VISIONSINGS.ORG HOME
 
July 10  |  July 11  |  July 12  |  July 13  |  July 14  |  July 15  |  July 16
July 17 
|  July 18  |  July 19  |  July 20  |  July 21  |  July 22  |  July 23
July 24 
|  July 25  |  July 26
 
 


Saturday, July 10
We were sent off by at least 50 family and friends at LAX.  About 24 hours after leaving Los Angeles, we arrived in Jakarta.  The temperature is about 90 and very humid, but it is quite pleasant since there is a nice breeze blowing.  We had a tiring but uneventful trip since everyone and our luggage all got here safely.  Alice forgot to pack her Vision polo shirt but Kelsey, who went with her parents to see us off, was wearing hers so she was able to lend Alice her shirt. One of the ticket agents insisted on the minors in his line getting his parent's consent, and fortunately, Meiring brought all the copies of their Vision application that has their parents' permission for them to join Vision and go on tour.  Even in these little things, God is gracious.  We were able to do our Saturday devotion while waiting to re-board the plane at the Singapore airport terminal.  In Jakarta, Pastor Ben met us with a light lunch for us when we arrived at 12:30 PM and after clearing immigration and customs, we finally arrived at SPH (a Christian university located at Lippo Village) around 2:15 PM local time. SPH will be our home for the next week until we leave for Bandung and when we return to Jakarta.  The girls are staying at the dorm, 2 to 3 per room in bunk beds while the boys and married couples are at the hotel for their tourism school, a very nice place a few hundred feet from the girls' dorm.  The local students who are singing with us are also staying with us so pray for good fellowship and relationship between the two groups.  The girl's dorm lobby/meeting room will be our main meeting place.  Six Indonesian students (4 girls and one young man are here while one girl is still missing) are joining us and 2 of them said earlier this week they will be going with us to Bandung while Andrew (whose grandmother died) will be joining us Thursday and also going to Bandung with us.  Marshall was getting sick with a cold and cough on Wednesday but the Wednesday morning prayer group prayed for him as well as the missionaries from India, Paul and Rebecca Graf.  Amazingly, he did not get worse on the plane but in fact almost did not cough the whole flight and seems to be getting well already.  Bessie Lo had prayed that God would heal him so he might be able to pray for healing for others here.  May God do a greater work as He has proven His desire to heal already in Marshall's life.

We settled in and got together at 5 PM to package the gift bags for the orphans.  Three sets of the girl’s parents came as well as Adi’s mother.  We sang a couple of songs, explained about our vision, and had dinner (catered in at the equivalent of $4 a person), a great dinner!  During our time of fellowship, we found out that it was the kids themselves who were scared of going to Bandung with us while their parents expressed their strong desire for their son or daughter to go.  Pray that over the next few days, that these kids, by living with us will overcome their fears and want to come with us to Bandung.  The fact that 3 kids are going is already an answer to our prayers since originally, they were only going to join us in Jakarta.

 
 

Vision and family and friends at LAX


 
Indonesian team with Auntie En and her children, Nadia and Aaron

Vision assembly line creating gift packs

Combined Vision team singing for the parents

 
--------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------
 


Sunday, July 11
- Auntie En, Pastor's Ben's wife had prepared some simple bread and nutella jam for us for breakfast as we met at 6 AM this morning to get ready to leave by 6:45 for a 7:30 service at GKY Puri, one of several Chinese/Indonesian Presbyterian sister churches.  These churches in Jakarta that grew very quickly in 20 years and the ones we went to all had beautiful multi-storied buildings. 
We made it on time and sang Psalm 103, Jaspher gave his testimony how God answered his prayer for a job, and we sang Pelangi Kashi, one of the two Indonesian songs we learned.  Having the locals singing with us, we actually made ourselves understood.  After service, we had a snack and practiced together in their choir room to prepare for singing at their second service.  We sang I Am, Alice gave her testimony in Mandarin about how God led and blessed her, and we sang our other Indonesian song, Each Step I Take, a hymn where we sang one verse in English and then in Indonesian.  Pastor Ben preached the same sermon in both services on family and raising children.  We had earphone translation to English during the first service, and instead of listening to the same message a second time, practiced several other songs.  During this time, we found that 2 more girls decided to go to Bandung with us!  So to summarize, sopranos Kitin, Jessie, Holy, alto Felis, and tenor Andrew (who is joining us Thursday after returning from his grandmother's funeral) are joining us for ministry not only in Jakarta, but also Bandung.  They all have wonderful voices and are good musicians.  Tenor Adi is with us but yet undecided on going to Bandung.  Cindy is the seventh person but she has not come to join us yet and we have been unable to contact her.  So without Cindy and counting Andrew, our singing team has 7 sopranos, 4 altos, 7 tenors, and with Brian joining us late tonight, 4 basses.

After a short nap in the afternoon, we packed the soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, clothes, and other gifts for the prisoners we will be ministering to on Monday.  We then went to GKY Greenville, a sister church to the one we sang in this morning and sang at their evening English service.  We sang Majesty and Glory acapella, Brian Lee gave his testimony how God taught him in these hard economic times where he is now the family provider, and we sang Gloria in Excelsis  Pastor Ben preached a power message how we are to be "more than conquerors" and shared his story how he had his Bible and sermon notes stolen 14 years ago coming to preach at the same church.  But God taught him to preach and cause many youths to accept the Lord even without notes. We were then invited by the leaders of this church to a very nice Chinese restaurant in Jakarta for dinner, during which time, we finally were able to send a short update since the restaurant had wi-fi.  After dinner, we stood around and sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You to the leaders.  Since we are still quite jet-lagged, we returned back to MYC to sleep.  May the Lord forgive us for postponing our group devotions but we need to be more intentional to keep our group time from now as it is obvious the enemy does not want us to debrief and share.

 
 

Vision singing on the big screen at GKY Puri



Singing at English service at GKY Greenville

Marshall conducting

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 

 
Monday, July 12 - We met at 6:30 AM to have our group devotion and eat breakfast at 7:30 to prepare for our first day of ministry outside the church.  Our devotion time was quite spirited (at such an early hour of the morning)!  We also debriefed our impressions from the church activities on Sunday.  It was really encouraging to hear two of the local students share how they were touched by the testimonies they heard from our kids, that they thought the testimonies showed how much we loved God and that they wanted to be like us.  Joseph pointed out that at all three services we attended yesterday, there was a lot of emphasis on asking God for forgiveness and confession of sin and not much on relating to God as a friend.  Perhaps this is an aspect of God's character that we can bring to these dear brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Two items of praise: everyone on the team is really getting along well together and there is a lot of love and caring shown among the members and we have hardly been bitten by mosquitoes, as the campus we are staying is sprayed 3 times a week.

