Sunday was our last day in Indonesia. We attended church where Untung was preaching. I regret that I couldn’t understand his message; he spoke with such passion.
The Christian faith is like that – a very different culture and story connects with my own through our shared story of Jesus. In this congregation, an accomplished worship team with singers and keyboards led us through traditional and contemporary songs, including one written by Untung.
We noticed the children. We were the only white, blonde people in worship. We received ready smiles from little, curious eyes.
We noticed they eat Mentos; the licorice flavour was new to them. 🙂
After church, we enjoyed a tour of the city, as Untung drove us through older parts of the city that we had not yet seen. We ate in a grand old restaurant – a building that was reminiscent of the historic relationship with the Dutch. Homer was drawn to the history – the stories told in carvings and photos.
We visited the Back to God Ministries Studio, where Untung is the Director, as well as the voice that delivers the gospel message across the airwaves to remote regions of Indonesia. Untung has worked to establish more than 280 listening communities in these regions; radios are given to listeners who otherwise would not hear the gospel. Regional leaders are trained to provide support in these regions where no church exists for those who are seeking, or come to know Jesus. God is using Untung, his faithful servant in powerful ways.
Untung is also the representative of Global Coffee Break; he and his wife, Ivany and others have worked to translate many resources into Bahasa Indonesian. It was fun to see how their cover artwork resembles the English version, but with a Batik design, to reflect Indonesian culture.
As we sat at the airport later that night, Homer and I reflected on all we have seen and done in the last 2 weeks. We’ve been to 3 Asian countries, taken 7 flights, trained over 200 people to be leaders of Coffee Break Small Groups, in 4 Indonesian cities. We’ve eaten food we didn’t recognize. We listened to words and observed a culture that was unfamiliar.
This was an experience we might not have chosen for ourselves; we were invited to serve. And yet I believe that we were the ones who were served by being able to experience this culture and these people who love God in the midst of this very diverse and challenging culture. With a thankful heart, I’m still processing all that I have seen.