Saturday, August 18, 2012

10 Months of Experiences in Jakarta

Lots of Pictures... Lots of experiences...

(In this HI plaza picture you can see a rare treat here in Jakarta. A blue sky and some clouds. This plaza is in the heart of the city; really the heart of the country. People from all over Indonesia come to the big malls of Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia. Malls are an excellent way to stay cool and to talk to people)

Getting off a bus a noticed a girl sitting on a wall at Indonesia's famous HI traffic circle. She was crying and had tissue paper all over her face. “Are you Ok? What’s wrong? Can I help you?” I said to her. “It’ s Ok, thank you very much, ‘sniffle, sniffle.’ It turns out her boyfriend of 1 year just broke up with her. I gave her an illustration of going the wrong way on the road. Better to stop and turn around then continue going the wrong way. The crying stopped and then she read 1 Corinthians 7 and Isaiah 48:17,18. She agreed to know it’s best to focus on spirituality in her life. A “Real Faith” brochure was placed in Indoneisan and the picture of paradise really touched her. She commented “thank you so much for your caring attention.” Later after the scriptures were read she said “this is the first time in my life a man has shown care for me.”

(I have really grown to appreciate small things amist a concrete jungle. There is jasmine flowers where the slight whiff makes all the noises stop. There is the bunga kambodja flower when squeezed oil comes out making your hands feels sweet. Most of the time there just waiting to be picked up) 

While doing door to door we did the last home on the street that turned out to be a music school. There was a driver who was just sitting by himself outside. We went to see if he spoke English. He did, since in the past he had bosses that taught him English. A few weeks later we met again and a discussion ensued. He took a Bible Teach book and we started a study. The following week again. Then I couldn’t find him for a long time, nor did he reply to my text messages. When I called him, he answered. He was in Java looking for work. I didn’t forget about him and texted him in the future about having a study again. He replied saying he had moved to Java and really wanted to have a bible study with JW’s and attend their meetings. Economic problems and family pressures have made him depressed. I then asked around and found a group over 1 hour from his home. The brother would come with 3 motor bikes to pick him and his wife and one child to bring them all the way back to attend the meeting. He is regularly studying the Bible Teach book and will attend the district this summer.

(When you go door to door you enter the world of hundreds if not thousands of different homes. They each have their own designs and intricate things. What they can do here in Jakarta with small spaces outsides is never boring to the senses.)

Going door to door an old Javanese Muslim woman in her 80’s came out saying “Who are you looking for?” “Your at the wrong house!” I said “I’m looking for you!” She said: “But I’m busy!” “I’m fasting today, and praying.” I said “Good! You’re a spiritual woman! That’s why I’m here to give you something to read on your spiritual day!” “Do you know that prophecy’s from God are coming true right now?” “Yes they are!” she replied. I gave her the magazine on 6 Bible Prophecy’s. She said: “IS that for me? That’s a gift? OOOOH Thank You, come on in!” A discussion ensued, scriptures were shared. It turns out she had traveled the world with her husbands business but he had passed away and she lived all alone. I left her with a question where are the dead, and will we see them again. She said: “Tell me now!” I said “you still are praying and fasting today and I already gave you the magazine.” The following week we read scriptures on death and resurrection including pictures in the BT book, which brought tears to her eyes. A study was started. 

(Nature has a way of standing out and jumping at you...)

Two sisters were doing door to door and met a woman who had just been praying to God. Their thought was to have an abortion since financially they can’t afford having any more children. Not soon thereafter our sisters came and showed them the God view of life and abortion. The woman was overjoyed. One week passes, two weeks pass, and the woman seem like she was avoiding them. The husband said she was sick, and seemed to be pushing them off. The next time again, no one was home. I asked our sister how the call was. She said, well, I pretty much have given up since I think they seem they don’t want to talk again. I said let’s go one more time. Sure enough, no one home. I encouraged her to do something we learned in pioneer school. –Leave a note.- Recently I read an experience of a woman who did that and when the notes stopped the householder was sad. I said: “Show her you care, leave a scripture, your phone number and we’ll go.” After the note was finished the husband ended up coming to the door. He had happened to be taking a shower. We talked to him and gave him the note and some magazines. Later on the woman ended up texting our sister and said in part “thank you so much for your note, care, and scripture. I just wanted to let you know that we decided were not going have the abortion. Thank you so much!”

(Where can you find people who speak English? Yes, even the 40something floor of a luxury high rise building with blue views as far as the eyes can see. It will be fun when we can design our dream houses.)

Doing some business territory we asked if anyone spoke English and sure enough a man started talking to us from the 2nd floor. He came down and it turned out he had lived somewhere in the Mid-west United States. His wife was an English teacher and his daughter was deaf! He had many questions and said: “There is one question no one has ever been able to answer me, what happens when we die.” A BT book was placed and a study started. Ironically, he was preached to by Jehovah’s Witnesses in America. At that time in his life he said he wasn’t thinking spiritual things. Now I’m ready he said. My wife has a Christian background, I’m Muslim but I have many things I don’t know.

