Happenings in the City of Jakarta

 
For the last couple of days, I have been spending more time in Jakarta. On Saturday, we spent some time with one of the families in our church. I was so blessed by their generosity. They invited the whole team for some of time of relationship building. It was a blessing for our team to be able to swim on the 30th floor of the family’s apartment, which overlooked different parts of the city.

Then on Sunday, It was great having Pastor Dave Lee share God’s Word at our informal gathering in Jakarta. He brought out the creation story to life and helped us make the connection about starting this new church with God’s creative characteristics. Then we enjoyed (once again) some homemade Indonesian food. I am constantly amazed at the spices and flavors in all these dishes. It is incredible that God created such things and then we, human beings “create” dishes that explode in our mouths, which then brings great pleasure… truly, there MUST be a God.

On Monday, after seeing Pastor Dave off at the airport, one of the team members and I went to Jakarta for a gathering at one of our member’s office. It is customary in Indonesia to have a religious leader to go and bless the office and business so that God’s blessings can come upon it. There was an Indonesian pastor who was going to deliver God’s Word and I was going to pray.

In this meeting I was encourage to see that even some of the Muslim co-workers were there. When I asked if some of them would feel uncomfortable knowing that we were going to sing “Christian” songs and even pray to Jesus, people mentioned that it would be fine because in the “city” people are more open-minded. People understand that there are different religions and their do their best to respect one another, which was very encouraging to hear.

Being in the city for three consecutive days, I am realizing couple of things:

1) I love the city life – the people, the congestion, the culture, the sights, the lights, and yes… even the traffic. It just reminds me that there is life and there are souls that do not know Jesus Christ. It is so easy to be in the suburbs and be isolated. No, I am not hating on the suburban people… suburban people need Jesus too 🙂 When I am in the city, I cannot escape the fact that there are millions of people who go on every day without thinking about eternity.

2) If we reach the city, we can reach the nation and the world. Whenever we drive into the city of Jakarta there are so many reminders of things that are international. It also reminds me of how the different spheres of society play an vital part in the life of a city and a nation. I see the international bank buildings… I see the health care issues… I see the impact that the arts and media are making just by looking at the billboards… I see the influence of government and politics… I see the schools and education sector… I see the families on the streets (especially the poor and hungry). But the question is… where is the church? If we can make an impact in these different spheres of society with the Gospel, then we will be able to see greater transformation.

Even though we are trying to target college students at Universitas Pelita Harapan, we are seeing the great importance of reaching out to single adults and families in the city. This has been one incredible ride. So many things are not in our control and way beyond us, the team and I are convinced that it really has to be God that will carry us through – and it is always better when He is in the driver’s seat because it is more FUN!
 
 
 
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Engel welcoming everyone and sharing a few words
 
 
 
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Traditional Indonesian food that is presented on celebratory occasions – yes, I was celebrating 🙂
 
 
 
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I was encouraged to see the Muslim co-workers joining us
 
 
 
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The Halim family took us out for Martabak. We were AMAZED!
 
 
 
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Pastor Dave was moving so quickly to eat the Martabak that he came out blurry 🙂