LDS Humanitarian Efforts

Being Humanitarian Missionaries for the LDS Church and representing LDS Charities been one of the great blessings of our lives.  It has changed our lives forever.  Doing what we believe the Savior would do if He were here has strengthened us in so many ways.  Hopefully, the lives of people we have served have been blessed,  but if not, it has at least changed the way we look at the world.

If you’ve read the blog, you know the scope of what we do in Indonesia.  It is a microcosm of what the Church does worldwide, but the Church does so much more as highlighted in this article from World Religion News:

http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/christianity/lds-church-has-spent-1-2-billion-on-welfare-and-humanitarian-efforts

And for those of you who have not seen the Church website on its Humanitarian efforts, please check it out:

http://www.ldscharities.org

Those of you who are LDS, we can’t encourage you enough to consider serving in this effort.  As a full-time missionary, it’s beyond rewarding!  (Note: if you are not LDS, you might have trouble getting the Church to let you serve an LDS Mission – surprising I know!)

So LDS or not, full-time missionaries or not, you can still make a difference!  There are so many places that could use your help a few hours a week or month: homeless shelters, libraries, community food banks, adult reading academies, refugee centers, etc., etc., etc..

We have loved doing what we have been doing.  We encourage and invite you to do what you can – you’ll love it too!

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And there’s a million more pictures just like this…..what a WONDERFUL experience this has been!

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The Learning Farm

We wanted to visit TLF again for one last visit, so the timing worked out to go to the next batch graduation.  What a great group of kids and what a great work TLF does!  They take these kids from really tough circumstances and put them together where they learn how to get along, how to work together and the specifics of organic gardening, English and math.  A great experience!

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The top grads
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After the first 100 days, some students can stay for another 100 days – these are those “grad” students!
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DeeAnn giving the grads their pins

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Typical with any graduation – tears are shed…

When the students are asked ‘apa kabar’ (how are you?), this is their enthusiastic response: ‘luar biasa (awesome), hu ha, TLF, w.o.w, wow”!!

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Beautiful organic decorations made with palm leaves vegetables and fruit!

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Odds & Ends

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Indonesians have the toughest feet on the planet…
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Ondel-Ondel – the typical Betawi (Jakarta) characters
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The Cipayung area (near Jakarta) is higher in the mountains, so it’s much cooler.  Everywhere are these ‘Villa Kamar’ signs, advertising rooms for rent for weekenders.

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Mother and her girls watching us visit her neighbors
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Lady walking on the street
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Her restaurant on her bike
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Four on a bike – VERY common

An annoying one-second video of a guy carrying his goods to market.

 

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Just like the US – kids invading the mall after school!
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Living right on the ditch….
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Typical street food cart – this one serving fried food.
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The receptionists at Aryaduta
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Always wanted a moo moo roll…
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In Bogor, when the traffic is crawling, there are guys selling all kinds of things – this is ‘gamblong’ – sticky rice covered in brown sugar.  DeeAnn likes them, I don’t.  10,000 Rp ($.75) for a bag of 10.   
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This 6 year old from the Jakarta I Ward plays the piano VERY well.  We’ve been told the family doesn’t have much in their home, but they do have a beautiful piano for him to play… 
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DeeAnn selling jewelry made by the “trashpickers” from Dr. Titi’s hospital.  Dr. Titi helps them make and sell jewelry so they don’t have to go pick trash…

 

Refugee School

Our last day at the Refugee School was a sad one.  In a very short time, the people we’ve met there are our friends and we feel for them and the terrible situation they are in.  They can’t work, the kids can’t go to school, they are stuck for years in ‘no-mans land’ – they can’t go back for fear of being killed and they can’t move forward because the UNHCR refugee settlement situation takes forever.  The latest estimate for resettlement is after they receive refugee 8-10 years, and that’s AFTER they achieve refugee status, which takes 18-24 months.   So for the years they are here,  they do the best they can – and the best thing is to be involved in the several refugee schools that in the area.