(The tea plantations outside the city provide a gorgeous backdrop for talking to tourists as they take in natures green wonders. Wherever you go a bright smile and 'hello, how are you?' opens a way to discuss the promise of paradise)

I started talking to some ex-pats and when they ask what I do I tell them I'm a spiritual teacher. That usually opens up opportunities to talk about how big and extensive the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses do here in Indonesia. In many cases with Europeans it turns into religion is the source of problems. With one man from Denmark in this conversation of four educated, atheistic people, he trashed religion, said it needs to be destroyed, and is a cause of so many abuses throughout history and deceit. When I agreed with him and told him I look forward to the destruction of false religion and the Bible promises it, he became speechless, shook my hand, and said “in all my life I have never met a missionary or any religious person who agreed with me on that… I’m very impressed… A Jehovah’s Witness.” 

(The trend of getting use to things can be unfortunate only if one realizes exactly what he's seeing that's normal. Sometimes in these cases I remember I have a blog and pull the camera out to take a picture. An old lady in her 70's on a bike and well... see for your self.)

I saw a big gringo/bule/caucasian with what seemed to be his wife leaving Carrefour Supermarket. I decided to follow them and give them some magazines. On closer look it seemed a man from Papua was with them. On closer look again it was Joe Jackson (Michael Jackson’s father). I offered him some magazines, and he said he gets them all the time from his wife. I talked to a man with him. He happily talked about how the witnesses have a nice Kingdom Hall in Las Vegas and are very wonderful people. Katherine is very nice, and he was happy to hear and suprised how many JW’s there are even in Indo! He took magazines and a Bible Teach book. 

(If you have an idea, market it and make money is the motto here. This gentleman- and I'm sure many like him see the idea to pray as a great business opportunity. Notice in his hands are counters so you can tell how many times you have done your prayers)

Going door to door we met a young muslim man in his 20’s who lived for 6 years in Singapore working as a DJ. He spoke fluent English and a discussion ensued. His wife is Christian and there were many things he didn’t understand with Christianity including the Lord’s prayer. The following week we explained that prayer and many more questions came. He explained there was family opposition from both sides for marrying someone from the opposite religion. He also wanted to know what his wife believed because he needs to know what they should teach their children in the future. A bible teach book was placed and he started studying. 

(Indonesians are no where near the dancing culture of the latinos. BUT, Indonesians like to sing, chant, play guitar, wherever. Imagine you want a slurpy but this is what you have to walk through to get it!)

While at a 7-11 doing some emails. I noticed a young businesswoman sitting, smoking and staring off into nowhere. I approached her and just spoke English asking her are you OK? Do you need some encouragement? She was quite shocked. In fact she did. She has been trying to find the purpose in life and was in a mild depression. She’s a singer in a band and works at an office. After sharing some scriptures and giving the magazine on suffering she said “Are you an angel?” “Who are you?” “This is really interesting.” “Seriously, are you sent by God?” 
Meeting her again at a Starbucks she introduced me to  her ex-boyfriend who was Muslim but went to a Catholic School. In a brief time he was dumbfounded at how clear the Bible’s teaching’s were although he attended a Catholic school. In all his years he never knew that God had a name Jehovah. Both he and his ex took BT books and he commented “I really want to know who you Jehovah’s Witnesses are! I have never heard of this!”

(Again, back to the point above. If you don't keep a camera with you, you'll miss so many good points in life that can make you smile. The sign below reads: POLICE OPERATION. I'm sure the cops are proud of how the situation was handled. I just can't make out if they stole the sign, or their workers fixing the sign)

Going door to door a car was pulling out driving away, I approached the car, asked if he speaks English and quickly left the magazines with him. The following week I came back he invited me in. Although he is a Catholic, his faith is waning due to all the suffering he has experienced, financial losses, and corruption in this world. In fact he felt it would have been better if God had just started again after Adam and Eve sinned so suffering would have never come. A Bible Study was started directly on the spot using the BT book -although brief since he had to go out.The following weeks the same thing. He expresses his appreciation that we as JW’s do these house-to-house visits with people providing comfort from the scriptures. 

(I'm still a sucker for a sunset no matter the location. We do get a sunset here in Jakarta about once ever 25 days or so. So gotta to be ready when the skies are clear and you can get some color.)

Down at the pool a young woman seemed to be struggling learning how to swim. I went and talked to her asking her if she really knew what she was doing? She said no, I'm learning. I taught her some tips and a Bible discussion ensued for nearly 2 hours while in the water. She was deeply disappointed with her faith since it puts woman on a second class. It turns out her boyfriend is European and a family group bible discussion was started. 

(This is the view from the building I live in. It's quite a view, quite trippy looking down, but in another sense almost magical from the 35th floor. And yes, you can feel the earthquakes from here!)

