Dear Friends and Supporters,
Yesterday, at our family Christmas dinner, Bernie shared his experience of walking on the South coast and mountains of Java for 17 days. On the South coast, he walked under a hot sun. In his original plan, Bernie planned to climb Lawu Mountain after leaving the coast, but delayed his plan due to bad weather and a strained knee. Bernie shared his self-awareness of physical limitations before the power of God’s creation. The sun is a blessing to all life, but in face of a tropical heat wave, “only fools and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.” Each day Bernie walked from about 5-11 AM and 3-5 PM but searched for a place to lie down in the shade in the middle of the day. At night he slept in simple homestays, on the beach, or with friendly villagers.
At the end of his coastal walk, I drove from Yogyakarta to Pacitan, to bring him supplies and drive him to Mt. Lawu (about 11,000 ft). While the coast was dry and very hot from a long drought, Mt. Lawu had heavy rain and cold weather. Both the sun and the rain are needed to bring life to the earth. The sun is indifferent to one person’s needs; its power is part of the power of God who created it. On the coast there was too much sun, on the mountain too little. Both made Bernie aware of his physical limitations and of possibilities for transcending them. I also had to transcend physical limitations as I drove up and down very steep, twisting, little roads in the dark and driving rain to reach Bernie’s destination at Cetho Temple on Mt. Lawu. For our Christmas’s card I painted the sun as I saw it when Bernie left Kukup beach at dawn after a few days walking. I met him there to bring him a little milk, muesli, apples, and cheese to sustain his hiking. Now, at Christmas, we remember how the infinite God of creation was incarnated in a helpless little baby, Jesus Christ. The infinite and immortal became limited and mortal, but then transcended both.
Along with this note and photos of my sun painting and Bernie, I also sent a newsletter letter (attached). We thank you, our dear sisters and brothers, for supporting our service in Indonesia. May the infant Christ of Christmas give our Lord’s mercy to all of us, to recognize and transcend our limitations in the year 2020.
Sincerely yours and greetings of joyfulness,
Farsijana and Bernie