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Just be Present!

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

Article written by I.*

A few days ago I received a vague message, "it is raining, we have no way to move our things." It was my Indonesian teacher. She and her husband had already said that they needed to move houses, due to the strong fishy smell that came from the house next door. The message I received was actually a cry for help.

Soon after she sent that message, and knowing that her husband didn't have anyone to help move, I was ready to go there. They live in another city which is about one hour away from my house depending on traffic.

When I called her back saying I wanted to go there to help, she was surprised. She and her husband couldn't believe that I would make what they thought was a sacrifice just to go help them move. They started to count the difficulties I would face: it was very distant, it was raining, and other things. Perhaps the husband did that to see if I was really certain about my decision. I asked for their address and called a moto-taxi - a cab, but instead of a car it's a motorcycle (these people really like bikes).

I have noticed that in this culture people don’t have the habit of inviting others to their own home. They are joyful but shy people. It was the first time I was entering an Indonesian family's house to participate in something personal from their lives.

To get there we had to go into a humble neighborhood with lots of children playing on the street. I went straight to help load their stuff but there weren't many things, just a fridge and two cabinets. My heart sank deeply when I saw their living conditions. Their new house was on the same street, less than 2 minutes away, but distant enough to get rid of the fishy smell. And it was just as precarious in many ways.

While we were moving boxes, my Indonesian teacher showed me her final paperfor the university. She and her husband were both graduates, yet they struggle for daily provision. When she teaches us at our house she is shocked at how many groceries we have, since we stock up for about 10 days. They, on the other hand, have to live one day at a time.

I will do what I can, with what I have, to be that response of Hope that the Gospel represents.

As we talked, half Bahasa half English, the kids started to notice that I was a foreigner. Despite looking similar to their people, my speech denounces everything. People passed by looking curiously, and when I said "Apa kabar?" meaning "How are you?" in Indonesian, they laughed and answered.

I was suddenly surrounded by children, playing, laughing, answering my questions in Bahasa(Indonesian), trying to speak English with me.

My teacher told me that these kids spend most of the day on the street, without much to do other than play. I said that I would come to play football one day, and they loved the idea. Little did they know that I am terribly clumsy.

I came back home full of new perceptions about society, the transforming power of the Gospel and life. I have no messianic syndrome, it is not me that these people need, it is Christ. However, I will do what I can, with what I have, to be that response of Hope that the Gospel represents. It is not a search for results, for ventures, for fruits. Only the Holy Spirit can give these. It is only a quest to give the most of myself for the Gospel. At the end of the day, what will be most important is not what I 'built', but how much I gave of myself.

On another occasion, we were asked when we will return back home to Brazil, and we replied that we will only be visiting Brazil because our home is now here. Our hearts are here with these people. Our life is now here. We are putting all our energy into our new LifeCenter.

Through the LifeCenter we ​​want to generate transformation, help children and the communities to develop, build a kingdom culture, care for and serve this country we now call home. Pray for this project. Pray for us.

*I., his wife and their 2 year old son are now serving in Asia through WNI.


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