Tag Archives: prayer

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?!?!?

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.

Be a Part of TransformNation

photoWould you like to be a part of TransformNation, and all that God is doing through teachers and schools throughout Indonesia? Join my support team, or click here to sponsor a teacher.

Would you commit to praying for us? Please pray….

  • for the adaptation of new students in TransformNation
  •  for schools and villages throughout Indonesia which don’t yet have the opportunity for quality education
  • for our four recent graduates of TransformNation as they go out to serve and lead in under-resourced areas throughout Indonesia
  • for Indonesia as it transitions to a historic new president

Life Together

Even now as I sit in my room writing this update, laughter is reverberating through the dorm that I live in. I’ve enjoyed every moment with these students that I have the privilege of living life together with.

What’s in this edition:

dorm life and teacher training

We have just finished our pilot year of our new teacher training program and are excited to welcome four new students this year. The vision is to take students from undereducated villages, educate, equip, train and disciple them to be teachers, and then send them back to their villages to teach their students in the same way. Last year we had 4 students come from K-island, and just last month we added 3 from P-island and 1 from J-island. This new teacher training program has become the focus of my ministry here. Please pray for us as we build the program, and that God would open doors and guide the program in the way He desires.

visit from Mom and Dad

A huge highlight from the last month was a visit from Mom and Dad! It was great to spend time with them, live life with them, and do ministry with them for ten days. They got to meet a lot of people I work with, and we made some time to do some volcano hiking and motorbike rides through villages. Make sure to check out the photo album.


I’m passionate about creativity, and I really see it as an important part of all ministry. (If you haven’t already, watch a video about my vision of creativity.) Beginning next week, I will have the joy of teaching creativity to our 8 teachers in our new training program. Please pray for inspiration, and that God would shape them into the creative beings He created them to be.

teaching English

For the last month or so I have been teaching English to my highschoolers. We were studying Helen Keller, and I had them do a project about the Paralympics. It was great to discuss disabilities, how God created us unique and beautiful, and the many ways God uses hard circumstances for His good.

prayer requests

Here are the major prayer requests, visit my prayer & praise page to read more:

  • Pray for the development of our teacher training program
  • Pray for guidance and inspiration as I teach and live with the students in the program
  • Pray for guidance and discernment as I look at shaping my ministry over the next several months
  • Pray for our team here and the many opportunities we have to be a part of God’s work in this country

Thank you so much for joining me in the work God is doing here!

The Nit-Grit: Smiles and Sweat

What’s in this edition:

site visits

This month I have had the opportunity of taking several visits to schools and other sites our organization works to support. It was great to spend some time with our national workers, both encouraging them and also learning from what they are doing. One highlight was visiting one of our schools that is just three years old. I was encouraged to see the energy and ambition of our national partners, as they fearlessly led this elementary school with creative teaching style and revolutionary learning techniques. I am excited for the future of this school as it continues to grow. I had the privilege of teaching 1st and 2nd grade while I was there. See the photo album here.

I also had the joy of bringing my grade 9 Bible class on a short term service trip (read about it in my post “Just Jump”). After focusing a lot on community development and leadership this year in class, it was a joy to see them translate what they had learned into practical application. They taught classes, prayer walked, and picked up trash among this tiny village up in the mountains. See the photo album here.



Please pray for S-Village. If you haven’t kept up with the developments of S-village, you can read the first update here and the second update here. There has been an incredible amount of spiritual warfare in this village. We have sent a national teacher from our school, but there is a lot of conflict between a majority religion teacher there and the village chiefs. The village chiefs want education, but coming out of their animistic beliefs, they are not sure which religion to follow. Please keep them in your prayers.

teacher training program

I am beyond excited to be a part of the building of our new teacher training program. This will be my focus over the next year as I not only live with our teachers in training but will also be involved in the creating of the program as a whole.

Quality teachers are the foundational element to effective Christian Education. Right now I work with a “Lab school”, that is a school we hope to model other schools after that provide quality, creative, Christian education to nationals. This year we have started a Teacher Training Program to equip teachers to train in these schools. This last year, we brought four students in from another area and enrolled them in a local University. The students went to class in the evenings and then attended specialized training given by us at our Lab School. We pay for these students to study for four years and live in our dorm (which I currently live in as well) and then they commit to teaching for four years in one of our schools (we have about 25 schools in different parts of the country). This past year was the pilot year, and I am excited to be a part of the program as we grow it into its second year next year. I am looking forward to receiving five new students next year from a different remote area.

We took the four students from this year on a field trip to celebrate them finishing exams. See the photo album here.

language learning

Thank you SO much for your prayers concerning my language learning. I had reduced my official language classes to 2/week in March, and as of last week I have finished classes altogether.  I anticipate language will be something that I will continue to learn throughout the entirety of my time here, but I am encouraged to move beyond the classroom and continue to learn from the nationals I live with and the people around me. Please continue to pray that my comprehension would increase, that I might better be able to understand those around me. That being said, while this journey of language learning has been difficult, I have had some recent breakthroughs that have been very encouraging.

this summer

I am very excited as I look ahead into the next several months. Next week I will be traveling with some of my ninth graders on a short trip to celebrate their graduation, as well as returning to the 3-year-old school I described above for their graduation. I am looking forward to spending that time with my students and continuing to deepen my relationship with them. We will also be receiving five new students into the dorm I live in (as described above).

We will also be hosting several short term teams from the US. In July, I will be doing some teacher training at our school on “Strategies for using the Internet for Resourceful and Creative Teaching”. My emphasis will be on TedEd and Skype in the Classroom, and I am really excited about the possibilities both of these options have for enhancing our creative teaching here in Southeast Asia.

