Dr. Sharon's Germany and Indonesia Report
June 5, 2014
When called to serve with Mama Hana of Pondok Kasih (YPK), "The House of Love" in Indonesia, I never, ever could have imagined what awaited. Even Mama didn't know.
I never would have guessed I'd see so much of Europe! But having just caught my breath from a whirlwind trek to Bulgaria, Greece, and Germany, I find myself now packing for a conference in Geneva, Switzerland and Macon, France, then the CosmoQueen Regatta in Muiden, Netherlands!
Nor would I have imagined that when GoHawaii invited and sponsored CWOW (Creative Women of the World) to Indonesia, they would come while I was gone. Since returning, I've only heard the highest praises and thanks for Lorelei (whom through my cousin Jean, I claim as family) and Nicole. They shared their business knowledge, artistic gifts, humanitarian experience, and Jesus' love with our slum dwellers, refugees, and outcast communities.
And, if you think walking on water requires supernatural intervention, then, you need to read on and see how Mama's team and I recently experienced what some might say is an even greater miracle here in Jakarta.
Only God knew and knows all. He is the true composer and orchestrator of His perfect and unpredictable love song. And, I believe none of this would be possible without your prayers and support. How I love serving on your team!
I bravely rode the train alone to meet
Dr. Tharwat at Goethe University in Frankfurt.
We shared about our international interfaith peace work
and took a photo with some of his comparative religion students.
The next day, I joined Pastor Daniel and his Egyptian friends
and we visited the humble and delightful Coptic Orthodox Priest.
In one of the world's rare cases, the Egyptian Orthodox and Protestants
partner together to bless God and others.
Then, we went to the Egyptian Consulate and they voted.
We met Dr. Tharwat there. He is an official observer for the Presidential election.
(That's also where my camera went kaput. waaaah)
Then, we drove a long way into rural Germany
and I spoke at the Arab church service.
What a joy to see that the congregation had tripled in size since our visit last year.
Lorelei and Nicole empowering poor women
by teaching Kingdom-based creativity and entrepreneural skills.
They shook up old, stagnant ways of thinking in two locations.
And, for the first time, these impoverished women believe
God has made them special, they don't need to always copy others,
but can create unique products out of their own resources and ideas.
I literally had a front row seat and watched God perform miracles.
Our friends at UIN, the National University of Islam in Jakarta,
asked Mama if she would share about the Bible and Christianity.
They say they want to learn directly from the source and not through their teachers.
They assembled 250 students in a campus auditorium.
Mama gathered her scholarly friends.
And, the five were given four hours to share.
In the end, the students cheered,
the faculty asked if we would return regularly,
and the dean said they will make attendance at our sessions mandatory.
The next day hundreds of curious students from UIN
were welcomed at different churches around Jakarta
to celebrate Christ's Ascension Day.
SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE
From June 9 - 14 in Geneva and Macon,
Mama and Sharon will be sharing the blessing and ways
of serving the poor and becoming peacemakers
in Indonesia and around the world.
Just when we thought it would be impossible to go,
the Lord swung the doors wide open.
We leave in 2 days
and would love to have you join us through prayer!
CosmoQueen in the Netherlands
is a very generous donor for YPK and many others.
They are helping to provide employment opportunities in Indonesia
through giving basic and commercial sewing machines,
an embroidery machine, sewing kits and training ideas to YPK.
Their annual fund-raiser comes right on the heels of our conference,
so we will join them for their Regatta
at the Royal Dutch Sailing and Rowing Club in Muiden on June 16.
When you follow Jesus (and Mama),
you literally never know where you'll be next nor what you'll be doing!