Friday, December 28, 2007

The jungle, some weddings, and guests

Anytime you have guests, it puts things in a fresh perspective...

For any that have traveled to a 'developing country' your photo taking most likely becomes like breathing. It seems every second is a new shot. Then it seems the longer you are in the country the lesser the breaths, the 'shocking, !look at that!, huh, life becomes. That being said, any time guests come it helps for you to see again what you were first in awe of.

Tom from Sign Language in the U.K. happen to come by. I had never met him, and that makes it even more enjoyable.

(Sorry Tom, it's one of those photos that makes people smile...)



Tom was told that Batam and Indonesia was a dangerous place. Just come for a day, and GET OUT! So, I did what a normal host would do in a situation like that. Bring him to the jungle, get muddy, dirty, sweaty, have 'bird-flu' infected chickens running around, red ants, and yes a big snake.

Yusuf and Andre who are studying, were amazing hosts. It's so sweet to see people who have so little, to give so much of what the little they have. Pretty standard in any poor country.

(Well, there's no safety if there's no electicity)



That is Andre climbing about 25-30 feet up to get some fresh coconuts. I don't know if you have ever had real coconuts fresh the tree, but it is a good time. When they cut it up on the ground, they cut a small piece of the coconut in the shape of spoon so you can scrape out the inner flesh.

Yusuf who is 72 years old, said that he can still climb small ones, but he has they young boys do it for him now.

During the study, Tom talked about the brotherhood and recent stories from preaching in the U.K. These stories seem to really touch Yusuf and Andre.

Now, the snake(s). It is bewildering to me that Batam which houses 1,000,000 people and is just 45 minutes from arguably the most advanced, clean, and organized country in the world from end to end would have a large 2 meter plus (7 foot+) pythons rolling around.

(only 7 feet long)




They caught the snake in the simplest of a little trap, and when they saw it, the bashed it around 10 times with a huge stick as shown in the picture. Even though it was a day later they still stood back 10 feet, as they were afraid it was still alive.

Any time locals are a little scared, you know its a serious snake. They said it could easily get in the village and kill a man. The other big 7 to 8 foot snakes which are non-python can provide for a good bbq dinner. "Law of the jungle." If it can't kill you, eat it.

Glad you enjoyed Batam Tom.

Well besides jungles, we preach small illegal housed villages. In this village while doing Saturday preaching we came across a Javanese woman who was losing her hearing. Although Javanese Indonesians are more reserved and shy by nature, this woman was absolutly hilarious. After telling her we want to help the deaf, she starting thinking, and well next thing you know theres like 10 deaf people in the village.

With some clarification from other locals, our dear Javanese friend is a little off. One person whom she thought was deaf, was not the case. Another woman said, "HE'S NOT DEAF, he's MALAS BANGUN!" -or- he's just lazy and sleeps alot.!

(Who has the bigger smile? Merry the monkey, or java mama?)



One thing that this woman did have though was a pet monkey called Merry. Why, How, Where, i don't know, but it just fit her character.

While preaching in these out of town areas you can really get to know the other brothers and sisters well. Edy and Ramses where with me this day with Java mama. Indonesians like posing for photos.

(Ramses, Edy, and Buah)



There has been about 4 weddings since the last blog I wrote. Indonesian weddings are quite simple. They get married, go to a rented hall/restaurant/or someone's house. They make a really fancy backdrop for pictures, everyone gets called up and takes some pictures with them, you eat, then leave.

Honeymoon? I have not heard any more than 2 days of vacation from work. Normally you will see them the next day at the meeting. Also the honeymoon night, many times there back to the house they were at before with the family there. Then 9 months or 10 months later there will be the first little one.

(Glazzy and Snazzy)



(Smile for the camera)



This wedding was in a village close to my home. A Kampung is a village or 'el campo.' This village is all muslim. As a neighbor to them it promotes a good witness by going and showing your respect. When there's a wedding in the village it's an open invitation. 500-1000 people is no problem. You shake a hand, smile, take a picture, eat (possible karaoke) and leave.

At this wedding though, they had live entertainment! This is about as traditional as it gets for this area. It's a pretty neat little song they have going on.

(Kampung Wedding)



Back to reality...
There is so much I could say about this picture. The jam is due to deforestation, rain with no drainage points, and corruption in gov't by never attending to it because there is no rich or important people living down this road. It led to the meeting starting late, and making some changes.

