Back to Indo

We have just arrived in Bali and are awaiting our flight to our tiny island. We have truly felt God’s presence and your prayers as we navigated long flights with our kids and a lot of baggage. We are grateful.

We had an incredible few months in the states and we were so blessed to connect with and meet with many of you. We are looking forward to jumping back into ministry in Indonesia.

Other than Noel’s memorable birth, we made a lot of great memories with family and supporters during our stay in the US. We were especially thankful and grateful to meet many of you at Bible Studies, socials, lunch events, and church. Here are a few highlights from our trip:

Prayer Requests

Thank you for your commitment to pray for us. Here are a couple of specific requests you can be praying for as we readjust.

  • Jet lag and climate adaptation for all of us
  • Culture shock, especially for Ezra as he readjusts
  • The continuation of building our house
  • Our plan to reopen our home library
  • Preparation and building to add grade 6 to our main school starting in July
Our House in Progress

Ezra’s Corner

I’ve loved my time in America!! I got to see a lot of different trucks like fire trucks, excavators, garbage trucks, and police cars. I can’t wait to go back to Indonesia and tell my Indonesian cousins all about it! I speak mostly English now except with my Papa. I’ve learned a lot of English while in America. I’ll miss my Mom-mom, Pop-pop and cousins a lot but I am excited to see my family in Indonesia and of course play in the dirt and mud a lot more!! I miss fish and rice too.

Noel’s Corner

Mama says she can’t believe how big I am, now that I’m 3 months old! I’m a smiling talking machine and especially love outside, wind, and looking at lights. My big brother likes to give me so many kisses and hugs, I think it’s so funny. Mama keeps saying she wants to eat me up, can you believe that?!?!?

He’s Here!

Welcome to the world! We are so excited and blessed to announce the birth of our second son, Noel Dustin Ranja Nggili. He made his appearance two weeks early on December 23, 2023. We are so thankful to God for a smooth and healthy delivery and baby.

As I sat in the hospital shortly following Noel’s birth, I was reflecting on so many miracles that God has done over the last several months for our family to get us to this point. Travel logistics, healthcare, finances, and the list goes on. We experienced some complications during Noel’s birth that made me wonder had we gone through the birth on our island in Indonesia, would he had survived? But God was and has been with us throughout the journey and this process. Thank YOU for all your prayers.

We have enjoyed seeing many of you during our time here in the states and we look forward to meeting many of you in the days and weeks to come. Right now, we are working out Noel’s passport and immigration to return to Indonesia. We estimate we will be heading back around March, if all goes smoothly. We are looking forward to jumping back into our lives and ministry in Indonesia, we miss it a lot!

Ezra’s Corner

Florida has been so fun! I’ve seen so many new things like a fire truck, excavator, police car and choo choo train. But my absolute FAVORITE thing to see is the garbage truck that comes down our street! Twice a week I convince my Mom-Mom or Pop-Pop to stand with me and watch the garbage truck man pick up the garbage. It’s SO COOL! I’m also learning English a lot. My Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop read books with me and I’m picking up new vocabulary, even though my Mama says I speak English with an Indonesian accent. But Papa says I speak Indonesian with an American accent, so I’m confused. When I first came to America I only wanted to eat fish and rice, but now I’ve learned that Mac n’ Cheese and pizza are SO YUMMY!

Noel’s Corner

Hi I’m Noel! My Mama and Papa said they gave me the name Noel because I was the best Christmas gift since Jesus, whatever that means. I love my new family and being in the world. Mostly I love milk, sleep and being walked around outside. I’ve learned how to hold my head up and sometime I can even smile! I’m a good sleeper and love to be held by anyone. Mama says I have her eyes but Papa says I have his hair.

Exciting News

Trusting and Listening to Him

Afternoon walks are some of my favorite moments with Ezra. Almost every day he requests we go down to the horse racing track near our house to see the “gate” the horses use during races.

Ezra at the Horse Gate

Last week while on our regular walk instead of turning left towards the horse track, I turned right, planning to make a longer loop back to the tracks. Ezra immediately protested. He was crying, arguing and pleading with me to turn back towards the horse track. I explained to him again and again that if he was patient, we would go to the track. He was not convinced. For 20 minutes as we walked he cried and screamed in his stroller, asking to turn around. At the end of the loop the road suddenly popped out right near the race track. His crying immediately stopped. “We’re here!” Ezra said, “We looped around!” Moments before he was miserable and exhausted, but now a huge smile lit up his face. “Yes Ezra,” I said, “just listen and trust me.”

I laughed hilariously at Ezra, his mayhem and sudden change in response when he realized I had a plan all along. But as I reflected, I realized I do this all the time with God. I make plans, have hopes, have deep desires. But then, when God takes me along a different road, I protest, I’m disappointed, and I resist, only to eventually find out he was leading me all along, just on a different path, to fulfill my desires or fulfill his plan which was better than I could have imagined.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Exciting News

Thanks to each of you who have been a part of our journey here in Indonesia. We have some exciting news and major life events coming!

