Friday, June 6, 2014

At Work in Indonesia

Indonesia was our last stop, but due to poor internet connection, we were unable to get pictures onto the blog while there. So now that the week is over, we will give you a glimpse of our time here. We spent a  very good week with Ed and Femmy Dethan, and learned all about the work they are involved with. 

 A view of Kupang. Ed and Femmy live in Noelbaki, a suburban of Kupang.

 Wow, looks like a lot of money! 680,000 rupiah. How much would this be? About $68. 
Just knock off four digits and you've got it.

Wondering what we did there? Jerry taught at the Indonesian Reformed Theological College (seminary), preached, spoke for the congregation, and, in addition, he gave 3 radio talks, which are heard by about 5-6000 listeners. Each radio talk lasted about 1 1/2 hours. Ed kept him busy!

Two mornings I taught an English class to the grade 7'ers of their new Christian school. This was their first year of English lessons so the students didn't know much English yet. We tried some conversational English, but just introducing themselves was difficult. I taught them Psalm 116:1 and 150:3 in English, which they quite enjoyed. They knew the tunes already and sang these songs to me in Indonesian. 

Ed Dethan started the Indonesian Reformed Theological College in 2007. It has about 90 students in all, some of which are preparing for the ministry, and some study to become teachers. These students come from all over Indonesia, so some of them live in dorms by the college. They have finished high school elsewhere and come here to study further. All of them belong to the Reformed Church of Indonesia. They do not speak or understand much English at all. Whereas English is an official language in PNG and many (younger) people understand some English, in Indonesia this is not so. The students at the Bible College seemed like a good group of students, kind, friendly, and eager to learn. The men look forward to becoming ministers in a Reformed Church, and those preparing to teach look forward to teaching in a Christian school. Reformed churches are being set up in various places. There are so far 3 Reformed churches and 5 mission posts. Their own school, Elpida School, has also been set up last year. Timor is a great mission field, and Ed and Femmy are always looking for new connections!

As soon as we arrived in Kupang, Ed and Femmy brought us straight to the College

....and immediately were interviewed to do a radio talk 

The home-stay, our home for the week. The building on the right has bedrooms and bathrooms,
 and the building on the left has a kitchen and a large open eating area.

In front of our bedroom

The eating area, with the kitchen in the background

The eating area as seen standing at the kitchen. No walls are needed, 
just a roof for sun and rain. People live outdoors most of the time.

 A maid (one of the students studying for teacher) is washing the dishes by the outside tap. 
She stayed there to cook, clean, and do laundry (by hand).

This is how Jerry drove to work. Very rough, busy roads.

The Dethan family: Ed and Femmy with Moses (11), Grace (10), Micah (7), 
and their little foster son, Sam (almost 2)

The Indonesian Reformed Theological College 

Jerry gave some lectures and speeches at the College, with Ed translating.

Good response, lots of questions and much appreciation

Jerry and Ed were a good team together.

Break time - no coffee, just water

Group shot of teachers and students present at Friday's talk

Ed visits the Reformed churches and mission posts by turns on Sundays, the farthest being about a 4-hour drive away. While there, we went to 2 church groups on Ascension Day and one on Sunday. 

 Ascension Day is a national holiday in Indonesia with church services during the day. 
Taking the 4-wheel drive, we drove a couple of hours, first over pavement, and then 
through hills over rough rocky roads to reach the church group at Nawen.

Pretty dry country already! During the dry season, from March to September, they get no rain.

We arrived at Nawen and visited the people in their home.

 Inside the home with some church members. Since they already had their service 
that morning, we drove on to the next place.

We arrived at the church of Barate Thursday afternoon, where we had a 4:00 service

Inside the church at Barate

Ed led the service, Jerry preached the sermon, Ed translated it.

After church we were invited to stay for supper - rice with pork. They had killed a pig for us!
Here we are inside a home waiting for the ladies to finish preparing the meal.
Afterwards we had a long, rough, bumpy ride back home in the dark - 3 hours.

On Sunday we went to church in Pili, a little group in the mountains a 3-hour drive away in 
a different direction. We had to cross a river bed. Since it is the dry season, there is not 
much water in the river. They can't cross it during the rainy season.

Again rough rocky roads

Meeting the church group at Pili. This is the house of one of the members. 
You have to shake hands with everyone when you come and when you leave.

Since we were the guests of honour, they gave Jerry and me a hand-woven scarf 
that we wore for the day. You can see many of the men and women wear the 
traditional wrap-around skirts.

Waiting for the service to begin

The church at Pili, a new building. At least it has a tiled floor!

Congregational singing

Again Ed led the service, Jerry preached, and Ed translated.

A word of appreciation after the service. The men on the left are elders.

After church we sat around in the middle of the road (that is where the shade was) 
and waited while the women prepared lunch for us, again rice.

This is where the ladies do the dishes. All their water had to be carried in from a spring or creek.

 The outhouse

Inside the outhouse - just a hole in the cement floor. Flush by throwing water into the hole.

Not a pleasant way to end this post! But this shows the simple way of life among many of the Timorese people. More about life in Timor in the next post.

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