I have started making baked Naan Chips, sprinkled with garlic salt and Old Bay Seasoning. They are so super crispy and tasty that even my “discerning” kids love them! The best part (besides no MSG) is that our constant consumption of Naan benefits our refugee friends here in Indonesia. It is one of the very practical ways that we can help. As I sit here to blog, crunching on these chips, I begin to think more deeply about bread.
This type of flatbread goes by many names such as Roti, Chepati, Pita, Lavash, Matzah, Tortilla, and the list goes on. It is a daily staple the world over – ingrained, if you will, into the fabric of every culture. Is it any wonder, then, that during Jesus’ ministry on earth, he identifies himself as the “Bread of Life?” John 6:32-33 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” If a meager piece of bread has the ability to satisfy our hunger, imagine how much more, Jesus – the True Bread from Heaven, has the power to meet our every need and satisfy our every longing from today and forever!
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!
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.
People might wonder what the life of a missionary is like and assume there must be to it an air of the romantic or exotic. Well, we have had our share of “exotic” scents (usually sewage) and tropical breezes (laden by smog.) But, really our life would be best described as an adventure (meaning not planned and totally out of my sphere of control) with our heavenly Father as the most amazing tour guide!
Consider our recent trip to Singapore to secure an Indonesian visa (permission to live and work in the country.) Our three days turned into five, as the visa process can be painfully slow. I was anxious at this change of plans because this would mean the kids would miss more school, Jim would be absent from church, and more money would be spent on meals abroad. It was a cry or laugh moment, and so I decided to trust that our Tour Guide must have a lot to show us in Singapore!
Being blessed with superior accommodations at the Anglican Prayer Lodge, we set out to see what the city had to offer. We dined with old friends, took in a light-water-music show at the harbor, worshiped at St. George’s, and strolled around The Botanical Gardens. We had a great tour of Singapore and left with a reminder to “sit back and enjoy the ride!”