Monday, February 25, 2013

Last Hurrah

Knowledge is just knowledge-until you put some feet to it.

I shared a week ago 10 things this trip has taught me. (here) And obviously I was more than ecstatic to be back home (here).

But now I am pondering the middle ground. Just what do I take away from this trip? What do I do? How does God want me to put some feet to my knowledge? 

That is the question.

I had an interesting discussion with my chiropractor yesterday. Mr. Hippie had been in the day before to get adjusted, so he already knew we had traveled to the other side of the world.

Of course, he is going to get the conversational ball rolling with a doozy of a question. 'Cause there I am, practically half naked, on his bench, and that is the best time for vulnerable conversation. Snort.
Anyway...he asked me what the most impacting part of my trip was. What changed my views the most.

And I had to answer: how different life is over there.

Clean drinking water does not just flow freely from the tap. It must be filtered. And generally people drink collected rain barrel water, not tap water. Rain...collect...filter...drink.

Or the day to day existence. Buying just enough food to see you through that day. Just enough soap. There is no such thing as full cupboards and fridges. They don't save money. They don't have money to save.

There are no clothes dryers, and a good chunk of the population doesn't have washers either.

We saw their life, but only from a distance. We lived our relatively posh existence of pared down convenience. 

Besides physical poverty, there is also rampant spiritual poverty. Millions and millions of people who do not know God. Not the one, true God of the Bible. They haven't experienced His love and forgiveness of their sins.

Yet, even so, I don't think God is calling me to become a missionary to Indonesia. Or Japan. I don't feel that tug on my heart. Not everyone is called to be a missionary. And I don't think I am wrong to not feel called. I don't think I am being disobedient or rebellious.

I don't feel the tug to start a clean water campaign. Or adopt orphans.

But that does not mean I haven't been changed. Or that I don't have a call.

My chiropractor had some words of wisdom between my unladylike ooffs

Just because we in America are blessed, doesn't mean we have to revert back 100 years or more, to be on the same playing field as undeveloped countries. All our conveniences are not bad.

But, I can be grateful. Grateful every day when I use clean water from the tap. Grateful every day when I can shower in my bathroom-not the local river. Grateful every day for my full cupboards and fridge. Grateful everyday for the washer and dryer to do my laundry.

I can pray. Pray for the missionaries who are over there serving. Pray for the unreached people. Pray for specific ways God wants me to invest over there.

I think, more than the natives, I feel called to keep investing in those little lives we invested in during conference. Those lives that also go by the moniker MKs. Those lives that also need Jesus. 

To not forget them. To get to know them more. To pray for them. To make opportunities for my kids to write and Skype them. To visit them-here and maybe even there-again.

I want to invest in the missionaries too. Continue to build these new friendships that were formed. Encourage them in tangible ways in their work.

I can be open. For God to lead me, step by step. He has a plan for me. All I have to do is be obedient. Maybe His plan is something obvious, maybe it is something I don't think it is. Maybe it is something I never would suspect.
Meres in new batik dress

all the kids hanging with the friends

chilling at the riverside one evening

Mr. Hippie and our pilot Host

magnificent pancake type things filled with chocolate. Ooh-la-la!

thinner pancakes, filled with egg

Pontianak is right on the Equator. Inside the monument

and the outside...

and the fountain outside

river car ferry
taking a river cruise

house along the river

the local KFC

river shipping, rainy afternoon


bathing in the river...and brushing teeth...and taking a drink...and using the facilities...

colorful fruit stand with all our favorites-langsat, mango, limes, apples, snake fruit, hairy fruit

rice fields
More river front housing
I love you too!

new friends

where the Pontianak River meets the ocean

satay stand
straddling the Equator

The Barefoot Hippies can find a Starbucks the Jakarta Airport.
Thank God for good coffee and free wifi!
This is probably my last "trip" post. (I hear those sighs of relief...) Thanks for virtually taking this trip with us, and supporting us with your prayers. We felt God's presence. Without Him I would have hopped right back on the plane when we hit Jakarta. Seriously.

Did I mention we are hoping to visit Spain next year?=) Sans children. Do you have any mission trips in the offing this year? Tell me about it in the comments.