Monday, December 3, 2018

A Borneo Thanksgiving

Well somehow it is now December but I still thought I would post a few pictures from my Thanksgiving celebration. Thanksgiving of course isn't celebrated here in Indonesia but I decided to take some time off that week and travel about 5 hours by road down to the city of Pontianak. There is a guest house run by Ethnos 360 there for those serving in Indonesia. It gives us a place to rest and fellowship across our different organizations. So many of us gathered to celebrated Thanksgiving together with a potluck. Anyway onto a few a pictures...

Some of the kids wrote and performed a finger puppet show on the first Thanksgiving

Actresses revealed 

Several of the kids had fun making the fruit look like a turkey

Well they weren't turkeys and maybe not chickens. Honestly we have no idea what they were but they looked nice ;) 

Loading up plates

Don't forget dessert! Yum!! 

An art project for the kids
One of the fun moments of my time out was connecting with Lina again. You might remember the picture below from November 2016 when I did a rather unexpected home birth in Salatiga for a fairly newly arrived family. The second picture below is myself, Lina, and now two year old Lias, plus a few extras who wanted their picture taken during our Thanksgiving potluck :)

All in all it was a good chance for some rest, fun, and fellowship. Now it is back to work though and the final push before Christmas. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Appointment Ceremony for our New Directors in Pictures

On September 28th we held an appointment ceremony for our new board members and also for several new unit directors. We like to do ceremonies up big here in Indonesia, so it was quite formal but it was also very special. Just to clarify a bit we have a board (called a yayasan here) that is primarily Indonesian run. Wendell and Paul Geary also hold positions. Under this board, we have four different units -- the hospital, the nursing school, the village health program, and MedGo (an Indonesian missionary sending agency). Also under the board's oversight is a preschool and a ministry that provides care to families with special needs.

So on the 28th we welcomed new directors at the hospital, nursing school, and village health program. The director of MedGo was reappointed for another term and we also appointed an assistant director at the village health department. So here is how the morning unfolded in pictures...

We started our morning with a chapel service. Pdt (Pastor) William Herjinto shared an encouraging message from Isaiah 40:28-31.
Then a special choir sang Menjadi Terang Hu (Be My Light). This was the first time I had heard this song and it was really good. I will put the translated lyrics at the bottom of this blog post or they are also available as part of the description on the YouTube page. 

Next we began the official ceremony with the reading of the letters officially stating who are our new foundation board members and directors.

Our new directors and assistant director pledge their commitment to the ministry here at Bethesda
And of course the paperwork has to be signed. This is typically part of ceremonies here including weddings and such. 
Then we heard a special video message from founders Wendell and Marge Geary in Minnesota

And the chairman of our Board gave some special encouragement
And then our ministers and chaplains prayed a special blessing over them
And last but not least it was time for pictures
So meet our new (and one renewed) directors...

Director of the hospital - Dr. Kristiyan and his wife Dr. Karina. They have two young children. He is also currently our only ob/gyn, so is on call 24/7. 
Director of the Nursing School - Ibu (Mrs.) Rossiani and her husband. 
 Director of MedGo (serving another term) - Donda
Director of the Village Health Program - Dentist Muktar and his wife Dr. Esther

Assistant Director of the Village Health Program - Pak (Mr.) Niko and his family 
And one bonus shot, in case you couldn't tell Dentist Muktar and Dr. Esther are expecting baby #1 shortly. They were married early this year, after meeting here at Bethesda.  
Please be praying for these new directors. Pray for wisdom as they balance many challenges and needs. Pray for strength for each long day. Pray also for their families, as you can see many of them are young and/or have young children that also need their time and attention.

Lyrics to the song "Be My Light"
Your call is higher and honorable
because Jesus' resurrection is the assurance
His power is given to us to be the witness of His resurrection
Let's prioritize God's work
fulfilling His perfect plan
Our family and work are used as a light to glorify Him

Oh happy are those who are loyal
share the gospel of salvation in the world that rejects God
Let's be His light, testify for Him
and bear the cross willingly to follow my Lord

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Meet our Newest Class

September is here again which means we are welcoming a new group of students at our Nursing School.

Say hello to the 2018 freshmen
There are 41 students total. 17 young men and 24 young females. So now I am working to learn 41 new names and tell them all apart. All of the young men had their heads shaved, the girls are required to wear their hair up and they are all wearing black and white; so that is not an easy task.

They completed four days of orientation to life on campus, the academic program and also general topics like healthy living.

With teachers and staff during the opening session

With student leadership during the opening session

They also practiced for the weekly flag raising ceremony with one of our local police officers

As I write this they have survived the first week of classes. They will be taking 22 credits. I will be teaching them English for three hours every Wednesday and also Fundamental Nursing Concepts (topics like nursing theories, nursing process, and critical thinking) for a couple of hours on Monday afternoons, several times this semester.

For four of them I am providing academic counseling, mentoring, and discipleship. More on that in another post to come.

