Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Welcome to Bali

Life has taken a turn since my last posts in India. We said goodbye to the people of Mumbai and the Lutheran Center, goodbye to the former orphanage in the slums that we called home. We left the tastes, smells and constant horn-honking traffic for an air conditioned airport and airplane. We had a layover in Malaysia and I pondered the next time I would be on this part of the world. Oh, and God provided a Coffee Bean :) in the cool Malaysian airport so I spent all night on the plane to Bali hyped up on an iced coffee. Many people on the team were sick just before and during these two flights to Indonesia. We arrived in lush, green Bali Tuesday morning around 11 and were driven to the guesthouse where we are staying in Ubud, the art capital of Bali.

Bali is...opposite of India in several ways. It is so green here, though still humid. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, but Bali is primarily Hindu.

I have been learning a lot about Hinduism from the owner of our guesthouse, who is also a professor of Religion and Culture (two of my favorite things). Each morning people make a small offering of rice, coconut flakes, coffee or flowers on a square of banana leaf. This is to appease the evil spirits and to please the kind spirits to grant them prosperity and wellness in their businesses or homes.

I asked Mr. Budi about this and tried to steer the conversation towards the questions Hinduism cannot fully answer. I asked if these small offerings could ever be enough to satisfy the god of the universe. What about grace? If you do wrong, you are given bad karma, or imbalanced karma, and the only way to get out of that is to do good. Do you ever feel like you cannot do enough?

I know that I can never offer enough to compensate for my sins. And that is ok, because Christ has paid the price for our transgressions. What a beautiful concept. Man could never do enough, God intervened to give us true life, free from coconut offerings or trying really hard to do good.

I am still processing these concepts of Hinduism. Mr. Budi is an amazing man, and his wife is an amazing woman. Each morning she places various offerings around the hotel grounds. I see the striving, but I know we can never offer enough on our own.

I will be graduating from Concordia in May, and I am not sure what I want to do afterward. Usually this would scare me. I love having a plan, having everything organized and figured out. But now I have a peace about it. I know that I am available to go wherever God would have me. I will not sit around and be careless with time to dream and plan and apply for jobs or schools, but I trust that worrying thousands of miles away can fix anything.

One option is the Middlebury Language school for Spanish. It is a 7-week summer language program at Mills College in Oakland, CA. I applied and am fairly sure I will get in. Whether or not I attend will be based on how much financial aid they offer me, since it is an expensive program.

The newest option is Bethel's School of Supernatural Ministry. Bethel church is in Redding, CA only 3 hours from my home. I have considered this school once before, after my sophomore year of college, but I knew I had to get my degree first. It is similar to a Bible college, where you can take 1-3 years of classes. Classes run from September to May. I would have classes Tuesdays-Fridays 12:45-5:30pm, attend two church services per week and one cell group per week. Students read through the whole Bible, along with 12 other books by various theologians. Tuition is only 4,000 per year in addition to housing and I would be able to have a part time job.
I really feel like God has been preparing me for a school like this.
Here's the website to the school if you're interested:

It is an amazing ministry that equips people to walk in God's spirit and power. Practical skills are taught, as well as general teachings and spiritual growth.
So much has been going on here. I am excited to see what happens in these last few weeks of traveling, and the residual effects God will work in my life and the members of the team. Please be praying for guidance, wisdom and boldness. Missing home but I will be there soon!

1 comment:

  1. wow, Bali sounds really great! I'm glad you are learning a lot - especially about your two favorite things!!

    it would be great if you could go to either one of those schools! i myself have been thinking about both perfecting my spanish and going to bible college - funny how sometimes we are on the same page even millions of miles away from one another :)

    I can't wait for you to come home, but remember to relish all your time abroad while you're there! I know I get stir crazy pretty quickly as soon as I'm back here in the states!

    Did you know I'm going to Guatemala in January? I'm going to be working with midwives there! So it seems almost as soon as you get back I'll be leaving :)

    Are you coming up to humboldt for the holidays?? I sure hope so :)

    <3 Tessa


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