It’s 5 a.m. and I’m sitting in the hotel foyer having had a pretty good nights sleep. I went to bed at 7:30 last night, the earliest I have gone to sleep in a very long time. I managed to sleep until around 4 a.m. and feel fresh and energized for the day ahead. I hadn’t expected to sleep that well!!!
Having made a brief excursion to the hotel after our arrival, Kelly and I headed for the seminary. One thing was obvious straight away: the people are as warm and hospitable as ever. The water damage from the flood that hit the seminary in January is still noticeable. While the front cafe area looks really good some of the back rooms are taking a little longer to repair. That’s no doubt due to a lack of resources and a commitment to subsidize the study rather than invest in the facility. I love the heart in making that decision but there’s clearly a fine line. It’s one thing when someone over invests in a facility it is another thing to under-invest. They are working slowly but surely to repair it all and their commitment to the project gives hope of its completion.
Support for the seminary is something Kelly and I had already discussed before coming. We rejoice that there are conversations Kelly is having with others wanting to partner with them here. The thing that makes this place great is that those leading the seminary and those studying here are committed to church planting. They are actively participating in the Jakarta 100 initiative, a vision of seeing 100 new churches planted in Jakarta over the next decade. A seminary that ties education and training with church planting in an Islamic country is worthy of support in my view.
Please pray for all these leaders and the students who study here. Many of them receive no salary from their church and live incredibly sacrificial lives. Pray God’s blessing and encouragement. Let them never grow weary of doing good (1 Pet. 3:13).
Yesterday I taught for just under 4 hours. The theme is stewardship and I’m walking these leaders through the challenge of developing a culture of generosity in their churches. It is a much needed topic bearing in mind their situation. As I prayed specifically for my time with them yesterday, the Lord laid Colossians 1:27-29 on my heart:
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
The words that stood out to me were: ‘wisdom’ and ‘energy’.
I needed wisdom and energy in equal measure yesterday. I needed wisdom in taking God’s Word about generosity and making it an encouragement to leaders working in what we would consider poverty level conditions. I needed energy because I was very tired from two days travel. Tackling such a tough topic while tired was asking for trouble!
Looking back on the sessions I am thankful that the Lord’s energy did indeed work within me. The connection and participation levels were high and I am even more excited about the next 4 days than I was before leaving. We even survived a power cut which forced us to relocate our teaching to the cafe area of the seminary. The room was too small and the air conditioning wasn’t working. So there we all were in 90+ degree heat, high humidity and with no air conditioning! That was sticky even by Tampa standards!
Thank you all for your prayers. Today, tomorrow in the States, I will teach from 8-4 with an hour for lunch. It is going to be a great day and I am thankful for the privilege and energized by the opportunity that awaits. A good night’s sleep didn’t hurt either!!!
Keep praying …