Three hours later In typical indonesian fashion, there were 2 guys shoveling to block the landslide and another guy taking donations for there work doing what the gov't should be doing.

(Typical... Traffic Jam... but i will take this any day over Jakarta or jammed on 95!)



Besides Tom from the UK I had Marlon and Carmen from Philippines Bethel pay a visit. Really super couple, so sweet. We interviewed them via translating during the part on young people a month or so back. It was really powerful what they had to say about the youth in the Philippines, and Carmen's own struggle to become spiritual in her youth. Our congregation is made up of 75% youths who mainly work full-time. What they had to say was all about the joys of spiritual goals over worldly ones.

Congo with Filipino guests (ummm, Filipinos look just like the Indonesians)



Well, it wouldn't be complete without a picture of Jah's creation. This is the view from the beach across the street. Nothing like it...

:Morning Sunrise:



So, that's that. Some good stuff from the pioneer day, assembly and the first Independant Sign Language groups I'll share by the end of January. TK

Saturday, November 03, 2007

B + B + B = a story

B is for Bangkok.
B is for Big Cities.
B is for Bahasa Isyarat.

Let's go right to the first B.

Bible in Bangkok. Friday October 26th was an historic day in Thailand. The New World's Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was made available in the Thai language. Over 7 years of work to produce the addition.

The last few months had the Japan Bethel working overtime. The brothers in Japan worked 2 shifts, Saturday's, Sunday's, and many missed there congregation meetings to get the Bible delivered to the convention for the 26th-28th.

Thailand has had 9 consecutive peak months in publishers and had over 80 baptised in the country for the "Follow the Christ" district conventions.

This is a 5 minute movie from the convention. The location was in the heart of Bangkok at a hotel on the 11th and 12th floors. They had 3 different language sessions in Thai, Japanese, English, and interpreted into Thai Sign Language. (You can guess what most of this video will show...)

(Encouraging, Inspiring, Moving, and still much more work to do!)




I mentioned in the WoW wOw WOW help blog last February of the magnitude of work to do in South East Asia. In Thailand, Lao, Cambodia, and Burma, you still have the monks playing an influential role in the daily life. One sister serving in Cambodia mentioned how the young people are beginning to see through it! Meaning the people are already so poor, and these guys come around begging for food and money!

(I am a man of the true God, 15 silver sheckles not 30... 'Gehazi)



Nothing like a monk buying illegal DVD's on the street which are movies about spiritism, demonism, or violence. Why would people be fed up with religion? I don't understand...

To South East Asia's credit, they did use their wealth, slave labor, and control, to create the most ornate buildings.

(The Grand Palace)



That being said, the beauty is always people. South East Asia's people are as varied looking, linguistically divided, and religiously torn as nearly anywhere in the world.

The convention to me personally was a kind reminder of this. To see a friends from Thailand, Myanmarr, those under ban in China, Laos, Vietnam, Machau, and under restriction in Cambodia was a shot in the arm. It's really encouraging at this assembly. When someone asks where your from, and where you serve, they are always: "Wow, it must be hard dealing with a...b...c... Then you reply: "No, it must be so hard you dealing with a..b...c..."

It's almost like, we feel each others pain, and joy. They say they would have a hard time dealing with Muslims, and I say I would have a hard time dealing with people who don't believe in God.

Just to reemphasize the need here in this part of the world. (500 million people, and 290 at the English section.) Granted, some can't come, missionaries have a hard time using vacation, some needgreaters are Japanese and Korean, some are content with the local language. Point being, look at the publisher count for these 500 million people in South-East Asia and then realize that ones who have moved here to help you can probably know by name after a short period of time.

That's for the normal speaking/hearing people. We go to the needs of the deaf, and we just have entered into a whole NEW discussion. Because most of you are not in Sign Language, I will keep this short...

(I was touched, couldn't eat dinner that night)



The deaf can tell we are different. They can see, we have something they are yearning for. Unfortunatly we are always playing catch-up. Not enough DVD's, congregations, good interpreters, people that know Sign Langauge, people on board, effective teachers, and brothers.

After seeing this first hand globally you always feel you want to give some type of spiritual chocolate when you do get in a situation that opens in front of you. The above picture is during a lunch break on Sunday. They are all studying the Bible with the exception of the Japanese sister in the back. She is an EXCELLENT signer. She moved to serve where the need is great speciffically for the deaf in Thailand.

