Some of you are probably wondering how my Indonesia trip was. I don’t think the things I want to share would fit in one blog entry so I’m gonna try three or four. 🙂
God did so many things for me during through the World Prayer Assembly — big and small on so many different levels. Allow me to start with my first surprise. (We had a lot of surprises!).
Six of us arrived in Jakarta around 1:00 am. (That is 2:00 am in Manila, our point of origin.) We said we could be The Avengers because I was the only girl in the group. lol.
I was impressed to see that the WPA team has set up a registration are complete with computers, and refreshments area near the airport exit. Wow. We got our IDs and meal stubs right after we arrived and then waited for our service to our hotels. Five of us were supposed to stay at MDC Gadog where the free accommodations was. But right before our mini bus left, I told them that the hotel indicated on my ID is different from my companions.’ It was Aryaduta Semanggi.
It was around 2:00 am, I had to part ways with the 5 boys whom I was supposed to sort of accompany because it was their first time in Indonesia.
I arrived in my hotel wondering which got it wrong, my ID or the WPA staff who emailed me that since I was on sponsored accommodations, I should be in MDC. But upon arrival, the WPA staff at Aryaduta had no problem looking for my name on the list. I thought to myself, “Wow I’m really booked here even if I didn’t pay for anything… Would it be possible that I would get billed after my stay?” Omy, but do I have a better choice? It would be far to stressful to try to “correct” the seeming mistake.
I arrived in our hotel room around 3:00 am. It was like an apartment with 3 cozy carpeted rooms. My 3 other housemates had not moved in yet. I was the first to choose a room. It was love at first sight so I got excited to hug the bed.
Come 8:00 am (or was it 7:00 am because my watch was still in Manila time?), just after a few hours of sleep (I slept between 3:30 am and 4:00 am), I couldn’t help but get up because I didn’t want to miss breakfast (6:00 am to 9:00 am)! I claimed my breakfast in a box (provided by WPA) and proceeded to the swimming pool with my Bible. Aaaaahhhhh… It was the most refreshing time I’ve had since weeks of sheer stress.
After breakfast, I spent time with God in my hotel room. Then I went down for a swim! I couldn’t feel happier over a mistake in accommodations booking.
After swimming, I got dressed ready for our 12:00 pm lunch which I skipped because I realized I didn’t have any Rupiah. Then it was time to leave for the conference venue.
I think it was the most wonderful mistake WPA made, to put me in a lovely hotel where I can feel like VIP for a couple of days. (Thank you so much whoever you are who booked me there.) It was a delight to be embraced by God that way. I know that God understood that I really just wanted to obey Him that’s why I went to Indonesia. Who doesn’t want pampering, right? But when I set out to do God’s will, I knew that it was not for me to set conditions for my obedience. With or without a cozy bed, I was willing to go. But God provided more that just a roof over my head, He showed me that it was His desire to lavish on His children, at no added cost!
Throughout the trip, I just saw how God exceeded my requirements. I saw that for real, when we lay down our lives, we actually gain it again but with bonuses added. I saw that when we surrender our right to comfort, God surprised us with a Father’s treat. (Well, even when we don’t surrender, He sometimes treats us anyway. But I think we are better able to appreciate the blessings after we have surrendered our right to their benefits.)
On our last day in Indonesia, I “accidentally” got dragged into the VIP Lounge’s dining hall where there was ‘day and night’ buffet. I scrapped my lunch ticket as I demurely had lunch with our Indonesian pastor friend. Well, who cares if there’s good food there, right? But if you try eating from a box for 5 days, joyfully and without complaining, you will definitely be more joyful to be in a buffet. I tried not to look to surprised and enthusiastic though. They might notice how destitute my previous meals were compared to this one. Hahaha. Thank you Jesus for my last meal in WPA.
I knew God was speaking something. He could show us favor any time of the day. Through hotel accommodations in one of the best in the city. But it is not something to be coveted. Obedience is! But when we focus not on the blessings but on pursuing our love for Jesus through obedience, favor comes, and it comes unexpectedly, and comes pleasurably. With matching *kilig*.
More pictures to follow. 🙂