Selemat siang! [Good day!]
Hey! Camille here, to give a re-cap on the happenings of this past week in Indonesia!
The crew said our goodbyes and we made our transition from Bali to the lovely island of Borneo, officially called Kalimantan.
We drove a bumpy road, before arriving at our new home. We stepped onto a beautifully landscaped base, with red stone, white tile, lush gardens, and yes… air conditioned bedrooms! God is so good! There’s even a pet monkey on base (but I personally prefer the dogs… the monkey is temperamental). The staff here are so generous and hospitable. I pray we bless them as much as they are blessing us.
After settling in, we re-packed smaller bags and headed to a village for a few days. Several steep, muddy hills later, we miraculously arrived at our destination. It was a typical farmhouse, surrounded by multiple rice fields and other neighboring homes (no electricity or indoor plumbing). We were greeted by a porch full of Indonesian kiddos (I counted about thirty of them), all with smiles and jumping in an enthusiastic manor. God’s kids are so stinkin’ cute!
That night, we got our beds ready to go with all the floral-patterned mosquito nets
hanging above our sleeping bags. We also had our first serving of chicken and rice; we would have many more to come over the next several days. Following dinner, we traveled with Andre, our YWAM friend and interpreter to a nearby house. There, we joined in an evening of worship, prayer and fellowship with some villagers. How cool that our God can meet His children-all so different, from all over the world, multiple languages and in the middle of a jungle in Borneo…the scene was awesome!
The next day, the team had the wonderful opportunity to help out in the local
school. The kids were dressed in their well-worn uniforms and big smiles. That
morning was filled with loads of laughter. We played games, sang songs and played soccer and volleyball. It was a privilege to love on them.
While we were still adjusting to the “squatty potty”, constant rooster sounds, and new beds (AKA hard wood floors), God met us on this new day…and it turned out to be my favorite of the four days. The team and some others went up a nearby mountain to harvest chili peppers. The trail weaved around and through all varieties of nature: rubber trees, bamboo, long grass and random flowers all the way up. I find God the best in the midst of His creation; there’s something about being His most precious creation and yet being surrounded by endless, breath-taking creation at the same time. It really hit us when we finally reached the top. Words cannot begin to explain the spectacular view we witnessed. All I know is God felt bigger than ever at that moment and still so close and intimate. With this backdrop, we all wanted to serve our amazing God so… with the team rockin’ the rice-worker hats and harvest baskets we began the work at hand. What a joy to soak in God’s presence, in His amazing wonders and be serving His people at the same time…an amazing experience!
Our bath time wasn’t exactly a walk in the park…for the girls especially. We had to remain covered completely from the collarbone down WHILE washing in a foot deep stream! It turned out to be quite fun and we felt just as refreshed as any other shower. Though you typically don’t have a large crowd of giggling children watching you bathe at home!
The remainder of the day was spent traveling house-to-house, visiting and praying with people within the village. This is what it usually looked like: you’re invited in, say introductions, then you sit on the floor in their front room (no furniture really exists in these houses). You’re then served hot coffee (sweet, sweeeet coffee) or tea, and food of some sort. We get to know the people, their life, their family, and their faith in Christ. To finish, we pray in whatever way they need: health, protection, or just blessings over the household. How awesome that the Lord can use us even as we go house to house. We saw how He was using us to bring encouragement and life to these homes, in His mighty name.
Sunday, the team prepared to help lead Sunday school for the kids. A reenactment of Noah’s ark took place (“animals” everywhere!). Following were songs, words of encouragement and balloons (crowns were made for each child, reminding them that they are each princes and princesses of the King). The parents and older members of the village joined after Sunday school finished up. A lively worship session was lead by two guitar players, a drummer and singer (the language barrier didn’t keep us from joining right in). I led one song for the congregation on my guitar…what a transformation from months ago, when I couldn’t even play a song in front of my family. I felt a peace and a confidence like never before, and there’s no better feeling than leading God’s children in worshipping Him. One of us shared testimony and another the sermon. We closed with the “Everything” skit, and began our goodbyes but first we had, yes…more rice and chicken! It was sad to say farewell after connecting on such a special level with these people. They were all so genuine and passionate for life, despite their living conditions. What an inspiration! For some of us, we felt this probably won’t be the last time we see them on this side of heaven. God is faithful, God is good. We are looking forward to what the next days hold as well!!
Peace out, Ka-Mille (translates in Indo: “sister Mille”)
Camille Knopse – January 2012 Leadership DTS