Life With LaMoin

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22

LaMoin's Blog

view:  full / summary

Orphanages in Bali and Sulawesi

Posted by LaMoin on April 7, 2015 at 11:20 AM

     I must apologize for neglecting my website for soooooo long!  I have been so busy in the ministry that I simply haven't taken the time to maintain this site.  I hope I can correct that neglience and do better in the future.

     What have I been doing that's so important?  Well, I will try to list some of the things.  In 2013 we started a small orphanage in Bali (Singaraja).  This work was birthed by the suggestion of our Pastor Wayan and his wife, Eny.  It took a bit of time before my husband and I could wrap our heads around it, but the Lord burdened our hearts for the work of taking care of orphans and underprivileged children.  It is a huge commitment.  We must get sponsors for these children.  We present the need and pray that individuals will offer to send $50.00 a month to sponsor a child.  If they cannot send $50.00, then we are grateful for any financial help that you can send.  $50.00 will pay for housing, food, clothing, schooling (+uniforms), and necessities for these children.  We now have 8 children living with Pastor Wayan and Eny.  There are 3 other children (siblings) that we are trying to get sponsors for.  The eldest is a boy (11 years) and has never been to school.  His sisters are 6 and 8 and have never gone to school.  They have parents, but they are very poor.  Their father moves the family around as he tried to get temporary jobs in order to buy food.  These children are so sweet and we would love to take them into the orphanage.  Will you consider helping?

     We wrote a newsletter in December 2013 and expressed our desire to have an orphanage that would house 40 - 50 children.  In February we received an email from a man whom we had never met.  He was present in his church when our letter was read one Wednesday night.  He and his wife had been praying about some way that they could honor God with some of the wealth with which God has blessed them.  After answering several questions via email, this couple said that they wanted to finance the building of the orphanage!!  We were pleasantly shocked!!  We met with these fine people and as a result, we are now in the process of building a large orphanage in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.  We tried to secure land in Bali, but the prices were too high, so we went to Sulawesi - the home of one of our national pastors, Bro. Berens. He and his wife will be the on-site directors of the orphanage - and it will accomodate about 50 children when it is finished.

     We purchased 2 acres of land in Tondano and started the construction of the orphanage.  Bro. Bereans also started a new church there.  We hope that the construction will be completed in the next three months and we can start taking in children.  We need help with this project also.  With a few dollars each month, you can change the life of a child.  Our goal is to provide a home, love, and training now and also to teach them about Jesus so they can come to know him personally and have a home in heaven.  Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me..."  He loves the children of the world.  Do you?

     I will soon post pictures of the children in Bali and Sulawesi.  Please compare the faces and expressions of the children in Sulawesi (who are waiting for the orphanage to be completed) to the faces of the children in Bali who are enjoying their new home.


A Vist With the Princess

Posted by LaMoin on February 8, 2013 at 6:20 AM

     Pastor Wayan had to be out of town today, so it was a slow and relaxing day for us.  We went to the only large store here for shopping.  All of the other ones are open market shops.  This store cannot be compared in anyway to our stores at home, but we like to look around in it.  The first floor has groceries, adult clothing is on the second floor, and children's clothing on the third floor.

     After we left the store, we went to visit with Princess Agung with whom we made friends last year.  We sat on her open veranda and had a good time of talking.  She served us a typical Balinese desert made of seaweed and brown sugar.  I ate it, but I didn't take seconds - if you know what I mean. :)

     The traffic here is so dangerous.  Bill drives only 25 miles an hour to keep from killing someone.  Most of the cars drive down the middle of the road, and they pass when other cars are coming toward them.  However, most of the time, you have to pass with oncoming traffic.  Everyone just moves over enough to keep from hitting each other.  When you stop at a traffic light, the motor bikes surround you like a swarm of bees.  You can never relax while driving here.  I just try to keep quite and pray continually.

The Day Started Bad But Ended Good

Posted by LaMoin on February 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

     This day started with my endurance being tested.  We were trying to save money by staying in a budget hotel, but when we went to breakfast and I looked at the food, I couldn't bear to put it into my mouth.  I thought, "Okay,  I'll just have buttered toast and tea and eat lunch later.  It was a good thought - if there had been any butter for my toast.  I thought, "That's it!  It's not worth it to try to save money in this horrible hotel".  Thankfully, it was a our last day there before leaving for Singaraja.  I know now that the Devil was having a go at me because of what would transpire later in the day.  He put other things in my path that created a less than pleasant attitude.

