Friday, June 30, 2006

What if my sister was murdered,..

This morning was so cold. Blame the weather man! He forecasted a nice sunny day, and this morning, a terribly cold wind woke me up. Dooh!

The chill wasn’t any going better when I had a glimpse on the morning newspaper. Two innocent girls were murdered; one is 6 – about my sister’s age - and another is 10. They have been missing since the beginning of this month. Early in the morning, or we can say late in the night, of June the 10th, these girls were playing in front of local pub. Yes, you read it correctly. PUB! These girls are stepsisters. Their parents were in the local pub, drinking alcohol (exactly) and fooling around with their pals.

In the end of having fun and partying, when their parents realized that they had children playing around outside the pub, these girls were already gone. It was a big shock for these parents, if you could trust the media, especially newspapers. I think their mother (or stepmom) didn’t even realize she had children with her. She was drunk (again, the paper wrote).

After days and days of searching, last tuesday, a mysterious person sent a letter to a Dutch newspaper office, containing a map of the location where these girls’ bodies were dumped. Strange huh? Last night, police found the bodies.


When this morning, in the middle of cold weather, I held a newspaper in my hands, I looked to these girls’ pictures: they are innocent. How could in goodness sake a person have a courage or enough hatred to kill these innocent creatures? Why? Why did someone killed these girls? I cannot stop thinking of this.

I know, their parents were crazy too. Can you imagine a mom letting her daughters playing outside at 2 o’clock early in the morning? They suppose being in their cozy beds!

Stacey, the 6 years old girl, is about the same age as my sister. I couldn’t stop my crazy thought: what if she were my sister?

Gosh,.. we live in a cruel world!

To whom we can rely on? Ah yeah,..

Wanna read the full story? Click here

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Just like Jesus

Counting down, 20 days to go.
I am so excited of going home. I cannot imagine that I would be back in my simolawang house, screaming to my silly dog, Jack; teasing my little sister, making her crying or at least shouting; stealing food from the kitchen before lunch time or just chatting with my mom till after midnight.

A couple months a go, I would still be perplexed to decide: going, staying, working, studying, or what.

On one hand, I was upset because I have been in the Netherlands for quite a while – four years; I have learned the language, culture and known the people. Thus, I have to go back to Indonesia? Oh no,…

On the other hand, I was happy. You know that Stefy is in Surabaya, and I don’t think he would ever move out from there. I will meet Stefy again. My family, the most important thing in my life, is in Indonesia. Also, I have more openings to accomplish my ‘mission’ in Indonesia. (Some of you might know this ‘mission.’ Please pray for me and with me).

Thus, what would my decision be? Staying or going?

These last couple of weeks, I became more and more aware of the fact that I am about to go home. Although I kept saying to people that it would always be possible to stay in NL, I just knew that God led me, more and more, clearer and clearer, to the way to Indonesia. I couldn’t deny it.

Happy? Yes, indeed! Sad,.. yeah,.. terribly sad.
I have thousands of people I love in the Netherlands. My Albert Heijn. Beside my part-time job, Albert Heijn, a place where I have been working at, was a mission field for me. No,.. I am not sitting behind my till and shouting about Jesus all the time. Nor did I pray for people in the supermarket. I ain’t a good public speaker either. I prayed for people, in my heart.

A man, a very nice old man, was a junkie. He drank a lot. He was addicted to beer. If he came to Albert Heijn, he would buy nothing but beer. Sometimes he bought two or three cans of dog food. Sad. I always spoke to him, and asked him to limit his beer. One day he came to me, saying that he would go to rehab centre to stop his drinking behavior.

Did he stop drinking? Yes for a while, but then, he began again. He told me it was so difficult to stop. Once, I had courage to tell him “You can do it. I am sure. I will pray for you.”

He is now in a very good condition. He found himself a job in Belgium and he is now about to go to Thailand. He stopped his drinking behavior.

Another customer, an old woman, came to my till telling me that her mother is dying. Every time she saw me, she would tell me that her mom is getting worse. I, once, told her that I would pray for her. Her mom was indeed passed away. Lately, her husband got a cancer. Thankfully, he is not getting better. Last week, she approached me saying “thank you for your care. I am so glad my husband is getting better. Praise the Lord!”

I have been praying for many people in this store. Only God know how they are at this very moment.

Another family is OMF big family: Ruan and Family, Tim and Tam, Baak family. Everybody has been very nice to me. I love them very much.