In August I will be taking a trip to a site out in the “Jungle”. Just today I met with some phenomenal, innovative teachers from that same area who have a passion for providing education to their next generation of leaders. I look forward to visiting the school we already have there, as well as meeting with some other people who I hope to encourage in their endeavors to develop Christian education.

prayer requests

Here are the major prayer requests, visit my prayer & praise page to read more:

  • For S-Village (see above)
  • For the short term teams coming this summer, that God would prepare their hearts and ours, and that God would open doors for their maximal effectivity
  • For the 5 new students in our teacher training program, as well as the 4 returning students
  • That God would continue to guide us in developing our teacher training program
  • That God would continue to awaken dreams in the hearts of our students who are graduating this year
  • For our grade 12 graduates as they continue on to University
  • For safety and guidance as I continue site visits

Thanks so much for your prayer, support, and interest in all that God is doing here. It’s so exciting to be a part of, and I am so grateful that you are a part of it with me!

Irony and a Prayer Request

“The moment we recognize our complete weakness and our dependence upon Him will be the very moment that the Spirit of God will exhibit His power.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest) Oh how I bank on the truth of this statement.

Nothing can prepare you to live and lead across cultures. Before I moved here I did a lot of studying, including taking a grad class on leading cross-culturally, but I am finding the only way to learn how is to do it and fail. I am preparing my 9th grade class for a short term trip in a couple of weeks. We will be going to a school to teach in an area that was affected by a volcano eruption a couple of years ago. Like any short term trip, my hope and desire is that the students would be stretched and grown into stronger leaders.

As a part of our preparation this week I am doing an exercise in class that will aim to help them identify assumptions they have and experience a simulation of what it’s like to experience cross-cultural stress and intercultural communication. Even though the area we are going to is in the same country, every region of this country has different micro cultures, so I anticipate it will be a cross-cultural experience for everyone.

The ironic truth is this: I’m incredibly nervous about performing this simulation on Monday and its effectivity. Why? Because I myself am trying to communicate across cultures. As I prepare the simulation I am being reminded of my own assumptions: that the students will understand the rules of the game, that the students will follow the rules, that the students will participate. All of these are essential for the effectivity of the simulation. But I long ago learned that these things can’t be assumed. I know full well that I may show up on Monday and the room isn’t available, or some students are absent, or they don’t understand what I’m trying to communicate.

And so I find myself arriving at that moment Chambers talks about. I am of complete weakness. I have to depend on Him. He is the great interpretor. I can spend days preparing, but it is the Holy Spirit who does the teaching, not me. If I fail, I fail. But He does not fail.

Please pray for my class on Monday. Pray that the students would understand. Pray that the Holy Spirit will interpret. Pray that cultural and linguistic barriers would be eliminated. But most of all, pray for my students, that God would stir in them His dreams and desires.

The Nit-Grit: Transitions

What’s in this edition:

language learning
moving forward
prayer requests


A quick update on S-village: we are sending one of our national partners to S-village for a couple of months to see if it would work for her to be a teacher there. Please pray for her as she makes the extreme transition (village life there is drastically different from city life here), and continue to pray that God would provide wisdom, discernment, and workers to send to this village. If you missed the last update, read about S-village here.


Teaching has been really fun over the last month as my students and I have gone through the books of Esther and Nehemiah and learned about what made them fantastic leaders. Recently, they were each assigned a character from the book of Esther and had to dress as their character and answer questions about what life was like for their character. Consequently, that day was my sister Joy’s birthday, so here is a short video of them in the costumes saying, “Happy Birthday Teacher Joy!”

We have spent the last few weeks preparing for a short term m-trip we are going to take to serve some schools and a mental hospital up in an area a couple of hours away. This area was affected by a volcano a couple of years ago. Please pray for the students as they prepare and that God would really work in them during the trip, opening their eyes to the immediate needs of the community around them.

I just finished teaching CPR and first aid this week and I am so proud of my students! They worked hard, studied hard, asked good questions, and are now equipped with basic CPR and first aid. It was a lot of fun for me too.

language learning

I have good news to report about language! Thank you all for your prayers. I finished formal study and will move to class just two times a week. I have truly felt God’s grace on me over just the past week or two as I have felt somewhat of a breakthrough. I’m not quite fluent but I think I’m flirting with fluency. I have been recently surprised at being able to completely understand people who just a month ago I could not even understand one word. Thanks again for the prayers, continue to pray for diligence and continued breakthroughs in eliminating language as a barrier to ministry with the wonderful people of this country.

One major blessing has been being a part of small group made up of nationals from a local church. It has brought me great joy to meet with them each week, pray, share and laugh together. This has also been a huge part of my language learning. This group is made up of people from different areas of the country who all live on this island, so we unite in a shared feeling of being outsiders in this culture yet at the same time one family in Christ.

moving forward

This month has been a month of transition and I am looking forward to the months ahead. I am currently house sitting for a family who is in the US and will be here for a few more weeks as I prepare to move into a dorm to help with our groundbreaking Teacher Training Program (read about it here). As teaching and language wrap up for this year I am really praying and thinking through what my specific role is going to look like over the next year in connection with our network of schools.

prayer requests

Here are the major prayer requests, visit my prayer & praise page to read more:

  • workers and wisdom for S-village
  • my 9th grade class’ short term m-trip
  • guidance for my specific role over the next year

Thank you for your prayers!

I Cannot Do This Alone

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Germany/1906–1945)

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me. . . .

Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised. Amen.

House, Tyndale (2009-12-17). Devotions for Lent (Kindle Locations 275-299). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.