July 31, 2008

This morning we had a a great time of prayer as a team, we lifted up each person and their needs up individually. I always feel so refreshed after times like that. God continues to speak to me about being patient for what He has for me. During my quiet time this morning I came across Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the Word of God is living and active…” It is such a powerful scripture that reminds me of the power that I carry around with me every day. I don’t want to take for granted the gift that he has given me and I don’t want to be fearful on anything except him. I’ve given him my whole life, I’m not sure how that will always look, but for now it means giving up a lot of comforts of home, family, friends and other preferences. At the end of the day though, it is all so worth it. I still come to a nice cool place where I can shower and eat plenty as well. I am blessed being in this place. Today I met a group of people in the slum that we visited and they were all Christians, it was great to meet a large group of them that weren’t ashamed of Jesus. They sang worship songs loudly and proclaimed Jesus to their area of the village. It was so amazing! They are Batuk people, but they aren’t recognized in J-city as a people group so it is hard to get the proper documents that are needed to get their children into school and things like that. Tomorrow they are going to parliament to fight their case some more. We were able to pray for them as a group and pray healing for a few others as well. I really enjoyed my time today and I just pray that everything will go well for them tomorrow. I even met a woman there who has a sister that married an American and she lives in Spokane! How crazy is that? It is such a small world.

I must keep this short, I have to be up at about 5:30am and ready to go by 6, it’ll be a long day!

Blessings,
Natalie

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slummin’ it!

 

I was sweating a lot, thank goodness for cold water! This was after the slum time.

I was sweating a lot, thank goodness for cold water! This was after the slum time.

The days are hot and the humidity is high! Today felt particularly hot though. 5 of us spent the day at the water slum. I had the chance to talk with the wife of the slum leader and also another family for a little while. Come to find out later that I was also talking with his brother in law. The families are so big and confusing, it is hard to understand sometimes. The bro-in-law was asking lots of questions… where am I from, how old am I, am I married… you know, the usual! Then they were making jokes: Your single, I’m single, that makes double, yeah? Haha, NO way buddy! A little embarrassing, but I just laughed it off. I doesn’t help when the translators are laughing too! Not a big deal, it actually happens quite a bit, people are always trying to hook the bule’s up with their family members.

 

As we were walking out this afternoon, they were fixing the bridge to the slum. It has gotten pretty bad trying to walk across the bridge… Today as they were fixing it though, we had to walk on a 3″ cement wall, with gross water all around us. I made it safely, but it was a little scary. One of the girls that was on my team jumped down too soon and fell through some of the boards, she didn’t go into the water, but she did scrape up her leg quite a bit. We were just coming out to eat lunch and then go back in afterwards, but we didn’t want to walk over the bridge again and have anyone else get hurt, so we walked around the long way. It was like a 20 minute walk when it is usually about 2 minutes. We were pretty hot by the time we came out. We left our house at about 10:30 this morning, don’t worry I still had to be up at 7:45, and we got home at about 5pm, it was a long day. The shower felt so good!

Dessert competition: Yes, tonight we had “The Xtreme Fabulous Dessert Battle Extravaganza of 2008!!!” It was a great time. We broke up into 5 teams by the room that we sleep in. A few rooms combined, like Becca and I teamed up with Jess and Anders. We made a truffle, it was delicious. We had 5 categories to choose from and 5 amazing desserts. Besides ours, we had fried bananas w/ice cream and strawberries, this Thai rice with fruit thing, a chocolate shot with entirely too much chocolate, and rootbeer floats.

 

This is our Truffle!

This is our Truffle!

We were judged in these 5 catagories and these are also the groups that won
Presentation: Thai rice thing-a-ma-jig
Texture: Truffle
WOW factor: Chocolate shot
Creativity: Fried Bananas
Flavor: Truffle

 

So basically, we WON! If you have any idea how competitive I am, you know how excited I am to win. We had lots of fun. Our Truffle consisted of chocolate cake, bananas, strawberries, ice cream, chocolate sprinkles, whipped creme, and some yogurt as well. I must admit, it was very good and very good combo of flavors in the mouth!

So we are having fun and doing some random things that help make it all feel more like home and not quite so intense all of the time. Peace out for now!

P.K. – I don’t know what it stands for… but it’s a slum

Today we went to this new slum P.K. I have never been there before, but half of the team had been. It was interesting, this morning God spoke to me about staying at a school there in the slum and not going out with everyone else, just to be praying. So I did just that, I want to be out there in the action, but I want to obey at the same time. I really feel like I’m on the verge of huge things happening with the people that I talk to, but it hasn’t happened yet. I know that it will, I’m just listening to him and obeying what it is that He is telling me.

Today was great though, we saw another person come to know Jesus, #5! It is so amazing to see and hear how He is working in the city, he is on the move and we’re a part of it! So cool! We also had a few team members go through a deliverance time with some guys who were into black magic. it was very intense, but they both gave their lives over and some manifestations happened and it was crazy sounding, but our king was victorious! PTL! Keep praying for us, as we are coming against darkness, it is trying to come at us, but we won’t let it. Thanks for all your support! You’ll notice that my numbers keep falling in the right column, so amazing! Keep your ears open for up and coming fundraisers. I know that there will be a car was on September 6, plus, there is more to come! I have been doing the updates for our school website too, you should check it out. I can’t put the address here, but it the site of the school that I’m with MediaReach, hopefully you can find it, if not, ask my parents. more to come this week, I’m sure of it!