God is very good to me. In my doubt, he gave me an answer of my questions. While I was jogging, I immediately thought about Jesus. Jesus began His ministry when he was 30. In the middle part of the Gospels, we see that Jesus has gained His popularity (e.g. in Palm Sunday, many people praised Him!). In three years time, Jesus had to go back to His father, left His ministry on earth and began another ministry.

I know Jesus’ ministry is much more worthy than mine, but I found similarity in His story. In three years time, Jesus must have found best friends, family, relatives, favorite food, and favorite vacation; yet, He had to leave all of these and do another thing. I had to do the same.

Netherlands is great. I have had so many friends, many favorite things, hobbies, my lovely bike,.. I have had a great time. I know that God is now sending me to do another ministry in Indonesia.

I know it would not be easy.
Since I have been living on my own, in a room, I have to get used to live with my parents and bro and sis. Since I have been enjoying long distance relationship with Stefy, I am about to face the real relationship: I cannot just run away when I have a fight or problem with Stefy. Since I have been very independent, I have to learn to be collectivist, to be dependant on other people.

What I know for sure to be easy is to trust the same God that stays the same yesterday, today and forever.

For you who are in the Netherlands, I am organizing a little something in my flat: Diemerkade 85, Diemen. It is in the afternoon. You can come and chitchat with me. If you know Ardylles, it is his birthday party, too.

Anyway, I am leaving on the 14th at 11.50 with SQ. Please keep praying for me. There are thousand things need to be done.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Final dissertation, finally,...

it is done

Monday, June 19, 2006

It must be a joke

Male, 30 something, a farmer, good income
Need a wife, any age
Requirement: has a tractor
Please call to xxx-xxxxx
p.s. please send the picture of your tractor!

What kind of ad is this for goodness sake?!!
I was shocked to death when someone shared this story to me. No way, it must be a joke!

Despite it is a joke or not, I found this ad is very sad. A guy tried to find a woman (shall we say a soul mate?) using an ad to, in the end, randomly pick one; one that has a tractor. Sad. Thus, this farmer just expected the tractor and he would pay this woman (let’s assume, lovely woman) with a marriage.

It struck me down to pieces when I realize that sometimes I act the same towards God. I don’t care anything but His blessings.
God give me new clothes
God, please help me do this exam
God, give me enough money this month
God bless me today
God provide my food today!
My goodness, I am just wanting His ‘tractor’!

Like marriage, both of the parties (gosh, I am repeating Mark Tawil?) have to be willing to know each other before they enter the marriage. They have to spend time together, chat and probably have dinner often before they say their vows in the altar. After these quality time together, knowing each other, each party will know each other’s desire, will, dreams, goals, and many more.

Ah, I have been too lazy to spend quality time with God. Last couple of months, I said to Him, “God, I am busy with my dissertation, I will spend more time with you when I am done with my dissertation.” Months before that I’d said the same thing, “God, it’s very hectic working with German colleagues. This project has driven me crazy. I promise, I will be closer to you as soon as I hand in my report.” Sadly, last month, after I have finished my dissertation, which has made us struggling with laughs and tears, I said, “Uh, I am exhausted. I also have extra jobs. I need to earn more money before I am leaving the Netherlands. I will do that, Lord! I promise!

Yeah, I ain’t doing very good, am I?

Some of you might be familiar with this verse “ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” Yeah, you are totally right! This is from The Bible, from John 15. And, yes, you are right again! Jesus said this. What you might have overlooked is a sentence before this. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you

Two-way communication and faithfulness, ladies and gentlemen, that is the recipe before you are asking for another ‘tractor’.

p.s. thank’s mom for this story!

Friday, June 16, 2006

I have done it

If you think that I am a girl know nothing about students' life, in the Netherlands, you got me wrong.
It is foolish to confess what I have done a couple months ago, but when I think how I have been different since then, I am sure it does not harm to write my confession on this blog.

It was since my birthday, when the only thing I saw was darkness and doubt of my future, my next path. Life seemed even more difficult. If I didn’t cry for at least once in a month, that was what I would call ‘miracle’! It was since I realized that I have clung onto the wrong being.

For me, at that very moment, God did exist, but He was on vacation; or He was just put me on hold because He was busy answering sufferings and hungers in other part of the world; or even worse, I thought that He was too arrogant to answer my prayer. He owns everything, every single thing! If you can imagine, what could He not do? He couldn’t do nothing! Thus, why was it so difficult to help me, to answer my prayer?
I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand.