I was able to offer a meal prayer in a sort of natural sign and too give some encouragement about the Devil's fight against them and too keep at there study and progress. It's one of those small things in life that really go a long way. You feel there plight: no tools in there language, only 1 brother who knows Thai sign, family against them, untold abuse and headache in their early years, trying to learn about a God that they have been told made them deaf, and the list goes on.
You can see my smile. It was from the heart. I first came to Thailand in 2004 and things are moving forward, but still a lot to be done...
(The answer to help the deaf and the world???)



Case in point was the recent "Disaster Awareness" conference at the United Nations. I had a secular job for interpreting English into Indonesian Sign Language. Then from ASL to English for the audience when the deaf person presented. Most countries reported to us that they havn't even set up a Sign Language in there country yet. Some thought Sign Language was universal. Oh boy.

Without going into too much detail it turned out to be quite an experience. Delegates from 24 different countries or so, and with some help from the local Thai Bethel a nice witness to the nations was given via the Awake dealing with Natural Disasters.
(Thai deaf students, Banglore teacher, Iranian Sign teacher, an Indonesian deaf, and some ASL folk)



After 7 hours of interpreting it's always nice to meet deaf Thai, Malaysian and Chinese people in the street. Only on Khao San road in Bangkok can you run into deaf from 4 different countries. That's why I always bring my laptop. You never know when your going to run into a deaf chinese woman who wants to learn about Jesus, and you happen to have the "Delivernce at Hand" DVD as well as God's friend, pictures, and slideshows of deaf Jehovah's Witnesses.

(China, Malaysia, Indo, I don't know)



Again, without going into detail, communication is always fun. Somehow the Malaysian deaf kid knew chinese, and chinese Sign language, and I understand Thai Sign, and we had some ASL, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, Natural sign all getting mixed together at 10 p.m. at night. So you can imagine how it went explaing GOD! Just another day in the SL world.

I think the first B is covered.
B number 2 was about Big cities. Singapore in particular.

(Singapore... What to say)



The more I come to Singapore the more it blows me away that Indonesia and Singapore are only 45 minutes apart. It's seriously like going into the twilight zone. Gosh man's governments is so messed up.

(Singapore... The true beauty)



They have a bookstudy now in Sing. GM DVD. Big news. Lot to say, but can't. Keep up the prayers.

Heading down the Malacca straight we run into a place called Batam. Only 45 minutes from great Singapore we hit Batam. Where sights like these are normal.

(Indonesia... What to say)



Yaaaaaaaa, anyways, I'm sure Jakarta the capital is better... Right?

(Money and no Money)



Like all of the other parts of SE Asia, the true beauty is it's people. The gentelman on our left is the head of the Deaf Organization in Indonesia. He's our deaf president... He doesn't know what he's in for with us...

(The 3rd B= Bahasa Isyarat Gerkatin)



I honestly don't mean to do it. Travel extensively that is. I guess it's like trying to put reins on a wild horse. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

In the meanwhile, while I'm still running in the wild I want to make it count. Lot to do, little time, if we can chip away at it and get things done, so be it. I can catch up on sleep after the 1000 years.


Thanks for reading: TK

Monday, September 24, 2007

One year and counting...



Kurang! Not enough.

Not too long ago was an article explainging how if you want to move to a foreign country you should
a. Try it out first.
b. Make plans to go long term if you indeed to choose so.
So true!

I passed the year mark here in Indonesian a few weeks ago, and although all together I have been in Indoneisa around a year and a quater, you really feel there is so much left to learn. I am just now getting some of the idiosyncyresies sunken into me. Starting to really get more out of the meetings, and getting the culture figuried out a bit.

I do feel like this is home. Which everyone says is key. But, it's really true. I loved the New England summers, friends, and activities, but it almost feels like a past story that once was...

So instead of recapping the last year, I am going to patch up the things I missed.

-------------------

Sign Language

Back to February. The zone overseers visit.
Yes it was great, seeing some friends who I havn't seen in 3 years. Amazing those missionaries that I learned Indonesian with will be coming up on 4 years this February! All are still faithfully serving here.

But for Sign Language it was a reunion of sorts. Many new ones that I have met doing the workshops, others since the start, others new to the game. But, it was touching. Here's the video.

(Well 7 months late, but still pretty)



What else about Sign Language?
Really too much. Were up to 16 deaf baptised now. This year that has gone past has helped 4 or 5 come in the truth.