I noticed a man sitting in the common outdoor area looking lost and confused about life. I asked if I could sit next to him. He said sure. A discussion ensued how he’s completely worn out by the negative energy, mindset, traffic, and just life in general. He has had some suicidal thoughts. I pulled out my bible, shared him comforting scriptures and showed him pictures in the BT book. He was raised a Catholic in Spain, respects the Bible but has always been hurt how churches rejected him for being gay. He also said he was leaving in just a weeks time back to Spain. A bible study was quickly arranged for 2 days later. The study went well, he was extremely thankful for all the encouragement and his info was passed to the English congregation in Spain. 

(Every once in a while a blurp in the routine turns into a place of imagination. Some say it as having your cake and eating it too.)

Going door to door with these elite homes we met a Javanese Muslim who doesn’t speak English but his boss does. He got confused that I knew his boss so he let me in next time when doing not at homes. He showed us around this absolutely breathtaking home on the ocean. It turns out no one lives there but the boss comes everyday to relax for an hour or two. He gave us a tour and said how there’s no purpose to all of this money as the boss nor the family even enjoy it. He has a 150 million rupiah home theater that’s hardly ever used. I told him that it’s true that spirituality is more important then money. He agreed. I promise to come back the following week with magazines for him in Indonesian. We left him the magazines on Abraham he took them. Next week he had read the article 4 times and absolutely loved it. We placed a real faith brochure with him and started a study using this brochure. He read that. He then recieved a BT book. He read that too. We gave him a Bible. Within a week had already read until Numbers. He said his favourite was Leviticus.

( Little kids- I have no idea what this white buffalo is taking about, but what he's saying sounds funny!)


I gave magazines to a maid who said her boss could speak English. I asked her which home and she said there’s only 1. So another day I went over that area and there was not 1 but hundreds of houses. An old man and his grandsons said hello to me and asked me where I was going in English. A discussion ensued and the11 year old boy told me about winning a story telling competition in his district in English. His story dealt with giants. I promised them a brochure that deals with giants. The following week I brought “Listen to God” brochure and we started a bible discussion right there with him and his brother. A bible study still continues using God's Friend. 

(Using IPADS, ANDROIDS, BLACKBERRY'S or whatever way to get the message out. This way they can see the BT book online in Persian)

One evening at my pool I started a conversation with an Iranian. It turns out he was here escaping religious oppression. Discussions and a study ensued. He started making some fine progress including attending a meeting. One day though after the study he asked me to get baptized. I told him thats very commendable, and if it's your wish you can get there someday but need to do a few things first. The next week he didn't come to the meeting. Then no answers to his phone calls. It turns out he; along with other refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran went on those illegal boats that take them to Australia. Unfortunately the bought capsized and David as well as nearly 100 others died. yes, the reason he wanted to get baptized was he knew the possible dangers of what he was about to do. 

(The goal of the teacher is for the students to surpass the teacher... Go get um boys)

While going to a rv in Mall of Indonesia A brother and I were a bit lost. I took advantage of the opportunity to offer some magazines to 2 Africans eating at a fast food restaurant. One took the magazines, and I asked if they have heard of Jehovah’s Witnesses? He said yes, I am one! A discussion ensued and he related that he hasn’t been around the truth in nearly 5 years and he recently was just thinking that he wants to get back. His friends in Nigeria are now Aux pio’s, pio’s, m.s., and he feels I’m not doing anything. Since then he has attended the meeting, memorial, and circuit assembly. Two weeks ago he gave his first talk in the school and was announced as a publisher. 

(There's nothing like a good walk in the park...)

In Menteng there are 4 main parks. This is in our door to door territory area. We sometimes preach here. One time I noticed a bunch of Police officers and cameramen and a band. I stopped went over and talked to the GM who spoke fluent English. They were shooting a music video for t.v. I placed some magazines with him and when looking at them, he said I know someone who would like these better. He gave the magazines to his assistant who was Christian. He in turn had quite bible questions that were never answered. They then asked me to be in the music video. That’s the 4th time in many months of asked to be on Indonesian TV show. I was thinking of dropping the music magazine into the guitar instead of $$$.  

(Again, and again, funny things in Jakarta. A bunch of women in pink doing facial classes in the middle of a mall with see through windows so we can watch them pucker up)

In the Elevator I noticed a man’s pink shoes so I complemented him for being different. A conversation ensued; he invited me to his apartment. He turned out to be a fashion designer and took a BT book and bible discussions were started. 