 We were supposed to go a women's prison this morning but it got canceled at the last minute.  However, we were able to go to a different prison (for young men) but had to share the program with a church group already scheduled to do ministry there.  So we sang 4 songs and did the sin chair skit and listened to a prisoner give his testimony and a prisoner from Nigeria sang for us.  The chaplain for this prison shared how he was able to build the meeting room and get it dedicated as a Christian chapel and furnish it with gifts from the churches and donations from the prisoners.  In a prison of 2000 inmates, he said there were 250 Christians there.  It was a good first experience for many of our team who have never been in a prison before, but we really did not get a chance to do much evangelism, as most of the audience were already believers.  We did pass out the bags of toothpaste, toothbrushes and soaps we brought here to these prisoners and each member got to shake the prisoners' hand.   

We then drove downtown and ate a sack lunch to sing to a senior women's home.  This is also run by a church and we found about 30 ladies (we called them omas - a Dutch word for grandmothers) who were so happy to have us there and praised God with us for His goodness.  We arrived about an hour early and it was so hot and humid there even with two air conditioners operating we just sat around to rest (and play some card games).  A few of the girls got together to pray for another girl in Vision who was very lethargic.  It is wonderful to see how she perked up when we started to sing and was her old self after the service.  We sang a fairly full program of almost an hour including 3 testimonies from Jeremy, Kitin and Pastor Ben.  Jeremy shared how God answered his family's prayer for his dad's job.  Kitin shared how God saved her life when she was a child of about 5 from a very high fever.  After she got prayed for a year later, was able to discard all her medication that the Doctor insisted that she take or would die within a couple of days had she stopped taking the medication (she has not taken this medication since that day about 10 years ago).  Pastor Ben also shared his testimony of how he lost his arm to cancer when he was a baby while Nadia, his daughter translated his Indonesian message to English for our benefit.  We then drove to Auntie Endang's mother's home where we had a wonderful dinner prepared for us.  En's mother had invited a lot of her friends and neighbors so we sang to them before dinner and had a great time of worship after dinner in her living room before returning to our dorm.  We had a good day even though we did not get to meet many non-Christians today.

 
 

Vision and male prisoners at chapel



Vision with omas at nursing home

Singing at En’s mom’s garden
 
 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  


Tuesday, July 13 - We met at 7:00 AM to have breakfast and started devotions around 7:30 thinking we had plenty of time to share, but we got a phone call right at 8 requesting that we show up at the prison by 9 AM instead of 10:30 as we had planned. Up until then, we had a great time meeting in small groups but we shortened our discussions to get everyone ready to leave by 8:30. However, the bus did not show up until almost an hour later so we ended up getting to the prison, clear security, and get to the chapel just about 10:30. We were met by several members of the GKY Greenville church who does regular prison ministry including Bible studies and counseling at this prison. Since the Greenville church members did not want any gifts brought to the prisoners (to discourage "rice Christians") we did not bring any presents as we did for the first prison yesterday. Joseph led the entire meeting with Pastor Ben preaching to a smaller crowd but one that seemed much more serious (probably due to the counseling and Bible studies). They also had an inmate share his testimony and one also sang for us. We concluded the meeting by having a good time to pray for about a dozen inmates who came up for prayer. Our Indonesian team members were invaluable interpreting the prisoners' prayer requests and our prayers. Most of the prayer requests were that they go straight after being released from prison and for their families on the outside. We heard one prisoner share how he converted from Islam after being imprisoned and asked that we pray for his wife and 4 children. We will be meeting up with some of these Greenville church members again since they also do the street kids’ ministry.

We left the prison a few minutes before noon to drive to an orphanage, eating our sack lunches on the bus. We were met by excited children when we drove up about 1 PM. There were about 60 children in this orphanage run by a pastor and his wife, a small staff and lots of volunteers, with children ranging in age from 2 months to 3 who just graduated from college. The orphanage is quite a lot like the orphanage we visited in Cambodia, quite clean and well run with a lot of love shown to all the kids. The children are very adorable and after Joseph led us in singing several songs and did the sin chair skit, they too sang and played the angklung, an Indonesian musical instrument made of bamboo.  The angklung is played like hand-bells in that each person plays one note, so it takes about 20 players to play them. They even taught us how to play the angklung.

Here is the You-tube video from the children at the orphanage playing the angklung.

And of Vision members learning to play the angklung.

We passed out the bags of gifts we brought to these kids and also collected almost a million IDR (about $100) to donate to the orphanage from our team members.  Remember the story of George Muller who ran the orphanage in England? This one also does not have any major sponsor and trusts God each day by faith to feed all these kids, and they are succeeding by God's grace. We felt so blessed to be able to give to their cause. During the meeting, it started to really pour but when we left a little after 3 PM, the rain had mostly stopped so we were able to make it back to our home at MYC in time to complete our devotion and sharing time before dinner. We walked over to the mall across the street and just enjoyed the time off. Tonight, Pastor Ben and Joseph will be going to the airport to pick up Fiona and Brian Kuan, who should be arriving about midnight.

  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Wednesday, July 14 - Fiona Hsiung and Brian Kuan arrived safely at midnight and were met at the airport by Pastor Ben and Joseph.  They got back about 2 AM.  We met at 6:30 AM to have group devotions and started breakfast around 7:30.  Brian Kuan was one of the first to come to devotions even though he slept only a few hours and Joseph and Fiona joined us for breakfast around 8. During our group sharing, Marshall shared how he was prayed for healing for his cold and cough and how God did heal him so that Vision could pray for healing.  Since we have been studying Jesus' miracles in John the last few days, we felt it was time so we prayed for healing for Brian Lee's back (which was hurt when he was rear-ended a few days before leaving with Vision), Eugene's sore left ankle, and for several in the group with coughs and sore throats (Eric, Brian Chioy, Brian Kuan, Czrilla, Felis, and Adi) and we also prayed for Kitin who has having blood pressure problems by laying hands on them. All felt better and were able to do the ministry today.  We left at 8:30 to go to the RPUK senior home, located about 2 hours away out in the country side, a beautiful scenic and lush location.  We got there a few minutes before 11 and found about 60 seniors seated and patiently waiting for us to start.  We sang, did the heart skit, Nadia shared her testimony about her grandfather's home going and Pastor Ben gave a short message.  After this, we asked those wanting prayer to raise their hands and we broke into about 7 small groups with one Indonesian interpreter in each group to pray for the elderly.  During this time, En and Czrilla prayed for one lady who turned out to be a Muslin but really wanted to pray to accept Jesus as her savior.  Later, Meiring had a chance to talk to her and she said she had Jesus in her heart.  This lady used to teach agriculture at the University and was quite conversant in English.  Her husband was also there, and he too is a Muslim but not yet ready to accept the Lord.  Pray for her growth and her husband's salvation (he too was a university professor).  We praise God for this one lost sheep who has been found and pray many more at this retirement community will also find salvation (although about 80% are suppose to be Christians already).

