Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sign Language and Surabaya


(A lot of these guys peddlin around)

Back in September we had the special day assembly. They interpreted the program into Indonesian Sign Language. There were 7 deaf people there.
I hope this works, its' a quick video clip from one of the songs. Maybe ready on Monday or Tuesday.

Last weekend I headed to the city of Surabaya for 2 days. Dear sister Joice has been teaching Sign Language for 2 and a half years now. Hundreds and Hundreds of brothers and sisters have learned. Surabaya had 5 classes. Saturday and Sunday marked the last classes for 4 and 5.
Joice invited me to come down to give a (special lecture) (really teaching expressions and concepts of Sign Language.)

It was really awesome as the 5 classes started back in March, and nearly every student (including extra deaf) came to class.
Saturday had some 50-60 people, (Joice and class 4) Paintings on wall hand painted by a Bible Study)

and Sunday over 100.
I used Sign Language the whole class until the last 5 minutes or so. The reason was to explain to them the video they were about to watch. The Greatest Man DVD in ASL has a heart-touching part about Jesus on the stake, and the repented criminal next to him. Needless to say, although the Sign Languages are different, they understood the feeliing and power of those verses. It was amazing as some of them even began to cry as they were so touched by seeing the expression and feelings of Jesus.
***** The beauty and depth that only Sign Language can show******

(Class Dismissed)

In Surabaya is a city of 3 million people. One night I stayed with a family who are all studying. The 3 boys are all deaf, and all study. Mom studies, and so does Dad. Amazingly the 12 year old boy is progressing the fastest. It was FUN, as they showed me a great time.

(We ATE some DUCKY's and A PIG)

Then they took me to a Waterfall in East Java. Here's the family, and another deaf kids who is studying. Then 2 brothers who came with us from the Hall.

(It's GREEN in Java)

(Surrounding Mountains)

(Step up to Adventure)

(WATERFALL? Up the stairs)

In Indonesia you can always get food. It's on the streets, on motorbikes, in the back of cars, peoples houses, everywhere. WOW its good too! Here is a Man making Satay. Traditional Indonesian Dish. Basically Chicken, Beef, or Lamb on a stick roasted over a fire, then soaked in a Fresh Peanut Sauce with a cucumber or too over some sliced Potatoes.


(Raw CHICKEN on the Street, NOT ME!)

(A real Restaurant after the class, Traditional style)

Not everything is pretty in this side of the world. Sad to say people live in utter poverty. These houses run along the open air sewage drainage.

(House after House)

(Transportation for 4) (small baby in the women's arm)

Surabaya recently had a awful tragedy. They hit a natural gas gesier of sorts digging where they shouldnt have. It made mud, gas, and water gush up from under the earth. 1000's were evecuated and MANY died because of man's stupidity. Probably did not hit news in your area did it. Basically for people who know "Ole' Faithful" in United States, it would be like digging into that. Then just that erupting nonstop with just mud coming out.



Last neat story from Surabaya. This is a Circuit Overseer, wife, and Son. SON? Yes, they have been in circuit work for close to 20years. Well during that time they had a son while Indonesia was underban. Did they stop? Well, during the Ban on Jehovah's Witnesses it made more sense for them to stay in the work and raise their son. So he goes from hall to hall with his parents but during the day he goes to school. SO I guess he's a 15 year old Circuit Overseer. Pretty neat growing up in Full-Time Service.

(15 year old single CO)

OK, enjoy the campaign. I will not be on the computer for a week or so. I will try and update this sometime around the 1st of November. We are buying a boat and spreading the campaign to islands that have not been preached too. Hopefully I will make it back in one piece, not in a lifejacket! Check back then, from stories of the campaign and Ramadah in a Muslim country. THATS Something!

ALL the best.

Monday, October 09, 2006

3 More Weeks

Hope all is well where you are…
Here’s some recent happenings and events going on here in Batam.

An idea of what life is like for some Indonesian people. These men take their boat from a different island to come to Batam. Why? Batam has a river that is clean! So, because of that they pump water from the river and bring it back to their island. They sell this water for bathing, cooking, and drinking I believe. This is there job/life. Everyday take the boat. Fill the canisters up with water. Then sell the water to the islanders where there from.

What is a service or bookstudy group look like? I’m sure you will enjoy this photo. Here is a sisters home which has 11 or so different sisters renting rooms. When the service group meets on Sunday, (well) it’s a little packed. At least 30 people come in, sit on the floor, and the group begins. Bookstudy is the same thing. Come in and sit on the nice tile floor. Pack um in, and send um out!

What about Sign Language?
Still so much to do.
What does a typical study look like? Here are some pictures of a young deaf boy. He did not know Sign Language before. A brother taught him Indonesian Sign, and he took off with the language since then. His little brother also has learned Sign from his brother. Most deaf here are Muslim. Is that a problem? Well, this picture shows that when the study happens the whole family, including the chickens come right in the house and sit down!
It is different to sit on a concrete floor, with Arabic prayers written on the wall with animals coming in the house. That pales in comparison of seeing a whole family join in the study.

