We arrived in Jakarta yesterday evening. It was great having Louisa and Engel pick us up from the airport. This is where all the HMCC alumni connection becomes a blessing. Then we all went out for dinner along with Pastor Young, Annette and Jim Sung, an expatriate who moved to Indonesia in July. He graduated from University of Illinois a bit earlier than me. I was roommates with John, his younger brother during my last year at U. of I. You start realizing how small the world is when you see people from the past at various places outside of the U.S.
After dinner we were so tired that we just ended up crashing out at the hotel. Then next morning we went to a pretty well-known international church in the city of Jakarta. It was a great service with contemporary music (a lot of Hillsong out here) and a guest speaker that talked about family, marriage and children. I am convinced that starting an international church to reach out to not only expatriates but also to more “westernized” Indonesians can have great missional value. It is my prayer that someday in the future at HMCC would be able to start something in some world-class international city.
We then went to have some authentic Indonesian food. I am a true convert to Indonesian food. I don’t think there is anything out there that has this kind of spices and flavor to food.
Afterwards we met up with Alex who is one of the key staff leaders with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) in Indonesia. Christina and I were able to pick his brain about the university scene in this country. It was pretty amazing to hear that there are close to 200 plus universities in or near Jakarta alone. IVCF have close to 120 ministries in about 70 universities in Jakarta.
But the awesome part was when he mentioned that there are some churches that are trying to enter into the universities. Once again, there seems to be a greater shift that is happening on college campuses and how local churches are either starting up or beginning to have their own ministry on campus.
Then afterwards we drove around an area in the southern part of Jakarta where most of the expatriates live. It really felt like we were in the States. As the world is changing constantly, the possibilities of living in another country is not that far removed. It is definitely possible for a whole family to live out in these international cities.
We closed out the night with some street food. There is nothing that beats out street food – it was truly an incredible experience!
Our first Indonesian meal with everyone
We meet up with Alex who is an IVCF staff worker for all of Indonesia
We ate at another authentic Indonesian restaurant with Louisa and Engel
We found out that Indonesia is a shopping mall culture – they even had this huge Lego City for kids in the center of the mall
Christina and I were enjoying the night life
This lady cooked up a dish that was not even in the menu… I just described what I wanted and then bam! We wouldn’t mind having her as our personal chef 🙂
Mission in life? To drink a Starbucks’ Vanilla Latte from every single country.