October 3rd, 2018 Dominic Bo made his appearance in our lives. Dominic means “Belonging to God” and one meaning for Bo is “Commander.” A lot has happened in the past year the new baby being the biggest! I have officially been a nurse for a year and Johan continues to work as an engineer.
Six months ago, on July 1st, 2017, I married the most amazing man I have ever met! He is gentle, makes decisions with wisdom, and seeks God with his whole life. I am thankful for this blessing in my life and look forward to many adventures together! A video of our wedding can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h5jSDOqaKE&t=
Landed in Singapore a few hour ago, early Monday morning Singapore time. I cannot believe three years has passed since I was last in Southeast Asia. Lord willing everything will go smoothly and I’ll be at my school for their anniversary celebration on Wednesday. Praying that being reunited with old friends will be fun and encouraging. Also, while I am in Indonesia, we are all hoping to make progress on the wordless book making project.
Shortly after landing, I was reminded how much God is my strength. I do not remember how I handled all the change and travel a few years ago because right now I feel pretty homesick and I’ve only been away a day. Praise God for His comfort!
I am excited to say that I have the opportunity to return to Indonesia this summer for the first time since finishing my year of school there in May 2013. The school has changed, my friends have changed, and I have changed over the past three years. Looking forward to seeing everyone again! More trip details to come.
This is a blogspot updated by SETIA. It’s in Indonesian, but my computer offers to translate it when opened in Google Chrome.
I visit strengthfromgod.com on a regular basis looking at photos and thinking about times past, but it has been a while since I have posted. I am currently attending Wheaton College in Illinois which has kept me relatively busy over the past few months. The transition to an American college I am familiar with was harder than I expected. I am no longer totally American. I am not the same girl that arrived in Jakarta sixteen months ago. In the words of my twelve year old brother I am crazier. I interpret “crazier” as different — different in a strange way and different in a good way.
Trying to describe a way I feel different, I will tell a story from the time I attended the transfer orientation at Wheaton. I remember telling my dad that I didn’t fit in with the transfers because the school I was transferring from (STT SETIA) was so different from the US schools other students were transferring from. Neither did I fit in with the freshmen. I also told him I didn’t fit in with the US born and reared kids or the overseas missionary kids. My wise dad responded, “You don’t not fit in with anyone; you fit in with everyone.”
Since I have arrived back in the states in May, I have spent a good amount of time messaging people I met in Indonesia. Many are fellow students, caring teacher, or just friends. (And a few are complete strangers simply wanting to practice their English.) Most of these messages are in Indonesian, others are in English, and some are in both. I am very appreciative of the internet that allows continued communication with friend so far away. I want God’s light to shine through me in my life. This includes loving people around me in Illinois, people down south in Georgia, and everyone I know across the world. My prayer is that God uses me. I hope to be an encouragement to others as they are to me.
Today I had a professer from my school in Indonesia message me. He sent some pictures from last April when our school help an event at Cibubur, a campground. We left campus for a few days, attended seminars outdoors, played games, and slept in soggy tents. I had a love hate relationship with the experience at the time, but I came away with many great memories. One of my favorite parts of the camp was participating as a flag bearer.
I know many Indonesian have tried to befriend some of you on Facebook. If any of you all have received Facebook messages from Indonesians who are friend with me, feel free to ignore them without guilt. I don’t personally know every one of my Facebook friends any more. Most just want to be Facebook friends, but some genuinely want to learn English. If you have a desire to help some Indonesian students with their English a Facebook group exists (SETIA LEARNING ENGLISH). You could be helpful in this group where friends from my school communicate with other English speakers to practice what they are learning. I could also personally recommend some students to you. The school I attended was not an international school and had limited resources for the students trying hard to learn English.
A lot of the thinking I have done over the past few months has been processing my fast-paced, emotionally overwhelming freshman year of college at Setia and moving forward into my sophomore year at Wheaton. I am adjusting to a newer perspective on life as well as trying to learn what God has for me in every dimension of my life.
My family had lunch last week with the now retired pastor of the church I attended as a child.
I have been back in America for almost 2 months now. I came back at the very end of May to work my summer job I had committed to months in advance starting the first Monday in June. It was a hard turn around, but all it really did was delay my opportunity to rest. Getting an average of 6 hours of sleep for 4 months pays it’s toll, therefore I am glad I came back at the beginning of summer to give my body time to adjust before starting college at Wheaton in the fall. The adjustment is a lot harder and taking a lot longer than I expected.