(Allah huwa achbar!)

(Here's a new study!!!)

(Family affair)


One day after coming home from, I was about to go for a swim. I left my apartment door open and window. Computer was on, wallet laying out, passport, keys, dvd player, everything! Then suddenly I noticed these (State/Provincal Police) start coming around. Now I was already too far away to shut my door and close up. The Police already started to enter my room! Understand this in 3rd World countries. If the Police or Gov’t want something they usually take it. You may have to pay to receive your own property back!!! That’s the way it is. Now I do not know if they are here for a bribe from me, the manager or for a beach break… So they keep coming, and coming, around 30 or so. I’m thinking, (“How can I protect my things, and make these guys happy?”)

Well, I do what any normal person would do… I jumped off the balcony (porch) into the ocean. I had my mask and snorkel and went searching for shells to give them as a “gift.”

They were all bewildered? “What is this foreigner doing?” So I came up with (sand dollars) That is a sea shell that used to be used as currency a long time ago. I told all the Police that this was worth US $1.00 Hence sand dollar. After I had collected around 25 from the ocean floor, about 7 more Police officers came! So, I jumped back in the ocean and got some more.
Needless to say, they were quite amused by this. They also were quite amused I knew Indonesian, and was from America. Then, well, they all took out their cameras and started taking pictures! I probably shouldn’t write this, but for you to understand how culture differs from place to place I will. The men here do not have too much body hair. Especially on there chest and face. So when they saw all my chest hair, the started touching it like I was from a freak show. So I have 2 or 3 officers, pulling and picking on my chest hair. This isn’t the first time I have encourted friendly touching so I just went with it. Basically any hair outside of your head you can touch as a sign of friendship. (Mom, Jordan, Kaleigh, Rheem, and D2) you’ll appreciate that. So I nice witness was given to these men, and nothing was stolen and we exchanged cell phone numbers.

Back to Malaysia.

I had been 2 years 6 months since being in Malaysia. I had to renew my visa for Indonesia so It was nice to get back there. It was amazing to see friends who you have not seen in so long. Funny story. Some of you may remember the story of the Kingdom Hall construction project in Kuala Lumpur. It was an office converted to a big hall. Well, the family I stayed with had a 18 year old son named Jason. I worked with him on the project, and helped his mom with the interpreting the meeting into ASL in KL that Sunday. What a joy it was to see Jason now serving at Bethel in Malaysia!
Also, in Thailand Bethel there was a couple assisting with Translation (Harpers). They showed tremondous hospitality to me while visiting Thailand Bethel. They showed that same hospitality at Bethel in Malaysia.

GOOD NEWS in a new Language!

Finally after some 50 years they will begin to translate literature into the native Malay Language. Do you know someone out there who knows Malay very well and would like to serve at Bethel? Well, tell them to call, why? The photo below is the translation team. Yup, you got it! In the whole country you had 4 volunteers to come and work on the team. All 4 are young single pioneers. Who else? None of the 4's 1st language is Malay. But, they all learned it in school. The Harper's will assist them in this monumental task.

These are the Harpers. The other sister in this photo on the left has recently been appointed as a special pioneer. (Good for her) She has been coming to Malaysia for around 5 years for short stays. She is from the US and wanted to stay "long term." Well, her persistince payed off. A single American sister special pioneering in a foreign country. Nice. The other couple, assisted my cousin in learning Chinese. Funny we lived about an hour apart in the U.S. but never met. Now were on the other side of the world, and live an hour apart via boat, but in different countries.
The last person in the photo is the Bethel Black Cat!

It was a real privelage on Saturday to assist in the morning and work at Bethel. Kuala Lumpur will have a special conference for doctors all around the world about Blood. So they will set a booth for these doctors and explain our beliefs on alternatives for blood transfusions. Numerous folders to give to these doctors are being created.

(Blood Transfusion anyone?)

P.S. IF YOU KNOW ASL!!! Malaysia is begging to start classes. They use ASL in Malaysia, speak English everywhere, it's cheap, and food is awesome. Its a 2nd world country and is advanced in comparison to most of South East Asia. You get a free 3 month visa, and can go out for a day then come back for 3 more months. Please email me if your interested and I will give you the appropriate contacts.


Singapore was once part of Malaysia. Hence ASL is used here too! Singapore teaches in school SEE (Sign Exact English) but as well teaches ASL. There are thousands of deaf, and some friends that have taken up learning. They too have started classes, but want someone experienced with ASL to come! Here are a couple of photos of the deaf in Singapore. One of the photos is a "sister" since 1984. Interestingly she has always learned at the meetings by another person writing down the information on a card. She told me, she is sooo happy now to have ASL since she understands so much more. The meeting is of course interpreted in a friends "place" and although some restrictions, you will be a huge help if know ASL and can come to Singapore.

OK, thats that. Take care. Enjoy the campaign whereever you are! Or if you don't know about this campaign you will defintely here about it!

Here's me and my new friend!