The Jakarta group which was first formed in April of 2004 was given the approval to do a trial run of the whole district assembly program in full sign language. This was at the nationaly indoor stadium in Jakarta. At the same time there was the the English program as well as the Indonesian. Unfortunatly at this time I was at the wedding and not present, but I did recieve a nice picture of the deaf publishers that were able to attend. ALL of them said how much clearer the program was and easier to understand by doing a FULL SL talk and not interpreted.

(That's still without a publication)



Other SL news. We just updated our curriculum for teaching SL classes. What a great/busy week! Joice who is a special pioneer specifically for sign classes, came up as well as Herman our deaf brother and some other brothers who have the concept of SL down pat.

They helped interpret that week, and the local friends loved it. We not only had the c.o. but there was a new arrangement for SL , that was explained to us. Without going into details, the letter from the organization is a huge answer to our prayers with better organizaton for SL especially in a country like Indonesia where this is still a relatively new thing.

(48 at the meeting with 8 deaf... An improved difference then a year ago)



--------------------

Kingdom Hall Construction

I promised a while back to tell you about some of the things that happened with construction under the lands with limited resources project. A promise is a promise.

I lost my job February 28th. March 1st started the project. Go figure. The hall went into planning stages such as searching for land, all the way back to September 2004. The project took some 3 months to complete. Now 3 months may seem like a long time construction wise, but in this part of the world, that is extremely fast.

(The official video. (Sorry was made for a projector not for the internet. Some pics will be very small)




Many of the brothers and sisters (actually nearly all) have to work full-time. Besides the construction team from Bethel of 7, there were 6 others that were there everyday of the project in some form. A handful of brother's either quit their job, or took huge pay cuts so they could be at the project daily. (Sunday's were off for meetings and service)

The community definitly noticed. There is a church at the adjoining property that you can see in the second picture of the below movie. That has been under construction for years. The church goers would see are building go up and up every week. Some made positive comments. Others, including the school were really impressed. Many contracters who we bought supplies off were baffled by the fact there was no "boss."

Others were dumbfounded to see people of different Indonesian tribes working together. And of course, when they saw the foreigners, they all thought we were the bosses, and why would we be working with the locals. Lastly was the workmanship. The quality of the work was well reported on. That it was not a hack-job, but true quality.

What was really special though was the friends. The association, the brotherhood.

(The surroundings, the daily life, the people)




I had no idea that Indonesians loved volleyball so much. It became our pastime. Either chess, sleeping, or volleyball! It was one of 3.
This was after work one day. The project was moving along, we had lots of volunteers that day, and as usual someone had a guitar and a song book. This was spontaneous, and I'm glad I was able to capture it. I know you will enjoy it.

(After construction all day, this is what we do)



Time for the dedication. Nearly 4 years after starting to search for the land, two years to get the permit to build. Then months and months to get approval from the dept of religion, then to actual get the approval from the branch, start building, then you have the dedication. PHEW.

A member of the branch commitee came, (who happens to be overseeing SL) and gave a inspiring talk. He mentioned how the truth came to the island of Batam WAY back in 1988. That's actually a long time ago Indonesian standards. It was a special pioneer who came, and then others followed.

There are now 4 congregations on the island, with a SL group. He mentioned the growth still continues in Indoneisa as we had a new peak publishers of 20,508, and over 50,000 at our memorial this year. So another 5% growth in the country. He menioned the missionaries, construction, and how Jehovah is truly supporting the work through his power. The brother broke down the verses in 1 Samuel 12:21-24.

We had a gorgeous day, and 200+ at the dedication. Seating was inside, and outside, with a slideshow presention and some snacks after.
One nice comment from a visitor who is the boss of the Presiding Overseer and happens to be a foriegner told me the following. "What really suprises me is the quality of the work here. It is nearly impossible to get quality work here in Indoneisa. Also, Rino (P.O) came through on his promise. He said he wanted to work half days for 3 months. We worked out a deal, and low and behold at 3 months it was finished! I couldn't believe it! He stuck to his word."

(212, quite fitting isn't it)



---------------------

The People

I can't not reflect over things I have missed explaining on this blog without saying how unique the people are. It really is one of the best things about learning a language, is learning the life stories and experiences of a people from a different background and life then you had.

