With almost a week to rest back at the YWAM-base in Pontianak, its time to send you guys a more detailed update about our 5 weeks in Borneo.
Our first hours in Pontianak were not the best: Keli’s backpack never made it on to the plane from Jakarta, and my (Anders) backpack with passport, journal, credit cards etc. disappeared at the airport. Luckily, Keli’s backpack was found and sent to Pontianak the day after.
As we wrote in the first update, our first week in Pontianak we did ministry at a kindergarten and at an elementary school. We divided our team in pairs of two, and for that week we were teaching, singing songs, reading bible stories, doing drama and playing with the kids. I think God was teaching us different things that week: while Keli and Sofie would come back and share awesome stories about how well they connected with the kids and being able to lead the children out in prayer, me and Susan were facing some of our most awkward situations in our life. I guess we needed a lesson or two in humility.
On Saturday the girls did ministry with the kids from the orphanage that YWAM runs here, while me and Vecky (the director of the Pontianak base) spent two days going to Jakarta to get a new passport. We did services both the Sundays we were in Pontianak, and on the Tuesday 17th of May, we were heading out for the villages (or at least we thought) with four people from the staff at the Pontianak-base. We were staying with a YWAM-guy (Dino) in a little town, but instead of spending two nights at his house, we ended up spending over a week there. We taught English-classes, and did a few house visits, and did services at churches or house churches at night. Still we had a lot of spare time, and as Susan wrote in our second update we were challenged in trusting and waiting for God. But as we chose worship and fellowship, we grew closer as a team, and God was preparing and giving us rest for the upcoming weeks. I also had to get a check at the hospital and the extra days we spent in that town was what I needed to get well before we left for the villages. His timing is usually the best.
The next two weeks turned out to be awesome, riding on scooters from village to village in the jungle of Borneo, staying mostly one till two nights in each village (except for the last one where we stayed four nights), before going to next. It was an adventure and God blessed us so much through those two weeks. A typical day in the village looked something like this: breakfast at 7, and then house visits until lunch. After lunch we usually did some kids ministry before we did a service in the evening. So far we done over 20 services (we preach, share a testimony, and when Sofie and I are so fortunate we get to do ‘Smelly Heart’) and to many house visits to count (Sofie and Susan hold the record for the number of house visits for one day: 23 housevisits, and equally many cups of sweet tea). After services we invite people up front for prayer, and there are so many wanting to be prayed for. With the house visits and alter calls we probably prayed for hundreds of people, its so amazing. After a service last week the whole team prayed for a guy who had been subject of several witch doctors but had been baptized a couple of weeks ago, and after we had prayed for him he told us that he felt that a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.
Every village we go to people are so welcome and we often feel we’re being treated as celebrities, there’s usually a photo shoot after we have done a service.
In every village we go to, and every service we do, we are so happy and amazed to see their heart for Jesus. We might be in the biggest Muslim country in the world, but in the villages in Borneo we never seen people with a bigger heart for worship. The pastors we stay at usually get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to start the day with one hour of worship, and it’s not unusual that the first hour of every service is dedicated to worship. The last pastor we stayed at told us to tell everyone back home that God is definitely working in Indonesia, but they still need our prayers. Churches in other places in Indonesia are not necessarily as free as the ones in the part of Borneo that we are in.
We are now back in Pontianak, and resting for a couple of days at the beautiful base here. It’s really good to enjoy beds and toilets again, but we are at the same tome looking forward to going out again for two weeks on Monday. Tiffany arrived yesterday, high in spirit and ready to see Gods kingdom come here in Indonesia. Susan left today, after doing an awesome job leading our team for the first five weeks here. We are so blessed having two mighty women after Gods heart leading us out here. Sofie has had an ear infection for two weeks now, but she went to the doctors yesterday and got antibiotics, so hopefully her ear will be good again soon. Not that that has been holding her back though, she’s been preaching the fried noodles out of the Indonesian people so far!
Team Cambodia: We love you so much and are looking forward to see you guys again! You are in our prayers.
Eastgate family: Even though we love worship Indonesian style – we can’t wait to get home and praise the King of Kings with you guys. We feel so blessed to be a part of your family.
Staff back in Byron: You rock, we love you!
Please pray for our last weeks here, for His will and guidance, for protection and continuously team unity.
Love from Sofie, Keli, Tiffany, Susan and Anders