     We checked out of the hotel, met our driver and headed for Singaraja.  On the way, we stopped at a place where coffee is processed.  They had many different kinds of coffee and tea for us to taste.  It was all free, except for the special Luwak coffee - to taste that would have cost $5.00.  We passed.  The Luwak coffee sells for about $100.00 a pound.  It is made here and very rare.  There's a very limited amount of it made to ship all over the world and it sells for big money in ohter countries.  The process is very slow, difficult and expensive.  I'll tell you why.  The Luwak is a little animal, something like a civic cat.  It lives in the forest and its favorite food is the coffee beans.  It eats the shell from the bean but swallows the whole bean.  After the stomach processes it, the Luwak poops it out.  People are hired to go through the poop and separate the beans.  The bean still has another shell that has to be cracked open.  After the beans are washed, the shells are cracked, and the coffee inside is taken out.  The digestive juices of the Luwak gives a distinct taste to the coffee and makes it one of the most expensive coffees in the world.  I will take people's word for the good flavor.

     We continued through the beautiful mountains and terraced rice fields on to Singaraja.  We are now in the calm and peacful compound where we always stay.  We stay in a little cottage with only one large room and bath.  We eat at the open-air restaurant that overlooks the ocean in the back.  It is beautiful, calm, and relaxing.  After being in the capitol city, it is balm to my nerves.

     We went to say hello to all of the staff who remembers us from year to year.  I went into the little spa to say hello.  As a sat talking to the young woman who does my massages, I told her that we have a church in Singaraja.  Of course she is Hindu.  I asked her if she had ever attended a Christian church and she said no.  She asked if Hindus are welcome to attend and I told her that we would be happy to have her attend.  She agreed to go to church with me on Sunday. 

     I continued to talk to her as she asked me questions.  She said, "I have noticed how Christians are always peaceful and happy.  When I look at your face, it seems to glow."  (I'm glad she didn't see me at breakfast. :()  I told her that I, and other Christians, are happy because we have Jesus in our hearts.  Then I told her a brief, concise story from Creation to Christ.  After I told her about Jesus dying for us, I explained how Jesus stands at our hearts door and knocks, and that we have the choice to open the door and let Him come into our hearts.  She listened intently for around two hours total.  She admitted that the Hindus have no peace in their hearts and that their religion is very difficult.  She said that she believes that Jesus died for her and that He is the only way to Heaven.  I told her how simple that it is to ask Him into our hearts and have peace in knowing that we are going to Heaven when we die.  I asked, "Would you like to have that peace?"  She said, "Yes, but I am afraid of the conquences of my family and community."  I tried to encourage her to just not to worry, trust it all to God, and ask Jesus into her heart.  In the past, I have NEVER encouraged people to be "secret believers," but today I told her that she doesn't have to tell anyone, but just ask Jesus into her heart.  I knew that if she asked Him into her heart that she would be saved even if she could never break away from the Hindu traditions.  I said, "Let God take care of the future.  Don't you believe that the God who created this whole world is powerful enough to take care of the problems in the future?"  She is so frightened. She longs for the peace of Christ, but the Hindus can make it really bad for one who leaves their religion.  I told her that I would pray for her and if she wanted to ask Him into her heart in private that she can do that also.

     You people in America have no idea of the fear and confusion that grips the hearts of the Hindus who believe and want to be saved, but they don't have the freedom to do it.  We in the Western world have it so easy.  We don't have to fear such persecution in order to become Christians.  It is so easy for us.  All we have to fear is that someone will laugh at us.  Big deal!  These people fear for their lives!

     Please pray for Kedek that God will give her the courage to get saved, even if she has to be a secret believer.  And don't forget to thank God for being born in  country where you can freely choose to accept Christ and to serve Him.

     I was so tired when I finished talking to her.  I was battling against the power of Satan during those two hours.  I also warned her that the devil (who is very real to them) will come and try to steal away the belief in her heart.  I said, "The devil will do to you what he did to Eve in the garden.  He will  tell you that you don't really have to believe in Jesus and that you don't have to open your heart to Him."   I left her with this challenge: "Pray and ask God to show you if Jesus is the truth and the only way to Heaven." 

Taking a Break

Posted by LaMoin on February 5, 2013 at 2:10 AM

     We took a break from the work today for a few personal things - shopping and therapy.  We had to buy a few things for people in the States.  After walking in the hot sun for too long, we stopped for an hour of foot reflexology - only $4.00 for an hour.  It is therapy and it's good for the circulation in the body - but it does hurt!  I endured the pain because I know that is beneficial in the long-run.