Erdy and I are expecting baby #2 in early January. This is a huge answer to prayer and we are so excited. After a lot of consideration and prayer, we have decided to give birth in America. We will be heading to America next week to close out the third trimester and await the coming of our new baby.

This trip will be very important for us, because we are also currently under supported and will be spending quite a bit of time fund raising and looking for new supporters. If you would like to learn more about how you can support us, click here. If you are the leader of a small group that might be interested in hearing about our ministry here, please contact us so we can find a time to share. We would love to do this!

New House in Progress

Aside from regular supporters, we are also coming back to raise funds for our house we are finally building. This is also exciting news! For the past three years Erdy, myself and Ezra have been living in a 250 sq. ft apartment attached to Erdy’s parents’ house, but with the arrival of our new baby we have grown out of the space. We are thankful for many who have helped us start the process of building a house which will be our permanent residence for the future. We are grateful to have already been able to build the foundation and walls, and hope to finish the roof before we depart for America. Once we have attached the roof we will take a break in building as we search for funds to complete the house.

Ministry Update

We are very excited about several new developments and growth in our development of Christian schools on this remote island. In July we opened a new school in the western region of our island, working together with another NGO. This is a great opportunity as many kids in that region have no opportunity to go to school otherwise. We are working with and training the teachers of that school regularly.

Ezra at a Village School

One of our existing village schools was recently able to build 2 new classrooms, allowing the school to continue through 5th grade. This is an answer to prayer, and we are so thrilled to see our kids continue to be discipled through elementary school.

Elementary Chapel

Our main school in the town Erdy and I live has also experienced extreme growth this year. We had waiting lists for both elementary and kindergarten as we filled to capacity. We are praying through building a new building this year so our school can continue educating our students through Middle School. We covet your prayers.

In addition, this year I (Faith) worked to implement an emergency response system in our school. This includes a fire alarm and also training students throughout the school about appropriate response in the case of an earthquake or tsunami. This seems like a given, especially since we live in the “ring of fire” known for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. But, to our knowledge, no other school in the area even has the alarm! We are glad to teach our students about emergency preparedness and our hope is that they also share this with their families. Watch a short video of our emergency drill.

Ezra’s Corner

Hi! I had my second birthday recently. I loved it because I got to blow out candles over and over again. Since I’m 2 now I love talking all the time. I especially love excavators, dump trucks, airplanes, boats, soccer, books and horse races. Every day I ask my Papa and Mama to pretend I’m the horse jockey running around the track. I have a horse too! Her name is Pony. Sometimes Mama invites me to the villages with her to see all my big brothers and sisters in school. I love it because I get to run around with the chickens and cows in the villages!

I can’t wait to meet the new baby. I call the baby “moon” because when I saw the ultrasound from Mama I thought it looked like the moon! I hope I can be a good big brother.

The Little Things

Ezra exploring one of our rice fields

Sticks, stones, thrown away water bottles, old toothbrushes, bottle caps. Little things, all garbage to me. But for our 1 year old Ezra, these things are fascinating, amazing, and open up a new world that he’s never known before. I’m in awe of him, each day living with such excitement and gusto to learn about the world around him. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching him during this stage, newly walking, excited to go everywhere and anywhere and see new things. Ezra’s hobbies include walking around (himself of course), rolling around in the sand, and feeding the chickens and pigs. During our walks, he often stops to pick up something on the ground that I hadn’t even noticed, a small piece of bamboo, a piece of trash, or a little rock. It’s all amazing to him.

Ezra joins the Indonesian Flag Ceremony for Heroes Day
Christmas Cookie Decorating

Watching Ezra live with awe and excitement for every piece of trash and thing he meets reminds me of the incredible moments and blessings that surround me each day, that over time I have come to take for granted. I realized too, that dozens of kids run around my neighborhood each day, never having the opportunity to experience so many things that we in the west take for granted. What experiences have they never had? What stories of Jesus have they never heard?

During this past Christmas season we invited kids from around our neighborhood to come to our home and hear the Christmas story while decorating Christmas cookies and doing Christmas crafts. It was incredible to watch these kids engage with such enthusiasm in something they had never done before (even a few adults joined in)! We thank God for each of them, and are so thankful to have the opportunity to serve them.

In this new year, our family has taken on a few new small ministries beyond the school building and community development that we were already doing. In November, Faith restarted mentoring 2 female teachers from our school. Erdy has been working with a village to help them build an outdoor sporting court with bamboo. Additionally, this past month we started weekly Bible crafts with the kids in our neighborhood, and a monthly small group gathering of about 20 teachers from our school. And as soon as our bookshelf arrives (still on order), we will open our reading nook in the front room of our home.