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Salim and his family
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Azghar is a Christian refugee – he’s actually taking the discussions!  When we first met him he said ‘I’ve been talking to your son’.  Uhh…I’m pretty sure that’s not the case…So he said ‘Isn’t Elder Bell your son’?  Ahhh – Elder Bell, Elder Buell, close enough!
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The youngsters.  All of the boys are 14/15 and are here alone.  The girls are so sweet – and Nura (the girl in the black hijab) is SO like an American teenager – her English is so good she uses American slang!
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We caught Mohammed sleeping, so we took the pic!
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The older personal finance class.  I can teach them about banks, loans, checking accounts, credit cards, ATM’s, etc.,  but it’s frustrating because they can’t have any of those things here.  I can only tell them ‘remember this, because you’ll need it when you get to where you’re going’.  Of course, for some, that will be years….

 

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I will not miss climbing these stairs to the upstairs classroom!  They KILL my feet!

 

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We will miss them too…..

With Dr Titi in Cikampek

A couple weeks ago we went with Dr. Titi to Cikampek (a town about 2 hours from Jakarta) where she lectured at a community center on the importance of immunization.  We were also able to visit some of the patients from her hospital while we were there.

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The audience – about 100 ladies.  There are rarely men in meetings like this..

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The local organizing committee – so nice, gracious and welcoming.  They gave DeeAnn a beautiful crocheted purse
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DeeAnn was asked to give certificates
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Prizes to the best answer-givers.  Notice the photographers on the left….

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The Committee singing an Islamic greeting

We were then able to visit a couple of former patients of RS Lestari.  LDS Charities has helped RS Lestari for years with patients needing cleft lip and palate surgery, cataract surgery, etc.  They were so appreciative of the help received….

This lady had her first cleft palate surgery at age 50!

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She looks great!

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These folks had cataract surgery about a year ago.
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“Pull up the porch and have a seat”!  They have so little and are so humble….
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This is the path leading to their house

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We then visited a little girl who has had the first of several needed surgeries for her cleft lip.  So sweet…. 
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No matter how humble, they ALWAYS serve something…

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After the lecture and the visits, we were treated to lunch at a nearby lakeside restaurant.

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With Dr. Titi, ibu Inis and Dhini, Dr. Titi’s friend. 

A great day spend with good friends.  Dr. Titi does such great work and we are privileged to work with her and be associated with the hospital.

Odds & Ends

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A new taste treat – Sate Kuda (horse)
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DeeAnn tried it to, but I’m pretty sure she was less enthusiastic than I was….
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Tree growing in the middle of the Sate Kuda warong…
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Cooking the Kuda….
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Almost every Pos Ronda (neighborhood security area) has a small Kentongan – a wooden ‘gourd’ they hit with a wooden stick to signal the neighbors.  This is the biggest Kentongan ever seen!
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Lentera volunteer and one of the kids
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mmmm….
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I doubt if this has 11 herbs and spices
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No thanks….

 

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The Jensen’s at the old malt shoppe – actually, at Fish & Co having a 1-liter mermaid splash, a frozen fruit drink.  Delicious…..
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Stake Center front grounds on Jalan Suhardjo – a beautiful setting on a very busy street
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The other side of the grounds
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Crystal durian
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Our favorite guard, Ardi, helping us with groceries
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Our favorite receptionist, Anggi 
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Farming the old fashioned way

The Latest in Javanese Formal Wear

Of the 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia, the island of Java is THE island and the heart and soul of Indonesia.  Everyone is very proud of their island or region but it seems those from Java (especially Central Java) are extra proud of that fact and are quick to point out that Java “rules the roost” in Indonesia relative to politics, art, design, music, culture, language, etc.   The Javanese language is considered very formal and the language of royalty.

Central Java even has it’s own distinctive dress.  Now all Indonesian provinces and regions have their own music, language (over 7,000 languages here) art, etc. but Central Java seems to have the reputation of being ahead of everywhere else.

On a recent trip to Jogja, our driver/translator Rian convinced us to go to his home and take some pictures with us in traditional Javanese formal wear complete with wedding makeup for DeeAnn.  Since his mother used to do this for locals, we agreed.

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It starts…

 

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First the hair….

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Then the makeup…

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Then the dress…
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And the shoes….
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The finished product – not full-fledged wedding attire, but getting there…
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Then it was my turn…

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Rian’s mom
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Rian
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Every properly-dressed Javanese man carries a dagger in his belt.

We really enjoyed our venture into Javanese culture with their traditional dress!  If that wasn’t enough, she insisted on fixing us lunch!

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