     I also had some retail therapy!  Now that is less painful.  Bought a birthday present for my daughter.  Yes, Shaleen, you will love it!

     We had to stop at our favorite coffee shop and get a frozen mochichino.  Better than anything Starbucks has.  I had to shut off the calorie counting for a short time.


A New Brother and Two New Sisters

Posted by LaMoin on February 4, 2013 at 2:30 AM

     We were happy to see a man and two ladies (Hindus) opened their heart's door to Jesus today after hearing a fantastic brief, but consise, story of the gospel from creation to the cross.  Two of them have been attending Pastor Berens Monday morning Bible study faithfully, and it was the first time for one of them.  It was such a joy to see them open their heart to the Lord.  It is also rare, because the Hindus in Bali are very hard to win to Christ.

     After the Bible study, we went with Pastor Berens and his wife, Jill, to a shopping center where Pastor Berens and Bill were looking at harmonicas.  Bill has been playing his at the different places where we have had meetings.  I guess Pastor Berens really liked it, because he wanted to learn to play.  We bought a good harmonica and Bill gave him some quick lessons on how to hold it and how to blow it.  Pastor Berens is very intelligent and very talentted, so I am sure he will be playing it very soon.

     Bill was sorry that he missed seeing the Super Bowl!  By the time we got back to where we are staying, the game was over.  All he saw was the confetti and celebration afterwards.  I don't care that much about football and I agree with a joke I saw on Facebook - For me, Super Bowl means a toilet that will clean itself! :)

Good Church Service and Disgusting Fish Eyes

Posted by LaMoin on February 3, 2013 at 2:35 AM

We had a great church service this morning - however a bit different than in America.  This service lasted for two and a half hours!   This is not unusual in Bali.  We had a good crowd.  One lady was nursing her baby - uncovered.  The order of service is not like it is in America.  We had singing, then testimony time.  Some of these people are so happy in the Lord that they don't give short testimonies.  One man went on and on - in English with Pastor Berens translating.  After a while I was praying that God would shut him up.  Isn't that terrible of me?  Well, they say that confesion is good for the soul.  Then more singing, the offering, and praying.  Then we had baby dedicaton - while the kids screamed.   So moving!  But this is Bali and the church is Balinese - not American.  They do things differently and that's fine.  They also served communion.  Finally Bill took the pulpit and preached his sermon.  Because of time, he shortened his sermon just a bit.  The invitation lasted a while and three people came forward.  A young couple talked with the pastor after the service was dismissed.  People love to stay and fellowship after the service, so we still didn't leave for another half hour.

We went to lunch with Pastor Berens and his wife and some of the church members.  They took us to a traditional Balinese restaurant.  We had three different kinds of fish, rice, and some vegetables.  The rice was served in small metal pots.  Yes, the fish were whole - heads and all.  A Chinese woman sat next to me and encouraged me to eat the fish skin which I had pushed to the side of my plate.  She explained how it is so good for our health.  Well, I finally ate just a bit of the skin, but I drew the line on the fish heads and eyeballs.  She explained to me that fish skin is good for our skin and the eye balls are good for our vision.  Other parts are good for the heart, etc.  I said, "Well, I will just die early with ugly skin and blind eyes."  Our pastor even ate the eye balls.  I asked him how they tasted and he said, "They are a bit crunchy."   

A Balinese School

Posted by LaMoin on February 2, 2013 at 8:15 AM

This morning we went with Pastor Berens to a school where he is permitted by the Hindu administration to teach the Bible each week.  Bill and I taught the children Christian songs, which they loved.  These children are so bright and learn quickly.  After we went through one of the songs about three times - in English - one little girl about eleven years old came to the front of the room and sang it by herself.  She did a great job too.  I am always amazed at how talented they are and how quickly they learn.  We had fun with the children and they were happy to have us in their school. 

The school is just one more "hook" to try to catch some "fish."  It gives an opportunity to get acquainted with the teachers also.  All of them are Hindus, but they watch our actions and it is a testimony to them.

A Chinese lady that goes to the church took us in her rented car this afternoon to do a little sightseeing.  She and I got out of the car and was looking in shops while Bill and the driver sat in the van.  Bill had previously given Merti some of our Chick tracts in the Indonesian language.  While they waited for us to shop, Merti read the tract, "This Was Your Life."  He started to ask Bill questions about it and they discussed it.  In the tract, it talks about going to Heaven or to the Lake of Fire.  After a long discussion, Bill asked Merti if he died where he thought he would go and Merti answered, "To the Lake of Fire."  Bill explained the plan of salvation to him and Merti bowed his head and as Bill helped him to pray, he asked Jesus to save him and take him to Heaven.  He promised that he and his family will come to church tomorrow.  Praise the Lord for this Hindu man.  We pray that his whole family will be saved.


