I will probably write a more focused series of blogs on the trip once I get back and process things a little bit better. We aren't even halfway through yet and there is already so much that could be said. Also, we haven't really done much work yet! The first few days (literally) consisted of traveling. Then we spent a couple days in Makassar visiting a family that Jason lived with a few years back when had a long stay in Indonesia.
Spent a lot of yesterday walking around Makassar both during the day and night and saw a lot of interesting things. We visited a huge mosque that has up to 30,000 people come out to it and pray on the holiest Islamic days. We also visited a shrine of the man who is given credit for bringing Islam to this area of Indonesia. At the shrine you can have Islamic holy men pray for you. One of the holy men was telling us that an American woman came over that couldn't have children, they prayed for her, and she got pregnant. I doubt it was true, but it seemed kinda like a story to impress us; since an American was granted a baby, we should to submit to Allah as well. Anyhow, they were all very friendly people.
In fact, everyone here has been friendly. In Indonesia, I am a celebrity (I was told it would be like that.) Kids and adults alike are happy to see us and speak with us. Granted, some of them want to get some money out of us, but others are just genuinely impressed to see an American. It's very weird to me; even though I have done mission trips in Mexico before, this is the first time I have ever felt like the weird foreigner because people stare... almost in awe. They want to talk to you, touch you, spend time with you. Of course, this is not necessarily something I want to embrace as the introvert that I am, then you add to it the language barrier and it gets a little bit awkward. However, God is good and I am seeing a whole other side (literally) of his creation. This experience with these people definitely goes against the grain of the stereotypes (which i never bought into much anyways.)
Some things will probably be discussed in blog series at this point are...
--48 hours on planes!
--McCarthy vs. Wild
--Living in a Muslim Home
--Sweating it out/Leaving Comfort
I don't know... I'm sure more will come as we get into the bulk of work tomorrow. We will be doing some English teaching and some spiritual discipline teaching tomorrow. Then it will be off to do some youth ministry/family ministry teaching next week.
Thanks for your prayers, keep praying for us. Especially for Jason and Chris Mc as they have wives and kids at home who miss them and all that jazz. It adds a different dynamic to the trip for them. Also, thank God that no one has gotten sick! Chris and I are experiencing a little bit of "medicine head" as he calls it from our Malaria meds, but nothing serious! And if you like, pray that as we begin teaching tomorrow that we could be helpful and useful in our work!