Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A few weeks in Asia


How are you doing, or Apa Kabar?

JAPAN
If your going to fly for 20 hours or so, why not have a stop over? I would highly reccomend going to Japan. GO to the fish market in Tokyo it is like another world! But, the best are always the friends. It was nice as a few of the Brothers took out some of the pioneers as an end of the year dinner to thank them for there good work. I was happy that they invited me as a overseas guest!



"Slurp Sushi" (nothing like raw fish for breakfast)




SINGAPORE


So clean. So nice. Unfortunatly I can't show a lot of pictures, but I was invited to a wedding. It is totally different the weddings in a country underban as you can imagine, but there still are a lot of smiles... Here's a young "guy" who attended.



SINGAPORE SIGN
Interestingly ASL is used in Singapore. If you go to KFC in fact, they have picture menu's for the HEARING!!! 1 store they are all deaf that work there. This picture was "going for a meal" at a local McDonalds with some deaf. FYI, if wanting to move somewhere and assist with the deaf. Malaysia, and Singapore both use ASL and in fact English is widely used in both countries.



INDONESIA

I RETURNED! Pretty happy, it took a little over 2 years, but it was well worth the training, friendships, and experience while being back with my family and friends in the States. I arrived here on the 3rd of September.
I have a job at as a teacher in a school. I have the third and fourth grade international students. (12) all together. It was funny as my first day I was teaching health class. I teach all sorts of subjects. SOOO, sure enough I had to teach about menstruation in women, and puberty in boys. Great first day right! The school provides the visa, money for rooming, and takes care of taxes. This is the best way, as Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world and to stay for a long time, you need the proper documentation. This helps too as "i'm not here to pioneer, but to ""work.""
I really wanted to live by the sea, so I found a place called KTM resort. It has one of the largest Buddist statues in northern Indonesia. (Go figure) It's definitly worth it. Although I travel about 30minutes to the meeting and work, out my bedroom window you can see 3 country's. Indonesia, Signapore, and Malaysia. Here are a few pictures:

"The building" (With the Buddist God of something)


"Good Morning" (Where I do my daily text) (The island on the left is Indonesia. Straight ahead is Singapore. On the right through the building is Johor Baru Malaysia) I'll take a better picture later.



"Sunset on the Sea" (view from my porch) Yes, that is a boat pulling a crane accross the ocean.



"Singapore at Night" (view from my porch)



"The Neighbors" (Wild Monkey's live on site. We also have a porposie, fish, geese, lizards, chickens, crabs, and humans)



GENERAL INFO BATAM
A lot of work to do here in Indonesia as you can imagine. The island of Batam is located less than an hour away from Singapore in South East Asia. It is part of the Pulau Riau. A group of Islands spread accross the Java/South China Sea.

The island of Batam is basically the HUB (center) of action for the group of islands. There are 4 congregations here for some 800,000 people. (unknown) The island of Bintan to the right of Batam, has 1 congregation for that whole island. And the rest of the islands have basically no congregations. A special pioneer couple serve in 1 of the islands to the far south, and another bigger island does have a group.



CONGREGATION/SIGN LANGUAGE
The congregation that I attend is in the south of the island. That is where the Sign Language "activity" is taken place. Interpreting, but no official group yet. There is already some 15 to 20 friends who have started to learn in the last year. Numerous bible studies are conducted. A sister (Joice) came up and taught them a quick 10 hour class for a week, then another sister from Jakarta came later and did a quick crash course class. They have taken off with it. There is a 17 year old boy who has been raised in the truth who attends with his family. Incedentely, his father is one of the 4 elders. 2 of these elders have learned Sign Language.
It's interesting what the congregation does. There is around 175-200 people who attend meetings, and for those of you who work (shift's) {hey dad} they have 2 meetings to accomadate the needs. Actually the hall can't fit all of the people anyways, and there is not enough elders to form a new congereagion.
So they have a school and service meeting on Thursday Morning and Thursday Night. They have a Saturday Morning public talk and Watchtower as well as a Sunday afternoon. Why not form two halls? Because, most of the brothers and sisters work at the same company and every 2 weeks will change meetings. Half will go to the morning, then the other half will go to the night. (Shift Workers) So there is two of everything every week. How these brothers do it is beyond me. Sure, go figure also that 2 of the 4 elders are supporting Sign Language. Both of these brothers were special pioneers before too. Amazing.

The South Congregation's territory in general is massive. If you look at the map above and see the island of BATAM. Look at the A in B A T A M. Now imagine from there south. All of those islands are part of the congregations territory. Oh yes, no one in the congregation has a boat. So I need to start saving. There are dozens of islands who have never had a witness step foot on the island. So,,, as much as I will continue with supporting the deaf, wow, i need to get my sea legs as well. There is a lot of others who need the good news too right? I also am the only foreign brother living here. There is a married brother from Phillipines, but when it comes to English, it's me. Meaning for the few thousand foreigners living here, they want me to look into it.
I've you want to come and visit please do. I eat out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 3 dollars US a day. That's for all three meals. 1 dollar gets you fried chicken, rice and vegetables. An extra 30 cents will get you a fresh fruit drink hand squeezed.
Fly to Singapore, and take the Ferry Down!!!



OK
Please stay in touch. I hope this works a little better than long emails. It seems like yesterday we were attending the 2003 "Give God Glory" district conventions where I met so many of you along the way. Wherever you are keep up the good work, and Jehovah's richest blessing. I hope I can update this every month or so, as a good internet connection is about 45 minutes from my home.

Take care,

Tom