Dear Pastors and praying friends,
It’s amazing how quickly you can become comfortable. The culture with its welcoming kindness, the cities bustling with life and opportunity, and surprises that lend themselves to our goals as missionaries have all encouraged us in our first few months in Indonesia. Often, without having lived in a country, you develop ideas about it that sometimes don’t correctly reflect the reality of that culture. Even though you have worked to learn beforehand, the rising sun of experience evaporates many of those ideas that lack substance.
One of the first experiences that opened our eyes to the opportunity here came by attending an Indonesian pastors’ conference. Even without yet being able to speak the language, we fellowshipped and watched for a couple days as over 100 Indonesian pastors gathered to be encouraged and helped in their ministries. Most all of these men trace their Gospel roots to a few missionaries who came just several decades ago. It was so encouraging to see what could be accomplished here with the Gospel and see the fruit of just one generation.
Even considering the number of pastors in attendance, the need here is far from being met. Our route to language school is a great example. Just the mosques visible from the three and a half mile stretch of toll road we travel, total around 34. It seems every home is less than a 150 yard walk to a mosque. For many homes that can be in every direction. We hear the call to prayer from 5 different mosques in our home with the distinct hum of many more in the background. In a place like this, it might surprise you to learn how friendly the people are. There isn’t a smile that goes unreturned or a conversation attempt that goes ignored. People are curious. They want to help us, especially when they see our attempts at their language. It’s an open door for friendship.
Thank you for praying for our family! We are busy studying and practicing the language, while we try to be a blessing to the churches here. God has given us good friends to help us. Ava is growing every day. We are truly blessed in every capacity!
To Indonesia with Truth,
Jesse, Faith, and Ava