Take Daniel for example. He has been in full time service around 20 years, and serves at the Branch for accounting. He gave a brief experience about what happened with he was a special pioneer in an eastern province of Indonesia in the late 80's. Being a special pioneer in a country under-ban was not a walk in the park.
Someone called the police on him when he was in service. They arrested him, beat him, beat him, beat him, until he said he ate some of his own teeth.
He spent 13 months in prison. Every monday was beating day. They used to beat him, beat him, beat him, till they couldn't know more.
He was thrown in solitary confinement with no light, no windows, no nothing for over a week. He told me he just sang kingdom songs. He also mentioned the whole time they used to beat him, he felt no pain. He felt calm as he know Jehovah' spirit was helping him.

(Woaaah, thanks for the encouragement)



Most of the brothers and sisters do have some type of story. In my area, most are new in the truth, which means many don't have family in the the truth. So they have a story. The longer ones, have lived through the ban. So they have a story.

Your average Indonesian has something there up to too. Some, its just searching for how to get some rice. But no matter what happens, there's not a day that goes past that some random person will yell. "HELLO MISTER!"
If your white, and a male, your going to hear "Hello Mister," minimum 10 times a day if your out in public.

You never know what your going to see.
Floods, 5 people on a motor bike, guys climbing up telephone polls, people stealing underground cables, people washing there clothes in dirty water, or the following picutre.

(Um, ya, )



You just don't know when Mickey and Mr. Pooh happen to pop up when your eating fried rice and crab.

----------------------

Sum Up

So it's been a year. A fast year, but a year none the less. I look forward to seeing how Jah's spirit continues to work with us in this unique field of Indonesian Sign Langauge. Over 3 million deaf muslims, with 4 million deaf all together scattered of 17,000 islands. For 0 offical SL congregations.

We have some groups REAL close to becoming congs, and from there, well who knows...

Thanks for the emails and thoughts, all the best, stay busy, and enjoy the ride. Cause the coaster is picking up some steam!

Tom

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tired yet Happy of Trips

"Life is like a canvas, you should throw as much paint on as it as you can."

Lot of buckets, lot of colors, but I'm happily tired.

(Preaching is very colorful. This was in the road while preaching in Ft. Lauderdale with the Portugese cong.)



Good friends and family are truly those 'bright spots in life.'
One of those good friends got married, and I didn't want to miss it. Good friends like Dave don't come around every day. And to prove it, he timed his wedding to be at the same time as the 'need greater/english assembly' in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

It was 3 calender days for me to get there from Indonesia. And after tons of airline food, inflight movies, and transfers, it was so nice on my last flight from Panama to Ecuador to have brothers on the plane! Not only that but one of them I knew from bethel.

(Sweet treat, Convention here we come!)



The convention itself. What to say. It was a big shot in the arm for me. It's funny, as normally the baptism talk here is changed to spefically encourage the missionaries, construction workers and need greaters to stay in their assignment. This year saw 4 young ones dedicate themselves to Jehovah. I believe all of whom were children of needgreaters who are growing up in a foreign field. The baptism talk was an actual baptism talk.

They have people from all over the world who have come to assist in preaching there. You feel part of a team, a special bond. Totally different then here in S E Asia. You can count all of us for these 10 countries. Theres more need greaters in Ecuador then all of S E Asia put together. But with the visa situation they have there, and a favorable people, and a extremely supportive branch its clear to see why many have chosen the ecuadorain macedonia.

"Need Greaters Welcome." (but don't forget us in Asia)



If you travel it doesn't mean you can't preach. Dave and I went to set up his apt for his incoming seniorita roomate. I got to do a day in service and take in the views and see the local delicacies.

(Makan babi nngak biasa di Indoneisa) For 5 bucks you can have a pigs head. Hungry?



A few days before the wedding I had some time solo to travel around. I took a $4.50 bus ride that was honestly comparable to going through the Swiss Alps. Breath taking views through the Andes mountains. Every so often you would see a cross on the side of the road indicating were a car or bus took the corner a little to wide and had a long trip down.

(Ya, swiss alps, your great, but this is 3/4 of the price)



The above picture is Mt. Chimbarazo. I ended up going 4,000 meters or so up there, and got motion sickness, fever, and run down. But, these Ecuadorian girls came to the rescue, got me down the mountain and looked after me. The next day on the way to the bus, I saw 2 brothers who were doing the campaign and invited them to the convention the next day and got them some books. Such is typical in travel. Funny enough, before going up the mountain I searched for 2 to 3 hours for the Kingom Hall, and everyone kept sending me to the mormon church.

The wedding...

