Indonesia gave us very, very long days but very fruitful ones. Nobody complained once! When a bit of free time opened up, I bought 15 t-shirts for the local church planters (CPs) using funds given me for the trip. The CP team was so valued by this gesture and thankful for them. They are unsung heroes living by faith with little affirmation. I pray every time they put on these shirts, they remember how much God values them and that they are NOT forgotten.
Each day we did Discovery Bible Studies through Philippians while traveling in large vans. I On two different days, I led with some of the CPers, and despite language barriers, our desire to communicate with each other overcame our language limitations. It was actually one of the highlights of the whole trip!
Another highlight was an awesome exchange with one of my CP friends while eating McDonald's french fries late one night! We are going to continue our mentorship of one another. I'm trading parenting advice for his discipleship advice (ha).
Another highlight: I was so fortunate to see a similarity between what happened in the biblical account of healing the blind man and an older gentleman I gave eyeglasses to. One man shared that everything looked dark. I thought cataracts... My translator also shrugged his shoulders in despair at first. I again put the sheet of paper before this dear little old man in his 70s. "Darkness," he said. How long since he had last read something - a newspaper, perhaps the Koran? How long since he had held a picture drawn by his grandchild? How long had it been since holding his wife's hand, looking at it, remembering their wedding, their journey in life together? Years. Did he even remember? I looked at my translator, Alim, raised my eyebrows in hope and grabbed the highest prescription glasses I had. Gently placing these glasses on his nose, he looked around, flailing his hands in resistance. Oh no, this is not going to end up good I thought. "Tell him these are just for reading, not looking around," I told Alim. He calmed down and as I pointed to the 60 font words, he weakly, yet smoothly read them. Hmmmmm? Before I could point to the next smaller Bible verse, he was off and reading. Interrupting him after a few words, I encouraged him to move on, he wouldn't be swayed - he finished reading this second verse all the way through - either showing off to us or maybe himself with pride. He continued on down the nine New Testament verses with an ever-increasing smile on his face. He wasn't the only one. Alim and I realized something special was happening right before our eyes. All I could think about was that famous statement uttered 2000 years ago, "I was blind, but now I see."
After reading the final verse in fine print - I think 6 font, his head popped up with this big smile all over his face. Our eyes met and we had the conversation of a lifetime without a word. Thank you Jesus for this moment, I thought. My mind drifted to the thought of what might be the ripple effect once this man enters his household and reads the tiny print of flyers advertising the next religious event in that community. What would he say when he greets his friends? What will they hear? They will hear about a miracle, and of a different God's miraculous grace that he experienced personally. This would not have happened without your generous Global Sharing support both financially and prayerfully. I was so honored to represent you and our believing community halfway around the world.
Yours for Him,
PS - Alim first attended an English camp four years ago and now is warming to spiritual things.
PSS - Conservatively, we just discovered that there were over 354 new believers with over 1124 loved on medically! Thank you for reading this. Please let God be honored and give Him His rightful honor by letting someone else hear of what He did in Indo, halfway around this small world!