Sunday, November 1, 2009

Church, Picnics, and Trick or Treat

The first few weeks we were here we visited several different churches. Papa Bear thought some were too far to drive. Mama Bear thought some were too loud. Baby Bear thought some didn't serve good snacks. And all the Bears were confused when some didn't speak their brand of Bear-talk. A couple months ago a new church plant started and they were using our school's campus. That certainly was close enough for Papa Bear...a 1-minute car drive is just right. So that's what we now do on Sunday mornings.

I should back up and say that freedom of worship, at least in Jakarta, has been a real blessing. Indonesia is unfortunately usually pronounced this way: Indonesia-the-world's-largest-Muslim-population. It's one long word with emphasis on largest Muslim population and a long silence afterwards. It's almost like a warning: expect the worst, expect extremists. It has been surprising how casual and relaxed Jakarta has been.

Today walking around the mall I tried to estimate the number of women who wore even a basic head covering/scarf. It was around 20%. The population is 90% Muslim. And of the 20% who wear a simple scarf, it is 0% who wear the full length burka-type covering. I can't recall ever seeing one here. Nairobi? Lots. Regularly at Village Market, especially on Sundays. A crowd of burka-clad women wasn't even a head-turner to in Kenya.

So, it has been encouraging to have a wide choice of churches. It is encouraging to work in a school that is very clear in its Christian foundation and purpose.

The particular church we have been attending is a recent church-plant from Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was started by a group of Korean-Americans who moved here together. They have a web site (Harvest Mission Community Church) if you are interested in seeing what kind of a church it is. The pictures I've included are from the church picnic and games last Sunday.

This week, Saturday, many of the ex-pats from SPH and who have little kids got together to keep that great American tradition of Trick or Treat alive. Again, enjoy the pictures.

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