We then drove over to the Indonesian Care for Cancer Kids Foundation (YKAKI), a place like the Ronald McDonald House where families can stay (for free) while their kids are being treated for cancer.  These families can stay as long as their kids are undergoing treatment.  There were 15 families there on this day, 6 just having been admitted yesterday.  We were suppose to go minister at the Doubly Handicapped children's home but that was canceled and this place a last minute substitution.  What we did not realize was that this was a divine appointment.  Only about 2/3 of the group came inside and the rest stood outside the door since we did not want to infect these patients who had weakened immunity systems, so we sang inside while the group stood outside the open door and sang from there.  The leader of YKAKI, one of the co-founders who also lost her child to cancer a few years ago, introduced us with some caution, saying we were a Christian group and for the Muslims there to just enjoy the music.  After we sang for an impromptu song learned on the bus, the residents sang to us also and En read them a story, cleverly telling them about how God wants them all to come to His banqueting table. Then we asked if we could pray for the kids.  The leader immediately invited those Christians to go to a separate room (2 families) and most of the inside Vision team went to pray for these two kids. Meanwhile, Pastor Ben and Marshall approached this leader if we could ask the Muslim families if they also wanted prayer.  She was surprised we would ask and told us to go ahead, so Pastor Ben asked who wanted prayer.  One by one, they all raised their hands after watching the love our kids had shown going to pray for these two Christian families.  These Muslim families shared what was wrong with each of their child so we started to pray using our Indonesian team members to interpret.  Before we had finished praying, our other Vision members had completed praying and soon, all the Muslim families were seated on the floor and we were able to pray for each of the children.  One lady even ran back to bring her child out to be prayed for, just like you read in the Bible how the mothers' brought their children out for Jesus to pray for them.  The prayers for these children and their families were powerful, asking God not only for healing of their physical bodies but of their soul.  Janine started to pray for a 10 year old girl (Juliana) with a horribly deformed skull from the cancer growth and as she asked God what to say, she was suddenly given words from the Lord that this child was beautiful and how God saw her as perfect.  Janine started to weep over this child as she saw her from God's eyes.  Her mother started to cry as Janine prayed.  This mother said she used to be a Christian but gave up her faith when she married a Muslim man, but the cancer of her daughter brought this woman back to Christ and now her husband is also open to the Lord.  One woman had two sons both with bone cancer.  We prayed boldly for healing for these kids and wept openly with the parents while also praying for the family to come to Christ.  The lady who ran the place was amazed that the Muslims were so open to asking for prayer and just changed her paradigm of how things should be done.  She promised to update Pastor Ben on the kids' progress, but we fully believe God has already healed several of these kids and that God won a great victory in the spiritual realm at YKAKI.  When we returned to our dorm after dinner, we had a great time of rejoicing and prayer, thanking God for what He did. Soli Deo gloria.


Singing "Jesus Messiah" for the children at YKAKI

 
Jessie, Denise, and Jeremy praying for elderly lady at RPUK


Typical box lunch eaten on bus ride



Sick Vision singers standing outside cancer home

Nadia praying for cancer-stricken child

Healthy Vision members with parents and sick children

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Thursday, July 15
- When we shared with several people here today about our opportunity to pray for Muslim families, many responded with tears.  It is apparently quite unusual in this culture for Muslims to allow infidels like Christians to pray for them.  The parents of these cancer stricken children were so desperate for hope and good news that God prepared their hearts to be open to our request to pray for them and their children.  Please join us to uphold these kids and their parents so that when God heals them, they will become the seeds for a spontaneous church growth movement among the Muslims in their home villages after they return there with their children cured of cancer.

We met at 6 AM to start our morning devotion, but unfortunately, missed about half a dozen members who couldn't get up.  We had to leave before 7 AM to go sing for a weekly worship service at Siloam Hospital, just next to our dorm.  We had expected about 20 doctors and nurses, but instead found a room quite filled with about 60 hospital staff, but also a speaker already scheduled.  Apparently, there was a mix-up in scheduling but it was a good lesson for us to learn to be servants who might not be called on but to just wait.  We did get to sing at the end of the program and an Orthopedic specialist (who just gave him some muscle relaxant) examined Brian Lee while both Brian Chioy and Jaspher also got to see a GP for their colds.  Both got some antibiotics and other medication and are doing OK.  By the way, Aaron Poli, Pastor Ben and En's young son, who is also here in Jakarta and staying with his grandmother while the rest of his family is with Vision, was diagnosed with typhoid so remember him in prayer, that the antibiotics he is taking will be effective.  We then took the bus (while eating breakfast on route) to a handicapped school run by some Catholic sisters.  We found about 60 children of all ages waiting for us when we arrived.  They sang for us and we sang for them and did the sin chair skit.  An autistic boy played piano for us and one sang.  We then toured the school and met this lady, their arts and handcraft instructor, who gave up a profitable accounting career to teach these children and finding great joy and fulfillment in doing so.  One thing we noticed here is how caring the older children are to the younger, even though they were mentally challenged (many of them were autistic or Down Syndrome children).  We finished just around noon and got back on the bus to go to GKY Greenville to meet up with their team going to minister to the street kids later that day.  The church opened up a room for us to rest up so we ate out sack lunch there and rested and spend about an hour rehearsing.  We then left the church around 4:15 PM to head to the street kids ministry.  

Imagine our surprise to walk into a sweltering room at 5 PM with over a hundred men and women (no children) worshiping.  This was their weekly Union Rescue type mission meeting and not a street kid’s ministry at all (another language miscommunication).  About half the people here were non-Christians who came to get some assistance (today was Raman noodles and toothpaste give away day) but that did not stop the other half from fervently worshiping.  We sang a couple of songs, Eugene shared his testimony how God loves him, and we sang another couple of songs and Pastor Ben preached.  While Ben was preaching, we went upstairs where about 100 kids were meeting in a smaller and even warmer room.  These children were having a wonderful time, and when we sang for them, some were dancing and just enjoying the music (somehow, they found the room).  When we were done, we met up with Pastor Ben to return to our dorm (which took almost 2 hours in heavy traffic), where we debriefed our day's activities and met Andrew, who finally returned. Andrew is a very nice young man who is in his second year of attending teacher's college on a scholarship.  He has a wonderful high tenor voice.  Since we are leaving early for Bandung tomorrow and still need to pack up, we ended the night early.

