Sunday, March 3, 2013

How Beautiful on the Mountains

Ten years ago, I began partnering in ministry with a children's home in Bali. For more than seven years before that, I journeyed about two hours into the mountains of Bali every other weekend.
Not the best weather for pictures, but this is one of the views from high in the mountains.
At first, I made the trip using public transportation. In some cases, this meant riding in the back of an open-bed pick-up the rain...with a tarp held over our heads...and cold rain dripping down my neck because the tarp reached only as far as the middle of my head and the rain ran off the tarp in that strategic place. Brrrrr. After a couple years of that, I bought Harley Junior, (my motor scooter) and the trip became much easier. 
Pak Nurnya and his wife, Ibu Diah
Pak Nurnya, a local pastor had asked me to come to his village, called Munduk, to teach English to the children in the area. I agreed to do this, and asked if it would be OK to share Bible stories after the English lessons to any of the children who wanted to hear them. The pastor gladly agreed. I gave the children (and teens) a choice of whether to stay or not. They all stayed. They always stayed. It was such a privilege to share the Good News with them,.
Over the years, the people in that village grew very dear to me. I have not seen them so often since I began ministry at the children's home. In fact, years went by between visits. The last time I visited the area, Rachel was four years old. She is seven now. One of my former students from the area who lives in the city now keeps me up to date on major happenings there, but that's not the same as being there myself.

Rachel and I on Harley Junior at the end of our loooong journey.
Rachel and I made a trip to the Munduk area this weekend. We just returned about two hours ago. It has been nearly ten years since I made that trip by motorbike. Let me tell you, I am feeling my age...and so is Harley Junior. We joined the local church for their Sunday morning service. 

I can't even begin to describe how I felt to see these dear friends, especially a couple of the young men of the church who were in elementary school when I taught them. They themselves are now involved in teaching children in a program associated with Compassion International. Of course, CI is called by another name in Indonesia, but it is the same thing.

Agus and Oka were two of my students starting when they were ten years old. They are now twenty-seven.

Shortly before I left, Oka, one of these young men told me something that touched me deeply. He said that whenever he is getting tired of doing the ministry he has been given, he remembers me making the long trip in the back of a truck, or by motorbike, to minister to them, and it inspires him to keep going.

That meant so very much to me. Sometimes, I wonder if what I have been doing for all these years has really made any difference in anyone's life. Then every once in a while, God gives me a tiny glimpse of how my life has had an impact. Just a glimpse. But that is enough.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those 
who bring good news...
Isaiah 52:7

I truly hope our feet...yours and mine...have been and continue to be, beautiful. Whether in the mountains or in the valley. In a tiny village or in a city. In our home countries, or halfway around the world. Not beautiful because of us, but beautiful because of the Good News we have the privilege to bring.


  1. Great post.

    We don't know how far our works travel and spread. You've inspired men on mountains and casual viewers on this blog. May all see the beauty and love of Jesus, instead of the anger and evil of man.

    1. It is true. No one knows just how their lives impact others. FOr good...or not. I hope my life impact will be good.


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