It was since I decided not to put my hope on Him. I still wanted to be called a Christian. Probably I was just to greedy to lose my identity as God’s child and have all the rights in His Kingdom, thus, I kept my identity as a Christian. I still went to church regularly. I prayed; yet what I said to myself was not to beg anything from Him anymore. I stopped asking for help. I stopped asking for deliverance. When my mom asked me to pray for my dad’s new job, I said “ah mom, I won’t pray for it anymore! Because you know, God is just gonna mess around with it again. He would seemingly bless us, give us hopes, and then in the end He would take anything we have hoped for.”

It was since I saw cigarette an answer for my depression. It was hard not to think or want it. I wanted to smoke so badly. I knew it was unhealthy. Thus, I kept saying to myself “Nia, you gonna die from it!” Then I saw some people just smoking to ease the pain. I knew it would only be temporary; but I needed an instant cure. I was depressed. Yet, I remembered again, that my body is the body of Christ. I shall not damage it.

There was a moment, when I and my friends were joking and betting whether I could smoke. I didn’t wait till the second offer. I lighted an unknown brand cigarette, and enjoyed the taste of nicotine.
I was expecting a cure. I was expecting a good feeling after my first or second smoke. Yet, it didn’t happen.

Since It was just for fun, my friends stopped me for smoking more (I think that’s what friends are for. They don’t put you in danger!) It was hard indeed not to want more. I am working as a floor manager in a supermarket and I am responsible for the sell of cigarettes in this supermarket. Can you imagine?
To smoke has been my desire for a couple of weeks. I didn’t touch a cigarette or buy a package at all. Yet, I wanted it so badly. Praying was just rituals before going to bed, in the morning and before meals. Reading Bible was no longer on my daily schedule due to, my very ‘genuine’ excuse, final dissertation. I fell from one hole to another. If you read my previous post, I liked another guy while I have a lovely boyfriend who cared about me. I said nasty thing to my housemate, which I had never said before, never in my entire life. How come?

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Accompanied by this verse, my dearest friend, whom I also consider as my big bro, Ardy, uttered that in these four years, I have always been complaining about my family, financial stuffs – always the same things! He encouraged me to surrender everything to God, to look for answer in Him, not in a cigarette. God will fulfill your need, said Ardy.
With a humble heart, I asked God to re-enter my heart, replace my desire to smoke, replace my anger to Him with praise and worship.

I am a different person.

Need a proof? Last month I lost 20 euro. You know what I did? Nothing! If it happened two months ago, I would be mad. I would cry because for 20 Euro I could do grocery shopping for two weeks. I would blame this to God because He always messed around with my life.

Another proof? I am still working as floor manager who is responsible for selling cigarettes; yet I am not even tempted to buy one or smoke one anymore.

Just a tip for you who want to quit smoking! I read somewhere that if you smoke, your body is already poisoned. Therefore it is difficult for you to quit smoking; you then become addicted to it. Thus, you have to first clean the poison. How? Detoxification! Just eat vegetables, fruit, drink vegetables or fruit juice and drink a lot of water for a week. I actually did this for three days, not (only) to clean the poison, but, recently, my illness re-appeared. This diet helps a lot!

Another tip? Be willing to stop and ask, with your humble heart, to God to cure your craving, your addiction.

As He did for me.

Ah yeah,... I have learned my lesson.

p.s. my picture is real, although it was editted using photoshop. I will remember this picture.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stefy's call

This morning, I was awakened by a vibrating mobile telephone. I hate it when I have to unnaturally wake up. I would have headache or a terrible mood because of it.

“Hey, are you already awake?”

It was the first sentence spoken by a familiar voice, very familiar: Stefy’s. I was not mad at him neither I had a headache. As I was readying myself to go jogging, I was thinking about this occurrence.

“Okay, thanks!”

No sweet goodbye’s, no apologies for waking me early in the morning, neither a say “I miss you.” He ended our conversation with just a thank. I don’t mind really! But it made me think, we are different; he is different.

I was, then, thinking, if I got married with him, this would happen more often. In the beginning, he would praise me for the food I cook; he would call me the best chef or the most talented woman on earth. When we get older, he would probably do not even remember to thank me for cooking or even worse he would complain about tasteless dinner I made the night before or probably because I didn’t have time to cook. He would take me for granted as I would do, too.

No, I don’t mind, really.

I, then, began to think I think “I am still in love with him” –even stronger. The fact that he called me really early in the morning to talk about his dissertation that occurred to be a problem for him was a proof that I am important for him. I like it. I have the feeling that he needs me.

Don’t you think that this is what our Father in heaven would feel or think? Sometimes we take his blessings for granted. It seems like we are saying “ah, God, it is Your responsibility to bless us.”

I think a simple ‘thank you’ isn’t difficult, is it?