Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A VERY Special Story...again! ....and Easter!!!!

OK - this is ever so special and I just have to share it with you all!

So if you recall - Nick & I spent 9 months in Salatiga Central Java, Indonesia on our Asian Trip?  
Salatiga was where Nick lived had lived his first 6 years with his parents & sis, Cecile.  Nick's mother had a bread "roti" bakery in their home!  And for that reason we went to this town in the mountains of Central Java!  His parents had chosen it because of the elevation there - 3600 feet! (Having moved there from Palembang Sumatra shortly after he was born)

When we arrived in Salatiga we checked into a hotel and heard that there was an International School and that on Sunday's they hold a church service in the school auditorium...so Nick & I gladly went to visit there!  The school was called Mountain View International School  Mountain View
When we came there the first time - Nick & I  so enjoyed the fellowship there and met many people! It was such a blessing to - we felt warmly welcomed!

They asked if there was any visitors this morning?  And Nick got up and went to the microphone and shared with the people that we were traveling to "reconnect" with our heritage and that Salatiga is where he had lived with his parents and sis - for 6 years many years ago.  He also shared that he and his mother & sis had been in the camps in Banyu Biru for 3 of those years! That his father who served in the army had then become a prisoner during the war.
Nick ended by stating that we had been traveling already 2.5 months and we were hoping to be able to find something to rent for a few months!  We were tired!

After a wonderful service - someone approached us and said that a house was now empty and that there was a 3 month balance left on a 1 year lease,  because the family that had rented it were finished with the Language school course and had just recently departed to Papau!  Luke said -" I can contact these people and see if they would let you rent back for a few months for the balance on that lease?" "Oh Yes Please Luke - kindly do so!!!" He did make contact and it was a Dutch person Kris with his American wife Krissy who had lived in the house with their children for those 9 months!

Within a couple of weeks (we also had to fly out of Indonesia to Singapore to re-extend our visa to stay longer in Indonesia) we did move into the house!!!!!!!  Yeah!!!!!

Linda with Diva!
We were blessed...yes totally blessed!  We settled in and got to know our sweet neighbors, and also the owner's daughter Endah (Diva's mother)!  We got to meet a very special lady in Salatiga who was already there for over 40 years - her name was Linda!  We heard the stories- how that the school had its beginnings!  You can read the History on it!

So we became good friends with our dear Linda!  

We met many many wonderful people.  On one a particular day when had a motor bike to enjoy, Nick & I took a ride to see some sights in the countryside. We were on a busy road and decided to stop at a restaurant to have a bite to eat.  Another couple came in as well with a young girl & her little baby.  John & Marilyn - John came to our table to chat with us and gave us such a warm welcome!  
They were traveling through to Bandung and they told us they had already lived in Indonesia for 37 years and John from Eugene Oregon now had a Indonesian passport!  Wow!  They both had lived many years in Salatiga and knew Linda too!  Oh such a small world!  They had recently moved to Semarang about an hour away.  Both Nick & I felt we had had a "divine appointment" - meeting these sweet people who so kindly approached us and shared with us!  

Anyway all this is all a part of "the story" ....

So now that we are back in the States, and still thankfully in touch with our friends in Salatiga...and Linda!  Linda following us on our blog, knew that we are here in Arizona for the winter - she said "Ellen, you and Nick need to meet some friends of mine in Mesa!  Oh yes Linda we would love to!"  So we received a email and phone number from Linda and we made contact with "Melissa!" Oh that was sweet!  We chatted on the phone and Melissa said she too had been in Indonesia for 10 years with her parents!  Oh how cool is that!  And the other couple close by would also like to meet us - Ona & Ruth!
We gladly set a date to meet them...and the plan was after church Sunday afternoon...yes gladly Nick & I said - we are delighted!

So listen to this dear friends ~  We arrive there and a receive a warm welcome from Melissa and Ona & Ruth!  Oh my the stories we shared!  Many years ago, Ruth and Ona & their children,  thought to be called to India and while there belongings were crated at the harbor in San Francisco,  to be shipped to India - things changed suddenly!  Their plans were not to go to India but to Indonesia!   

Ona was a teacher and Ruth as well, and the call was to go to Indonesia (this was back in late 70's) They changed the address on their crates that were still at the shipyard (thankfully!) and departed to Indonesia where there was a great need of teachers to teach the children of the missionaries there.  Ona & Ruth were there 20 years.  And the wonderful story is that that very school & ground we attended is part of the very school that God directed should be built and this sweet couple & Linda and the friends we met John & Marilyn were all very much involved with these beginnings!  Oh how touching it was to meet them!
Linda had told me about a book that I should read - "A Saturday Child" written by an Indonesian woman Titing Sudjana.  Titing had a very tough childhood but was adopted into a family that loved on her and welcomed her into their family!  The family I had read about in the book who had lived in Bandung and then moved to Salatiga.  I saw pictures of the Cass family with Titing and was touched by this story - (which I have copies of here with us! Be sure to ask me about it the next time we meet again!)   It turned out that Melissa is one of the Cass children in the foto (2nd on the bottom)...and here we are in Arizona meeting Melissa!   Can you imagine ........Nick & I were just blown away by God's goodness this afternoon and at this very special meeting!  

 We had a lovely time of sharing!  Melissa prepared a wonderful Indonesian dish and it felt like "home" yes Salatiga! 

 Ruth is a Teacher's Aid at the nearby school, and had a fall this last week crossing the street!

She was not happy about that at all...her hand and foot!  She is "stuck" she says for 4-6 weeks!  Humbug Ruth! 
 Melissa was a sweetheart!  She would like to get together again - Oh we would enjoy that very much!  Our visit was wonderful...and Nick & I just couldn't believe how this all came to be right here in Mesa Arizona!  To have walked the grounds for 9 months at the school in Salatiga - and even see the plaque there on the wall with very familiar names and then to be re-connected here!  .....Now that is not a coincidence! .........No siree!

 Well this is our story!  We hope you too enjoy it!  Life is a treasure and God orchestrates all these very special moments and meetings with people - how fortunate that we can be a part of His plan!!!
 Melissa & Russ invited us to their home after Easter service to enjoy Easter Brunch with family and friends! 

 We had a lovely time meeting their kids Asia,  Ashley & husband with kids,  & Solomon their son & friends!

It was quite a feast - lots of good eatin'! 

Nana was especially proud of her little "Selah" and Silas!  All her children live close by!
We met some other people who had also spent time in foreign countries so we had lots to talk about!

Thank you Russ & Melissa for a wonderful Easter in your home! 

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