Category Archives: #lifeinasia

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

The Power of a Second

86,400.

That’s how many seconds each of us are gifted every single day. Sometimes they seem to go by so fast, like when I’m having a great conversation, eating a yummy meal, or laughing with my second graders. But sometimes these seconds can feel so slow, when I’m sitting still at a long seminar or can’t fall asleep at night.

I’ve been learning that these seconds are so valuable. Since I first arrived in Indonesia, there have been many moments while riding my motorbike through the city or the villages, I catch a glance of something or someone so interesting, so fascinating. These moments pull at my heart strings. It’s just a second, but these seconds are filled with information and meaning, pushing me to grow. A child carrying water from the river. A mom with 5 kids loaded onto her motorbike. A child running through the village with his friends

These seconds are so powerful. 

Marcus Aurelius said, “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”

86,400 opportunities every day, to be the best, most God-fearing individuals we can be. Let’s be better.

This concept has caused me to reflect on the amazing children of this country. Check out my recent video “The Power of a Second” to take a dive into the lives of Indonesian children for just 60 of these valuable seconds.

Over the last few weeks we have intentionally planned a series of activities to help the students grow in character and leadership. Below are some photos from our various learning activities.

Field trip: We brought students to a tea garden and also a chocolate garden to learn how to plant and harvest tea and chocolate once they are teachers in villages.

“Service” Trip: This trip was entirely student led and coordinated. We visited a village about two hours from our city and they led the elementary and middle school students in a variety of critical thinking and character building activities. Afterwards we visited a local volcano close to the village.

Hiking Trip: This trip consisted of 30 students hiking up Mount Welirang with a height of 3,156m (10,354 ft). Students were broken into small groups with leaders and they were challenged to coordinate food, stoves, tents and everything needed for the 3 day/2 night hike on the mountain. With 8 hours hiking the first day, 6 hours the second day, and 4 hours the third day, the exhaustion brought out character and conflict and created an opportune moment for discipleship.

Beach day: Coordinated by students, this trip allowed for them to learn how to lead their peers in a variety of activities. Their favorite part was grilling fresh fish!

Outreach day: Coordinated entirely by students as well, they invited peers from other schools and communities in our city and hosted a day of community together. This was a great opportunity as our students made new friends and grew to know the community around us.

Looking for Greatness

“1 in 4 millennials think they will be famous by the time they are 25,” I heard one of my favorite speakers say while listening to a podcast this morning. Guilty, I thought to myself. Not that I thought I would be reeling in the dough, but deep down I thought maybe CNN Heroes would be knocking on my door, wanting to report to the world of how I’m changing it for the better.

Greatness.

I think we all crave it to some degree, some of us more than others. We want our lives to be worth something, for the world to look at us and go beyond acknowledging our existence, but stand up, give us a high five, and acknowledge that the hard work and fruits of our life will surely live on long after we do. But what makes greatness so great is that not all of us achieve it. But could we? Is greatness something reserved for a certain few?

If greatness means being famous, winning, receiving accolades and high-fives, or even accomplishment, then yes, it is reserved for a certain few. But what if greatness is something much bigger than that? What if greatness is not about how the world views us, but how well we live, and how well we respond to God’s call in our life?

Greatness is overcoming the fears we face.

Greatness is intentionally pursuing things which are uncomfortable and cause us to grow.

Greatness is caring for and fostering the dreams which God has planted in our hearts.

2015-10-08 06.07.53I’ve been challenged to this definition of greatness by my brothers who currently are enrolled in one of our programs called STREAM. STREAM stands for Skills TRaining in Engineering And Mechatronics. It’s a two-year, highly intense program which truly challenges each student to greatness. Teenagers are recruited from all over Indonesia with only two minimum requirements: 1) no opportunity and 2) a desire to learn. When they arrive at STREAM, every one of their possessions is taken from them. They are given a haircut, a uniform, and a wooden slab to sleep on. Students of STREAM may sleep on a mattress as soon as they can sew one themselves. Each day they wake up and work hard. They learn how to take apart a motorcycle and put it back together. They learn industrial sewing and how to make backpacks and laptop bags. They learn computer programming and engineering. They are discipled in the Word of God and are given intensive Bible training. They are each day reaching oustide of the comfortable life they always knew, and striving for greatness.

After the first year, students from STREAM go out and work for their second year in order to gain the necessary training and experience to go back to their villages and not only survive, but bring change and growth. No part of this process is comfortable. Each day students of STREAM are challenged to dig deep within to face their fears, pursue things which are incredibly challenging and uncomfortable, and respond to the dreams which God has planted in their hearts. This is true greatness.

What are you doing today to pursue greatness?

Stream 2
Students at STREAM learn Computer Science

Students at STREAM receive daily intensive discipleship and Bible Training
Students at STREAM receive daily intensive discipleship and Bible Training

A Summer of Learning

11232027_1609281972653475_1813605448349787972_oThank you all for your prayers over these last few months since our new students have arrived! We have had an incredible few months of orientation and our most intensive training of the year which we call Foundations. During this time, we offered 99 different classes and activities to our students, teaching them things from industrial sewing (they went over to STREAM to learn that!), leadership, the 5 love languages, teaching strategies, classroom management, geography, hikes up volcanos and waterfalls…..the list goes on and on. The theme of our Foundations this year was “Reap what you Sow”, and as an illustration of that each student planted a seed at the beginning of the term and were tasked with caring for and growing their plant. It was an incredible summer and our TransformNation students truly attacked it with courage, initiative, and a desire to learn and grow.

2015-08-30 08.34.14The amazing ways God is moving and working here are so many that sometimes I forget to stop and realize just how incredible it is. About 6 months ago I took on the position of leading our TransformNation program. It’s been a huge blessing and joy to get to lead what is now 33 students in their quest and pursuit to be the most incredible, influential teachers this nation has ever seen. I’m so excited to be a part of this movement. God willing, we will be opening our own university next year, allowing for students from all over Indonesia to come and study here. Check out some photos from this summer, and please keep us in your prayers!

Photo Gallery: