Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jakarta part 2: Cold Showers and Facebook

As a quick side note before I continue my tales of adventure, I recently got word that Jonathan’s wife April and oldest daughter Phoebe just came down with some nasty 3rd world virus (no, not the swine flu!) for which Phoebe actually had to be hospitalized. Last word I got, they were both beginning to recover and are scheduled to have another round of blood tests today (probably happening as I type this actually). Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers that everything will be ok.

Now back to the weekend in Indonesia

Woke up at about 4 a.m. the next morning and, while still half asleep, decided to beat the rush for a shower (3 adults + 5 kids were in the house, including one of their daugher's roomates from school). There is no central air or hot water heater in the house that I know of, but there is a wall mounted AC unit in each bedroom that is only used during sleeping hours and an in line electrical water heater at the shower head. Pretty nifty device that heats water with an electrical element as it passes through the line before it reaches the shower head. About halfway through the shower everything went dark and the water got ice cold. I did my best to muffle the ensuing yelp that was brought on by the suddenly frigid water as I fumbled around in the dark to turn it off, then I remembered that I had soap in my hair that had to be rinsed out. I took care of that after slowly adjusting to the new water temperature and then started searching blindly for the valve to turn off the water. Just as my fingers found it, the lights came back on and the water got real hot, real quick. I squelched a yelp once more, turned off the water, dried off and, still not sure what had just happened, got back in bed to sleep off my shower.. ‘till well after 9.
Breakfast was a welcome taste of home. I won’t belabor the point, but grits were involved. During breakfast Jonathan told me that by turning on the hot water at the same time that my bedroom AC was on I had tripped the main breaker to that side of the house. Apparently when that happened, Jonathan’s bedroom heated up pretty quickly too, because he woke up and came out to reset the breaker, triggering my second sequestered outburst.

After breakfast, while we waited for Jason (one of Jon’s collegues in the region), Jonathan showed me some things that he is working on with the youth in the region. Youth here is somewhere in the 18 – 25 year old range I think, and are faced with may of the same problems that kids in the US are faced with today. They are actually using Facebook to get these kids engaged in discussions about problems they are having in their lives and to send out invites to home meetings. They have found that the anonymity of the internet creates an environment where they are able to open up in a way that would normaly not happen face to face, and then once they come to the home meetings... well they’ve already shared much of their pain and secrets, so they are then free and receptive to continue to open up and hear about Jesus’ promise of freedom from bondage and the source for true joy and fulfillment for their lives. First off I didn't even know anyone in Indo even knew about facebook. I just found out about it last year when Wendy started using it. It’s an ingenious use of technology that I’m sure facebook never intended. It is very exciting to see first hand the commitment that people that I am proud to call family are making in the lives of so many young people.

No this is not a “please give” commercial. I'll be the first to change the channel when one of those comes on. (Have you ever seen a distended belly on a 54" tv? Not cool.), but I can’t in good conscience talk about all the great things that Jonathan and his family are doing without at least giving anyone who might read this the opportunity to support them in some way. If you feel led to do so, please visit www.cmalliance.org/give/gmissions.jsp and in the Missionary’s Name field type Jonathan Eckman .
In the dropdown box right below the name choose either “work” or “outfit

-Chosing “work” means that 85% of your donation will be sent to Jonathan for use in his projects in the region such as the 36 youth program detailed above. The remaining 15% goes toward the Great Commission Fund, which will support other missionaries worldwide.
-“outfit” sends 100% of your donation to Jonathan for use on whatever he may need like unexpected medical bills(see above), or paying a visit to their children who have to be in a boarding school(previous post). But knowing Jonathan and April, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of it ended up going to their ongoing missions projects also.
-The other option is GCF, which stands for Great Commission fund. This is a fine choice, and while your donation will be used to support missions worldwide, I do not know that it will go specifically to Jonathan and his family.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance is a fine organization. I grew up in one of their churches in Southern Alabama, so I have the highest confidence that anything that you may feel led to send will be handled responsibly. Even so, I know some people have reservations about web transactions in general. While I have no reservations about this site, If anyone wants to help support Jonathan’s Work, but would prefer to not do it over the web, send Wendy a note and we will let you know how to send something directly in the mail. I'm sure more grits would be apreciated. Take it from me, a southern boy can only go so long on noodles and rice for breakfast.

Next up, an unbelievable meeting at one of the largest landfills in southeast Asia.

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