We all enjoy the routine of life, to have a place to call home and get into a rhythm of predictable schedules. Our family, over the years, experienced various times when a major move meant facing a host of new changes and challenges, some good and some more difficult.
Now the time has come for our son Nathan to make a significant move in his life. As I am drafting this post, Nathan is making final preparations to move to Florida. He’s getting ready for the long trip from North Dakota, a state he has known well, to a warmer climate where snow will no longer be a part of the routine. This new adventure will bring many changes to his life. We are hopeful many of them will be positive. We’ve been coming alongside Nathan as he has made this decision to move on his own, weighing his options and stepping out for new opportunities.
Nathan (along with Mom and Dad) will appreciate your prayers for him as he makes this long journey. Please remember the following changes he will face along the way:
- Pray for the extended journey from the northern to southeastern US. It’s a long drive, most likely taking the better part of a week to complete the journey. Pray for his safety and the decisions he will need to make along the way. This needs to be the priority until the middle of September.
- We are thankful that Nathan has found a place to live before he moves there. He’s already made initial arrangements near a university. Pray for his adapting to his new living situation and that the new relationships he makes will be encouraging ones.
- Nathan will be looking for a job when he gets to his new location. Pray that God will provide him with a job and income to get established in his new community.
- Pray that God will lead Nathan through the new experiences and adjustments he will need to make. We pray that God will grant him great wisdom and peace as he makes new friends and finds ways to plug into positive fellowship and spiritual growth.
While Nathan makes his way to Florida, I will also be making my way for a visit to Africa. I’ll be leaving soon for Rwanda for a series of meetings with other international ministries to encourage and build up local broadcasters in the region of East Africa. I’m anticipating I will be meeting delegates from Uganda, Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, and probably other countries as well.
Thank you for your ongoing encouragement of our ministry, but also for our family. We value your prayers as we ask God to protect, lead, and provide for Nathan as he takes these steps to a new experience. We are very grateful that God is going with him.
Moving across town is one thing. Moving to another state can be another. However, when moving halfway around the world into another culture, expectations can be quite misguiding. We’ve certainly experienced a few bumps (or should I say “adjustments”) in the last few weeks as we’ve been settling into our new home and work environment in the western suburbs of Jakarta, Indonesia. With each detour and diversion, we’re slowly learning how “things” work. I’m wondering if maybe the bumps aren’t just differences in expectations rather than shortcomings in various procedures.
While it has taken us some time, we are now pleased to report that our paperwork for being in the country has all been completed, We’ve been each granted a KITAS card that identifies us as temporary residents in the country. Another stamp in our passports indicates that we can travel in and out of the country freely. With all of these documents, signatures, and permissions in place, we are now pursuing the shipment of our personal effects from South Africa. We are hopeful that they will arrive about a month to six weeks from now. Pray that we will be able to coordinate the arrangements. I need to be back from my trip to Africa by the time the shipment arrives so it can be processed through customs in Jakarta.
We made the decision to purchase a vehicle (called “mobil”) for our own transportation needs. We found one suitable for city driving and have been working with the dealer to finalize the purchase. The car is all ready for delivery to us, except for one detail. The license has not yet been processed. Apparently, the local government office that licenses vehicles lost Internet access for the past several days so all license applications are on hold. Having an extra holiday in that time didn’t help. We remain hopeful that the car will be registered this week so we can take delivery.
Two weeks ago, the area in which we live experienced a three day water outage. It seems that the dry season here has been drier than normal and the rains are slow in coming. As a result, a number of areas across the country are experiencing water shortages. We ran out of water in our storage tank on day two, so were thankful when the water returned, unannounced, at the end of day three. We had two shorter outages since then, but nothing major. We’re looking forward to the rains coming to top up the municiple reservoirs.
We took yet another step to feeling at home this past week with the purchase of furniture for the office we use at our host, FEBC Indonesia. The office has mostly been used by visitors with borrowed furnishings from the local operation. Since arriving, Barb and I worked out a plan and received budget approval at the end of July for the additional hardware. With that, I ordered office furniture as well as the necessary computer accessories for my new office. With this in place, we’ll be able to focus more on our work. We’ll also be able to accommodate visitors and have sufficient privacy for meetings and conversations around ministry.
We started our language studies in earnest this past week, working with a tutor in Bandung, another city on the island of Java. We are taking lessons from her via Skype. We have study notes and lessons as well as lists of vocabulary words to learn and remember. My recall isn’t all it could be. We also need to be diligent in our practice of the language, even though we don’t know what to say immediately in nearly every situation. However, the intense focus of the lessons is making a difference even at this early stage. Continue to pray with us for diligence to grasp the language, persistence to practice speaking with those we meet, and patience for them as they try to understand what we’re saying.
We haven’t been the only part of the family in transition these days. A couple weeks ago, Nathan, our son, received a surprise phone call from a radio station in Harvey, ND. They were looking for an announcer that would also include local sports coverage of teams in the central part of the state. Nathan put together a couple of demos and was called for an interview. Liking his voice, the manager offered him the job starting later this week. So Nathan is going through his things and getting ready for this major shift to a new community. Please pray that this will go smoothly for him and that he can build new relationships after several years in Minot. We are all excited that he has the opportunity to pursue what he’s been dreaming of doing, being on the radio doing sports.
As you can probably tell, very few days have been the same. Each day has been one of adjustment, small joys while appreciating our new environment and building new relationships. As we get more settled, we’ll have further updates on how ministry is taking place here across Asia and the rest of the FEBC world.