(Visitors who come to to visit us here in Indonesia always brighten up the day. It's so wonderful some have responded to the call to come over to Macedonia and serve. We have had some single, some married come and check out Indo. It's great for them, and encouraging for us. Of course when it's a dear friend like Dave & hs

(The 2012 ABL Champions "The Indonesian Warriors." It's nice when your study is the GM)

I went to the office for the National Basketball League for Indoneisa. I met the GM of the basketball team and had a brief discussion and left him magazines. Before I left I just briefly mentioned we do bible discussions. He responded saying, you know we in the office were just talking about how on Friday’s when the Muslims go to pray, we should have a office bible study class. We were just starting to plan it! I said, how about this Friday at 11:00 am. They agreed. He said he accepts 5-10 people including some members of the team. On Friday I came and there were 2 girls present since many of the others were out of the office that day. We had a bible class for 1 hour, and both took the BT book and we continued doing studies with other members of the office.
In the same building I was doing some witnessing in the management office. The Muslim manager heard I was a Jehovah’s Witness and he said: “You’re a JW? Wahhhh. Good, good people. They used to come here for their conventions and they were so clean, orderly, and even the children sat and listened. I respect Jehovah’s Witnesses very much. He in turn gave me the contact information about the BPPT building where we have had our last assemblies. 

(Getting some fresh air in the rain forest)

Doing some shopping I noticed they had a Ginseng Stout Beer that I had only ever seen in Batam. I wondered if I could negotiate a special price with the manager. I met her and her husband who had lived in USA for over 10 years. I spoke in Indonesian for negotiating the price cheaper, but they kept answering in English and complementing my Indonesian asking how. I now realized the beer wasn’t important but giving a witness was. I explained about moving to Indonesian to help the deaf and had to learn the spoken language for the people in the kampung. She had many questions about how I could learn Indonesian as her daughter hasn’t done well adapting to life here. Many scriptures were shown as she opened up at her view of the hypocrisy of Christian religions asking for money. They had never been reached or heard of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Magazines were placed and YPA for their kids. It’s now a regular r.v. 

(Dear Ladies & Gentlemen, if you come into pray it will lessen some of the traffic)

There were 2 young Muslims who set up there own booth selling phones. There English was decent but they enjoyed conversing and sharing in English. We talked about many topics and magazines were placed. Coming back the following week they commented, “oh you remember us?” They read the magazines and enjoyed them. They commented although they are Muslim they have an open mind and enjoy sharing about Religion and God. A BT book was then placed. The following week though things had changed. They apologized to me and explained that although they enjoyed looking at the book, the brother-in-law was so irritated he yelled at them and told them to get rid of the book or lose his financial support for their cell phone shop. They had looked at the book, like it and didn’t understand why he was so mad. They apologized to me and said they couldn’t discuss further although they wanted too. A fine witness though was given to some who had never heard the truth.

(We rode on 1 of those Gilligan Island $3.00  for a '2 hour' tour. The hole in the back in the ship is always my fav bathroom stop)

A sister had a call that wasn’t home and at the same time there was someone coming home across the street. I went to see if they spoke English and they did. I placed some magazines. I didn’t really take note of it. In the future we were in the same area again and I remembered I once placed magazines there. My conscience was bothering me abit. I didn’t remember the house nor the person, only the steel gate. I only remember because in 2004 there were witnesses who lived there and I used to sleep over! I went to the home and it turns out they just bought the home from the witness sister. A bible discussion ensued using an introduction from the reasoning book about current events and world conditions. I thought I was preaching to the original man I met, but in reality it was his brother. He accepted and started a Bible study using the Knowledge book since that’s all we had at the time in the KH. We now use the bible teach. (Follow up an interest is key)

(For just a few minutes the sun comes up and gives colors that can shine anyones day)

While in a mall we were lost so a Indonesian  woman looked at us and said “You looking for something?” She then volunteered to ask the security where to go, and then accompanied us down to the shop. We talked to her and it turns out she lived overseas in America and Singapore for many years and still hasn’t adjusted to life completely in Indonesia. “Why not some Bible discussion’s in English?” I asked, so you can get a hour a week of something good in English. She said when she was younger she did have some education in a Christian school but didn’t get to much out of it. Literature was placed and a follow up was set up. 

(Once you pass the line of trash and raw sewage the Jakarta area opens up into a brave new world)

On Thursday nights there is a live jazz band down by the pool so I went to listen to it and see if any speak English. I started talking to a Batak Christian woman and her Muslim friend. When she asked me what religion I was, I said guess. When it came out I’m a witness she said “Oh no, danger!” A biblical discussion ensued where the batak woman was explaining how JW’s don’t follow the traditions of Batak’s, holidays, etc. Using scriptures to show why, the Muslim woman defended me giving historical proof the traditions are tied into spiritism. Solaria regularly takes and read the magazines and always asks bible questions when she’s in Jakarta. 