(Congrats bro, I think we all lost the bet on who would get married first)



I could show a bunch of photos, but all of you have been to weddings. Here's the thing though. There both spending there 1st year of marriage in a mountain town that is an isolated group not a cong. They are both pioneering together there and no family is around for at least 6 hours. It's a real simple apt, and they will lead a simple life. Nothing but love for you Dave... See you in Asia, another wedding, or paradise.

United States
Brooklyn, Stanely, Patterson, Watch Hill, NY, NJ, CT, RI, NH, MA , in 6 days? Yes. Smart? Yes. Well, not all vacations are relaxing and leisure. It was so good to see family, friends, Bethel, my roots, to preach, and a sunrise.

I did forget how bad/strange/anything goes attitude in the U.S. The longer i'm away from the U.S. the more you realize how truly warped it is. Here's an example.

(TIMES SQUARE TATOOS in the street)



My cousin Alex has the privelge of serving now at Patterson bethel. He got us in for lunch, some fresh pastries out of the oven, and got to see some old friends who are still in there assignments, as well as the new missionaries coming to Indonesia soon.

(Best place to be if your a young hungry man, 3 all you can eat buffet's every day!)



Visitng my roots was nice. This is a note for family or those who have been to my grandmother's pool. I'm sorry. This is the last jump from the diving board at nonnies. The diving board has been there for 15 years, then this happened. I'm sorry, really am. We have a lot of good memories at the pool, and as a family together. I will admit that I am the guilty party who broke it.

(The board went out with a bang)



Watch Hill.

Got to give love to WH. If you have never watched a sunrise on the ocean, it's worth the investment. The stock never loses value if you take a digital picture or a picture in your heart.

(Personal Time)



Family

We have all gotten older. Hopefully that means wiser, more mature, spiritual. We definitly glued togehter well that week.
To families out there who has someone living far away, cherish the time BEFORE they leave. To others who soon will move away, cherish it NOW.

(Figures, we take the picture 2 minutes before needing to leave, on the last day. Somethings never change)



England/Wales

As mentioned, beautiful to see old friends. In the truth it seems sometimes that even if you don' see people for a long time, you can almost 'catch up' in a matter of minutes.

Rich and Steve did just that. A quick tour of the countryside of Wales, preaching at castles, a gathering with the local brothers, sunsets by David Beckhams summer home, and a pint or two.

(Steve, come out in visit, just don't bring the rain!)



It was interesting to hear of the growth of Foreign Languages groups/congregations in the U.K. Rich is supporitng Polish, and we got to do some preaching. But who did we find? Indonesians of course. Yes in Bournemouth England there are two houses full of Indonesians. Needless to say they took all the Indonesian literature we could come up with, and were blown away a white person knew there language.

(After preaching in a different language, this is the results)



So yes, tired yet happy. Lot of color, lot of buckets, but still so many colors I have not yet seen.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Catch up or Ketchup

It goes on hot dogs, chips (french fries for americans), and sometimes steak and eggs. That's what we call "Ketchup."

(This could use some ketchup. It was live grubs from a tree stump! High on protein and energy they said. I ate 3. I was with the security guards, and it promotes a nice relationship)



I'm trying to play "catch up." That's when your working full-time, in full-time service, and fully involved in a whole bunch of things.

I promised the 1st week of July to have the slide show done for the Kingdom Hall project. Would you like some fries with that? I also still have the video clip from the zone overseers visit for our deaf section. Would you like mustard with your hot dog? I also have not updated this blog in 2 months. Would you like white or wheat toast with your steak and eggs?

So, to catch up now.

We had the conveniton. Deaf section amazingly got approved to sit up in the front of the auditorium after years of litigation and trial, but the verdict came up correct. If your with SL you understand.
I believe around 4 people I invited via the campaign came, which I didn't know until seeing them weeks later. We had around 600 (already forgot) at our convention.

(And the crowd went wild)



The big news was the media came. The local T.V. news as well as the newspaper. Now, granted the 7 p.m Saturday news and a local newspaper is not the biggest news story ever. It's the fact the Islamic majority media actually made time with us on a theme entiled "Follow the Christ."
You know why the came??? They heard about a deaf/sign language section! They were so impressed that we were reaching out to the deaf. GOOD thing we were sitting right down in the front.

Lastly on the convention...

The university that we rent from, (where I was going to actually work) discounted our rent 50% due to the fact we cleaned and took care of it so well! They were so impressed. The director of the school told me: "I have never seen a more dedicated people to a building that is not theres."