Traveled through the Smokies with my sister on the way home from a conference.
In addition to teaching swim lessons and coaching, I have done a little bit of traveling with my family. We went to a wedding in MS and a wedding in FL as well as a few conferences. The most important trips I made this summer were to see my grandpa. He lived about 10 minutes from my family for a number of years before he lost his wife last year and moved to Alabama. He has a special place in my heart as I pray he will grow closer to God in these last years of his long life.
All the swimmers from my team who placed top 3 in the district and competed at state.
One of the things that changed when I moved to Jakarta last year was the fact I would no longer be aggressively training. As a competitive swimmer and a triathlete, I had not been a week without a good swim workout since I was 13 until I left for Indonesia. The reality of the change hit hard at my first meet a week after I arrived in the states for the summer when I added about 6 seconds in every event. This meant I was no longer close to my secret goal of being able to swim on my college swim team. By the end of the summer swim season my times had dropped a bit and I made it to the state meet! Though disappointed my times are still not the same, I know the year in Indonesia was God’s plan and worth every little sacrifice.
Today and tomorrow, Febi and I are visiting my friend in Singapore. I caught a cold the day before I left (and gave it to Febi) and as much as I hate coming to Singapore and being sick, I am trusting God and His plan. One positive of being here is getting more, deeper, and uninterrupted sleep which makes being sick more bearable and should lead to a faster recovery.
This Sunday we have a big children’s event on campus and our ministry team (L4G) is doing most of the preparations. Please pray as the team continues to practice and prepare for the event. Febi and I return to Indonesia late Saturday night.
These days I get asked what feels like every hour and in reality is every other hour what day I go back to America. I very much appriciate it when one of my friends is around and answers the question for me, because honestly it gets very old answering the question and listening to the same response (“don’t go back. we’ll miss you.”) over and over again. I will miss this place, but I believe God wants me back in the U.S. for a period of time.
My ministry team was invited to an Easter celebration where we will perform a drama. I was asked to be Jesus… I agreed at first, but after thinking over the facts that I am a girl, I’m not good at acting, I always smile when I try to act, and other reasons, I went back and asked to not be Jesus. Now, I am playing one of the devil’s helpers.
This morning, I was reminded I was living in a different culture when I walked to the front of campus to start my morning chores and saw one of the students sharpening a knife the size of a forearm. If I didn’t know him, I would have assumed he was preparing to murder someone. He said he wanted to kill some rats. (Don’t know if he was kidding or not.)
Last night I spoke to a youth service about me coming to Indonesia and me studying at Setia. The afternoon before the service I was super nervous. When I got there there were only about a dozen people, making me feel a lot more comfortable. After the service, I found out my mode of transportation back to campus was a motorcycle. Yay! I love riding motorcycles and though I had just met the person driving, I felt confident he would make a good driver.
P.S. This week I have missed my family more than any other time this semester.
We got our uniforms! This year they all ran big so many girls still don’t wear them. I love the purple jacket!
Keep my friend in your prayers because her dad died last week. She hoped to see him before he died and flew out of Jakarta after receiving news he was really sick, but he died the day she left. After she texted me telling me her dad had died, I truly hurt for her (mourning with those who mourn) as we prayed for her.
Last week we had some Korea s visit our school. I’m afaid I laughed too hard when they were all speaking Korean back and forth. It was a treat to have another language mixed into our service.
We celebrated Pak Didi’s birthday last week. He advises us with our ministry choices. In the photo, he is showing us some ideas related to making wordless books.
Last Saturday a group of students from our school went to a chlidren’s event run by a ministry called Just for Christ to be assistant mentors. Three boys in my group were a lot of fun to interact with though they didn’t always obey. During the service, all three of them responded to the invitation!
Febi told the story for Sunday school this past week. She told Noah using the CEF flashcards I brought with (I wish I had brought more than one set). I was happy to hear clearly communicate the gospel wihin the story.
One of my best friends birthdays was last week. We celebrated it the day before. She was really suprised and a little mad (because this gave evryone the freedom to dump dirty water on her both the day before and the day of her birthday). I got to experience a little of the dirty water too as I sat next to her during the prayer…