(An island without cars or taxis. It's ironic that as technology improves and advances we love to get away from it all to places that are simple with less technology)

In one mall area we decided to just listen if anyone spoke English. We found a Puerto Rican American preacher traveling the world spreading his Gospel. As he started getting fanatically deep into doctrines, I decided to talk to his girlfriend who was dressed like a hippy. I asked her what her religion was and she said Muslim. I asked do you understand that your boyfriend is a fanatical Christian? If you marry him, this won’t stop? She said, ya, but I don’t know why. He even says I will die and be killed and go to hell because I don’t except Jesus as my Savior. I started to explain what the Bible really teaches. Question after question ensued in Indonesian so the boyfriend wouldn’t understand or object while my partner  reasoned with him. She was so thrilled to no there was no hell fire and God is one, and many other basic truths that she said just make so much sense. She accepted the Bible Teach book, magazines and exchanged emails. She was here on holiday as she works in the middle east. Recently a sister was visiting from the middle east in Jakarta and is now following up with her. Funny enough her hotel she works at is right across the street from our sisters work.

(Where's the butterfly?)

Going door to door I left a magazines with a young Muslim teenager. Who responded, “I’m Muslim.” Using tips from the reasoning book under conversation stoppers I reasoned with him and left the magazines. The next time I was there I met his brother and the same answer “I’m Muslim.” This time again I reasoned with him and left a tract. The third time I reached the father who invited me in. He explained: I’m Muslim. Seeing his photos that he had traveled including going to Hajji I explained what we as JW’s believe. Although he had once knew a witness in Bandung who was a Dr, he hadn’t heard of what we believed. A discussion ensued, including reading scriptures and a Knowledge book was placed. He commented later: “So much of what you believe, is in harmony with what I believe and makes sense.” 

(Anytime you have a chance to get fresh, i mean FRESH food, you have to take advantage of it)

Preaching in the City Walk Mall we sat near the check out line and would say hello to people. One man works in Papua and in Jakarta. We got very deep and wanted to hear JW’s view about such topics as the Great Tribulation, America, the Wild Beast, Armageddon, and other deep topics. He was very excited to discuss this and mentioned he’s sure his African pastor from Zimbabwe would love to meet us! A Bible Teach Book was placed and when he is back from traveling he requested to meet again.
After he left another girl sat by us. She had the same type of phone so I asked her how she liked it. It turns out she was herself a Christian Bible Teacher who teaches some classes. We had a nice discussion and placed a bible teach book with her.
 In the same Starbucks we overheard some young people using Indoglish. They attend a Art school next door and all 3 took magazines. 

(The same principle for taking advantage of fresh food, I would say goes the same for swimming in a waterfall!) Take advantage of it!)

One evening in Senayan while waiting to eat, there was a large commotion. A woman somehow became offended at another customer and began yelling, screaming, swearing, and throwing things. Security and management were called to pull her away from the table. I noticed she was using bad 4-letter- words in English. So when security sat her down and she started crying I came over and said: “I noticed you speak English.” I began to tell her it would all be alright. Just relax and take some deep breaths. It won’t be such a big deal in the end. You’ll sleep it off and forget tomorrow. She said thank you. After a few minutes my conscious bothered me as I didn’t get to say anything scriptural. So I had the Awake on Depression. I placed that with her and gave her a card she could follow up with bible discussions.  

(This to me was like an oasis. In the middle of a volcanic mountain with sulphur this way and that way just happened to be a turquoise blue swimming hole. WOW was it refreshing.)

Darius was a high school student in a country under ban. One day in a Starbucks a brother approached him and started doing informal witnessing in a asian language.  When it turns out he was Indonesian he switched to English. A bible study was started until deep into the BT book. He also began to attend meetings. Darius then returned to Jakarta. Darius was looking for the congregation and/or Jehovah’s Witnesses but couldn’t find us anywhere in Jakarta during that time. After I met him, he was surprised that there even were witnesses in Jakarta in Indonesian, not all foreigners. He attended the meeting and commented at his first meeting. He  progressed well, joined the school and has become an un-baptised publisher.

(Trekking through nature you get mysterious yet beautiful spots in the jungle where people sit and eat chocolate and INDOMIE (packaged noodles) becomes the most desired food on the planet)

gave magazines to a maid who said her boss could speak English. I asked her which home and she said there’s only 1. So another day I went over that area and there was not 1 but hundreds of houses. An old muslim man and his grandsons said hello to me and asked me where I was going in English. A discussion ensued and the11 year old boy told me about winning a story telling competition in his district in English. His story dealt with giants. I promised them a brochure that deals with giants. The following week I brought “Listen to God” brochure and we started a bible discussion right there with him and his brother. A bible study still continues using the brochure. (Grandpa was Indonesians swimming coach and rep at the 3 different Olympics) 
(Mr. Leaf didn't plan it this way, yet it seems by getting beat up by rain and possibly stepped on it comes a piece of art)

Doing business territory we went to a building that turns out to be a a library, book store, and training/teaching places for a sect of Buddhism from Taiwan. They were happy to receive magazines for free in English, and one of the employees Tommy had many questions about Jehovah’s Witness’s and the Bible’s view of philanthropy, giving, an since that is a big cause of what they do. 

(Once in a while you get a quick shot and a quick view out the window of a train that seems to inspire hope of a paradise earth. The 20c packages of strawberries are nice to chew on while watching.)

