been given the responsibility of leading the team here in Salatiga. I serve as a liaison between our boss in Jakarta, help organize things when a new family arrives, keep track of MAF reimbursements and expenses, and lead our weekly team meetings. We had a lot to do to get ready for the new family when Jessica had to go to Singapore. By the grace of God and the hard work of the team here in Salatiga, everything was done and the new family is settling in well. They have such grateful hearts and they are so excited to start language school.
While we are welcoming in one family, another family has completed language school and will be departing this week to serve in Tarakan. They are wrapping up all of their good-bye’s and getting their house ready for the next family who will arrive in June. It is so much fun to see a family persevere through the first year here and finally get the chance to move to the field and see what God has been preparing them to do for so many years. It takes an average of 10 years for a person to go from their initial training to the field of service! It is quite a commitment and expense, so we are excited that our friends will be on the other side and see how God was, is, and will be faithful each and every day. As it says in Proverbs 13:12,19 “…a longing fulfilled is a tree of life…a longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…”
As you can see, it has been a very busy few weeks. Through all of this, God remains faithful and has sustained us in this time. Just the other day, Jess and I remarked at how refreshed and energized we felt, even though we had been running hard and pressing forward. We completed Unit 6 of language school and only have 3 units left. WAHOO!!! It was a difficult last unit with everything going on, but we are excited to run downhill and learn as much as we can before we head to Tarakan in a little less than 4 months.
This week we would be so grateful for your prayers for:
1. The new family on our team to feel totally upheld and loved by God as they adjust
2. For the rest of our team to thrive and grow through this process of language / culture learning
3. For opportunities to share Christ’s love with Indonesian believers and those who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord
4. For our marriage, our children, and our mental, spiritual, physical and emotional health