Ezra’s Corner

Hiiii it’s me! Did my Mama already tell you about me? I’m already 1 year and 4 months old now. I loooove talking and walking and singing. Every day I ask Mama to play music. Sometimes I get confused because my Mama and Papa use different words for the same thing. Is it a pig? Or babi? I don’t know, but I do my best to remember all the words!! My favorite word is bath, because when I say it enough times, Mama and Papa put me in a big bucket and I get to splash around! Every afternoon I help my Papa feed the cow and help my grandma feed the chicken and pigs. Then I love to run around and eat and run around and sing songs and dance! My favorite thing is when my Papa says nennnngggggg and I get to ride on the motorcycle with him. Oh and did I mention books?? I love book so so much, especially the ones my Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop in America sent me! The pictures are so funny. And guess what!! Now that I’m so big, Mama brings me to school sometimes!!! I love going to school with Mama, I have so many friends there.

The New is here!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

We praise God for new life and new beginnings. In September, we were thrilled to welcome a baby boy into the world. Ezra Bastian Ranja Nggili was born September 1, 2021, weighing 6 lbs 6oz, healthy and happy. These past several months have been a huge transition for us, but have been filled with laughs, joy, and sweet moments.

Our family thanks you for your patience with us as we have made this transition and have slowed down on communications. We look forward to increased communication in the months to come.

Chapel with our Elementary School Grades 1-3

Here on our little island, we have had the joy to continue to invest in and grow education. Faith’s role is leading our new Elementary School which is currently grades 1-3, implementing a mixture of western and Indonesian curriculum while working with local teachers to shape and guide children’s character. We will add grade 4 this July.

Our school has 16 “offspring” schools, which are smaller startup schools in villages where kids at this time don’t yet have access to education. This year, we are adding another 10 startup village schools. Faith’s role will continue to be leading our elementary school, and mentoring and training teachers from the village schools.

Weekly Science Experiment with the neighborhood kids.

Erdy continues to work for a local company that brings solar lamp solutions to villages without electricity. He has recently transferred to the bamboo division where he helps villagers who grow bamboo in their villages to trade their bamboo in exchange for a solar lamp.

We are excited for rainy season which has recently started. A few weeks ago, we visited some extended family in a village and helped plant rice. It was a fantastic community event and we look forward to returning for the harvest in a few weeks.

Erdy and Ezra enjoy a meal with some extended family after planting rice.
Erdy looking over the rice field

We continually keep all of you in our prayer and are so grateful for the many prayers, messages, and love you have sent us in the recent months. The new is here! God is faithful.

Ezra’s Corner

Hi! I’m Ezra. This is my corner in Mama and Papa’s newsletter. I’m already 5 months old and growing so fast! Mama keeps telling me to stop growing up so fast but I don’t listen to her. I looooove drinking Mama’s milk, can you see by my chubby cheeks? I’ve recently been sitting up and I love going on walks with Mama and Papa. Sometimes they call me “Mr. Bored” because I don’t like to sit around in one place for too long. I also like to wake up way way early in the morning and talk and talk and chatter until my Mama and Papa wake up.

My afternoon walks with the neighborhood kids.

One of my favorite things to do is feed the chickens with Papa. But I don’t like it when people sneeze to close to me, it scares me! I can’t wait for March…because in March I get to taste real food! Hmmm I see all these people putting food in their mouths…I wonder what it tastes like. 

I’m so blessed by so many cousins, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles who hold me all the time. 

Feeding the chickens with my Papa


Tropical Cyclone Seroja

Growing up in South Florida, I have always considered myself well versed in handling natural disasters, particularly hurricanes. Yet somehow, God always has a interesting way of humbling us.

On Easter Sunday morning, April 4,  I woke up to the sound of rain pattering our tin roof. It had been pouring rain all night long, and I was surprised that it was still down pouring like this. Curious, I opened my phone to, the only weather forecast site I’ve found which forecasts our area.

Local River washes away a home near the breached dam

To my surprise, I saw a tropical cyclone sitting just east of our little island, dumping rain on us. I’ve never heard of tropical cyclones in this part of the world, and no one here had either. Within hours, the power had gone out and news infiltrated my social media that the nearby dam had been breached. Water was flooding into neighborhoods all around us. Fortunately, our house is located on the top of a hill, but just 300 yards from our home water filled the streets and the homes up to the tin roofs. People ran for their lives.

WATCH: Flooding in Indonesia

It was an Easter Sunday full of tragedy and crisis as people sheltered wherever they could find dry ground. But this was just the outer bands of the cyclone, and it was heading our way.

