This week has been a sobering week for me – not only in trying to prepare for the Inaugural Sunday Celebration, but more importantly because I attended a funeral service for a woman that I just met once.
It is hard to believe that a person that you have only met once can make that much of an impact on your life, but that is what happened. Ibu Irene Ishak was introduced to us by one of our alumnus. We found out that she managed several properties and when she heard about our situation with our move to Indonesia and having no furniture, she decided she wanted to help.
There was a lot of furniture that she needed to replace for some new tenants in her apartment complex; therefore the old furniture had to be thrown out. When Christina and I arrived to meet Ibu Irene, we were not expecting much since it was used furniture. But when we arrived we realized that they were in very good condition. We went to several different luxurious apartments and just picked out furniture that we wanted.
She even had her assistant get everything together and have it delivered to our place. Christina and I were not only humbled at her kind gesture but we were grateful that God provided such a generous person in our lives. With all the chaos and stress from trying to transition in a new country, Ibu Irene became for us an oasis. Her kindness, generosity, and care made a huge impact on us.
This is why when we heard about her death, it took Christina and me by surprise.
When some of the team members and I attended the wake service, we were overwhelmed to see all the people who came out to pay their respects. There is a tradition here in Indonesia where people would donate these big boards made out of flowers for special occasions, whether for a wedding or even at a funeral. In fact, rumor has it that the number of flower boards a person has at the gathering, you are able to know the level of respect and honor that the people have for the person.
As we were driving into the funeral home, I could not believe my eyes. Literally, there were about 3 blocks of streets fill with these flower boards. Then, it hit me. I realized what kind of impact this lady had on people. She must have literally touched so many lives because all I could see was a sea of people and the smell flowers everywhere I went.
Even during the time of testimony, there were people who shared about the kindness and generosity that she showed. Can a person make this kind of impact on so many lives?
As we were driving back home, I couldn’t help but to think about my own life. I am praying that my life will touch other people’s lives just like Ibu Irene. I have always told people that you can tell how a person lived their life by attending their funeral and all I can say is that she lived a full and impactful life.
Sometimes God provides you with certain people that grace your life for a brief moment, but they are reminders of God’s love and care. Thank you Ibu Irene for gracing our family, albeit for a brief moment but your impact will last forever.
There were close to 3 streets that were filled with flower boards… it was quite a sight.