Getting ready for Kalimantan

We leave Monday Morning at 7:30am our time and return Saturday in the afternoon.  I will be helping build, taking large quantity of video and photo and preaching Thursday night.

Going to the place with the green arrow pointing at it.

Going to the place with the green arrow pointing at it.

Kalimantan historical Culture and Rainforest wealth on it’s 540.000 square Kilometers area is unique for trekking and expedition through the connected trails that lead you to mostly virgin forest. You can stay overnight in the local houses of the villages. In the Hinterland of Kalimantan The villages can only be reached by foot or missionary aircraft. The Jungle Trails range from 2 hours to weeks in length, depending on the route you
choose. Kalimantan Dayak cultural treasures that survive deep within the rainforest jungle of Indonesia ’s largest island. You can discover a virtual
The Dayak people in the villages at Kalimantan are trustworthy, and have a good sense of humor. Almost Each Dayak Tribe is self sufficient, and producing all their own food and supplementing their diet through hunting. Hunting is with either home-made rifles, blowpipes or packs of dogs and spears. In the Hinterland of Kalimantan, money is difficult to come by as they are isolated from markets. PT. Gigantara is in unanimous agreement for the area’s forests to be protected and for more tourists to arrive. You will be warmly welcomed. No one in the area speaks any English, so if you hire another guide at least some knowledge of Indonesian will be required.

While it is often Raining at Kalimantan, The more dry period of July-September is the best. The forest is at its loudest, leaches are few, trails dry up and butterflies are plentiful. Although you will have to contend with hot afternoons and lots of honey bees. In recent years the climate has been more difficult to predict than usual. Second-best time is November-December when fruit and wild boar are in abundance. November also tends to be dry and is honey harvesting season.Actually all the months are OK for travel at Kalimantan, while January and February are the months with the most rainfall, but is still a mixture of sun and rain.

For Forest  

 For Flora & Fauna
Black Orchid

Enggang Bird
 Honey Bear
 Hedgehong
 Kalimantan’s Crocodile
Bekantan & Orang Utan
Leopard
Anaconda
Wildcat

Blog Posts from Indonesia

Yay…I was finally able to log back into my blog.  It has been a bit moody with me trying to post from Indonesia.

That said, you can see visually what we have been doing by checking out the following:

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facbook (I have been uploading many many photos and telling our story through visual elements.  It uploads way quicker for this internet that goes in and out.)

Today Dana is taking all the church staff spouses out to lunch and we are hitting up the Youth Service tonight.  Tomorrow we have the opportunity to have lunch with a new couple from the church, treating them like we would if they came through the doors at Open Life.  Should be a great cultural experience as they are from Latvia.

One of the things that has been bothering me since Sunday, I met more than one person at ICA that mentioned to me that they had studied for periods of up to 8 years in the States and never met a Christian the whole time they were there.  They met people who didn’t have faith, but nobody ever invited them to church even.  For those who are in church, don’t let that be the story of those you meet.  Discipleship begins with an introduction.  We are meeting people everyday who are seeking life, and we have the key to life in our understanding of Jesus.  Let’s not sleep on the job!

Anyway…we have great ministry happening and can’t wait to see what is yet to come after a quick break in Bali.  We are back in Surabaya and pastoring away!

#indo13

Indonesia Update

Nothing that exciting to report from the land of Indonesia.  The last few days have been consumed with in house ministry and planning.  Every week I lead staff meeting and am offering some systems coaching to get the team moving forward in some of the areas Open Life does really well at.  Meetings meetings study and meetings.  That sums up the last two days.

Love where the series Mindful has come and can’t wait to bless this church with the next talks in their West and East campuses.

Dana has gone to a Baby Shower and Prayer meeting and is beginning prep to lead some teaching times for 45 minutes each.  She will do great I have no doubt.

Finally today we went and visited an Orphanage in town.  They would not let us take photos, but Dana did snag a video that is way cute.  Everyone played with the babies and toddlers and we had conversation with people who were there contemplating adoption of some of the kids.  As we drove away Jaiden was asking to go back and dreaming of which friends she could take with her.  Humbling to visit orphanages and see the humble supplies, dirty walls and doors.  Kids playing within such minimal environments.  Praying for them and all the others who will venture through the doors of that place.

