This will have to be several posts because of everything that sent on today – so much happened that I can’t describe it in words. Truly a day we will never forget!
After nearly two years, the clean water project at the village of Banyuanyar (near Solo for those who want to Google it) is FINALLY finished. LDSC Charities drilled the well, put in the pump, built both the large concrete storage tank and installed the smaller 800-liter fiberglass tank and laid the pipe around the village. It is now up to the village and the water committee to finish metering each home and to collect a monthly maintenance fee so when something breaks, they can fix it.
Today was the handover ceremony where the project is officially turned over to the villageHandover ceremonies are usually a few speeches, a ceremonial cutting of a rice cone, a few pictures and that’s then end of it. Not today – not by a long shot!
When we arrived, we were greeted by the local police and then escorted to the hall by a group of costumed children where the ceremony was to take place. There we were given two beautiful flowered leis made from fresh jasmine.
What followed was then a full-blown parade with probably 500+ people! Costumes and dances all from central Java, motorcycle ‘floats’, groups, drumming corps, etc. It was unbelievable and truly unforgettable! Keep in mind, this ENTIRE parade was for one reason – to thank LDSC for their new water well! I suspect Americans would not have a parade when they get a new water well….we take a lot for granted.
What followed then was a full-blown parade with probably 500 people. Spectacular costumes, dancers, drum corps, motorcycle floats, etc. It was unbelievable!
I took a LOT of pictures and video’s so I have to stop somewhere! We experienced a tender mercy today. DeeAnn’s phone has been ‘out of storage’ no matter what. She’s deleted all the photos, emails, etc. and the phone still had no storage. Literally 5 minutes before the festivities started, we had told Moko (Sutarno’s son, our driver and translator) about the issue. He took the phone and millennial that he is, handed it back in about two minutes and the phone was wide open to allow me to take all these pics and video’s!
Parades, music, dances, etc are a lot of fun and great to be a part of . However, we also know they are the accolades of men and we have to remember we don’t do this for the attention, the praise, the expressions of thanks and gratitude. We do it because the Savior wants us to do it, he wants us to help ‘the least of these’ (Matthew 25:35-40). In this case, the good people of the village of Banyuanyar, Indonesia.
As I told them in my short speech – ‘Kami cinta Indonesia dan kami cinta orang-orang Indonesia’! (We love Indonesia and we love the Indonesian people!) –