Living in the western suburbs of Jakarta provides a unique opportunity for encouraging and impacting future generations. The community in which we live hosts a university, and a secondary school, both of which are quite international. So we are learning what it is like to once more rub shoulders with the younger generation. We are adapting to their approaches to communication (another 10 WhatsApp messages just hit my phone) as we walk alongside one another in this journey of life from our often different perspectives.
Barb and I have gotten involved in a church just down the road from where we live comprised of students, young adults and younger families. Several of the parents are either teaching at one of the nearby educational institutions or are involved in technology jobs in the city. Some are from other countries around Asia, or from Africa, Australia or the US. As one of the longest married couples in our fellowship, we often are asked about our perspective on life in other cultures, how to adjust and respond to the sometimes unique challenges of living here. During a recent retreat in the mountains overlooking Jakarta we enjoyed spending time with several of the younger families in our church. Our creativity was challenged a bit as we got to know some of the children of these families.
Recently, I have also had the opportunity to minister to other churches in other parts of Jakarta. After sharing at a church in Bali earlier this year, I was invited to share a message (sprinkled with musical illustrations) with two services on one particular Sunday in April. Last Sunday, I was invited to share with a smaller congregation of Persian refugees that meet together in east Jakarta. These invitations help us make new friends and expand our horizons beyond the planned community where we live.
Next week, I’ll be off to Thailand again for a conference with other media ministries in which we’ll be developing ways to serve disciple making movements in sometimes difficult locations of the world. The strategy involves local groups that spring up to explore stories that introduce them to the God of Scripture. My goal is to bring back these strategies to share with FEBC producers who are looking for ways to influence new audiences who have not yet considered Jesus.