Happy New Year from Indonesia!
Much of the world celebrates the Year of the Rabbit which according to the Lunar calendar invites calm, peace, gentleness, and mercy.
As we join the celebration along with our SE Asia friends, I am reminded that God is in all things and works through all things (Colossians 1). Indeed, even Lunar New Year tells of the glory of God (Psalm 19). Jesus calms the storm and gives peace. He is gentle and humble in heart because his burden is easy and load is light. Jesus gives mercy because He is a walking - talking - breathing person of mercy.
With the Lunar New Year here, all things “cute culture” (Google it) are helping us celebrate - which means Hello Kitty is our new best friend.
During our layover in Taipei, we met Lin (name changed). We talked about K-Pop and T-Swift. She was born in Taipei, moved to Vancouver BC as a kid, and returned to Taipei when she got married. She has been here ever since. Gloria and her exchanged contact information and they plan to reconnect with Lin and her family when they’re back in Taipei, next weekend.
We had a few moments of unsettled chaos before peace and calm was restored after Matt lost some documentation in Jakarta and Pete almost left his passport at the gate. Can we say traveling mercy?
Our friends Jeff and Rachel met us in Semarang and introduced us to their good friend and cousin, Patik. They’ve known Patik for many years and is our go-to transportation driver while here in Indonesia.
I (Tim) sat in the “prayer seat”. I admit, after being awake for over 40 hours, I prayed with my eyes shut most of the 90 minutes we were on the road to Salatiga, outside of Semerang. (I apologize to anyone who received texts and emails while I was sleep deprived),
When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by Kezia, Nadia, Challenge, and Edis.
We look forward to hanging out over the next few days with them and a variety of other young people and staff here where we are calling “home” while visiting employees, shops, and immersing ourselves in the culture and life here. We are always looking for opportunities to grow friendship, learning, and business.
Today, we will explore Salatiga and travel into the mountains to spend time and have dinner with some of Jeff and Rachel’s friends at their shop.
If you want to join us in a similar experience, walk next door to meet that neighbor you’ve been wanting to say hi to for a while; pick up your phone and call or text someone you've been needing to for months; or smile at the person in line at the store this weekend.
Calm. Peace. Gentleness. Mercy. You can pray that these things would be evident in all we think, say, and do… more like Jesus, less like everything else.
Since we have received these great gifts, may we share them with others.
Until next time, aku cinta kalian semua.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.