It is with joyful hearts that we welcome Candra into the family of believers! The baptism and Christmas Eve Carols and Candles Service made for a memorable night, with 79 people gathering in our apartment to worship. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate! Will you pray with us for Candra as he begins an internship for the next six months, training and then assisting in the work of providing rehabilitation services to special needs children. We are already seeing God at work in this young man’s life, providing opportunities for him to develop his gifts and abilities in order to be a blessing to others.
I am not quite ready to move on from the Thanksgiving holiday yet! There is too much to be thankful for. I am grateful that Denise from SAMS made her way to Jakarta last month to visit our family. Living half way around the world from “home”, a familiar face and encouraging words are very precious indeed. I was happy to introduce her to Hope Special Needs School, an institution very near and dear to my heart. Ibu Lingkan, the school’s founder, asks, “Who will tell them God loves them, if we don’t do it?” I am so thankful for her servant’s heart. Please watch this short clip of the children singing at their Thanksgiving Service and be inspired to carry on this holiday season with an attitude of gratitude!
Have you ever heard your grandparents tell you, “Back in my day, we used to walk to school five miles each way in the dead of winter with no shoes?” Of course, the exaggerated story was to inspire you to count your blessings. Allow us to inspire you with a non-embellished tale of our refugees from Afghanistan. Desperate to find a church where they can freely worship, this ever resilient group, travels by car from the mountains outside of Jakarta to Providence Anglican Church every Sunday. The trip takes almost three hours each way! Can you imagine how hungry for the Word and Christian fellowship they must be to go that distance? Can you imagine how physically hungry they must get during the long day away from home? We strive each week to make sure that we fill them with good food to eat and a meal to take for the road, but more importantly, God is sustaining them with his Word and satisfying them spiritually around the table of Holy Communion. God’s family from many countries at the banqueting table. His banner over us is love!
Providence Anglican Church is a multi-national fellowship in Jakarta. God has seen fit to add to our small group people from America, Australia, China, Korea, Indonesia, Iran, and the Philippines. How beautiful that on any given Sunday, the sermon or scripture reading might be translated into one of the languages spoken by our members. One particular Sunday, something really special happened. Our American-Malaysian co-worker, Sandy, helped our Iranian believers lead the congregational singing in Farsi. All of the songs were familiar, but with lyrics in the Farsi language. Sandy must have practiced night and day to master this in a tongue so foreign. Our hearts and voices lifted as one as we cried out “How Great is Our God!” Pedar rahim bar ma, Masih monjiye ma, Setaim namatra, Setaim namatra. The Godhead Three in One, Father, Spirit, Son, The Lion and the Lamb, The Lion and the Lamb.
I can’t say we expected to worship in Farsi when we first journeyed to the far seas to minister in Indonesia. How thankful we are that God always exceeds our expectations. Truly, how great is our God!
“None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good” is such a simple yet profound statement found in the hymn, “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy.” Listen now to the song in it’s entirety:
We sang these lyrics as a church family, coming together to witness and celebrate our sweet sister’s baptism. As the picture proves, there could not have been a more beautiful spot for this joyous service! To add to this, we were honored to host the Archbishop of Melbourne (Primate of Australia) along with his lovely wife, Joy, and their associates for this special occasion. His message encouraged us and the fellowship of believers from around the globe gladdened our hearts.