It’s 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning and we are in high motion. Breakfast consumed. Dishes being washed. Water jug filled. Crock pot of chili heated. Crackers and bread to share with many, packed. Also, not forgetting to bring our own plates and silverware as there are never enough. Bibles. My hand fan. It will be sweltering. Mr. 13 and Mr. 15 are trying not to complain about not getting to sleep in on the weekend. At last by 6:50 we are moving in the mobile. Only twenty minutes behind schedule. Darron comments that it is a good thing that the youth camp will be running on Indonesian time.
We have an hour and a half drive. Michael has joined our adventure. We enjoy sharing stories and memories, commenting on different scenes that meet our eyes (always so much to see). The time and the miles click by fast. We arrive right on time. Traffic was in our favor.
As we pull onto the church property, we see Pastor Desmond and Lalah’s tent. They have been camping with over 100 young adults since Thursday evening. With a nine-month-old baby and two other children. I admire Lalah’s dedication to going where her husband is ministering and make a mental note to allow her commitment to impact me. The first meeting starts very shortly after we arrive. There are not enough seats for all the young adults and the usual church members. So, they set up a temporary shelter outside the church and moved all the benches from inside to outside under the tent. Then had all the youth camp attendees sit directly on the floor inside the church. Four point five hours later I was sore from sitting in a chair for so long. I can’t imagine how the ones sitting on the hard tile floor felt.
Darron led an engaging seminar on creative witnessing. His audience was involved and challenged. Pastor Desmond helped with translating. I LOVE watching these two men work together. It brought me much joy and I can only imagine that their integrity and love for the interior people delights the Lord even more so. At one point I got up to find the squatty potty and passed by Lalah teaching all the children a lesson they would enjoy. Again, my heart was inspired at her dedication.
Following Darron was at least eight special songs. At last the relative new director for the Young People’s training program stood to give the morning sermon. By this time the sun was bearing down on the blue tarp. We were all wet with sweat. The flies picked up their intrigue with us and kept landing all around. Meanwhile Pastor Cho shared about Peter, and Pastor Desmond translated once again. Bless him. I am sure much harder than just preaching his own sermon. Toward the end of Pastor Cho’s time he shared his testimony of how he became the director. He was asked and had 24 hours to give his answer if he would accept the position (it meant moving from Korea). His story was so powerful and compelling. He then made an appeal for the young people to make a commitment to serve in Indonesia. Over half the group responded and then came a season of prayer and further commitment. There was such a sweet spirit in that place. Many of them were sobbing with seriousness and sincerity. Precious are they. Honestly, this sums up why we came to Indonesia. To spur others on. Understanding that it is not about us doing all the work but imparting that vision to others. It was beautiful to witness “the call” once again.
Pot luck followed with food that was stretched to feed many mouths. We are always asked to go through line first. Such a sweet way to show honor. Not a drop of chili, or crackers, or bread was left. Around 2:00 we make our way home. Leaving behind the eager youth that will continue to press through meetings until after 10 p.m.
Lalah and her family wave us goodbye and I take note that she is there. By her husband’s side. Toughing it out in a tent with a young family. And I leave in awe of this lady, who is also in a different culture (she is Filipino), bridging the gap by being present.
As much as it is hard for us to go on long days, I was humbled and blessed, by the things I heard and saw. Thank you, Lord, for speaking through your servants. We felt Your presence. We heard Your voice. We saw You in others. It was a privilege.
Pastor Cho’s main text: “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29
That evening we took in one of our favorite scenes here in Papua. Lake Sentani.