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Friday, July 16
- Praise the Lord, all 6 of the Indonesian students are going with us to Bandung.  This is another answer to prayer since initially, none of the students were going with us, and when we arrived, it was only 2 students, then 4 and finally the entire local team of 6 (we have given up on Cindy joining us).  The fellowship we shared the 5 days that we were in Jakarta had calmed their worries about being with this strange group from America, and now, it will be very, very difficult to say good-bye when we leave Indonesia.

We planned to leave Jakarta at 7:30 in the morning, but after loading all the baggage and getting everyone settled, it was finally 8:15 by the time we left.  Czrilla and Janine are having some stomach difficulties but otherwise, our health is doing OK.  We met a lot of traffic driving up but we spent some of the time doing small group devotions where we covered the last of Jesus' seven miracles in the Gospel of John (Lazarus' resurrection).  Some of us napped on the way so we are all pretty well rested by the time we arrived about 1 PM.  The Hotel Trio where we are staying is located right in the heart of Bandung and just across the street from Hok Im Tong, the Chinese church which is our contact to this city and where we can meet daily in one of their meeting rooms. After eating our sack lunch, we gathered at the church and spent about an hour praying, asking God what He wants us to do here in Bandung.  We feel a lot of oppression since Bandung is not as metropolitan as Jakarta nor were we on a Christian campus.  The predominant word we received was that there is a lot of fear, fear among the Muslims, fear of the Muslims by the Christians, fear of offending the Muslims, fear of tearing down the bridges which the long time missionaries are trying to build by our carelessness.  On the other hand, we sense God's love for this city and the oppressed women in the city while hearing words of being bold.  We are not yet sure what all this means for our one week here.  We then broke into 4 groups and did a prayer walk in the 4 directions around the church and our hotel, trying to see the neighborhood through God's eyes and had about a hour of free time before meeting for dinner.  Since the internet is only available from the hotel lobby, these updates will be sent whenever we have some free time so do not expect regular updates as when we were still at the school in Jakarta.

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Saturday, July 17 - Last night, we ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant located just down the street from the Hotel Trio.  This was after our prayer walk and free time in which several of us went swimming at the Hotel pool.  Because Bandung is at a higher altitude, the weather is quite comfortable and the pool water was in fact cold.  Eric, after swimming was experiencing vertigo, probably because he had some water stuck in his ear, stayed behind to rest and we brought him some food back.  On the walk back, we stopped at a Circle K convenience food store (like a 7-11) and asked the two store clerks if we could sing for them after explaining who we were.  They consented so we stood around and sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You in the store.  They were quite appreciative of our singing.

The hotel's rate includes a free breakfast so we met there (including Eric) and then moved to our meeting room at the church at 8 AM to have our morning devotions. Since the missions group we were to meet was late, we spent some time to share what we saw during our prayer walk yesterday.  Several were struck by the poverty in the community, for the powerlessness of the people living here and a compassion to minister to them instead of to people who are already Christians.  Eugene said when we sang at the Circle K store last night, this is more like we should be doing, more spontaneous and a God-led thing.  We prayed yesterday afternoon to ask God to show us what we are doing in Bandung, and it seems He wants us to minister to people we meet, non-church people, so we spent some time praying for divine appointments.  Maybe we will meet sick people for whom we can pray for healing as Pastor Tom Cheng encouraged us to do in his email to us.  At about 10, the people we were to meet came (the organization name is being withheld for obvious reasons which you will understand after you read about their ministry), two leaders from two different campuses with 5 of their student/disciples.  They feel God has called to form long term friendships with the Muslims and through their life examples, lead them to find Jesus as their Lord.  These friendships, formed during the college years, are expected to last much longer than the 4-5 years of college, and when their friends find Jesus, are expected to remain Muslims who love and follow Jesus.  One such young man has so influenced his sister by his changed life, that she now knows he is a believer but not betrayed him to his community.  We need to pray that the Lord will soon bring her to Himself too.  These students are under surveillance by the Muslim "police" zealots, and they told us that they are willing to die for the Lord, but there is no reason for them to take unnecessary risks.  Vision does not want to expose the connection between this mission organization and their strategy of friendship evangelism.  We sang a couple of songs to them and prayed for each of those who came to meet us today.

We then went to Hok Im Tong Dago church which focuses more on professionals and students where we are going to sing at 10 AM on Sunday (we are singing at the one next to our hotel at the 7:30 AM service) to do a sound check.  This church is the largest in Bandung with a seating capacity of 2000 located in a plush neighborhood.  After the sound check, we played tourist and visited the angklung factory where they make the instruments and ship them worldwide.  (Angklung reminds me of the orphanage we visited in Jakarta, July 13 update.  Thinking back.  What was impressive about that orphanage is that their staff is actually quite small, maybe 5 or 6 total and they teach the older kids to take care of the younger ones.  The children do a lot of the duties like clean, wash and cook, so it is a beautiful example of a large family loving each other.)  A lot of the Vision kids bought souvenirs here and we were treated to a two hour concert showing the different instruments they make such as gambang, calung and pedang and of course the angklung, made primarily of bamboo.  We the audience also got to learn to play the angklung and since the Poli's have a simple angklung, we will try to figure out how to play one for Home Concert.  We ate our sack-lunch dinner on the bus back, debriefed and went to bed early to get ready for Sunday.

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Sunday, July 18 -
The Hok Im Tong church we are singing in today is part of a group of over 25 churches, mostly in Indonesia with essentially identical services every Sunday (worship songs, order of worship, scripture reading, sermon topic, etc.) founded by Caleb Tong, Stephen Tong's brother. We got up early to sing at their 7:30 AM service (we just couldn't make the 6 AM service).  We then boarded our bus to sing at their other church near the universities at the 10 AM service.  This second church is interesting in that 80% of the congregation are native Indonesian (instead of Chinese) and most of them are transient students, so they focus on converting these students and disciplining them before they go home in 4-5 years.  Another interesting thing about both churches was that it was the Pastor's wife who preached. After the service, the Elders wanted to take us to lunch but we had already ordered box lunches delivered to the church so we declined. This gave us some time to rest and also rehearse our music before leaving to the Doctors' and Nurses' fellowship located fairly close to this church.  