Mangga dua (2 mangos)

Today we headed to a big mall where anything is up for a barter. No joke! It was a but overwhelming, bit fun at the same time. I’d walk away and they would call me vack and give me the price that I wanted. Not the place for my mom to shop! I got a few things and we headed to another mall the watch the new batman, it was so fantastic and for $1.50 it was pretty sweet. Don’t worry the theater was just as nice as home. That’s what I did today, I’m off to bed to prepare for another intense week!

photo

It doesn’t feel like the weekend…

My week seems to be so messed up while I’m here. We only have one day off each week, that’s Monday. It makes for a long week! So I get confused on which day it really is.
Saturday we were up and out of the house by 7:30, it was an early morning. We went to the slum to do some teaching fir the youth. We spent two hours doing that a one put applying what they had just learned. We got to visit the same two families that we did on Thursday, the Christian woman and her family and also the lady with cataracts. They were short visits, but also very encouraging. She wasn’t healed yet, but I still believe that it will happen.
This evening we went over to a house of one of the other teams and had a big reporting time and just a time to see how everyone was doing. We ate dinner together and also watched Madagascar, it was a good evening. We also had the chance to say by to some friends that are going to another location for the remaining 6 weeks. 

Sunday morning we got to sleep in for a little while, I got around 8:30, I can’t believe that is sleeping in! We had some team time and then we went to meet some cell groups at a church to take them to two different slums that they are adopting as a church. This is what we’re here for! The church is being mobilized, it is great. So myself and 3 Indos went to Rawa Indah, one of the slums that we spend a lot of time in, and started talking with some ladies. Then this other woman walked up to us and started asking if we could teach English classes to some adults. he then invited us into her home to show us where we could teach the class and we talked with her for a long time. Come to find out, this woman is a part of the political party and has a lot of influence in the slum and in that particular party. She had a calendar hanging in her house that was for the party and her picture was on it, I think she may have been the only woman and only about 9 others had their picture on it. I totally believe that it was God that brought this lady in our path and we were able to talk with her and go back sometime and teach English. This is a huge open door to help see some change happen in this slum! So needless to say, it was another great day!

Be blessed!
Natalie

Family pictures

today we were at the water slum all day. Friday’s are kind of becoming our day there. We went this afternoon to take family pictures so that we could get them printed and bring them back to the families as a gift. One of the ways that we’re using our media skills. I’m in the process of uploading a bunch of the pictures to my flickr account. It was a fun day… but also hot, as always! We were able to talk with some new people and get to know them better. When we came back after dinner a group went to teach english to the kinds and usually get to just hang out and visit with some of the families. Tonight when I came in, one of the guys that is always there remembered that I was sick last week and not there. He asked how I was feeling and glad that I was there tonight. It is great to know that we are actually building relationships and making a difference in people’s lives so that they actually remember us. It was an encouraging moment.

This morning Jess asked me to share with the team a little devo about what I have been learning about Communication. It was good to share with the team and challenge them. It has been something that He has really had on my heart this whole DTS. A lot of the time it is hard because I have felt conviction about different things that He is teaching me and challenging me with. I don’t feel that I have had the opportunity, until now, to share some of those convictions with my team and bring them up to this standard of communication that I feel as though I have been called to. It was good to have everyone on the same page as me. I feel as though this has been one tough area for all of us. Mis-communication and misunderstandings seem to be happening all of the time. I know it is a scheme of the enemy, if you could be praying for us in that area that would be great. Thanks for all of your support. Here is one of my favorite pictures from today.

Please check out some of the others that I took recently. This area could be a beautiful place to live if it was taken care of properly. I believe that it can happen!

Blessings,
Natalie

24 July 2008: Sorry I’m not more creative

 Today was yet another great day! But I’ll tell you about that after I share my funny story from yesterday…

So we’re teaching english in this Mus kindergarten and e had just finished the first hour of teaching, these kids were about 5. We were going in for our second hour to teach the 3 & 4 years olds. Nathan, Petrnia, Bene and I walked into the classroom and one of the little girls saw Nate and I and automatically started crying! Nate and I were the only two white people. Bene is our translator from Indo and Petrina is from Singapore, so they had no problem.  When the one girl started crying it started a chain reaction in the rest of the classroom, before we knew it the entire class was crying. All of the moms outside started coming in to see what was wrong with their children. They were all laughing because their children were afraid of the bule’s. They made Nathan and I leave the classroom and Petrina and Bene ended up teaching the class without us. It was so funny!

Today we went to another slum, the one in Tanah-Merah. We went out with some indo youth that go to a church that is thinking about adopting a slum and they ended up serving as translators for Nathan and myself. We ended up talk to a Christian woman and her children and praying for them. Most of the people that live in these areas don’t really want to, but jobs are so hard to find in j-city that they don’t have much of a choice in the matter. It was good to hear from this woman that she still hopes that one day they’ll be able to move to a nicer area of town.

After that we went to her neighbors house and talked with an old woman and her grand daughter for quite a while. The old woman was so excited when she saw us. It is a privilege for them to have a bule in their house. They believe that if they dream the night before that something good will happen the following day, and she said that she dreamed last night and then today we showed up in her house. It was a Mus family and our translator boys were pretty scared to talk to them and go into their house, but they followed us in and translated for us. They did and amazing job too! The old woman has cataracts, so we prayed for healing and I’m still expecting for her to have her sight back completely. We also prayed for her grand daughter who is pregnant and just prayed for a safe delivery. They invited us to come over on 27 August when she is due to have the baby. They were joking (I think) that if it is a boy they want to name it Nathan and if it is a girl they’ll name is Natalie.  We had a great time and then we took this picture with all of them.

I was going to crop the picture, but I love all of the colors that you see in the slum. This is where I go everyday!

This evening after coming home… Amanda and I had prayer chain. While praying we noticed that our turtle, that was left by the previous team, had dirty water. So Amanda cleaned the water while I babysat the turtle. So here is a picture of her and I, oh joy!