(My favourite song, with or without sign language)



Other conventions in Indonesia.
Medan had over 40 deaf at their interpreted convention with 3 new deaf baptised. 1 being a male from well,,, a member of a big religion before.
Jakarta had the first/trial run of a all sign language convention 1st week of august. The room packed out at 130. So others were turned away. Every talk was in sign. The deaf were thrilled. Some cried. 1 was baptised. Some of the deaf who had went to interpreted conventions in other cities said they got so much more out of this one. Sunday had ready,... 59 deaf. That's for 1 city. Actually, that's nearly half the attendees.


I as well have had some guests. This one was a real treat though. They were a newly married couple who were sent to be special pioneers on these islands that are literally in the middle of nowhere. They are close to Malaysia and Thailand. Appartently there are Vietnamese and Cambodians that have mingled down there over the years. They are the only two publishers on the islands of some 25+ They have been married for 3 months and are minimum 20 hours away via boat to the nearest congregation.

They needed a ride to the airport on Monday a.m. so they came and spend the night on sunday before. Really nice time. And what he did for us was really nice here as well... watch below.

(You really never know who your guests may be...)



Other guests.
Had the young guys from the congregation over. There was 9 of us, or 10. It was too confusing and too fast. Much love and respect to you parents out there. My house was so trashed, and getting food ready for 9 boys isn't easy.

(Well at least they found a lizard to cook up for dinner!)



Preaching of course is always good here. No complaints about that. I spent a day with these 2 special pioneer sisters who have only a estimate of 20,000 people to preach too on there island, not too mention the other ones scattered all over the place that have not been preached too yet.

But had a great day and evening as the power was out. So we all sat outside and watched the naturally electric stars!

(So 1 watchtower for 1 chilli. Sounds like a good deal)



I have a lot of nice nature pics, but it takes too long to upload and so I will just give you a little taste...

View from the front yard.
"Natures forever stress reliever"



September 1st will update again??? Maybe... Or it will be catch up again.
Cheers and enjoy your meal with ketchup, for who knows what bread or if we will have bread tommorow.

Friday, June 08, 2007

2 months and still 'tickin'



What’s new with you?
Since the sudden change in circumstances back on February 28th, the lemon to lemonade scenario of life has become a beautiful drink on a hot summer day here in Indonesia.

When I suddenly lost my job, visa, drivers license, income, and had to leave the country, a definite lemon of life was put before me. Then that very same night, it was announced about the urgent need of help building a KH. So the last 3 months has been basically KH, KH, Kingdom Hall. A REFRESHING drink of lemonade.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
There is only a few days left of the project, I won’t tell you until it’s all done, then you can see the pictures for yourself. Check back before July 1st.
In the meanwhile-

SUB PLOTS

GUESTS:
Matt, Yasui, Leanne, Byron, Gary, Nita, Claire and Kelly. These 6 brothers and sisters came to help on the project and Byron helped in the Sign Language.

I can’t underestimate the spiritual lift they provided for the local brothers and sisters as they actually got to meet their brothers and sisters from other lands.

(Matt the aussie with the construction crew at my home to watch new organization video.)



Yasui is from Japan who is serving as a missionary here in Indonesia since being around 30 years old. It was nice as he for the first time in 3 years was going back home. (That’s the arrangement for missionaries) So he stopped over in Batam on his way to Singapore. Well, we both learned Bahasa Indonesia together back in 2004, and his Indonesian is very fine. We have nearly 100 single people in my congregation so he was interviewed ‘last minute’ for the goal of encouraging the young people in the hall to have spiritual goals. He himself was raised in a divided household and yet still made his own relationship with Jehovah.

(A GUEST IN THE TENT)



Byron is an old friend of mine from Sign Language back in NYC. He was doing his first Asia trip, and did a week or so here in Indonesia.
Funnier than that is when we visited the branch in Jakarta, Seth (American, but serving in Indo with his Indonesian wife) use to work on the same floor as byron about 8 years ago in 360 Furman. (now sold)

(THERE TALL, I’m short.)





What was great about having Byron is it was only his 2nd country he’s traveled to in his life. (If I remember correct.)
So everything was new, exciting, cool, wow, how come, why do they, what’s that, that’s crazy, funny…
I think everybody needs a tourist or a foreigner visiting once in a while. You get a perspective and a view your not used too.

To get around Java, Twompal and Aping (husband and wife who have been in Sign Language since the beginning in Indo) showed us a GREAT TIME.
We went to the bird park which shows 1000’s of birds from all over Indonesia. (amazing beauty.)

