Hello Awesome Friends! Jess here! We have lots of really cool things to share with you about what God is doing in our part of the world. But first, we want to tell you just how grateful and increasingly grateful, we are to be here in Indonesia. Little by little we’ve come to understand more of what it really means to be here and to love these precious people. Our love for them grows deeper all the time. We’ve asked Father God to give us a heart for Indonesians and for that to really truly happen it takes time, experiences, and relationships. It takes going over and sitting at our neighbor’s house making conversation even when we feel too “busy” with the stuff of life. It takes hearing stories and seeing sights and smelling smells that are, frankly, uncomfortable at times. And yet, when the love of God fills our hearts and when Holy Spirit imparts compassion, everything becomes beautiful. I’m not being flowery or poetic. It’s true.
For example, right now I’m having the time of my life in language school. Three times a week I get to interview a teacher one-on-one. One objective of these interviews (in addition to language learning and relationship building) is that we will write a ten page essay about some aspect of Indonesian life. Because I love the study of economics (thank you, Dr. Garcia) and because I see such profound need around me all the time, I thought I would write my paper on personal finance in Indonesia. In other words, I thought I’d do a study on how far the Indonesian Rupiah goes and if I plugged three hypothetical average salaries into a Dave Ramsey-ish budget, would it work? Would it help my friends save money, plan for the future, and possibly, for God’s glory, help them achieve some sense of financial freedom? Is that even possible here if using biblical stewardship principles? I haven’t discovered the answers to those questions yet but I have had some fascinating, inspiring, and gut-wrenching conversations which have helped me gain insights into a life I know so very little about. We who have grown up in the US truly are blessed beyond comprehension when compared with the rest of the world. Not just in terms of economics but in terms of the spiritual oppression that often comes with poverty, I want more for my Indonesian friends. Please don’t jump to conclusions or misunderstand, I’m not a prosperity-gospel person at all. Rather, I am a tenaciously hopeful follower of Jesus who longs to see my friends set free from everything that hinders them. Sometimes poverty is a principality, you know? Sometimes it’s a lie about who you are and what you’re capable of. Maybe I’m too American, I don’t know, but I believe for better for my friends and I’m asking God for insight. Now, since I like lists, and since I feel like you’re here with me, I’ll share with you 5 things that happened recently that totally rock! (In no particular order) 1. One of our cousin friends (to whom Phil gave a New Testament) pulled us aside to have a secret conversation about the Book. He says he has questions in his heart. The Holy Spirit is moving, can you feel it? 2. Phil parents crossed oceans to come to Indonesia and spend time with us. People from their small group and our family sent them here with great homeschool materials for the kids, snacks, clothes, and goodies. Our brother and sister-in-love even gifted us with a new computer after our old one died. Typing this blog on this new computer feels a whole lot like driving a Porsche (….cough…Jeff Ballenski…) They even brought lovely gifts for our MAF teammates and our Indonesian friends. The Indonesian women can not get over how beautiful my mother-in-love is. I quite agree. The fragrance of Christ is irresistible. 3. Sometimes when you are in a process you can’t always see the forest for the trees. When Phil’s parents were here they were so encouraged to see how well we are doing with language. We were able to travel around with them and show them some of our favorite things, people, and places in Indonesia. Phil and I were both encouraged and grateful to God for how far He has carried us through this process and indeed how He has blessed our language learning. To Him be the glory! And, of course, we still have a long way to go. 4. In language school we get to study the Bible in Bahasa Indonesia. My mind-heart-soul are constantly blessed to study God’s Word (our greatest treasure) with my Indonesian friends. Just about nothing lights me up more than watching an Indonesian interact with their Savior. 5. Our little Solomon John turned 2 years old!!!!
In 9 weeks or so we will move up to Kalimantan to begin official field service. I salivate at the idea of finally having a real home again; to be in a place longer than one year is something we have not had in five years. Not whining, just saying, I can’t wait to be a family in a home and have a sense of ….ahhhhh… we belong here. Although I must say, the last five years of preparation right up to this point (while not always perfectly pleasant) sure has been a party! So many cool friends made along the way! So many God-sightings. So much life-change. And we are literally just getting started. Yesterday I told Adelina that obeying God really does bring about the fullest coolest life. Not always the safest, heavens no, for He is not tame lion.
Thanks for tolerating some sentence fragments today. I’m in one of those moods, you know? Saucy. And thanks most especially, for sending us to Indonesia so that people who don’t yet know the Light of the World might possibly encounter Him through our ministry. You would hardly believe what a difference can be made in the lives of isolated people when airplanes, pilot-missionaries anointed by God’s spirit, and practical goods and services show up! Or maybe you would. 🙂 Love ya, Jess Bonus Material for those who want to pray for us in specifics this week:
- Our children have recently discovered sibling rivalry. Please pray for wisdom and patience for Phil and I, the kind only God can give.
- It’s Ramadan in Indonesia and we are following the tradition of bringing treats to our cousin friends. Please pray the Lord will open doors and hearts for spiritual conversations.
- Please pray for our team as we prepare to welcome our third new family in three months. There is lots of work to be done but it is such a cool thing when a family makes it to the field. Please pray we will have the strength, energy, and poise to welcome them well!