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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Bali Christmas

Over the past week leading up to Christmas day we have celebrated Christmas in three very different places and in three very different situations.

Celebration #1 - Besan village

The men 'sauteing' the spices
It is hardly a Balinese Hindu tradition to celebrate Christmas, but my brother and fellow worker Kadek has a different idea for his community in the village where he lives, Besan. I first need to say that Christians are not particularly welcome in his village, in fact Kadek has been told not to bring any more Christians to live at his family compound. So what he does to celebrate Christmas in his village is quite ingenious. He follows Balinese tradition for major celebrations, but in the name of Christmas.
So the Hindu men are invited to Kadeks compound where they cut up and mince freshly killed pig and chickens. They also cut up  vegetables and spices and prepare Balinese sate made from these ingredients and then cook the sate and the pig skin.

Darmawan cooks sate with the men

Sate's and smoke from the hot coals!
Meanwhile the women in Kadek's compound prepare the vegetable dishes and cook the rice. They then make up about 350 food parcels consisting of 7 sate's, vegetables and rice. All of this started at about 6pm and finished after midnight. 
While all this is happening Kadek is playing the 'Jesus Video' (in Balinese) through a projector. It was difficult to tell whether the men took much notice amongst the cacophony of chopping and chatting, but Kadek assured me some of the men were talking about the video and he expected at  least four of them would come to him surreptitiously at some later date and talk about what they had seen.

The next morning at 5am the women distributed the 350 food parcels to all the homes in the village as a sign of Christmas goodwill.

Celebration #2 - Songan

The Christian women in Kadek's family compound wanted to bless Darsini, as they had heard about her situation. So they prepared the food and then we loaded all the ladies, the Children's home kids including Darsini's two, and the food, and headed off for Songan. Unfortunately when we arrived there was no sign of Darsini or her husband Pak Repin, and the place looked deserted. We finally found out that Repin had been sick and had moved back to his old place and of course Darsini with him. Finally we tracked them down and were able to share the meal with them.

Unfortunately it rained which also bought the flies out in plague proportions. Additionally it all became a bit much for Darsini and she was quite upset. However the intentions were all good and while it didn't quite pan out the way we expected we have the hope of a better future for Darsini and her family. That is our Christmas wish and prayer.

Celebration #3 - Christmas day in Jail!

Up early and off to Kerobokan prison as we prepare to join in the Christmas celebrations with the inmates and guests. The prisoners went to extraordinary lengths to put on a great day. The worship leader, singers  and musicians did a fantastic job and people who had never experienced Christmas inside the jail before came away utterly astounded, and I think, impacted as well.

We really enjoyed our time there and it was again wonderful to see Virginia and her little flock of girls having so much fun and sharing the love they have for one another.

Virgy and her Thai girls

Mummy Virginia and family

The African contingent

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given
And the government will be upon His shoulders
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end,

A Blessed Christmas to everyone....  Jeff & Virginia

Monday, December 24, 2012

Help comes unexpectedly... Praise God!

Early this month some friends of ours introduced us to a guy named Graeme Drew who wanted to know a little about what we were doing here in Bali. Gaeme is a very busy man but he managed to visit our kids home in Klungkung as well as a trip to Songan to meet Darsini. Graeme was so taken with Darsini's plight he asked what could be done to help. It took no more prompting to tell him of our plans to bring Darsini, her husband and eldest son to live in Klungkung and be re-united as a family with their other two children Mangi and Mawar who live at the kids home. We also told him of our plans to build this family up to a place of dignity, hope and purpose.

Graeme immediately offered to find people who would sponsor the project!

So we are in the process of finding a house that is in close proximity to the kids home, a 'special' carer and support carer for Darsini, as well as work for Darsini's husband and oldest son Timan. Mangi and Marwar will continue to go to school. So as they say... 'it's all happening' albeit at Bali pace, which is never fast enough for us. However this is indeed a real answer to prayer (see post of November 15th).