It turns out that this fellowship is called the Indonesian Missionary Fellowship (IMF), and has members from different professions who meet to do ministry.  Every year, they do a short term missions trip to some unreached people group in Indonesia in some outlying island.  They bring a team of doctors, nurses, dentists, counselor, and evangelist with the Jesus film and do a holistic ministry for about 2 weeks, living in quite primitive conditions.  Last year, while they were there, not a person accepted the Lord individually, but after they left, the tribe made a group decision to follow Jesus and they had 200 some baptisms after the team left.  This concept of group decision for salvation seems strange to westerners with their emphasis on individual decisions but well documented to missiologists.  We had a great time of worship and did one of our longer programs, over 1-1/2 hours with Jeffrey, Janine, and Adi sharing powerful testimonies of answered prayers and encounters with the Lord plus a skit.  Pastor Ben then gave a message of encouragement and we ended up praying for one another in small groups.  We returned to our hotel to eat dinner about 7:30 PM and debriefed the day and did today's group devotion which we skipped this morning since we started so early.  During debriefing, several shared that while we were discouraged at not having the chance to do more direct evangelism to Muslims, we gained the insight that perhaps God has sent us here to encourage believers who are doing the front line ministry.  Ministries like the IMF, the local churches, and the organization doing friendship evangelism.  Indeed thinking back over the last week, we have received many words thanking us for encouraging the local believers.  One lady told us that your choir is different from any other group she has heard that God will use us to bless many because everyone sings from their heart.  It is also clear that we were really not adequately prepared to evangelize Muslims, so this has been a good learning experience for us.  We did meet a lady at the IMF meeting who is coordinating prison ministries in the Bandung area, so we are now going to visit a men's prison Tuesday and a women's prison on Wednesday.  We had no plans for these times but God certainly has His plans for us even if we did not know it.  We are excited about these new opportunities for ministry.


Vision group photo at Hok Im Tong Dago

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Monday, July 19
– We went to visit the Agape Quilts & Crafts, the PI, and an orphanage today.  While Uncle Marsh traveled with us, he missed many of the ministries because of an upset stomach.  That is why I have the responsibility of sending this update.  Uncle Marsh felt much better after we prayed for him this morning, but he still did not eat anything for breakfast and lunch.  For those of you that know Uncle Marsh, missing meals is a big deal.  He was able to eat some food for dinner tonight but he still covets your prayers for him. 

This morning, we took a 44-seat bus several kilometers up a very steep hill.  The road was very narrow and in poor condition, but we managed to make it to the Agape Quilts & Crafts factory.  Agape is a ministry of PI that employs people in local villages to make quilts and other handiwork like pillows, coasters, and oven gloves.  It was founded in 1991 with the vision of creating a place where believers and non-believers would be able to work side-by-side.  While they still have optional prayer meetings every morning, they have discovered first- hand the difficulty of workplace evangelism.  Today Agape employs over 100 people in four villages to help make the quilts.  Without these jobs, these people would have to leave their village for the big cities to work as maids.  These numbers are a fraction of what they were prior to the economic tsunami.  The products that they sell are all 100% handmade which result in long lead-times and high labor costs.  For example, they showed us a beautiful twin bed sized quilt with Noah’s ark in the middle with all sorts of cute animals.  This quilt would take three months to create and would retail for $200 US; however, Agape would barely break even on the sale.  So they face significant spiritual and financial difficulties.  There are currently plans in the work to transform Agape from a centralized model (only one warehouse) to a decentralized model (multiple local warehouses) in hopes of lowering costs.  On the spiritual front, they have discovered that counseling is one of the best ways of ministering and witnessing to non-believers. 

From the factory, we chartered two small minibus taxis to take us down the hill and to Agape’s retail store.  Hundreds of these minibuses ferry people up and down the hill.  We packed these minibuses which are meant for eight people with up to 15 people.  At the store, Vision did our part to help support Agape’s ministry and the local economy.

We then went to PI’s office where they presented us with their strategy of mobilizing the Indonesian youth to pray for their people and their country.  As a result of their presentation, Uncle Marsh encouraged Slim and Czrilla to take the Perspectives course that starts in January at Lake Ave.

We next went to an orphanage where we were met by a couple dozen of boys and girls ranging from 6 years old to university age.  Actually, only a few children are true orphans, as most of the kids have parents who are working elsewhere and cannot take care of their own kids.  Vision performed a 45-minute program with songs, the heart skit, and testimonies by Brian Chioy and Czrilla.  Brian talked about how God answered his prayer for a car and Czrilla testified about how God answered her prayer to bring her dad home early from work.  After Vision sang, we broke up the group into kindergarten to 5th grade and 6th grade and up.  Auntie En took the younger group and told a story to them.  At the end of the story, she made a call and all 14 of the children raised their hands to accept Jesus Christ.  On the other side of the builder, Pastor Ben was preaching to an attentive audience.  From the older group, four men raised their hands to accept Christ.  Praise the Lord!  We then regrouped and sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You.  That, however, was not the end of our ministry.  We then spent an hour playing basketball, soccer, and having fellowship.

We then ended the day with dinner at one of the Felis’s uncle’s restaurant where we had a great meal!


Vision at orphanage

Vision jumping at orphanage

 

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Tuesday, July 20
- We left at 8 after breakfast to go to the men's prison in Bandung, stopping on the way to pick up the lady we met at IMF last Sunday.  This prison was built by the Dutch and has two sanctuaries, a Christian one on one corner and a mosque on the opposite corner so each group could worship without the noise interfering.  We were disappointed when less than 20 prisoners showed up but were amazed at the worship led by the prisoners.  Their keyboard player had only one useful left hand but he played wonderfully combining the rhythm on the synthesizer with chords and melody that he somehow was able to play with only one hand.  The prisoner leaders sang in beautiful harmony and we interspersed our singing, testimony and skit with their testimony and singing.  In all, we worshiped for over 2 hours.  Andrew shared his testimony in Indonesian and we heard one prisoner share how he was jailed.  He was the pilot of an airplane in which a noted peace activist died and the international community put pressure on the Indonesian government which finally convicted the pilot of murder (although it is incredible to imagine how the pilot could be responsible for a passenger's death).  His death penalty eventually got commuted to a few years, got released and was flying for Mission Aviators when he got rearrested.  But this man thanks God and acknowledges that God is in control of everything in his life.  It turns out there are a lot of political prisoners in this prison and we need to pray for justice to be properly administered but also that God will use this experience to change their lives.  Auntie Mei said perhaps God will call some of these men to become like Chuck Colson and minister to prisoners in Indonesia.  After Pastor Ben preached, about a half dozen men came forward accept Christ and be prayed for. One man Adhu (or something like that, our code name for him is “the orange guy” since he wore an orange jump suit) who did not raise his hand during the initial call, came forward to pray.  He was a Muslim who was in jail for murder and became a Christian, but because of his status of a murderer bringing shame to his family, he was disowned and rejected by his family.  As Janine and Felis prayed for him, he fell on his knees and prostrated himself, sobbing uncontrollably. Pastor Ben who had been praying for one of the leaders of the other Christian group there, an elderly Catholic man, who had raised his hand to accept Christ, came over and learned that this man was completely broken before the Lord.  He could not believe God would want him after he turned his back to God and was a murderer and rejected by his family, but he prayed to accept Christ (again) and dedicated himself to do whatever God calls him to do.  We had a wonderful time of ministry and prayer.  

