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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Something I have to share

About six months ago my friend Kadek and his wife Yohana lost their two new born twins. When I visited them at the hospital, Yohana was camped under a veranda at the hospital outside of the intensive care unit where her babies were. The first bub died after 2 weeks, the second after a month, and all the time, day and night without a break Yohana waited and slept on that veranda. Not only that, but through all of it Kadek and his wife witnessed and taught from the Bible the love of Jesus to a Balinese lady camped next to them and she made a commitment to Christ.

Yohana & Kadek at Sanglah hospital

Kadek and Yohana are the couple who have committed to taking on the seven children who left Eternity Children's Home.

I want to share part of the content of an email I received from Yohana less than an hour ago.


Hi Jeff, how are you. I hope I can find you well.

Jeff I want to share you something. You've known that I've lost my twins and that is very hurt hurt me.
But Jeff, now I have 6 children and 7 with yode. God show me that they need love and care maybe more than my daughter. Seeing them laugh and happy make my  pain less. Listening they calling  me mama, is so sweet in my ear . Yesteray I went to work, work and work and making some goal and prestasi to forget my pain I think. I think my life is colourfull now. Thank you ya Jeff to open my eyes....

Ok Jeff, that's all. See you tommorow yah.... and say my hello to Virginia ya.....
Yesus Kristus Tuhan Memberkati.


Isaiah 40:28-31

Friday, September 21, 2012

An amazing answer... to prayer!

What seemed an impossible and lost situation only a couple of weeks ago has now been completely turned around, and in a period of time I would have thought impossible. For all of you who have been praying... thank you, and praise be to our God!

We met with the parents and most of the children (who suddenly left Eternity Children's Home early last month), and all are happy for them to go back to school. All bar one of the kids has returned and are now staying at Kadek' home (temporarily) while they start back at school.

It's been a tough road as Kadek and I had to make a number of trips to the villages as the kids came back in ones and two's. However it is just so wonderful to see them all happy and together again, and with the opportunity to continue their education. It's also taken a lot of work and expense to re-enrol the kids at new schools as nothing happens easily in Indonesia and the education system is no exception. Kadek and his wife Yohanna have done a remarkable job.

However, it also meant that we needed to start another children's home to accommodate the seven kids in a town called Klungkung. It's actually a much nicer place than Denpasar, being cleaner, quieter and more relaxed. And praise the Lord once again because we have already found a place (so I guess it's 'Eternity 2') and it's close to both the Primary and Junior high schools.

Next Monday Kadek and I will journey once again to Songan to see if we can find Timan, the oldest of Darsini's children. The main problem we have with Timan is he told his local community he was now a Christian and even showed them his baptism certificate to prove it! His uncle who is a priest has forbidden him to return without us talking to him first. Could be interesting...

More to come, and please give thanks to God for his amazing grace and power.

Lake Batur

Friday, September 7, 2012

Not sure how... but I survived the trip!

Mount Agung
On Tuesday morning I set off for Kintamani at 7am and met Ps Kadek at the ridge before descending into the old crater past Lake Batur, Songan and up the other side of the crater. From this point we struck trouble. The track down to Bukit Sari village is the worst I've experienced it. There's been no rain that side of the island for more than 4 months and the track is covered in about 10 to 20cm of fine dust. Trying to ride down the side of a mountain at 40 degree inclines on a road bike with bald tyres wasn't a smart idea. Suffice to say I came off three times and am still a bit stiff and sore.

Pak Wayan (Musa's dad), with Ps Kadek and Pak Abraham
But the purpose was to make contact with the village elders and parents of the boys who recently returned to the village from Eternity Children's Home. Because Kadek is Balinese he was able to communicate very effectively, and he is a gifted communicator. The outcome was very positive and we are very hopeful that the kids will indeed get back to school. But it will need to happen quickly otherwise the kids will have missed too much schooling and not be allowed re-entry until next year, and our fear is that could jeopardize their future schooling permanently. Please pray for a quick resolution.

Kadek, Pak Abraham and two of his (eight) children
Pak Abraham invited us to his humble abode and fed us some ubi and strong black coffee. Ubi is a staple they grow in lieu of rice. It's similar to a long potato and is very dry. After that we decided to head all the way back down the mountain as we knew we'd never make it back up to the top. Taking that direction meant going the long way home, and although it was a tiring trip, it was interesting as I was able to take in some new and interesting scenery I hadn't seen before.

Statement of faith

The North Bali Sea

Pak Abraham's mum peeling ubi

All in all a successful trip I think. Now Kadek and I need to do some creative planning. Please pray for God's guidance and wisdom.

God is doing extraordinary things in Bali!

God is doing some amazing things in Bali and not just for the Indonesians. Bali is become a real mixing pot as people pour in from all over the world, particularly from European countries as people try to escape their economic woes but also many from the former eastern bloc countries such as Russia and also from the Middle East.

On Sunday we baptised an Iranian Moslem (I'll call him Walid) who found Christ in an amazing and genuine way.

Walid started searching for answers before he left Iran and this was a contributing reason he came to Bali. The family of his girlfriend (now his wife) beat her severely and threatened her if she married Walid. So they left Iran and ended up in Bali, where Walid found Jesus. When he was preparing to be baptised I overheard his wife say 'if you do this there is no turning back'. They know that if they return to Iran as Christians her family will probably kill them.

However Walid has made his commitment to Jesus and on Sunday he was baptised. What a fabulous day it was. He will be sharing his testimony on Sunday, and it will be an inspiration to all who hear. Walid is on fire for Jesus and wants to go to Bible college and be an evangelist! What else can I say but Praise God!

I have some great pics of the baptism but it wouldn't be prudent to show them.

And Walid isn't the first. About two months ago we also baptised an Egyptian Moslem who is now a committed part of our church community also. It's exciting times...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The end of a season at Eternity Children's Home

It is with great sadness that I advise the original four boys, who have been with us since the very start of Eternity Children's Home have gone back to their village at the request of their parents.

Back in 2005 we found a tiny remote Christian village in the mountains of Bali that was impoverished and suffering quite a bit from the surrounding Hindu communities. Over the next two years we developed a relationship with the community of Bukit Sari village and asked them about their children's education. They didn't have the money or means of getting the kids to school so we asked the parents if they wanted us  to educate them, however this would mean the children moving to Denpasar so they could attend school.

The parents were very excited as they realised the best chance for them being cared for in their old age was for their children to be educated and to get good jobs. The community chose Darmawan, Musa, Benjamin and Tambun, and in July 2007 Eternity Children's Home was started.

When the kids arrived, they were clothed in rags, filthy and  illiterate. Every year since they started school both Darmawan and Tambun topped their classes, and Musa and Ben were doing well also.

 So in a sense it is the end of a season for Eternity Children's Home.

To add to our sadness, at the same time Ibu Darsini's children also went home to their parents. This however, is a real tragedy. These children have been raised with no boundaries or understanding right from wrong. When they first came to us 12 months ago it was completely normal for them to steal, beg, lie and smoke at ages six to thirteen. None of these things were an issue to the children or the parents, it's just the way things are, its normal behaviour, and it's a common problem in the impoverished communities in Bali.

But we haven't given up. We have realised it will take a different approach and we will be talking more with the parents and their kids. We haven't given up, and God willing we will find a way to ensure that the kids receive a complete education, are happy and that their parents will be supportive. Please pray for breakthrough and that the kids will be able to return to school.