Sundays are turning out to be our longest days so far. We started off early this morning at 8:40AM because we had to drive out to Jakarta. Our team was visiting another church to get a better feel of the spiritual climate in Indonesia. This church was highly recommended by many people as one of the top churches to visit. One thing that people told us was to get there early because there might not be enough room.
As soon as we arrived on the street where the church was gathering, there was complete chaos. Cars were lined up for blocks. Everyone was trying to squeeze into the parking lot of the hotel – in Indonesia many churches meet in hotels. As I dropped off the team members in the front, there was a huge line just for the elevators. The ballroom where the church was meeting was located on the top floor.
When we got closer to the door, we were humbled to see the number of people lined up to just get through the doors. Christina mentioned that it brought back memories of her younger years when people would line up to enter into a rock concert. The anticipation was huge. People didn’t want to miss out. They wanted to get good seat to worship God.
It just reminded me of what we have been trying to teach in Ann Arbor about coming on time to worship God (even coming early to pray and prepare to meet with God). The atmosphere was electric. I just knew that we were going to have a good time of worship. In fact, this church is known for their praise and worship – they are one of the best in all of Indonesia, if not in the whole S.E. Asia region.
From the first song, there was a difference. Even as we got into the slower set of songs, we were able to experience the presence of God in a powerful way. What captured my attention was the hunger I saw in the members as they worshiped. It is moments like this when I wish every single person in HMCC could have experienced what we just experienced.
Afterwards, we hung out at the mall to have some lunch; then we headed out to have our informal gathering for the church plant. It was encouraging to see new people once again – many of them live in Jakarta. The issue now for us now is to decide whether we have to start two sites right away (one in Jakarta and one in Karawaci) or just have one. I guess this is a good problem.
I talked about transculturalism today. If we are not feeling awkward in the church, then we are not experiencing true community. People will experience the Gospel when Christ’s followers are willing to “go through discomforts and difficulties” in order to develop relationships with people who are “different” from us. It was a good challenge for us to go beyond our comfort zones and to share Christ’s love in a tangible way.
We are itching to start our formal Sunday Celebrations. But first we have to do the groundwork of building relationships and getting things prepared for the launch. It is humbling to be a part of all that God is doing here in Indonesia.
People were ready to rush into Sunday Celebration… wow!
Yup those are ants in our home! We sprayed it with Raid and killed the whole colony.
This was one incredible noodle making dude – the noodles were delicious!