We returned back to Hotel Trio to eat our lunch and do devotions and pray for our last day and a half of ministry in Bandung.  This evening from 6 to 8, we will be going to a blind children's school, and tomorrow, a women's prison and then going to a former Muslim village which has become a majority Christian village.  We are very excited to see how God transformed this village but at the same time cautious that we do not do anything to hinder their growth or cause trouble with their Muslim neighbors.

On the health front, Marshall is better though not completely well, but well enough to be back with the team.  We heard Aaron Poli has recovered from his typhoid.  Slim had a bite (probably mosquito or something) on her right ankle and this became swollen so she had problems walking. Auntie En took Slim to see a Doctor and she just has an allergic reaction to the bite so she is now on medication and we pray for her full healing.

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Wednesday, July 21
- Last night we went to the blind children's school and like much of what has happened so far, it turned out to be a fellowship of college and middle aged sight-impaired people.  About 10 showed up when we started but when we finished, there were about 20 in the audience.  There was no piano or keyboard at the church so we did our all-acapella program.  Since all our skits were mime skits and we could not perform these to the blind, we had our Indonesian team learn an old Vision skit, which they improvised and made it theirs.  The skit was "Meeting of the Board" where the executive committee of the Jesus movement met to give Jesus suggestions on how to improve his ministry. The Indonesian team changed it to a conversation they had with Jesus (whom they called “guru”) while walking along and making such suggestions as performing more miracles like feeding the crowd, walking on water, and turning water into wine while backing off on challenging the crowd to take up their cross.  Jesus finally reminds his disciples that He was there not to please men but to do the will of His Father. Brian Kuan and Denise also gave their testimonies; Brian on how God has changed him and Denise on how the death of her Christian schoolmate from cancer earlier this year changed her life.  After Pastor Ben gave a short message, we had a chance to pray for most of the audience, another good ministry time of encouragement.

We left at 7:45 this morning to pick up our lady prison contact (who is a spry widowed 70+ senior citizen whose "halftime" ministry is to prisons) to head off for the women's prison.  Jeremy seemed to be coming down with a cold last night while Slim is still hobbling around although improved so we left them at the hotel to rest.  After clearing security, we started our program at 9:30 to about 25 women prisoners.  We again did our acapella program with the heart skit and our new "Suggestions for Jesus" skit with both Kaitlin and Nadia shared their testimonies and Joseph directing the whole concert.  Kaitlin shared about asking for forgiveness and Nadia how she learned to love the unlovable.  Pastor Ben preached from John 10 about the Good Shepherd and how His sheep hear His voice.  During his sermon, many prisoners started to tear and when he gave the invitation, at least 8 raised their hand (it seemed almost all the group) to accept the Lord. There were loud sobs during this time.  What was wonderful was that there were many who sat outside the room next to the windows listening intently.  Auntie En overheard two of these ladies saying, don't go inside, you will get beat up (by the Muslims) but we can hear them sitting here outside, so we know some Gospel seed was planted (pray for them).  After our final songs, we prayed in small groups for many of the prisoners and had a wonderful ministry time. Then six of the prisoners sang to us two songs, Great Is Thy Faithfulness and an Indonesian song.  They asked us to come back and it was very tempting to accept.

We returned to the hotel to pick up our box lunches and Andre, who will guide our bus to the Christian village located in West Java about 2 hours from Bandung.  This is where we expected to attend church in a former mosque and we were curious to know how a Muslim village turned Christian.  Imagine our surprise (our God is full of surprises) when we ended up in a Christian village which has 3 seminaries and 11 churches in the community!  We had gone to the wrong village!  Both villages have the same name but our plans were for the wrong village.  In fact, the church we went to was built by the Dutch in 1902 and is Protestant in every way, from their liturgy down to their architecture (the ceiling is in the shape of a cross and has a cross design in the ceiling).  But we know God does not make mistakes and He brought us to this village for a purpose.  We played with their children, attended their liturgical service and sang for about 45 minutes.  The pastor carefully selected old hymns with English words for their liturgy that their congregation did not know so well for our sake.  We sang a short program after the formal service with Joe and Fiona sharing their testimonies.  Auntie En persuaded the pastor to let her take the children to a separate room so they did not have to sit through the long service. There were 10 or so children and when she asked the kids where were the rest, they told her at home (probably because they did not want to sit through a boring liturgy).  Auntie En gave them a few minutes to run home and collect their friends, and about 60 kids came back. En shared the same story she told at the cancer home and about half a dozen kids raised their hands to accept Christ.  But when she led them in the sinner's prayer, it seemed all the kids responded. Praise God and pray for these children, the future of this church. They cooked dinner for everyone in their congregation and we fellowshipped.  As we talked to the pastor and his wife, we realized how discouraged they were with ministry in this village.  Joe and Fiona's testimonies tonight seemed to be what they needed, with Fiona sharing about her own growth through her accountability group and Joe about how he learned to serve God and work with children.  Auntie Mei, Auntie En and Fiona all got a chance to pray for the pastor's wife and she even invited Fiona to her home to show her pictures of her family.  Again we saw how God sent us all the way there to encourage a lonely couple serving God away from their home provinces (really is a cross cultural mission for them) because He loves each person so much.  We also felt blessed to be used in this way.  We then returned to Bandung arriving about 9 PM, debriefed, prayed for some specific items concerning the churches here and some individuals who requested prayers, and returned to our rooms to pack and get ready to leave for Jakarta tomorrow.


