Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Gift from God

“How are you?”
If this question is raised to me at this moment, I would definitely answer ‘Fat, happy and blessed!’

It is totally true.
I’ve experienced the best and the most blessed Christmas ever, so far I remember.

I never know how I should begin my story. Should I start from the best part or begin with the worst part and end it with a beautiful story? Hm,.. I really don’t have a clue, let’s just see what I am gonna do in the few moment.

For my dearest readers, I am so glad that you’ve read my blogs a lot lately. I was actually quite surprised. As you may concern, the utmost topic lately is about money, money and money. Yes, it is true that at this time I want to underline it again. Sorry if it is too somber recently, but I promise you this time you won’t get the same old stories about me needing money a lot, because at this time you will know how good my Jesus is.

A couple weeks ago, in the middle of my happy day, my best friend called me. The conversation went so,…
X: Hi! Where are you?
Nia: In the tram stop, waiting tram 9 to my uncle’s house. Are we still gonna go to the city?
X: That’s okay!
Nia: By the way, how was your job interview this morning? Did it go well? Do u get the internship?
X: Yeahhh!! (screaming with her happy voice and laughing)
Nia: Cool!!! Wow! We have to celebrate it.
X: Hahaha (giggling)
Nia: Anyway, Would u get paid? How much?
X: (a few moment mute because of the cell phone signal) *** hundred.
Nia: What?? I can’t hear u
X: (she said amount of money which too much for an internship salary)

I stunned.
I totally stunned. The worse was I cried.
No no,.. not totally crazily cried, but I dropped my tears feeling sorry for myself and being angry with this circumstance.

I asked God His justice. As you know I am working in a Christian missionary organization (OMF). I work for God, I work for His works in the world. I do charity. I help other people. But why on earth she deserves more than I do?? She would work in a commercial organization. So far I am concerned, she doesn’t have a mission of missionary work as I do. So why would she get more?

I could not answer it. I questioned myself whether she is actually better than me, or maybe God loves her more than He does to me. I couldn’t stop asking Him. I just couldn’t understand Him at all.

It was as if someone woke me up from my nightmare, or it was more like someone shaking my shoulder awake me from my silly imagination. “Nia, remember what you got last weeks?”

Everything stopped.
Seriously, everything didn’t move; I stunned.
A scene of ‘last week episode’ came into my mind.

In the office

I was busy designing a special page for Serve Asia website. Suddenly Mr. Henk came to my bureau.

He said “Nia, you receive a gift from someone.”
I was silent and then with laugh I answered “No way, you must be joking.”
“No no, it’s serious. You get a gift from someone, anonymous, from England. He gave you amount of money (which I couldn’t mention how much it is) with a note says a gift to Nathania Limanto to visit her parents in Indonesia.”
I was totally bewildered.
I couldn’t say any words, not even cry nor laugh. “Henk, you must be joking. No way! I can’t believe it.” He just laughed saying “No, it’s true. You get a give. Praise the Lord!”
(the conversation above is translated in English)

In a few times after that episode I still couldn’t believe what I’ve got.
Gift is part of OMF life. Every workers, either employees in the home office or missionary workers in the fields would get financial supports from a lot of people. In other words, they live through gifts. In order to do so, they have to find someone to support them financially and spiritually and write newsletter regularly. I am not a full-time official worker, neither a missioner; I am not writing a newsletter either. Thus, who would give me then? Who is he or she? I still couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The amount of money would be enough to support my life in the next few months. When I told my parents, they cried. I cried too when I got home. Praise the Lord! He used impossible ways to reveal Himself. He always has a way for me.

Thus, Nia, what were you questioning?

Back to the moment in Tram 9 heading to Diemen.

I remembered what God’s given to me. He’s been so good to me. He provides what I need. Even though I don’t have a lot of money, I could always live sufficiently – not abundantly. I can eat, drink, and entertain myself in my own ways. I am happy.

What I was doing afterwards was singing and keeping telling myself that I am happy and God has blessed me a lot. I prayed so that God took away my lush and my jealousy.

I kept singing
I kept praying

Did it work?

It did, though some unanswered questions were still hanging on my head.

but yes,
I am blessed, and especially FAT! ):-)

p.s. Dear X, whom I has mentioned above. Sorry not telling you this directly. Just don't have the courage to tell you. Feel really ashame of myself. How could I think such like this? I am happy for you, indeed. Believe me, the questions hanging on my head at this moment is not about God justice between us, but more about what God wants in my life. The answer will be His.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Before Christmas 2004

Finally, I can make myself writing a blog before Christmas, right before Christmas. I am now in the middle of enjoying my vacation. I need it, indeed.

I have been working a lot; I don’t think it was normal. Okay, I will confess my workaholic-working hours. As you know, lately, I’ve been doing my internship in a Christian organization, OMF the Netherlands. I am a web design specialist (that’s what my supervisor normally calls me), designing and building a website for Serve Asia, a short-term mission program for young generation (like you and me!). I enjoy working here, a lot!

I go to the office three days a week (++). Why is it (++)? Because sometimes you can’t count how many hours I work. If I am in a good mood, or when it is ‘gezellig’ (cozy, nice and enjoyable) I will do more working hours. However, if it is a busy week, traveling to Germany, arranging events and exhibitions, then the next week I will have some days off. It is pretty much flexible.

