Ron and I are back from another incredible trip to Indonesia, and this time, Singapore! Many of you prayed for us through it all, and if you did, thank you! We are thanking and praising the Lord that everything went smoothly, exceeding our expectations on so many levels. We had the thrill of praising the Lord with thousands of children from 6 Christian schools in Indonesia, thousands of kids and family members at concerts in Jakarta and Singapore, and we were able to (hopefully) encourage hundreds of children’s ministry leaders at the various worship leading workshops we conducted. My voice hung in there for all 15 events and rehearsals, and lots of chatting, which is a miracle (thank you, prayer warriors!)! Ron took care of the sound at every event, which presented unique challenges at every location, sometimes just by virtue of the lack of time he had to set up. He made everything sound great, and of course it was just so wonderful being a team!
God gave us travel mercies galore, considering the number of planes and cars and even boats we were on during our 18 day adventure. Even though we’ve been home a week, I keep having dreams that we have one more flight to catch! Its almost like part of me is still back there in Indonesia and Singapore, and in a way, I think it is…part of my heart remains there! I love and truly miss the wonderful children and friends we fellowshipped and served with halfway around the world in that wonderful corner of Southeast Asia. They reminded us of the love of Jesus, the beauty of the faith we share in Him, and the instant love we have for each other when we’re part of His family.
I can barely put into words the joy, the beauty, the blessing it was to connect with all these dear people, and reconnect with friends we met there before. I practically crashed my phone taking photos, so I figured I would share some of them with you—they tell the story better than my words can.
INDOFEST! Our good friend Jan Sutanjati once again invited us to his conference for children’s ministry workers that focuses on puppetry, music, and magic. Along with our friends Dave and Teesha Laflin (amazing Christian illusionists from Colorado), and Dale Hudson (children’s ministry specialist) from the USA, we joined forces with an amazing team from Indonesia and Singapore to encourage and equip leaders who came from all over the area. We LOVED the Indofest team, not to mention the hard-working (and adorable!) team of children who accompanied me on stage, and GBI PRJ’s incredible band. We all had an absolute blast serving together.
Words cannot describe the thrill of being with the teachers and children at SPH Kemang, SPH Pluitt, SDH Karawaci, SLH Karawaci, Kiara Karitas, and SLH Labuan Bajo. The joy, the VOLUME of their singing, the hugs, the love and treats they gave us! The system of SPH/SDH/SLH Christian schools is so impressive—giving a great Christian education to many who couldn’t afford it otherwise, raising the next generation of world changers for Indonesia and the church. What a total honor that they love our music and we have the opportunity to celebrate our Lord with them. Thank you, thank you to each child, staff member, and parent who made those chapels happen and supported us along the way. The only problem with each visit: too short!
Thank you, Scripture Union for not giving up on us! Three years ago they invited us to come, and we had to postpone the trip when my dad fell ill with cancer. Last year we also had to postpone for family reasons. But finally in 2017 it became a reality! We love Singapore! What a beautiful, clean, prosperous little nation, and what joyful, vibrant believers! I was blown away by the love and gratitude everyone had for our music ministry. I’ve never seen such parent involvement at concerts before—the entire place was standing and doing motions at both concerts and the 2 workshops we did there, as well as 2 Sunday School visits. Singaporeans are very hard-working people, and it was a joy to see these folks pouring it on to raise children to know the Lord and serve Him well. Thank you Scripture Union, Riverlife Church and Bethesda Bedok Church for your hospitality, warmth and hard work making this happen. And thank you “ARISE!” team for all your hard work memorizing motions and shining for the Lord on stage with me. (Concert photos by Sze Siang http://matt196.com)
FOOD and FRIENDSHIP:
Let’s face it, good food is LOVE, and we were well-loved on the entire trip! Our cups (and muffin-tops) runneth over!
A little bit of SIGHTSEEING:
We did manage to smash in a few sights that were spectacular!
Singapore National Garden, the Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Hiking on Komodo Island.
Finishing the Livin’ LOUD CD, lots of concerts, camps and speaking events (https://www.janaalayra.com/Concerts) and then back to Indonesia in December for more of the same!
Ron and I thank you for keeping us in your prayers. God is so good! Keep growing in His grace, giving Him the praise He deserves, reaching out in love to so many in need, and being His arms and voice of love each day.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,
I will tell of all Thy wonders.
I will be glad and exult in Thee,
I will sing praise to Thy name O Most High.” Psalm 9: 1 & 2