Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Very Old and the Very Young

Our last day in Surabaya was also a day of contrasts. We visited two Kindergartens, saw the mobile library truck in action, and visited a home for elderly women, and a children's home / orphanage. Pondok Kasih (House of Love) has many, many ways of ministering to the impoverished people around them.

Cemeteries seem to be common places for these people to live. So it was that we had to walk through one to reach the first Kindergarten.

We didn’t get to do much at either of the kindergartens other than observe, but we did get to take some pictures of and with the kids.

After visiting the first group of kids, we walked to a different part of the cemetery where the mobile library truck makes regular visits. We found fifteen or more kids sitting on a plastic tarp singing and listening to stories. Another plastic tarp was stretched overhead to protect them from the blazing sun.

Two amazing gentlemen, one an artist and the other a well-known puppeteer, used their skills to enrich the lives of the children.

 I did the “Bear Hunt” with the kids. That is always a good stand-by when you need an easy, on-the-spot activity.”

I was especially touched by our visit to the home for elderly women who, for various reasons, have been left destitute. The woman who directs the home has been faithfully serving there for twenty years.

If I understood correctly, this home also ministers to younger women who had been caught up in the sex trafficking trade. They are being helped to find a way out of that profession. As they live at this home, and receive vocational training, they also help with the care of the older women. It was a truly beautiful community.

We arrived slightly later than we had planned, but they were ready and waiting for us. The older women were seated around the room. The younger women who serve them as caregivers sat at the side. Several of the children of the workers sang some songs and did a tambourine dance to welcome us.

The oldest resident is a 94-year-old woman who has the unique talent of playing the harmonica. We were blessed to hear her play.

Several of the ladies, as they felt led, sang songs of praise to Jesus. A couple of the dear ladies had lost their singing ability long ago, but their songs of praise, I am sure, brought a smile of pleasure to Jesus’s face.

Finally, we paid a visit to a children’s home run by Ponok Kasih. We met most of the children who live their. They range in age from about three through high school I can’t even begin to tell about everything this home provides for the children they serve. All I can say is that the children seemed happy, well cared for, and are given educational opportunities they never would have had otherwise.

Oh yes, we were asked to teach English while we were there. This time, we had about one and a half hours to fill…on the spur of the moment. Between all of us on the team, we managed it, though. It was exhausting, but fun.

These visits on Monday were a great reminder that God’s love extends to all. The very old. The very young. Regardless of wealth. Regardless of background. God’s love encompasses them all. Seeing His love at work through His people was a beautiful thing.


  1. Thanks for sharing your stories. Truly amazing stuff happening in places over there. Thanks for being a cog in Jesus' wheel of hope and love.

  2. Also, I'm jealous of your Nanowrimo total. I'm at like, 5000 words. I knew I wouldn't make it to the end, it's more of a motivation thing for me, but you have a real shot to get there. Good luck.

    1. On this trip, I was a very small cog in the wheel who was privileged to see lots of other bigger cogs at work.

      As for NaNoWriMo...I am finding out what they mean when they say week two is the hardest. For now, I'm just trying to meet the minimum writing per day.

      What AM I writing? Well, it is not exactly a novel, but is shaping up to be a story for kids...probably little girls will like it most. In the story, a little girl who is remarkably like my daughter, goes through the trials, joys, and challenges of life. As she works these things out talking them over with her mother, Mommy tells her some of the parables of Jesus (in a kid-friendly fashion). THey work out how these stories apply to the little girl's current concerns.

      It's kind of fun seeing how the story line develops as I start writing each chapter.


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