Below you will find a bit more in the way of photos:

This is called Laundry for the kids and workers in this orphonage

This is called Laundry for the kids and workers in this orphonage

Dana and the kids are invited to this amazing pool while I am in meetings at the church.  Fair?

Dana and the kids are invited to this amazing pool while I am in meetings at the church. Fair?

See, they are having a blast.

See, they are having a blast.

The view from the playground/deck at the orphanage

The view from the playground/deck at the orphanage

The Orphanage from the outside.  Sure makes it look like they have AC, but they sure didn't have it active when we were in there.

The Orphanage from the outside. Sure makes it look like they have AC, but they sure didn’t have it active when we were in there.

Update from Indonesia

Been a couple days…things have been crazy busy with ministry and fun.

Sunday was great sharing at ICA East.  I preached the first in a 4 week series called Mindful.  There were so many people who expressed their appreciation of the talk and how it was perfect timing.  Love seeing how God can speak a message to a communicator across the world and make it timely for those here in Indonesia.  AMAZING

After service we went out to another crazy good restaurant where Jaiden ate nearly a whole family sized serving plate of Kung Pao Chicken.  She is loving the spicy foods!  Taking after her daddy for sure.

Sunday night we invited the staff over for Homemade Apple Crisp at the house.  Was fun to watch the girls open up and the whole family get to know some great people.

Yesterday we spent the day at the zoo.  Long drive from the house (2 and 1/2 hours into the Volcanic mountains.  There was traffic all the way.  This zoo allowed you to get so close to the animals .  Dana placed some of the photos from the zoo on her Facebook HERE.

I continue to see crazy stuff from our driving around.  Here are a few moment in picture.

Another day on the roads of Surabaya

Another day on the roads of Surabaya

Largest Mosque in Surabaya.  This place is huge.

Largest Mosque in Surabaya. This place is huge.

The white lines mean nothing in Surabaya, and obviously the shoulder is just another potential lane!

The white lines mean nothing in Surabaya, and obviously the shoulder is just another potential lane!

They are constantly burning their trash here, so smoke is a constant.  The Volcanos are constantly releasing ash into the atmosphere as well, so you are driving along and suddenly you see a mountain that has been there the whole time, you can just finally see it.

They are constantly burning their trash here, so smoke is a constant. The Volcanos are constantly releasing ash into the atmosphere as well, so you are driving along and suddenly you see a mountain that has been there the whole time, you can just finally see it.

Taking picks of kids on bikes never gets old.

Taking picks of kids on bikes never gets old.

When you have an oversized load a Uturn can break your axel.  Just another day on the road.

When you have an oversized load a Uturn can break your axel. Just another day on the road.

you see it all on the road

you see it all on the road

Every light another opportunity for business.  At least these were adults and not the 4 year olds at most other lights.

Every light another opportunity for business. At least these were adults and not the 4 year olds at most other lights.

Because they can I guess!

Because they can I guess!

Who wants to work on this scaffolding?

Who wants to work on this scaffolding?

Let's put a bunch of sticks together and climb to the top.  WOW

Let’s put a bunch of sticks together and climb to the top. WOW

Look at the reality of this image.  They are trying to keep the demolition from falling on those going into a restaurant below.  What I don't think the guy with the hammer realizes, is the way this is going to fall when he hits it.

Look at the reality of this image. They are trying to keep the demolition from falling on those going into a restaurant below. What I don’t think the guy with the hammer realizes, is the way this is going to fall when he hits it.

Look the white man is taking my picture mom.

Look the white man is taking my picture mom.

Let's just say Jenna was afraid that the animals we could reach through and touch might eat her little brother.

Let’s just say Jenna was afraid that the animals we could reach through and touch might eat her little brother.

Never have I been this close to something so beautiful and huge.  I could literally feel and smell it's breath from the two feet away where I was.  Good thing the sign warned me not to stick my fingers in.  I would have totally not known to keep my hands out.  LOL

Never have I been this close to something so beautiful and huge. I could literally feel and smell it’s breath from the two feet away where I was. Good thing the sign warned me not to stick my fingers in. I would have totally not known to keep my hands out. LOL

Don't look now but there is an animal right behind you! "really?"