Vision at Village Church

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Thursday, July 22
- There is one little story about our last night in Bandung.  The first night we were there, we stopped to buy snacks and drinks at Circle K and sang to the two young clerks there.  Each night, some of the kids have been shopping there and last night, several in the group went there again to say good bye and sang Pelangi Kashi, our Indonesian song to these two clerks.  They were very touched and said we sounded like angels. A seed has been planted there so pray for these two young men.  Today we traveled back from Bandung to Jakarta so it gives me (Marshall) a little time to reflect on this tour now that it is drawing to a close (although there is still a lot of ministry time left).  One event we have added is to do a mini-home concert in Jakarta for the family and friends of our Indonesian team members on Friday night.  My first thought is praise to God for He is doing marvelous things.  Even though we have gotten sick, they have been relatively minor things from which we recovered quickly like how I am now completely recovered from my stomach problems and the colds and coughs are mostly gone.  God has indeed answered our prayers, especially for the unity of the team.  Our kids and the Indonesian kids have blended in seamlessly and shown so much love and concern for each other, that a passerby who did not hear us talk would never know we come from two different cultures.  The second is a wonderful conversion story to tell you, but one we cannot share on the internet nor post it in our group site for fear of jeopardizing this new believer's relationship with the family.  You will need to come to Home Concert to hear it! Third, we are seeing how God is moving, touching first the dregs of society (isn't that just like God to call the lowly and downtrodden and not the rich and powerful), setting the prisoners free, and touching the children and youth to prepare them for His greater works in the days ahead.  All glory belongs to Him alone!

We loaded our luggage on the bus and left Bandung about 9 AM, arriving in SPH about 12:30, ate our box lunch (box lunches are a lot cheaper than buying food, about $1.50 a meal vs. $2.50 when we buy them).  We completed our morning devotions for Wednesday and today on the bus so after we checked in and organized ourselves, we have about 2 hours of free time.  Some of us went swimming at the school pool, some wanted to play ping-pong but ended up playing basketball, and some just rested.  At 4, we got back on the bus to head off to Ambassador Mall, where an Indonesian church meets.  Since we will be leaving this bus permanently and have had the same bus driver (Asido) and his assistant (Alex) for much of the time in Bandung, we sang our two Indonesian songs and The Lord Bless You and Keep You to both of them before we left.  Again, they were so grateful and another seed, which we pray will bear fruit for the Lord, has been planted here too.  We had expected to take 2 hours to drive to the church due to traffic but there was none and we got there before 5, but the church had ordered dinner for us at a mall noodle shop so it turned out we were right on time.  This mall church has expanded its capacity from 500 seats to its current 1500 capacity in the 12 years they have existed.  They hold 6 services on Sunday there plus 4 more services in a nearby business building and a single service at a second office building, 11 services on Sunday total with attendance of about 10,000.  It was exciting to see this church of multi-ethnic Indonesian members.  They worship with intensity and excitement with excellent singers and musicians.  Normally they have 150 people at their Thursday night fellowship meeting, but tonight, there were about 500 people there.  Vision took most of the program time with two skits and Czrilla and Adi giving their testimonies.  Pastor Ben preached an anointed sermon from John 21, which greatly encouraged their members who felt they are growing stale.  At least 36 people raised their hands to accept the Lord and over 18 rededicated themselves after Pastor Ben preached.  They said they were so encouraged by our young people singing.  It was wonderful that we blessed them while they blessed us.  The founding pastor came half way through the meeting and said he could see the love our kids had for God as they sang and urged us to come back on Sunday to sing.  We made arrangements to come to their 6 PM service which he said is mostly attended by young people as it will be our last ministry opportunity in Indonesia and we did not want to miss out on what God wants us to do.  Their church members drove us back to SPH and as we are debriefing all day tomorrow, we all parted ways around 10 and went to bed.

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Friday, July 23
- Last night was a time we mutually encouraged and blessed each other, so here is a little more information about the church we went to last night, the Gereja Duta Injil. It was founded by two Chinese pastors who were with Hok Im Tong (Caleb Tong's organization) but these two men wanted to move more in the realm of the Spirit and not be so rigid and stuck to the liturgy which the mother church (the one across the street from Hotel Trio in Bandung) controls rigidly, so Caleb released them 12 years ago from the Hok Im Tong family of churches. This church evangelizes quite openly, in arenas and to all kinds of people (mostly non-Chinese), including Muslims (they have baptized 12 Muslims). One of the founding pastors we met last night, Rev. Chen, shared with Marshall a miraculous story how an Iman (leader of Muslim mosque) attended one of their rallies. This Iman has been blind for the last 7 years but during the worship and praise time (not any special prayer time), God restored his sight. He came to testify of God's healing and proved his sight by reading a passage. The desire of this church to evangelize gives us great hope for the direction God is leading Indonesia but we are also concerned about how this church deepens the roots of its believers. This is one reason we agreed to go sing there again to the Sunday evening service (which is attended by a lot of youths). Pray for discernment if Vision should get more involved with their ministry in the future.

Today, we ate breakfast and after a short devotion time, started our tour debriefing. We basically sent from 8:30 to 4 with one break in the morning and afternoon and lunch. We managed to debrief 19 of us during this time leaving 8 more to go. We canceled our planned batik museum tour for tomorrow morning so we could finish before lunch.

Here are some anonymous comments from the debriefing:

* "I never knew I could pray for people without knowing what to pray for, but I learned that (how to listen to God while I pray) about myself this year."

* "When we went to visit the places I've never been to, I saw that God is converting ... there were a lot of people crying. God answered our prayers when people were sick."

* "Praying for Juliana at the cancer ward really touched my heart because of her condition. She's already ... converted all her siblings and brought her mom back.  Seeing someone in the first 10 years of her life doing all of that for God was an inspiration."

* "Like the other Indonesian kids here, this is my first time doing missions, and I enjoyed it. It was my first time ministering in the prisons, and I saw many people know God."

* "I saw God's glory when we would sing spontaneously to our drivers and the people at Circle K; they would look really happy even though we're not sure if they understood. When we sang, their faces would light up. Something I learned was to give God the glory and remember that, when we sing, we're singing to God. "

* " I would love to go to another mission trip, and I'm sure the Lord will allow me to go to more."

* "I want to take home the gift of praying in tongues.

* "Some of the ministries reminded me how passive I am in my daily life at school, so I want to take back with me; to be more bold in my walk with Christ."

* "God is trying to make me change a lot of the habits I don't do. When it comes to devotions, I don't really do them unless I'm on a retreat or missions trip. I want to really try to do devotions daily and pray more because seeing the power of prayer work on the trip was really amazing, seeing people get healed or recover from an injury."