Please be praying for them and all of our 138 students as they live together in the dorms and complete their classes. Pray for our teachers and staff as we work together to educate, disciple and shape these young people to be good nurses with a heart to serve those in need. Please also continue to pray for the addition of at least one more nursing teacher as we are definitely short-staffed right now.

Our freshmen class singing during our chapel service. 

The song they are singing is Mujizat Itu Nyata which can be translated Miracles are Real

Disaatku tak berdaya
(When I am helpless)
KuasaMu yang sempurna
(Your Strength is perfect)
Saat ku percaya
(When I believe)
Mujizat itu nyata
(Miracles are real)
Bukan karna kekuatan
(Not because of strength)
Namun RohMu ya Tuhan
(but your Spirit Lord)
Saat ku berdoa
(When I pray)
Mujizat itu nyata
(Miracles are real)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A trip to WorldVenture Home Office

There is nothing like the blessing of being surrounded and prayed for by those who have walked a similar journey before you. What a delight it is to be amongst those understand the joys and griefs of serving internationally. The unity and community is like a little taste of heaven. That is what it was like last week when I visited the the WorldVenture office outside Denver, CO. Along with four other couples we have served with WorldVenture for a total of 104 years! I was definitely the newbie in the group, although I did celebrate 10 years of service :)

Worldventure recently relocated and downsized their offices (if you would like more info on the why of that decision, I am happy to share with you), so this was my first visit to the new office. There has also been turnover since I last visited almost exactly 5 years ago, so it was good to get meet the new staff.

We spent several hours each day hearing from different departments including but definitely not limited to leadership, finance, health, and communications. This gave us the opportunity to hear and understand the whys of the many changes and also get our questions answered. We also had an opportunity for a couple of hours each day to debrief and reflect in our group. This was led by the member care staff at the office. We laughed and we cried and then we prayed.

So here are a few pictures from my time in CO...
The new WorldVenture office located in Inverness, CO
What a view! The back windows overlook a golf course and mountains. 

Each day at 11:30 am they office staff meet to pray for a country and those serving in that country

Sharing with the office staff about my ministry in Indonesia

Receiving a certificate for serving with WorldVenture for 10 years (this includes previous trips to Indonesia and time in the US doing training and partnership development) 

On Friday we visited each of the offices to leave a little love and appreciation for all that the office staff do. We also had the opportunity to pray with several of the staff members. 

And I left just as it began to snow and was only 12 degrees :) 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Christmas 2017 in the US

There is nothing like a white Christmas at home with the whole family! Such a special time filled with memories made. Our family is expanding with the addition of Laura's husband, Shalom and our exchange student from China, Andy, who is now at university but spent Christmas break with us.

Just a couple of pictures from Christmas...

A concert in Portland the Friday before Christmas with Kristin and her boyfriend
Games, games, and more games! We are a competitive family :) 
Snow! Our only few snowy days this year came that Christmas weekend. 
Of course I had to take a picture in the snow and send it to Indonesia for those who have never experienced snow :) 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Kara comes to visit

What fun (and a bit of crazy timing!) it was for my sister, Kara, to come visit. She showed up just one week before I was scheduled to leave on Home Assignment. A week that was crazy busy as I wrapped up my responsibilities and said my see you laters to teammates and friends in Indonesia. She spent a week with me in Serukam and then we spent a week exploring the island of Lombok and its beautiful waterfalls and beaches. Here are a few pictures of our time together...

She is here! A long trip by yourself!! 

Enduring one of her many "paparazi" moments when everyone either wants to take her picture or take a picture with her.

And then we were off to enjoy some time on the island of Lombok (next to Bali)
We stayed at a lovely AirBnB with a pool and we were the only guests for most of our time. 
We also had several beaches in walking distance
And there is nothing like sunset on the beach!
We also explored the jungle and some waterfalls. 
And fed peanuts to some hungry, loud, and bossy monkeys
And then with a transit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Taipei, Taiwan (with its many fun decorated lounges) we headed home to the US

Monday, August 7, 2017

Graduation 2017

With much joy (and a sigh of relief) we have wrapped up another academic year. We celebrated at our Graduation Ceremony last Thursday as 37 new nurses graduated. They started as a class of 45 with one withdrawing, one taking a year off for financial reasons, and the remaining students have not yet passed all their classes. Some might consider having students who didn't pass a bad thing but here we have been working really hard to make sure we hold our students to a high standard and having teachers willing to fail students is a good thing. Many of these students come in with a very weak academic history and just need to take the program at a slower pace with some extra help and tutoring. 

Join us as we celebrate these 37 new graduates. The video below contains a few highlights of the singing, dancing, and speeches that make up a graduation ceremony here. Pray for them as they take their Nursing Board exam in October. We have the highest pass rate in our province but it is still far from 100%. Five of the graduates with the highest GPAs will be able to continue their education and have their bachelor degree paid for by our local government. Pray for us as we continue to strive to hold our students to a high standard in the knowledge that as a nurse they will be responsible for patient's lives. We will be having a meeting sometime this week to discuss several of our students who are struggling. 

For those reading this in your email program, videos sometimes aren't visible and you will need to click the link below to go to the blog to watch it or watch it on YouTube here (