Well rainy season is finally here. The rain is a blessing most times though sometimes I would be happy to live without it. Every day we have a 1-4 hour rain fall with thunder and lightning. It makes for a lot of house time and with the added pain of rolling power outages across our province the candles and Dutch blitz are getting a real good work out. We have yet to find the reason for our continuing power outages some say the new generator for South Sulawesi does not work and others are talking about it being bigger as other parts of Indonesia are seeing rolling black outs just less frequently. Right now we are on a 9 hour on 3 off 6 on 3 off schedule. Not horrible but a definite change to normal life. We have to plan cooking and work times around power outages which have led to some weird schedules. But a blessing is we have had more than our fair share of candle lit dinners.
November was a fairly slow month but December more than made up for it. On top of Christmas we had had a team from YWAM Darwin Australia stay with us here in Toraja for over a week. The team of 7 arrived in Makassar on the 7th of December where I met them at the airport. For the next 4 days they did ministry throughout Makassar with Jimmy and the rest of YWAM Makassar. The team worked with street kids, prison ministries and women’s ministries while in Makassar. Then on the 11th we all boarded a bus and headed out to Toraja.
For the Toraja leg of the trip we got the team involved in a wide range of activities from prayer walks to Christmas celebrations. The team shared drama and testimonies that helped to encourage the church here in Toraja as well they spent time praying for God to influence the Muslims which are now moving into Toraja in large numbers. The leaders of the team Mark and Andrea had mentioned that they would like to bring another team back in May. I had a very good time with the team here running them around and translating a bit for them. It was great to catch up with Andrea who was a friend of mine and is a fellow BC’er . The team had a great time here in Toraja and headed back on the night of the 20th for Makassar We were disappointed that we were not able to take the team camping as due to the rain but we had a great time and God moved amazingly through the team.
Now onto our biggest news for this year; Meri and I have been praying for the last 2 months about a new calling God has laid on our hearts. At first I was not as willing to accept it as Meri was, but now after many weeks of prayer and seeking insight from supporters, family and friends I feel that it truly is God calling us. Meri and I will be moving back to Canada in early June for a long if not permanent period of time. At first we did not wish to leave our dreams and ministry here in Indonesia, but God has supplemented our earlier dreams with bigger and grander ones. We see an opening for hands on ministry in Canada and feel we have a calling to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help the poor. We do not know how our new ministry will evolve in Canada but we are trusting in God to show us the way.
In a final bit of happy news we have received a very great Christmas present this year. My parents and sisters will be coming to visit before we head home. We were so happy to hear this news as this will be their first time to come to Indonesia. We cannot wait for them to get here so we can share our amazing experiences here in Indonesia.
Love in Christ
Jonathan and Meri