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  • 전찬선 | 2015.08.07 09:19 | 조회 914
    As Waters Cover the Seas
     

    Hari Raya (Great Day)!

        
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    As the month of Ramadan draws to a close, we could feel the excitement in the air. Supermarkets, decorated in light and dark green, playing the songs about Ramadan much like stores playing Christmas music, decorated in red and green in the States come December. People are busy buying little gifts for the family, friends, and neighbors. People also show great deal of generosity towards people less fortunate. The mosques seem to have more events than the usual as the month turns to days before the Eid al-Fi’tr holiday approaches. Already, the streets have more vehicle from outside the area as some people get a jump on the to visit their family during the most traveled season of the year.
     
    We also share in the excitement in anticipation of how the Father will show Himself to people who honestly seek. Be it from dreams and visions, or through meaningful encounter with people who love and follow Jesus. Josiah and I was able to join in fasting in solidarity with the community as well as to pray for breakthroughs in people’s lives. I found that fasting with people have opened up ways to share not only in hunger and talks of what to beak the fast with, but also in sharing of spiritual matters.
     
    This brings me to thinking about that was the motivation of people, who came to Jesus to ask why His disciples did not fast, while John’s disciples and the Pharisees fasted. Without going into theological implications of Jesus’ answer but looking at the question only from the cultural perspective; the culture of the time was such that fasting was viewed as a spiritual activity and Jesus’ disciples not fasting had people question spirituality of Jesus. As ironic as it may that people ever questioning the spirituality of Jesus — being removed by two very different cultures and by period of two millennia — in the culture of the time, fasting had close relationship with their view of spirituality. Our fasting was not of a Parasitical one but exercise of our freedom in Christ to be “all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22b); freedom, to fast and pray and be a witness to people.

     

    Space Between Chronos and Kairos

    After the university told us that the visa is good to go and we are waiting for the telex to be sent from Jakarta, and getting the word from the office that it should be ready week before Eid al-Fi’tr we started to process our part of terminating our current language studies visa and applying for the exit only permit from the local immigration office. We needed to make travel plans to the neighboring country to cancel our old visa and receive the new visa, before the airfare prices begin to jump for the holidays. After receiving the exit only permit, we had six days to exit the country. All the while we were busy booking flights and receiving the exit permit; the agent that the university uses in Jakarta as well as the Jakarta immigration office seems to be dragging their feet; already on holiday mindset. We called the university to tell them of the status and were told that there is a chance to be able to get the telex any day. We decided to take a chance on receiving the telex and processing it while we are at neighboring country.
     
    Once we arrived, on following Monday, we went to the Indonesian embassy first thing in the morning to get the necessary paperwork and to have all the necessary paperwork other than telex in order. I talked with one of the clerk/officer that worked there to explain our situation to see if the visa could be expedited once we received the telex; the nice lady at the visa window agreed to help us as best she could, but the telex did not come that day nor the next or day after that. We were pretty much on call near embassy for the duration of our stay and when we tried calling the agent in Jakarta there were no answer. We have a strong suspicion that he probably has already left on his holiday vacation early. Nevertheless we were on standby until the embassy officially was closed for the long holiday. We had to come back to Indonesia on a tourist visa on the last day of the Ramadan; just in time to visit neighbors and friends for the Fi’tr holiday.
     
    We were little disappointed that we were not able to get the new visa before the holidays, and not to get a clear answer of that is going on, but rather given false hope. Then it dawned on us that we were focusing on a minor setback to lose sight on what He had done and is doing in our lives; receiving approval from the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and other offices to teach while others are still waiting on a long waiting list; also, the University hiring me while they are currently not hiring any new people. We were again reminded to focus on His goodness in our lives, and not on our situations. We are not to be anxious about anything but in prayer and supplication in thanksgiving asking God (Phil. 4:6); only possible when we lift our eyes form ourselves and fix our eyes on Him and His goodness.

    Epilogue…
    A week has passed from the Eid al-Fi’tr Holiday but the usually busy and overly congested streets of Jakarta bustling with cars and people are still empty. Public offices although officially reopened since Wednesday is still on holiday mode; the agent in charge of the visa for the University in Jakarta still has his phone turned off. It is important to exercise patience in situations like this. Waiting for things to come down the wire could gnaw at your nerves if you let it; learning to balance hope and realistic expectations with reality of disappointments, and joy of fulfillment with thanksgiving is the key. We are still waiting for the confirmation of the telex being sent before we can make plans for our visa trip.

     

    Children: Growth Spurt

    The children have two and a half more weeks of vacation left before they go back to school. Lydia has been on a growth spurt over the summer; she would often help herself to three helpings of food. She has grown several inches and most of her clothes as well as her shoes are becoming too small for her. From the shipment of clothes we sent from the States before leaving for Indonesia, many of her hand me down (pre-loved) clothes and couple of new ones that were received as gifts as well as couple of pieces found at clearence rack that were too big for her before we left for Indonesia  are now too small for her; all the trouble of packing would have felt senseless, if not for the people we could bless with new as well as gently used clothes. Perhaps the clothes were ment for blessing others in Indonesia from the begining.

    It would be sad if physical growth was the only growth for Lydia; but we could see her growing spiritually over the summer, she is spending more time in the Word and in prayer, and she is asking spiritual questions; even her prayers have become deeper. We are thankful for her season of growth in her life and we invite you to pray that the Lord will continue to stretch and challenge her; our prayers for the children are that God will break the clay vessels that they have built around their lives and build a God sized vessel that He forms in them, to be used by Him in manner that suites His purpose.

    PARTNER WITH US:
    Your partnership of prayer as well as your financial partnership is vital to our work. Please continue to walk, build, and proclaim with us, of His goodness. We are in need of raising more support, please see below to see how you could partner with us.

    PRAYER TOPICS:

    • Please pray that the telex will be quickly sent without further delay.
    • Peter will start teaching from August, please pray for wisdom and favor. 
    • Please pray for Rhoda as well . 
    • Please pray that our family will be daily enjoying His presence in our lives.
    • Uplift our old relationships as well as new relationships in the new community.
    • We are looking for a good faith community that is the right fit for our family; please pray that we will find a one that is right for us and our situation.

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