Going door to door a old lady came to the home who couldn’t speak English nor did anyone else, but I noticed there were 2 BMW’s at the home. (Figured someone spoke English) Later on I noticed a young man going out to the car and I walked hurriedly before he went back to his home. A bible discussion ensued including questions about death. A BT book was placed. It turns out my service partner was star struck as he recognized him as a presenter, and movie and t.v. star. 

(Once in a while 2 things can happen that aren't too common. A butterfly and a beetle can land on you at the same time. A gentle nudge your part of the fabric of nature)

Going door to door we found a young girl in her 20’s home from work sick. She invited us in and it turns out she had studied the bible stories book, require brochure, and knowledge book when she was in her teens in Medan. She had not been in contact with witnesses ever since she moved to Jakarta some 5 years or more ago. Arrangements were made for follow up.

(People get married, so the crowd rejoices)

A sister had a call that wasn’t home and at the same time there was someone coming home across the street. I went to see if they spoke English and they did. I placed some magazines. I didn’t really take note of it. In the future we were in the same area again and I remembered I once placed magazines there. My conscience was bothering me abit. I didn’t remember the house nor the person, only the steel gate. I only remember because in 2004 there were witnesses who lived there and I used to sleep over! I went to the home and it turns out they just bought the home from the witness sister. A bible discussion ensued using an introduction from the reasoning book about current events and world conditions. I thought I was preaching to the original man I met, but in reality it was his brother. He accepted and started a Bible study using the Knowledge book since that’s all we had at the time in the KH. We now use the bible teach. 

(At another wedding a brother had never tried duck before, he seemed to like it. Head n all)

Many restaurants we leave magazines in the rack for customers to read when they come. After leaving some at a Arabic restaurant we sat on a bench and started talking to a man who was raised in the truth in Yogja. His father was an elder and all his family was as well. He married a Slovakian woman and lives part of his time there are here in Jakarta for work. We encouraged him, gave him some magazines and got his email for follow up. 

(I think it's quite international: Boys will be boys - especially if there is some-type of ball involved)

Going door to door we met a dormitory that is all young college students from all of Indonesia that are muslim activists. They come temporary to Jakarta then back to their home area. Sometimes there is as many as 10 or 12 living there at one time. I have discussions with Ari a Batak Muslim who knows the name Jehovah. Every time we come we have brief discussions with different Muslim men. Joko got a Bible from us, which he is reading. Also he has magazines, brochures, God’s Word or Man’s book, and wants to attend a meeting this week. All of them are impressed with Jehovah’s Witnesses’ in their monotheistic beliefs and not using idolatry. None of them have heard of us before.

(The KH i'm in also held a special sign language day. It was nice to get bumped for the deaf!)

In a very affluent area with tight security we did some door to door for the memorial campaign. I couldn’t get into the home but just at that time a suv pulled up and a young girl hopped out of the car. She was studying in London and just on Easter break. Magazines were placed, an invitation given, but it wasn’t her home. Next week we were in the area again and my conscience directed me to try the house again even though I thought she was back in London. Sure enough, she pulled up in the same car and hopped out. This time we asked to meet her friend too. She came out and for nearly an hour had a bible discussion including Angeline asking many questions that she had wondered. A bible teach was placed with her and her friend who attends a Intl School. Emails and phone numbers were exchanged for follow up. 

(You gotta love sign language. The more I'm away from it the more tame I get in my teaching and expressions. So when I see it again, the more I kind of sit back and say; "eaeaya, wow.")

In this same very affluent area with high security and not reached by the Indonesian congregation I spoke English to the maids but the home owners daughter heard me. She came out and explained she had studied, worked, and lived in Sydney the last 8 years. Although back a year she was still readjusting to Indonesia. I gave her an invitation for the memorial the following day, but she said she might not be able to make it since her Grandpas 7 day funeral just ended that day. I immediately asked her if she knew where her Grandpa was right now? What is the true condition of the dead. I then read some scriptures, went to BT book and told her about a Australian friend in our congregation who can teach you the bible for free weekly. She agreed and took the BT book. 

(Here for dinner you can just put your feet in the water, let the fish nibble, then hop in a huge ball and spin around in a circle to you fall over.)

Going door to door for memorial invitation we met a old woman who was very pleasant and invited us in. She took the invitation and explained she reads the Koran and prays every day. We then discussed some encouraging points from the Bible and the brochure “The Bible- What is it’s message. We asked her if she knew anything about the Bible? She said, no, only the Koran. We placed the brochure with her and she was happy to learn something new about the Bible.  

(Karaoke parties are always fun, especially when the songs come out that you sing now but years ago you were embarrassed when your parents sung them.)

Going door to door a old woman came out on her own and let us in. She speaks Javanese, Indoneisan, Dutch, English, and is now studying Chinese. She was a nurse for years. She never married but reads her Bible every day. I commended her on her singleness and we talked about Anna and 1 Corinthinas 7. She said she needed a new Bible as hers was worn down. We asked her if she’s learning Chinese how would she like to learn the Bible as well in English for 1 hour a week? She said ‘that would be great.’ A BT was placed, a Bible Study was started, and she faithfully studies with a sister every week. 