Don’t look now but there is an animal right behind you! “really?”

Just us with some crazy characters

Just us with some crazy characters

They thought being close to the animals was fun when they were small enough to be on the other side of the cage we were riding in.

They thought being close to the animals was fun when they were small enough to be on the other side of the cage we were riding in.

As the animals got bigger...everyone on board became a bit scared.  Especially this lady who chose to hide in Dana's lap.

As the animals got bigger…everyone on board became a bit scared. Especially this lady who chose to hide in Dana’s lap.

Don't look now, but I think it's time for another skirt Chief!

Don’t look now, but I think it’s time for another skirt Chief!

Don't look now, but I think we are about to get eaten!  Nice little kitty kitty.  Kids get in the car...LOL

Don’t look now, but I think we are about to get eaten! Nice little kitty kitty. Kids get in the car…LOL

#indo13

Post #3 from Indonesia

Driving at night, waiting, and ministry.

The most exciting time of the day for me was doing ministry to a group of young people who are among the poor of the city.  They call the ministry “social” and the program is YDPIMG_0012 (youth development program).  They train them in leadership, english and Christ.  They wanted me to give a leadership challenge to them, so I prepared a 15 minute lesson so after translation it took 30.  These kids don’t have the ability to learn english where they live, so they use translation for this group. The night before we saw one of the young men begging on the streets and now got to pour into them the leadership.

  • To watch them worship was cool.  They were so genuine and many of them very moved.  At the end of the night we were told they often resist going home because of the love and safety of this ministry in their lives.

Timing is not everything here.

We discovered that 9:30 am might just mean sometime in the morning.  That money is seen as valuable, but not time.  Time is more of an estimate.  One person expressed that with traffic you plan to do one thing a day when in America we might try and do 10.  So it takes planning to have things to do when you are waiting for people.  A whole new adventure of multitasking.  Or you could just learn to relax.  Which do you think I do, or even more so Dana?  Yup…bring something to do!!

The driving at night I wish I could explain.  IMG_0004 copy IMG_9994 copyI tried to get a good picture, but to see a family with a baby in a sling on the back of these bikes is unreal.  Here is a very blurry pic of the family.  The baby was on the back of her, but as they pulled into a parking spot she swung the baby around to her side before leaping off.  CRAZY

The bikes and cars travel like a school of fish. They zig and zag and there really are no rules per say.  Just don’t hit each other and that bikes have the right of way.  You change lanes slowly so the bikes or other cars can swerve to miss you.  You have to be aggressive and get where you need to go.  The lines on a road mean absolutely nothing!  Nor are there speed limit signs anywhere.  You just move with traffic and there is always traffic.  There are speed bumps on streets which are more like speed mountains that help you to not get up to any too extreme of a speed.  Funny thing is they drive crazy fast and lock their brakes for the speed bumps, then it’s off to the races again after you lump over them.

The kids are still way tired, and so are we a bit.

IMG_9979 copy

They are waking up at 2, 3, or 4 am and we are getting them back to sleep just to wake up again at 5:30.  Eventually we will get used to the time change…maybe just in time to head home.

While I don’t have a good pic of Lizzy (the lizard in the air vent downstairs) yet, I do have a good pic of the reaction every time she comes out for a visit!

IMG_9976 copy

This is Jenna….she doesn’t like Lizzy! Enjoy.

Today we venture out to the store and to do ministry to kids in a graveyard.  We are crazy excited to get our hands involved in ministry and to see what normality looks like in the outer spaces of this city.  Watch for pics on Instagram (Thad’s or Dana’s) and Facebook or await the post tomorrow about our experience today.   Tomorrow’s post might be a bit later due to Sunday being very packed full of ministry. Or I may have time tonight to get this updated.

Thanks for your prayers! #indo13

We made it

Nothing like traveling for 3 days of your life.  That pretty much sums up our experience thus far.  We left our home just after 10pm on Sunday and arrived at the Taylor’s beautiful home in Surabaya at 12:30am on Wednesday.  We only traveled for 36 hours of that.  Confusing huh?  Well that is what our bodies think as well.IMG_9892

You can track some of our photos on my Instagram as we have wifi I will post the iphone versions of what is happening.

