Intro to Watsonopolis

There was one who once said crazy things like, give your possessions to the poor, let your light shine, go to the ends of the earth, love God, love your neighbor, serve, pray, die and live. Those words, the words of Jesus, have gripped and shaped our lives.

Because of Jesus’ life, challenge and love we are propelled into an amazing life journey; a journey that most often finds us pitching our tent among the poor and those on the margins of our world, serving, living, teaching, learning and loving there.

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Monday
Apr212008

...and Life

I'm walking down a dusty street lined with small but well built and wonderful looking houses.  The houses were built by the community with help from and NGO that's been facilitating my trip to Indonesia.  They followed some of the best practices of community development, and as such, this village owned the process of rebuilding their neighborhood. 

Although it feels like 100 degrees in the shade and my shirt is soaked with sweat, I'm standing in front of a fire.  A kiln really.  A process these people have use for centuries to make bricks.  This kiln is part of a brick making cooperative.  One of 121 brick kilns that were rebuilt by the people (with a little help).  These bricks were used in the rebuilding of the homes...and the lives.  As a side note, I learned that when Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005 members of brick cooperative, understanding tragedy themselves, pooled together some money and sent it to the US to help the victims.

Papaya trees, mango trees, various kinds of rice, corn and other vegetables are growing in the garden plots surrounding me.  Perhaps two handfulls of American and Indonesia farmers, agriculture specialists and water engineers are researching various farming and water methods hoping find ever better ways to increase crop yeilds for area farmers.  And although slow going, they are seeing the local farmers begin to embrace new farming methods; methods that produce higher yeilds, healthier eating habits and promotes healthier environmental stewardship.

I'm sitting outside a department of education training facililty.  Indonesia lost nearly 3,000 educators in the tsunami.  This facility, the Indonesians who run it and the Western NGO's that provide assistance are raising up new generations of educators that will train the next generation of Indonesia's leaders.  It's a daunting task, but with each training, with each class, with each young teacher, the future gets brighter.  The NGO leader tells me of a note he received from a participant teacher recently.  "This training was the best thing to ever happen to me in my life.  Thank you".  

"Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up foundations of
many generations; you shall be called repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in." Isaiah 58:12

I'm honored to be among these restorers...these life givers. 

Reader Comments (1)

Thank you for these posts that tell the story of triumph in the midst of tragedy. They are a reminder that nothing is insurmountable when you keep the faith and live the hope.

April 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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