(In any big city you find unique places to eat. This place Happy Times has a biggg hamburger. It's just great to have such a fun congregation where everyone likes to spend time together. Lot of times we eat a place called Yes, Already which has big daddy pork-chops)

Going door to door we met a very rich Indian Businessman who I left some magazines with as he was leaving his home going to the airport. On follow up I met his son who talked about materialism and that there seems to be someone ruling the world. I went right to the Bible Teach book and dealt with Satan’s power of the world. He agreed to have follow up discussions. 

(The Germans are attacking the British again some 60+ years after the war is over. Reiner is ready to sink London, while the Indonesians are just relaxing in the back.) 

In the lobby I sat next to 2 british men and had a chit-chat. They asked me what do I do here and I said Bible Teacher and left it at that. I let them come back around to bible teacher topic and one said he had been was did church/missionary work in the past and asked many questions about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe on many issues. John said you know, I need some spirituality in my life right now. Magazines and follow discussions ensued. 

( I think the wedding started at something like 10, then food, a dance show, live band, ; it was a theatrical production)

While attending a wedding at a hotel I decided to preach. One man Sanjaay was very happy to meet a ‘spiritual teacher’ since he himself teaches spirituality as a Hindu. We had a nice conversation and exchanged cards. On the follow up at his office we went from Adam to the 1000 year reign using only the Bible. He said “Why don’t more Christians know this? It makes sense, logical, right from the Bible.” A Bible Teach book was placed and arrangements to meet up again. 

(There are some striking similarities between the development of the English congregation here in Jakarta like in 2004 and beyond with the deaf. Many are young brothers and sisters who want to reach out and help such as the Bandung groupies below. Their zeal and smiles are contagious!)

Going door to door a young filipino man came to the gate and we had a discussion read a scripture and placed some magazines. The following time we were there it was not him, but his younger brother. This time we talked about Jehovah’s name, and directly showed a Bible Study using the Truth tract. A following time the gate was open in front so I walked in saying hello as I went and was invited in. We studied the truth tract, finished it, and moved on to God’s Friend. 

(For us young people in Jakarta there is plenty of places to get together. We can even practice our listening to English by... listening to plays like the Phantom of the Opera- It's amazing when the locals know more about the story line, characters, words of songs then the foreigners do!)

While walking through a mall on way to dinner a woman approached me giving me a flyer for a wedding expo. I replied I’m single and not dating. “Don’t worry, I can find someone for you.” I smiled, laughed abit and said: wow, you speak good English! And after giving her a magazine dealing with points on marriage she said oh you’re a Jehovah’s Witness. You have heard of us? “Yes, they used to come to my home and discuss Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Bible.” What about now? “No, it was too complicated.” How would you like to study again this time in English? “Ok, that would be fine.” We then exchanged business cards for a follow up.

(We had the incredible privilege of getting the zone overseer come and have a special meeting with us. When it was time for him to go it was time for us to play some games. -Musical chairs, sign language telephone, live music, salsa, and yes,,, country line dancing) 

A salesgirl was offering us a free drink in Hypermart. I accepted and turned it into an opportunity for the story about Jesus at the well with the drink for everlasting life. (John 4) I pulled out my pocket bible and Erik my partner pulled out his Galaxy Tab phone and showed her a picture of the Bible Teach book. Meanwhile I noticed a young African man named Winston was watching us from the isle. I approached him after finishing with the sales girl and he told me he loves discussing the bible. He had been in the wrong crowd, and ‘found Jesus’ 1 year and a half ago. He has bible discussions with other young people. He accepted a book and a follow up was arranged. Only a short time later he moved to England for University. We followed up though with his younger brother who accepted a Bible study

(I think we had almost 12,000 at this years zone visit. Always busy. Get there early, leave late. See old friends and always have great association after. Not to mention an encouraging talk.)

When Winston was home visiting for the holidays we visited him. Erik though forgot his car keys in his apt. To go back would take some 15 minutes or more from inside the Taman Angrek Mall to the apt. So I decided to go and look for someone to preach too. I saw a older man sitting by his self at a coffee shop. I said to him, “why are you sitting alone?” I’m waiting for a friend, but you can come and sit with me. He said what do you want to drink, I said, no, I’m ok, but I had been craving a coffee all day for some reason. –He insisted and bought me a coffee.- We started chatting and he turned out to be a deep spiritual person. Every Chinese philosophy that he had for life or what he taught his children, I supported what he said with a scriptural principle. Such as “you reap what you sow,” “love your neighbor as yourself” “put up with one another,” and scriptures in Proverbs, Pslams, and Eccl. He said: “he said you know, it’s like you can read my mind. It feels like we have known each other our whole lives.” He took a bible teach book. 