Fun notes from day one included:

  • The first 12hour flight was a piece of cake.  We were worried about that one the most, but it actually went quick.  (The landing was another story as we came down into a very powerful lightning storm.  You could see it out of the windows IMG_9902and when we landed it was loud booms and crackles.  That got the girls a bit scared and nervous)
  • The lay over in Taipei took more out of us than we thought.  We didn’t know where to look for food, so we found ourselves eating some muffins and hydrating a bit. We were tired, so we found some seats and crashed.  After that we found the more restful space on the 4th floor of the airport and enjoyed ourselves a bit more as Preston and Jaiden were a big hit with the locals.  IMG_9945Their waving, dancing and interactions were photo material for those passing by. We moved around every couple hours of the 13 we were there to help pass time and the play areas in the mall portions of the airport were perfect.
  • The storm was so severe that many flights were being delayed and cancelled so we were almost positive our trip was going to become a lot longer than we desired, but somehow by the grace of God our flight was the first one on time out of the hour or two preceding it.
  • We made is safely into Surabaya, Indonesia on time, but Dana and I had slept so deeply on the flight that we didn’t even have our immigration forms completed.  The culture showed itself as the plane came to a stop.  All of those on board shoved their way to the front of the exit of the plane.  It’s a cultural thing to shove and cut in line we were told, so we were supposed to just shove back and say “permisi”.  Well, we didn’t do that…we kindly let those go before us that were in such a hurry and exited the plane last.  But they thought everyone had gone by the time we reached the exit door and found ourselves locked in a hallway for a bit.  IMG_9961The Indonesian authorities figured out how to get us out of there and on our way but it was kind of funny.
  • When exiting they didn’t give us a bad time at all about why we were here or what was in our luggage.  Sometimes they do for westerners, but we had much grace there.  We made our way outside to a mob of people from Surabaya.  It looked like a crazy crowd waiting for Justin Beiber to exit the plane, so they must have been bummed to see us!  LOL
  • The car ride from our very hospitable hosts was quick and easy.  We were tired and crashed without even taking the time to figure out the wifi to tell people we made it.
  • We slept good and woke up ready to get the day started with sermon planning team meeting and Dana headed out to do some shopping for food.  We saw the church and had some really good food.  The girls said we need to eat there often because they love noodles.
  • In the church we saw a wall where they have 100 photo frames and the first 28 have pictures of their completed churches.  I posted an image of #29 on my Instagram…we will be building this one in 3 weeks.  And have a place on the wall of vision.

Well…going to hang with the family today and get an early night to bed before hitting the ministry roles tomorrow.

#indo13

Almost There

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 12.22.53 PMWe are just two days away from departing for 30 days to serve ICA Surabaya in Indonesia.  If you wonder what we will be doing while there, simple…just click HERE and you will find what John & Korie Taylor do there and we will be doing just that.

We value your prayers and are extremely grateful for the support in finances to allow us to do this as an extension of Open Life and our launching of a pretty cool global partnership!

Now to start packing!

Salt

Is the community reaching out to you as a follower of Jesus? Matt. 5:13

This question stays in my mind as I go about my day.  I don’t know about you, but I always reach for the salt at the dinner table.  There are just some things I assume need salt and so I reach out instinctively…usually before I have even tasted the food.  I know this is a bad habit, but it is just instinct.  Salt just completes the potential of the meals flavor to me.

Is the instinctive reaction of the community to reach out to followers of Jesus to Continue reading

It’s all good

Our flamingos are missing, but God’s promises never cease to amazing me.flamingos

On our pursuit to raise the funds necessary for the trip to Indonesia, we have begun many funding opportunities.   One that has proved to be fun for the whole family as well as those involved is our Flocking Fundraiser.  That is until they were taken. Continue reading

The power of matching funds

Recently we accepted an offer to go to Indonesia for a moth in the middle of August to pastor a church called ICA Surabaya.  We will be reaching out to this city, and traveling into some more remote spaces to start new churches, and even do a little medical missions as we just found out.

In just one week of going public with our trip many amazing and generous people have engaged the funding process to help us raise the needed money to buy our tickets and expenditures.

Today, three generous friends and business associates with Body By Vi, set up a matching fund challenge they call #gettheHuffstoIndonesia. Continue reading