(BISA BAHASA ISYARAT??? QUUUAAAWWWCK)



We then went to the Safari, which involved us hitting this huge beast in front of us. Byron and I were laughing our heads off as he backed into this ox which was bigger then the car, and Twompal and Aping were scared out of their minds.

(The ox tried to eat the headlight, and scratched the car up a bit)





This speaks for itself. The Safari had lions, tigers, rhinos, bears, cheetahs, but I would not want to mess with a hungry hippo.

(Does your wife brush your teeth for you?)




THIS WAS AMAZING…
In my life I don’t know if I have ever seen anything so thought provoking. This is a perfect example of what Adam could have done, then lost, which we will get back.
If I didn’t have the photos you probably wouldn’t believe me.

This is an elephant painting a picture on a tee-shirt. The man is guiding the trunk but not moving it. It’s the elephant, and elephant only. After every color the girl gives him some food.

(What will we be able to do with animals in Paradise?)



Here’s the finished product.

(US $7.50 a tee-shirt)




This orangutan was on the motorbike just sitting there. Then suddenly he stuck out his hand. I was thinking, ‘why is this orangutan sticking his hand out to me.? I reached over and he shook my hand! Hilarious we shook about 3 times on different occasions. Then they all packed on with Ranger Rick here, and headed off to a banana tree on their bike!

(Typical Indonesia, they even drive illegally with the animals! Where is your helmets?!)




So if were going to Jakarta, we must go to the SL meetings. I won’t explain much about this picture, but you will see the finished product in your area sometime this summer or early fall. The brothers worked soooo hard on this.

(Thanks boys and girls, sorry you didn’t get home to 1am.)



Jakarta Indonesias Sign Language meeting on Sunday involves bookstudy, wt, theocratic school and public talk. The public talk was unique as you’ll ever see.
Twompal interview Byron.
How?
Indonesian Sign Language of course.
Byron though only knows ASL (American)
So they asked me to interpret sign languages.
Twompal would ask the questions in Indonesian Sign. (byron would watch as well,) then I would translate that Sign Language into ASL.
Byron would then answer in front of the group in ASL, and I would stop him every 15 to 20 seconds then translate that too Indonesian Sign.
Needless to say the deaf were REALLY encouraged. Many of the hearing too as it basically told them the things there going through, most of us have been there and experienced that too!

(They met about becoming a cong {would be Indo’s first} we’ll see what happens. Pray for them)



Back in Batam, been nice that I have a home and can entertain the local friends. One night I woke up and there was like 10 people sleeping all over the floors. Typical. I went to bed, and I guess it was a sleepover. It’s amazing how the Indonesians can sleep.
So they have fun, and I get needed association with the locals. Here’s Yoshua getting some fresh young coconut we would later drink

(You look like a monkey my friend)



They always like to swim in the pool, and ate a lot of rice.

(Aldi and Vita having a race)



Back to those guests…
Kelly and Claire are sisters from the U.K. They have both traveled numerous places around the world. Would they be ready for Indonesia?
Yup.

The local brothers and sisters were all over them, so concerned. How can they have a motorbike? It’s after dark? Many, many, concerns.
So this night they were following me to the KH on a Sat night. It was torrential downpour. But what can you do?
The roads were flooded, cars stuck, motorcycles stalled because the water was to deep, and the girls kept following me. Then they had to cross a mini river as the road was washed out. They did it! All by the way in their skirts.

(Ya, better to come wet, then not come)



Gary and his wife Nita have lived with me for about a month. Nothing like having a 58 year old dad/brother/leader of a band.

(No comment)





Preaching.
Deaf are everywhere. This deaf person is 21 and works at a peanut factory. Out in the farms. To get to his house it’s rough. Muddy roads, but a goreous rice/vegetables fiels is the backdrop.

(Didn’t know one sign, we’ll see how it goes)

-Featured at Top-

(Wild Pineapples on the way to a deaf R.V.)



Last…
Nothing like a good sunrise, and sunset.
It’s funny. I have had a dream for many years that in the new system I would own a home with the sunrise and sunset from the same house.
No idea it would be in Batam Indonesia teaching God’s word to deaf muslims that dreams would come true.

(Here’s a doctors visit and advise for good health:
start the day watching the sunrise)




(Here’s a doctors visit and advice for good health:
finish the day watching a sunset)