We spent a few minutes correcting some mistakes which have crept in during our many times of singing before we got ready for the program tonight, a farewell dinner with the parents of our Indonesian members (this is suppose to be the official ending of their stay with us but most of them are staying until we leave because they can't stand to depart).  One of our members comes from a different island so his parents could not come, but at least one of the parents and most of their siblings came for dinner and to listen to us, about 16 in all. We sang one of our better concerts in this intimate setting as each of the six Indonesian students gave wonderful testimonies of how they saw God working during their time with us. Our short 45-minute program included the Indonesian skit and about 7 songs. We also invited Anita, who is the administrator for SPH. Anita had set aside part of the school's excess missions budget to pay for over half of our transportation costs in Jakarta, saving Vision over $1000. After the parents left, Eileen, Lippo Group (of which SPH is one project) founder's daughter-in-law met us and we thanked her for her generosity in providing free lodging for our team here in Jakarta (girls' dorm rooms and guys' and couples' hotel rooms). Her generosity saved Vision well over $5000 in lodging costs (12 rooms for 10 days total). This is one way God has provided for Vision's needs and we are so grateful. We sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You to her in the basketball court, then got ready for bed.


Mini-Home Concert in Jakarta for Parents and friends

Vision with Eileen and Anita, our benefactors

 

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Saturday, July 24 - After breakfast and group devotions, we continued our debriefing at 8:30 and finished about 11.  We then boarded our bus to Ben Poli's parents' home where we had lunch and also celebrated her birthday.  The house, located in an upper middle class suburb south of Jakarta, was packed with Ben's siblings and cousins (plus nephews and nieces).  Today is mostly a day of relaxation for us.  After a wonderful meal full of exotic Indonesian delicacies, we just hung out and relaxed until a little after 5 PM where we re-boarded the bus to go the Kitin's church to listen to their youth and adult choir practice.  Kitin's church is a Baptist church and also the church Nadia was baptized when she was much younger.  We first had a time of sharing with their youth choir of about 20 singers.  Our Indonesian team members shared their testimonies and motivated their choir to extend their ministry beyond the church walls.  We sang 3 of our songs and they sang 2 of the songs they had been practicing.  We then moved down the hall where their adult choir was practicing and enjoyed the two anthems they sang to us.  We responded by singing two songs and we all sang Each Step I Take in Indonesian.  We had a simple spaghetti dinner together and more fellowship time and left about 8 PM, arriving back at SPH by 9 to get ready for Sunday, our last full day here in Indonesia.  Our time at this Baptist church was very warm and pleasant and this is certainly another church we could think of partnering with to do more ministry if we decide to come back to Indonesia. 

So far, we have heard about 7 choirs sing (at Sunday services or practices) and each choir has sung very well.  We have also heard at least 9 worship teams lead worship. They all have nice voices and their musicianship ranges from very professional to well rehearsed and pleasant.  What Vision brings is not our musicality but the heart of worship when we sing and the idea of not only singing but ministering outside the church walls, since these concepts seem new to the churches.

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Sunday, July 25
– Today is our last full day in Indonesia.  We had our morning devotions at 6:30 and ate breakfast, then boarded the bus for the mother church of GKY, at Mangga Besar, the second largest Chinese church in Jakarta (second to Stephen Tong’s church).  We sang for the English service and Janine gave a powerful testimony while Pastor Ben found out he was suppose to preach only after we arrived, but he spoke from I John 2:15-17. 
The leaders of this congregation then took us our to lunch. We then went to see Stephen Tong's church, a complex that has several sanctuaries, a concert hall, and a 24 story tower with elementary school, music school and apartment units.  The largest sanctuary seats 4500 and the newly dedicated concert hall seats 1200. What is awesome is the acoustics of the concert hall.  It is wonderfully resonant and rich.  We sang the Mozart Ave Verum (Jesu, Word of God Incarnate) and The Lord Bless You and Keep You there and it sounded so good.  The sanctuary building is full of symbolism with 12 pillars (for the disciples) 4 columns for the 4 Gospels, etc. The tour took about an hour.  After that, we drove to the Ambassador Mall and spent about an hour shopping before we met at the noodle shop for dinner and went to the 6 PM service.  We couldn't get in at 5:30 because the 4 PM service wasn't completed yet.  It is incredible how many people attend each service on Sunday.  The 6 PM service was packed (1500 people).  We sang My Jesus, I Love Thee, Slim gave her testimony and the men sang Find Us Faithful.  Ambassador Church gave us all batiks as a thank you gift.  We then left to drop off Fiona and Eugene at the airport since they leave after midnight to go to Manila and Hong Kong while the rest of us leave Monday. Pastor Ben and Joe stayed to see them off while we returned to SPH to say good bye to the three remaining Indonesian girls (Jessie left last night), Kitin, Holy, and Felis.  Eric is having some stomach problems and perhaps running a low-grade fever so he is going to bed earlier than the rest of the group, who are having a long good bye session.  Since we fly back tomorrow, this is likely the last report until we return.

Couple of things I forgot to mention. Thursday night after we returned from Ambassador Mall, Pastor Ben could not find his camera.  So Friday, during debriefing he mentioned this and asked that we pray for its recovery.  About an hour after we prayed, he got a text from the church at the Mall saying they had found his camera last night while cleaning up.  It was a great and quick answer to our prayers.  Here are a couple of other debriefing comments:

* “I'm so surprised and speechless because even people from America want to visit us.  What about the people here?  Even though the majority of my city is Christian, we don't care about the prisoners or the kids.”

* “I could really see that this mission trip was planned by God so I could learn more about Him and see Him.”

* 2 people said that they are seriously planning to take the Perspectives Class the next time it was offered.

* 2 Indonesian kids said they wanted to go on more missions trip in the future.

* One person plans to start a small discipleship group with at least a couple of current Vision members.


Vision at main sanctuary of GKY Mangga Besar

Worship service at Ambassador Church

 

 
  --------------------------------------------------------TOP---------------------------------------------------------  
 


Monday, July 26
– We left after breakfast with a lot of tearful farewells (all six Indonesian singers came back to campus to say good-bye); all the Indonesian kids were teary and at least half of our kids were too.  Ten of us made it safely back to Los Angeles today (6 are staying in Manila for a few days and the Poli’s are resting in Jakarta).  Besides our flight arriving an hour later than scheduled we had an uneventful return trip.  We look forward to seeing everyone at Home Concert on Saturday, August 28th.