Last Monday, I flew to Jakarta with Dan Monterde, our LifeBox Regional Director over Central Luzon, to train and plan with a few churches here in campus ministry. This is my fourth visit to Indonesia and every time it feels like visiting a relative from whom I was separated at birth. We have so many similarities in culture, geography, language, and even demographics. We joked with a singer at a restaurant, asking for a Filipino song, and they promptly responded with Freddie Aguilar’s Anak. (video at the bottom)
Our church there, Morning Star International, is really doing an amazing job reaching out to their community
Here are some highlights from our trip:
Meeting with Students
For a campus missionary, there’s nothing more energizing than meeting with students face to face. And meeting these young people in Jakarta was no different. There were many similarities between Filipinos and Indonesian students – in fact, with students we’ve met around the world. Primary concerns are with school, parents, and friends, are excited and curious about love life, and they respond well to encouragement.
When we weren’t meeting students at universities, we were staff and volunteers who work in campuses in six cities around Indonesia. Dan and I took this time to share principles we’ve learned and developed in campus ministry and the Philippines. This is one of the most exciting parts because each leader represents more than just themselves – leader can disciple students, leaders can pioneer new work or deepen existing work, and leaders raise other leaders. If you want to reach the campus effectively, train leaders.
Pastors and Leaders of Jakarta
We were also privileged to meet some really great pastors and volunteer leaders of our church in Jakarta. It was great seeing them minister on stage and in person. But more than their stage persona, it was nice to get to know them better and spend time. You know that someone really lives what they proclaim when you see the truth translated to their families and everyday lives.
There is so much to enjoy from the diverse culinary heritage of Indonesia – similarities to Malay cuisine, Chinese influence, Dutch influence and the rich flavors from Asia. Tahu telur (tofu omelette with bean sprouts, lettuce, peanuts, and a light sauce), matarbak (think a pancake sandwich – pancakes loaded with butter, stuffed with chocolate and cheese), soto ayam (Soto means soup, from what I gather. This kind uses tamarind so it’s sour like our sinigang.), satay, rawon (a black beef soup), bakmi (which is noodles like the way Filipinos enjoy mami) and my favorite – nasi uduk! It’s rice cooked with coconut milk/oil (gata) then seasoned with fried shallots. Yum! I really enjoy the variety of spices of Indonesian cuisine. My perfect house in an ideal world would have access to the best Korean, Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and of course, Filipino delicacies.
Working with a great friend
This is the third time I went on an international campus ministry trip with my friend, Dan. It seems like it just gets better and better. This time, I was so thankful to have him because his practical campus ministry experience and insight surpass mine on many levels. He facilitated many of the group discussions we had and he handled it excellently. We’re both very excited for the promise that the campus ministry in Indonesia has.
We got in this morning and the trip just made me more eager and excited to work toward Ignite because we will see not just 8000+ students from the Philippines, but delegates from 17 other nations! What a privilege to be able to serve other nations this way.
But before the work stuff, I’m just glad to be back with my wife. So I’m ending this blog now because we have to go to the grocery together.
Thank you, Lord, for a great trip. we ask you to continue the work that you started in that nation. Amen.