|The former sultan's chariot, parked at |
Kantri (country) Restaurant in Malang
When we first were asked to come to Indonesia, Malang was the place we were supposed to land. Its universities, seminaries, and open culture would have been easy to adjust to. The warm welcome of administrators, faculty, and students this week has been a joy.
But we landed in Bandung, which we wholeheartedly love. God's ways are mysterious indeed. And today we head home again.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
We get early enough to listen to the worship team practicing at Green Gate: an all-female group is singing this morning. W and I are speaking at church, which we enjoy. There are guests from the city as well as from around the world: Australia, North America, Africa, the Asian Pacific, and Europe. It's always fun to see who shows up. It's a friendly church, welcoming anyone who wants to attend.
|Street children are "silvered" to solicit|
donations from passing cars
Traffic isn't too bad. (In 2-3 hours, it will be stop-and-go when Jakartan tourists hit the toll road home from Bandung.) The shuttle driver makes an unscheduled stop in front of our comfy $30 hotel and pulls our luggage from under the stacks of suitcases at the back of the van. We relax. I'm editing a book this week and start reading.
|"Good traffic" means it's still moving...|
We're up at 4am, grabbing a quick buffet breakfast at the hotel and a shuttle ride to the airport. Our flight to Malang leaves after 6. We sit close to the doors to the ramp at the gate: there's a divider in the middle - and of course, we - along with half the other waiting passengers - are sitting on the "wrong side" to board. An attendant points out a U-turn - we have to go all the way back in the room and around the center, to the door opposite us.
By the time we start to move, the line snakes around almost to our original seat. A few children and their parents are allowed through the near door, but the rest of us line up and wait patiently for the attendant on the other side of the waiting room to check us in. It's the logic of a non-Western system. None of us seems to mind. "That's the way it is." Besides, it's really early in the morning and our minds are not yet awake.
|Malang, a tropical valley nestled between volcanic mountains|
|Everywhere the Dutch colonized, they left behind wonderful drainage canals and water systems|
My task is editing for publication a book on Korean theology. I worked on it for a few weeks, off and on between travels and arrivals. But now I have clear direction on what the publisher wants - it's not what I was doing - so I restart the process. It's interesting and boring, too. The information is good but I'm wedging a dissertation format into topical book chapters, without losing footnotes and subtleties of theology. (Great practice for doing my own and Waldemar's, which are overdue for publication.)
|This man sorts and strings farm-fresh heaps of sweet potatoes each day|
W has a bad cold and sore throat at the beginning of the week. He already hates air conditioning. I put it on the instant he leaves the room but toss and turn at night in the warm humidity. His throat gradually heals.
|The Pardedes, almost-new friends - treated us royally|
|A 2" baby lizard presses his sticker-feet to the window|
|Staghorn ferns everywhere. Eat your heart out, Molbaks.|
We're up before it gets light outside (about 5am). Malang is on the early side of the Bandung/Jakarta time zone so each morning, I put on my eye mask to catch a little extra sleep. The light bulb outside our room is bright the first night, but W unscrews it (and puts it back in) on the other side of our white-curtained window. That helps, though students and staff chatter from 5am each morning. Yup - earplugs make everything better :-). Since we're eating around 6am, W starts work early. I check email, write, and wait to work until he leaves at 7:45. Then my workday begins.
A kitchen worker rushes over when she sees me admiring the bromeliad (below). She chops two little plants from the side. Into the suitcase they go!
|A lipstick plant, like my mother-in-law grew years ago|
I'm ready for W to read the pre-book for theology and flow by Friday morning. He's tied up with emails, student papers, and other things - but hopefully ... I'd like to send it to the author this weekend for review so he can send it back for final content edits.
We pack up at 6:30am and wait for the shuttle to the airport. We've loved Malang - the staff, administration, faculty, and students were warm and welcoming. We hope to be back to teach here soon. The flight home - unremarkable. (Perfect - we're in the gate by 3pm.)
*Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19
*Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree.” Luke 13:19
Moravian Prayer: Through the gift of the amazing variety of seeds on earth, you feed our hunger, give us shelter and clothing, help us to wisely use our soil and give us beauty and pleasure. Through these gifts, you give us the ability to live, to grow, and to serve and be served by others. Give all people in this world, we pray, the seeds of hope and nourishment, and help us to do our part in serving others. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.