In January we secured our visas and work permits. The day after we returned to Medan we found a new house. We had been looking for 5 months. God’s timing is perfect. We were not really prepared to move until our documents were complete but finding a house here and actually completing the process to move can take a month. Ours took 10 days total. Our moving crew was a combination of refugees from iran, Norwegians who are here for the same purpose and some indonesians. Our truck driver was a pakistani. All went well and my family loves our new house. We have already hosted english club once and will again tomorrow night. January was full of busy work that needed to be done. We are glad all is completed and can move back to our primary focus.
February was extremely busy. We hosted a Syukuran. This is a party to thank God for your new home and pray for his blessing upon it. We had 110 people attend. This is a great way to connect with our new neighbors as well as old friends. It is attended by people of all religions as long as the food is halal. We have always kept our home halal here so we usually have many cousins who are comfortable coming and eating at our home. We had at least 10 countries represented and 5 religions other than Christianity. not including over 10 tribes from Indonesia. Needless to say we quite the cultural mix. The Sunday after the party I traveled to an area called Kabanjahe to a small church service, Most of the attendees are mbb’s. I was asked to share a teaching but the morning before I felt a leading to invite a friend of mine who is also an mbb and have him share.. so I did and they were very encouraged. Jesus had come to him 3 times in a dream in the last dream Jesus asked him why he was not being honest with himself, because he had already heard the truth. I really felt encouraged as well because we want nationals to be out front in our ministry. Since then the same man traveled to our target with me 2 weeks ago, I was able to connect him with another national worker the connection was good for both of them. Our national workers here really struggle with loneliness and discouragement. Many of them have left the area they grew up in to share the Gospel, so I try to use every opportunity to connect our national workers. Our refugee friends came to our house for a bible study, during the time of worship one of them was just overwhelmed by God’s goodness. All she could do is weep. We then starting reading in Ephesians 1. We found her a Persian bible online so she could follow along. She wants to come back again and asked if we could tell her in advance where we would read, so she could read before coming. This is rally exciting, they have never asked that before. Our children started volunteering at an orphanage every other Saturday. They help them conversational English, then my daughter plays with the younger ones and my son’s play soccer with the older boys.
Couple of low points in Feb. first we lost our friend Jim to cancer. He had been serving in Indonesia since before the Tsunami in 2004. Before that he served in Malaysia with our org. He and his wife started the orphanage that my kid’s volunteer at. Jim really lived out 2 Tim 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
The other disappointment was I was not able to make my boat trip up the Asahan river. There has been some concerns with that awful group that is causing trouble all over the world. The national worker who I was going to go with said it was not safe to do so at this time. He was not scared as much as he did not see wisdom in the risk as it was an exploratory trip.
Margaret and I are organizing a conference for our org in SE Asia this summer, we have never done something like this. So please pray for God’s wisdom and favor. We have new team members who just arrived back from the US they were previously serving in another part of Sumatra. The wife Amy had to fly to Malaysia for back surgery their first week here. it was successful but we are now praying for the recovery process. I have been asked to teach on spiritual warfare and the schemes the enemy uses to keep us off track at a conference in May. It is for national workers so please pray that the teaching will transcend the cultural differences we have. Also Margaret has been battling bacteria infections on and off for 2 years. She is going to Singapore to see a specialist, please pray that God heals her supernaturally or thru medicine.
Thank you again for all of your prayers and support. Attached is a photo of me with some of our friends at our party. The man on the left is a close friend of mine,the one on my right is brother and the other gentleman is there brother in law.