Back to the topic, I go normally to the office three days a week, one day work from homes, meeting clients or anything else outside the office, and two days assisting in an Indonesian restaurant (not always, depend whether they need me or not), and a day as a cashier in Albert Heijn supermarket (my official part-time job). I believe you’ve counted,.. one,.. two,.. three,.. yes!! I work 7 DAYS a week, which means I DON”T HAVE A FREE DAY.

Don’t presume that I am now grumbling about it, no,.. I am totally happy. I do my internship, I serve God through it, I have extra money from my part-time jobs, I help people as well as my parents. Yet, do I mind myself?

I got ill two weeks a go really bad. I couldn’t even get up from my bed. The first two-days I thought it was just an ordinary cold, so that I kept myself busy: doing my works, reading books, designing my website and finishing my reports. In the end I felt even worse. Thus I decided to totally take rest, feeling sorry for what I have done. A friend of mine from OMF UK sent me an e-mail, which reminded me how God wants us to serve Him. He gave us rest, even when He taught His disciples, He would always have a quite time for Himself – talking with His father in Heaven.

Remember Mary and Martha. Jesus even advised Martha to do what Mary did, sat on Jesus’ feet listening to His words.
Thanks Simon!
It made me realize that my works were kind of useless if I always rush into my days, without having quite times with Him and especially other people too. I live not for myself, but first for God, my creator and also for other people.

In my workaholic-busy-time, I hardly have chance chatting with people, listening to them, replying e-mails or even hanging out with my best friends. After realizing it, I checked my inbox and friendster, I found a lot of e-mails and messages I’d not replied yet. Oh my goodness, what kind of friend I am….. I felt really sorry for myself for separating myself from society.

Now, let me wish you all Merry Christmas. Welcome the Jesus, who came to Earth, to pay the ransom, saving you and me.

“Oh onto us the child is given” – Messiah Choir


Friday, December 10, 2004

My Birthday – a celebration and remembrance the birth of a new-me

Lying on my bed, sobbing, sob,.. sob,.. “Why could this be happened to me?”
No, it’s not something serious. It was just me sobbing my inability to enjoy the day, my illness. Fool me! I couldn’t even enjoy my birthday. On Tuesday, I woke up with a sore throat, bad one. I drove myself to go to the office, celebrating my birthday there. I’d bought some cakes for them and I looked forward to what would happen there. Unfortunately my Serve Asia
[1] team couldn’t come; my supervisor, Ruan Crew, was ill.

I was a bit disappointed, really, on that day. Even my best friends, Mr. D en Mr. A, couldn’t come to my house. Okay, it was a long story, but I was upset; they supposed to come to my house, ‘celebrating’ my birthday.

In the evening, I ended up having the most romantic dinner ever with, ANITA, my roommate. No, don’t laugh! It was indeed so nice. She prepared a 1/8 slice of KwarkTaart with some candles. Cute, huh?! We ate a take-away Thai meal and ended in front of our teli watching Coyote Ugly, admiring Adam Garcias for his good looks.

I could say that it was the worst birthday ever, or I could blame God and asking why He did this to me, but I won’t do that.
I was ill, terribly ill up till now. My family was far away in an island called Indonesia, my best friends couldn’t come for some other reasons (it’s not your fault, guys!), Mr. Weirdo didn’t call me (at least he tried, but it didn’t go through) and I didn’t have enough money to celebrate my birthday.

Was it a bad birthday? Yes it was, if I see it with my human’s eyes, but when I tried to see with my spiritual eyes, evaluating and remembering what God’s given to me for the pass 20 years (yes, I am TWENTY YEARS OLD now!).

“Tell me a good part of your birthday, Nia?”
You might ask so. Hum,.. I was wondering, too. Let me think.

The best present on that day was my director told me that I could stay for the next 6-months in OMF Netherlands doing my internship. He would help me finding an (cheap) accommodation and also Dutch language course. I was really happy.

Moreover, generally, I see this year is better than the years before. I’d accepted, personally and surely, JC (Jesus) as my personal savior, my God and my hero. I could speak up about him, telling everybody about how good He is; I could encourage other about Christianity. Looking back a year a go, I couldn’t surely do this; it wasn’t even in my thought.

Last thing, God has rectified my life: family, friends, and my spiritual life. He always provides what we need. He’s given the right job for my dad, after waiting for several moments; He gave him at the exact time. He renewed my brother, filled him with new thoughts and understandings, and giving him a new role as the oldest child in my house and providing him with wisdom and understanding. He succeeded my mom’s works, even though it was a brand new field for her. He always provides us.

Spiritually, He healed my broken heart. I, once, said to Him,
“God, I want to go to church, but I would never ever get involved in any church things, such as being pianist, getting involved in the youth.”
It was me saying, last year.
Now, He told me that I could never ever be part of His family if I just stayed still, doing nothing, being passive in the church.
It is like you play football.
You can play excellent football, you know every tricks, you understand every techniques, but if you just play alone, without any coach, without a team to play with, a team to play against, your skills will become nothing.

In the end I realized, God’s given talents to me, I can sing, I can play piano, I can do a lot of things, why don’t I use them for God’s glory?

Yes, it was me saying that.
If you want to know how different I am now, ask my mom, or ask Mr. Weirdo, or even read my first posts in my blog. You might notice the different.

Thus, birthday is not always about celebrating, but it is always about giving thanks to Him. Thanks God!

[1] Serve Asia is a short-term missionary program of which the website is made by me. For further information see