Monday, July 17, 2006

Looking Back at the Trip to Palembang. . .

I have to say, I would not have traded it for anything.

 

Sure, I missed my wife.  Sure, some conditions were less than what most in the west would consider sanitary.  And sure, I probably would’ve gone nuts if I heard “Mister, Mister,” a thousand times a day.  None-the-less, the experience was worth my bruised knee, and lack of running water.  I look back at the photos again and again, and I see the joy in these kids!  Not just when I was photographing them around the camp, but when they were worshiping God and learning His word – they were all smiles!  Ibu Tanti even said she had never seen that percentage of kids in a crowd really participate in worship!  Looking at the video – nearly all of them followed along with the dancing and hand motions!  It’s as though they didn’t care what others thought.  I prayed these kids would go home with this same fire in their heart, to love their parents and their friends and lead other kids to Christ.  They were so hungry to be touched by God – praying and worshiping Him in the most intimate way.  Our resource table was nearly exhausted by the end of the two days we were there.  They truly wanted to hear and know more about Christ!

 

At the end of the last session, the kids started to crowd around me and shake my hand and ask for my signature.  Many times I had so many notebooks and scraps of paper in front of my face that I couldn’t even see the paper I was signing.  I added my trademark ^_^ smiley and “Mazmur 23,” translated: “Psalms 23.”  It was so touching when they said goodbye, and you could see in their eyes they were going to miss you.  Many of them asked me to come back – but I couldn’t guarantee I would be back again next year.  Would my family and I be back in the US?  Would we still be in Indonesia?  If so, would Mimi be the one to go instead, because she can speak Indonesian?  I didn’t think about that.  Instead, I relished the last few moments in saying goodbye that night, because we were to leave the next morning, before most of them would rise.

 

It was evident in their smiles – the loved Christ, and they loved me.  It was truly an experience I will cherish. 

 

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