Shuttered in our home for the storm

There was very little time to prepare for the intense winds coming, and with no warnings or alerts from the government, the majority of the population had no idea a major wind storm was headed their way. We managed to run to the store and buy a pan of eggs and a box of instant ramen, but that was all we could manage to fit in for preparedness. No time to shutter windows, move in outside furniture, or cut loose branches from the trees. On Monday evening, neighbors who had bamboo houses shuttered into our cement-walled home, and we prayed. As the night came in and the winds started to blow, we continued to pray. Many of you prayed us through that night, and I can’t thank you enough.

WATCH: Disaster in Indonesia – Evacuation

After eating our ramen and eggs, we bundled up and waited. It was cold. It was very loud. Wind whistled all around our house and we could hear trees and debris being thrown around outside. No one slept, but we all kept looking up at the roof to make sure it would hold. I had a bag packed with important documents and my shoes next to it, ready to grab and run if the roof or walls gave way. It was the scariest night of my life.

Home destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Seroja

After 10 hours of howling winds and banging trees outside, the winds finally calmed. We nabbed a few hours of sleep, aware that the next days ahead would be full of relief efforts and hard work. As the sun came up, I stepped outside and saw the demolition of trees down everywhere. Pieces of roof were lying in the middle of the road, some houses badly damaged. But God spared us, and God spared our home. Again.

Relief Efforts

The next two weeks were full of relief efforts. Our school worked with a neighbor setting up a community kitchen to cook meals for people who had been forced from their homes. We were the lucky ones, so we invested our time and efforts bringing supplies to impacted families and homes. 

WATCH: Food Distribution for Refugees
Erdy cleaning up flooded houses

Two weeks later, our power came back on, and now that it’s been 3 weeks since that fateful Easter Sunday, life is starting to get back to normal. Most people have been able to repair their homes and return, although those badly damaged by the flood are still cleaning up. The dam breech cut off critical irrigation supply to much of the area, so now farmers are grappling to find other ways to make a living.

Newly installed water pump for affected farmers

Erdy and his team spent the last week installing 3 pumps by a river in a local village that relies on rice patties for food and income. Since their irrigation canals have dried up, this pump delivers critical water to irrigate the rice patties and keep these people alive. My school and team have spent the past week reaching out to students and parents who were impacted by the disaster, bringing supplies and also providing trauma healing for the kids who endured the crisis.

WATCH: Relief Distribution

The road to recovery and rehabilitation for our small island is still long and we have much to do, but I am amazed and blessed by the many ways God has provided for us over these last weeks, and the many, many prayers He has answered. I thank each of you deeply for being a part of our journey here and lifting us up in prayer over these past weeks. It’s your prayers which have carried us.

Delivering food and supplies to affected homes

New Everything

I’m experiencing an overwhelming abundance of blessings and new beginnings in my life here in Indonesia.

Locally woven traditional cloth

New Island

In July, I made the move from my long time home of Java to a smaller remote island in Eastern Indonesia. Rolling green hills, luscious waterfalls and white sandy beaches are now part of the incredible panorama I’m privileged to witness every day. This island, less developed than Java, is a hub of deeply rooted cultural traditions. Most women spend their days weaving traditional cloth while the men work the fields caring for livestock and looking after crops.

This place is incredibly beautiful, but lacking in education. Most adults are not educated beyond Elementary school, and the schools which are available are plagued by low teacher attendance and insufficient funding. This is a huge opportunity for us.

New Role

With my move to this island, comes a new role as well. Our organization started a small Christian School here 3 years ago, and we are striving to develop this school into a lab school which will plant schools in villages all over the island. So far, our school is Kindergarten-Grade 2 and has already planted 14 Christian schools in villages. We will continue adding a grade each year, God willing until our school is K-12.

Neighborhood kids join afternoon English club since they are prohibited from going to school.

Like in America, Covid-19 has significantly affected our school here. Children are not permitted to attend school in person, and connectivity challenges limit our ability to conduct school virtually. Instead, our teachers prepare learning materials for students to take home and work on during the week.

Since kids can’t come to school, we sometimes invite the kids living in the neighborhood for English club in the afternoon.

Local teacher tutors a student at our new school.

New Husband

Of all the changes, one in particular has been the greatest of all, bringing immense blessing in my life. On September 6, 2020, I married the most incredible amazing man. Erdy is native to this island and is the answer to many prayers over the years. Although Covid-19 prohibited us from celebrating our wedding day together with family in America, God still amazingly opened the way for family from all over the globe to take part in this special day. 

Watch a replay of the Wedding Livestream

Many of you have sent us greetings, participated in the Photo Booth, and were a part of this special day. We send our deep thanks and gratitude for each of you and for the congratulations, blessings, and prayers you have sent.

We thank God for technology which allowed for family to take part in this special day.

My heart overflows. We look forward to the day we are able to come to America and celebrate with you.