The 1st Mission Trip: A Heart for Merapi

“Here it comes again and it should be my turn to go!”, a voice whispering in my heart.

Sunday afternoon in the middle of service, there’s an announcement about Merapi Mission Trip. ICA open 20 seats for those who want to go to Jogja, bring the 1000 packages, and distribute each of them directly to the Merapi Mountain eruption victims. The team will leave from Surabaya on the next day, Monday, at 5 AM. And will depart from Jogja a day after, Tuesday, at 5 PM. So, they will be back here at Wednesday dawn.

Wow! The trip is quite short and must be tight. Something’s telling me to go this time. I admit that I kept myself updated about Merapi eruption since its first eruption, long before this mission trip announced. Few years ago, I ever went to Jogja, stayed in Kaliurang and have a good memory with it. My uncle took my family to the nearest Merapi monitoring post in Magelang. On that cold night, without any telescope, I still could saw the lava run out from the top of mountain. Yeah, Merapi is never sleep. Maybe because of that proximity, I do want to go.

My brother was here, he came from Jakarta and we went to church together. I’m joking, “if you pay the 750 thousand, then I’ll go!”. He replied, “Ok, just if mom and dad allow you.”. Well, my mom and dad always hold back if their daughter wants to go to a mission trip. Sidikalang and Nias mission trip: I didn’t get the permission to join. I texted mom, it’s around 2 PM, and she said no, you don’t have to go there. Ok then, I am not going. But, suddenly 30 minutes later, Mom text me again and said I could go if I really want to. “You’ll never get there without being in a mission team”, mom said. I could go if my office let me go, since I still don’t get any leave periode during this contract.

There were only 5 seats left. Struggling to get the permit and finally at 5 PM, I say yes to join the team! It’s hard to get the permission but I want to go, so lets try to make it happen! I don’t even know the transportation or accommodation, or is there anyone in the team that I knew, and what to bring. All I know, I’ll be with ICA mission team who’s really reliable for mission trip. Actually, my heart and mind was indecisive beacuse of a problem. So this could be my short sanctuary to think and more of it, I could help the others.

So, I only have less than 12 hours to get ready. I come at church around 5 AM in Nov 8, 2010. Only some faces that I knew before. I am the one and only ICA East member on that trip! The rest is from ICA West member. For many of them, the Merapi Mission Trip is the 5th or more mission trip they ever joined. So, I’m a freshly newbie. A little bit frightened mixed with excitement. Afraid because I don’t know what to do. I just try to say YES for the opportunity that comes to me.

If you asked me, don’t you afraid? You’re going to an area when the disaster is stil happening. Hmm.. No! Really, I’m afraid more about what I have to do there rather than the possibility of the eruption itself. God knows my heart, my motivation, I just want to share God’s love to the victims. So, God will take care of me, He won’t let any bad things happen to me and the team. But it doesn’t mean being silly! ICA requires each of us to fully covered with special mask, special goggles, long sleeves, trousers, shoes, cap, raincoat, and another safety tools.

Our team visited 6 refugee camps in suburb of Jogja, those are around Prambanan, Sleman, and Muntilan. We droped and distributed the packages. In some refugees camp we also do the medical service, complete with doctor and free medicine. I tried to communicate with the local residents and Merapi victims who’s lost their properties. For the mission trip itself, I’ll write the details report on the next post. I’m glad that God gave me opportunity to listen to their stories. Stories which I won’t get it from the media. And the most important, I hold their hand, saw their faces, and prayed for them. Isn’t it beautiful?

I felt different about this disaster while I’m in Jogja by myself; and with what I knew from the media. Not saying that media was lying and over published, but it’s just different. A feeling that I can’t deny. Moreover, what I saw along the way to Muntilan refugee camps makes me felt “it”. Something that I can’t explain but I can feel it. Houses left by the owner, desolated city, roof collapsed, road covered with volcano ash and perforated because of it, rain made you see the milky water, sulfur odor filled the air, trees knocked down by the ashes and water. Terrible..

The refugee needs our support, pure smiles that strengthen them, help, and pray from us. I realize now, why I don’t even worry about the accommodation and so on? Because all I knew just following my heart that told me to go. I won’t never be ready to go, until I take the chance to go and make myself ready! Maybe what the team and I did, doesn’t mean anything for you here, but I already took and let my heart visited the refugees due to this Merapi eruption. How beautiful the chance that I’ve got: I could give a heart for Merapi..

Life is not about what you’ve done or what you should have done. It’s about what you can do and what you will do. – Anonymous


Kembang Kuning Camp

This was a unique camp I ever joined. The duration is so short, just one and half day, May 28-29th, 2010. It only has 16 participants. But they are also special participants; they are 16 kids from Kembang Kuning cemetery. And the staff is not only Indonesian but also those who coming from US, Aussie, and Philippines.

These kids live near Kembang Kuning Cemetery area. And they come to our ministry there, every Saturday. We take the kids from the 5th grade of elementary school until high school to join Kembang Kuning Camp. For almost 16 kids, it was their first camp and also the first time going out of town without parents. The Residence of Taman Dayu is the place where they were enjoy the camp.

We praise and worship God, pray, hear the reflection, play outdoor activities, games, swimming, basketball, badminton, candle light dinner, bonfire, and “making a short film”. We tried our best to make that one and half day camp as one of their best experience in life. A moment when they were truly understands that God has a plan for each of them. God had already chosen them because He loves them so much. Like the camp’s theme “Aku Terpilih!”. And in their vulnerable period of life, they know that we’re here to accompany them walk in the right path.

Among those activities we tried to know them closer. They shared their stories. One of the girls, with smile, shared about his dad who just get out from the jail and always disallow her to go to church. Without feeling ashamed and angry, she shows me that she love her dad so much. One of the boys is “bonek” and he never miss to watch lively all Persebaya matches. Another kid, this boy always has a good mark at school, like plays guitar, he loves his parents but too shy to say it. Yup, beside that’s the teenagers’ typical, it’s just uncommon things to do for boys, he admitted. That’s okay, we’ll learn to get used to it. Thanks kids, you remind me of my teenage.

The most joyful thing is when I saw all their happy expression and their smiling faces while doing all activities. It makes me wondering; maybe I’ve been like them when having my first camp. I observed a lot, nothing could cover who they truly are. Each characteristic appear in their behavior and attitude. Some are not proper but I do realize that they have a different circumstance which molds them day by day.

The most excited thing is in the “Making a Short Film”. Actually that is a talent show session, but I want to modify the bored talent show. It was cool; spontaneously they divided the job description in the team. The thinkers become the director and choose the part of the Noah/David/Moses life. Many of them are so excited in making the wardrobe for the drama. We gave them newspaper, and it was scattered all over the room, they cutting and sticking here and there. Snake, cat, bird, king, queen, ark, deer, sword, and so on; were made from the newspaper. What creative kids!

The most surprising fact is they don’t know about Jonah! And some of them couldn’t read fluently.

The most impressive moment is in the third session when they knelt down, and all the staff touched the kids and praying for them. Tears fell down along with the words that come out from my mouth. They maybe have a different background and different way of life, they are not as lucky as many of us, but I know God loves them same and then one day I’ll see God reveal His plan in their lives. Those kids are so special in God’s eyes.

This Kembang Kuning Camp is over but the important step had just begun. We won’t let this momentum of their first camp fade away. With praying and caring them more, we have to show them the better path for their teenage.

First experience maybe scary previously but makes you addicted in the end..

©BeBe. Sby 090610 2:00AM