Sabtu, 07 Juni 2008

Reaping the Rewards

I feel like I have fought a good fight here in Indonesia, have kept my faith, but have yet to finish the race. This chapter is about to close; another about to begin. It’s always wonderful to look back and reflect on life and how far you’ve come and the lives that you’ve touched and vice versa.

When the Apostle Paul said that he had learned to secret of being content in any and every situation in his letter to the Phillipians, for a long while, I never could grasp the idea. Often times, I thought it’s when I have this or that, then I’ll be content. But Indonesia has taught me that contentment is a state of mind. I’ve lived with people who have so little and yet they learn to be content with the little that they have. God has used the people and circumstances here to teach me that true peace is independent of material possessions, social status, and even relationships, although they add so much to life. But true peace can only be found in God alone.

I may not have every thing I want, but does that matter? With God I’ve lived a victorious life, rich in love and amazing relationships. It’s not about how much I have in this life, but where I keep my focus. Peace that surpasses understanding is God’s promise. Pretty soon, I’ll have to push through more challenges in life, but for now, I want to reap my rewards after long suffering and make every minute that I have left in Indonesia count.

(Special message to disciples worldwide: The Jakarta church has been a tremendous encouragement to my faith. My good friend Kelly Nico said that the Jakarta Church is a place where disciples come for healing. I didn’t think that I needed any spiritual healing when I decided to come here. It was more for adventure. But little did I know, God brought me here so I could be healed. With the set backs that our churches around the world have gone through since 2003 and some are still going through, the Jakarta church didn’t seem to be affected that much. Thanks to the strong leadership and that most people didn't have access to the Internet. Being here, I have seen people’s lives changed before my eyes, mine included. I’ve seen the scripture in Acts 2:42-47 come to life. And the Lord adds to our number. I believe God has blessed us because we love Him and each other deeply as the Bible says. The amazing thing is that I have more hope now than when I first arrived a year ago. More hope in the Word of God. To Him Be the Glory.)

Rabu, 04 Juni 2008

What have I learned about Indonesia in 1 year?

In Indonesia...

  • You eat fried rice for breakfast.
  • Indonesian food can be very spicy!
  • You can hire someone to carpool during rush hour, since it's their profession. Carpool rules: 3 in 1, not 2.
  • Music is big here.
  • Bribing a cop when you get pulled over is much more efficient.
  • Pirated DVDs are dirt cheap, like $0.70 a piece.
  • Going to the movies costs around $2-$5.
  • At the theaters, sweet popcorn is more popular than buttered one.
  • A mosque will be your 5 am alarm clock. About 5 times a day( 5 am, noon, mid-afternoon, before sunset, and after sunset), you'll hear a deafening prayer from a mosque near by, and there seems to be one at every corner.
  • People eating off your plate is considered loving.
  • Each ride you take whether by car, taxi, or motorbike (Ojek), can either tricker a heart attack or an adrenaline rush depending on the condition of your health.
  • Getting Dengue Fever is a fact of life.
  • You are your own crossing guard when you cross a street.
  • The yellow stuff in Soto, the famous Indonesian soup, is called cumin.
  • Indonesia is about the size of the US, if you combine the land from all the islands.
  • Earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and tsunamis are not common occurrences. As a matter of fact, Indonesians have a more relaxed attitude about these things than you'd think.
  • Wearing batik, or traditional Indonesian design, is in nowadays.
  • I look like a native Indonesian.
  • And that being here will definitely teach you patience like no others and that life is not all about material things.


A year in Indonesia is almost over, and yes, I'm going home. Thailand I mean. Well, the OC is home too but so is Thailand. Calling more than one place home is a byproduct of being a third-culture child. Anyway, back to Thailand so I can be with my parents and brother and sister-in-law, and cousins, and nanny and the extended family. The funny thing is now that I look back, I left Thailand when I was 14 and it has taken another 14 years before I will move back there again. How long will I stay there? Only God knows, but I hope for awhile. All the traveling and living in foreign countries have been fun but also exhausting. I wonder how long will it take before I get itchy feet again?

I also read somewhere that one must go on a journey in order to find home. Is that true? I guess in my case, the statement applies.