(From the rooftops in Jakarta you can still find smiles. It's nice when it's ooh so many years later with good friends)

Meanwhile, his friend Cynthia showed up with her two young 7 year old sons who spoke fluent English. It turns out she is a Indoneisan but practices Judiasm. She noticed my bible cover with YHWH on the front in Hebrew letters. We started a discussion that led to her opening up about the Bible’s view of Divorce. Her husband had performed an attempted rape on her niece 3x and this led to her decision to divorce him. She wanted to know if that was scriptural. She said she has asked many Christian religions for the Bibles view of divorce but never had a satisfactory answer. I read Matthew 19, left her some magazines and BT book but promised to do some more research for her. 

(I think this would be method 101 of the effective use of chopstics: Getting jammed money out of box)

Going door to door we met a woman who invited us in who runs a shoe company and works for an American NGO firm that deals with children’s education. We had a fine scriptural discussion. The Young People Ask Books were placed to use for her kids as well as the Young People Ask DVD Volume 1. Here NGO works in Yogyjakarta. 

(I wonder how many beautiful shells, sunrises and sunsets those crabs see every year?)

I attended the opening of a Armani shop in Grand Indonesia knowing there would be English speakers. There were too many. The tabloid newspaper people and TV cameras were there as celebrities and models were around. After talking to a few to discern who had some spiritual interest I found a muslim woman magazine editor named Shindy and we talked about Jehovah’s name and the Garden of Eden. She was fascinated that God had a personal name and I showed her in my pocket bible. She also was surprised to know that Garden of Eden was on earth not in heaven, which made sense. The only way to follow up was to meet her at the next fashion show the following week.     

(The point where two worlds meet... land and sea. Nice thing to think about)

The following week I met up with shindy and placed the Garden of Eden Magazine and the Jehovah WT. I also met another magazine editor and her husband. This girl had a HUGE silver cross around her neck. After starting the conversation based on the cross it turns out she was Muslim! She wears the cross as a fashionable jewelry peace. We talked about a bunch of topics and information was exchanged for a follow up. I met Shindy again and a Bible Teach book was placed and literature for her coworker a Betawian Muslim who attended.
*(Note: During this time and others talking to many of these celebrities, actresses, music people, bands, business people, it seems the title ‘spiritual teacher’ impresses them as they are more into open-minded spirituality not via dogmatic religion. They all speak English. By not using what religion are you, or I’m Christian but saying spiritual teacher opens up many opportunities. If they ask what kind then one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or a Bible Teacher .

(Just at the right time in morning comes in the sunshine to start the day)

Going door to door we met 2 members of the leading modern anti-fundamental muslim group in Indonesia. They discussed what they are doing here in Indonesia to promote Islam in the modern world. We explained the world conditions why they are and who we are. One of them was really impressed, but the other lost the interest when we mentioned we were Jehovah’s Witnesses. JWs preached to him while he went to Universtity in Neherlands. Magazines were left with the one who didn’t know us. 

(Sometimes we have this joke-  take a look, all around that you see is our territory)

A little background information on this story. I wanted to aux pioneer in March like everyone else. If the publishers can reach out and do more, so can I. So I made it a goal to do 30 more hours in March like most others. I was really tired this night after an already long 8+ hour service day. I was really hungry as well since it was around 7pm. Instead of going right to elevator up to my apt, I decided to walk past the pool to see If anyone was there I could leave some literature with. Something prodded me.
      “Do you speak English?”
“Yes, we can.” “Where you from?”
“Oh ok. I’m from America. I have an article on children do you have children?”
“No we don’t.”
“Ok, well I have article on making your family life happy. If you see here there’s some points for helping your marriage.”
“What organization are you from? Yes! It’s Watchtower! Jehovah’s Witnesses! I can’t believe it!” –Then speaking in an Indian Dialect- (I told you!)
It turns out they were contacted over 1 year and a half ago in Champagne Illinois. She even attended 1 meeting at the KH. The woman received the tract “All Suffering Soon to End.” She started crying when relating the story. She new the angels, and God would help. When she moved here to Indonesia somehow, somewhere the tract was lost. She used to read the tract over and over again for comfort on suffering. They have a new recent problem and she missed that tract. She’s been praying to God for help, and now I showed up. She said she knew Jehovah’s Witnesses would find her! The brother in Illinois said that JW’s are all over the world. She was still crying. “I can’t believe it.”
An arrangement was made for 2 days later to meet up and start a bible study. Soon after they find out they will be leaving Indonesia back for India. They came to the special talk a week later. Three bible studies discussions were done before they left for India. On there cell phone they saved my name as “God.” I told them I’m not God, but Tom, but they said God used you. 

(Every once in a while you get those sunsets that seem to change you whole view of the world around you)

Jakarta English Congregation. We have a big territory with a lot of potential. So we will "keep throwing our bread upon many waters." Would you like to see what fish come biting? Come fishing in Indonesia.