Food, Fun, and Fellowship

Posted by LaMoin on February 2, 2013 at 7:55 AM

Yesterday we went with Pastor Berens and his wife to have a short Bible study with a lady who owns a small spa.  We met "in the upper room" of the spa.  Lina and her sister expressed that they needed prayer because of the demonic powers that had attacked them at different times through some of their workers.  She said that one day a lady was so filled with demons that it took her and nine other ladies to hold her down while she was fighting them and a man's voice was speaking to them from the demon controlled woman.  Demon activity is very strong here in Bali.  We taught her about how to resist the devil in the name of Jesus and his blood, and also Eph. 6:11-18 about putting on the whole armor of God. After the Bible study and prayer time, she took us to lunch.  It was a good time of spiritual encouragement and instruction to Lina and her sister.

Last night we went into a very poor area where some of the church members live.  We entered a compound where many families lived in very small dwellings.  The ladies had prepared food for us, and as we went into the very small room, everyone sat on the floor, and the lady of the home, a former Muslim, brought a large pot of rice, a pot of fried noodles, and a plate of egg omelets (like Chinese egg foo young) and sat them in the middle of the floor.  Then they gave each of us, and all the people present, a small plate and a spoon.  We had prayer and then each of us served ourselves from the food containers.  It was tasty, but I prayed an extra prayer that we would not be sick from it.  the food was cooked, but the plates and spoons were my concern.  The Lord answered my prayer and we didn't get any Bali Belly.

They were so happy that we had come to their home.  They had a new-born baby that was sick, so they asked Bill to pray for the baby.  These people are so very poor, but they love to share what they have with us. 


A Different Breakfast

Posted by LaMoin on January 31, 2013 at 7:35 PM

I have adjusted to eating fried rice,  stir-fried mixed vetables, and salad for breakfast!  Yes, adaption is the necessary key to living in a different culture.  But that is not bad - at least we don't get bogged down in routine.  I hate routine.  I get bored very easily, so I need change.  Well, Bali is the place for change.  We are in the rainy season now.  It rains at night and in the morning.  Usually by 10:00, the rains are gone and the scorching sun dries everything off in a hurry - except me!  It only takes a few minutes in this humidity to melt my hairdo and makeup.  I look very different in Bali than what I do in the States.  The Balinese are so kind and their complements bolster my self-image and confidence. 

We had a Burger King hamburger and fries for lunch yesterday.  Oh, yes, American has invaded the peaceful island of the gods.  Burger King for lunch and Pizza Hut for dinner.  Well, there goes my healthy eating habits, but a little bit of America is always satisfying.

The traffic here in the capitol city area is horrendous!  It is usually double lanes of non-stop, bumper-to-bumper cars and thousands of motor bikes.  It makes it difficult to cross the street, but I have again adapted the style of the Balinese - hold my breath, pray, look for half of an opening, put my out toward the traffic and run like crazy.  Bill is a bit more cautious - he probably has more sense than I do.

Road rage is not common in Bali.  Cars and bikes constantly pull out in front of other cars, cut them off, and drive all over the road,  but the calm and peaceful Balinese do not get upset.  They give way and continue on their way.  If it was America, there would be blood and guts everywhere.  Drivers would be dying in great numbers of heart attacks, strokes, and anger.  A different culture indeed.  Yesterday, we were waiting for a taxi at an intersection with unusually heavy traffic.  There was a traffic light, but it was not working.  Finally a traffic cop appeared.  He stood for about two minutes and disappeared.  Bill said, "That cop gone again."  I looked across the street and saw that he had gone in between two buildings and sat down.  I suppose I can't blame him - directing that traffic would have been suicide.  I was amused at watching the cars drive around a tree, up on the sidewalk and then back into the lane of traffic - thereby cutting off a couple of cars in the process.  This is Bali!  You have to love it!



A Visit to an Orphanage, Cremation Service and a Fish Market

Posted by LaMoin on January 29, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Yesterday was a full day.  We drove about one hour out of the city to visit an orphanage in a small village.  On our way we passed a funeral service.  Funeral services here in Bali are quite different than in the States.  When someone dies, the whole village helps to prepare for the cremation service - which is quite costly and elaborate.  The women dress in the same beautiful Balinese traditional dresses.  The men wear white clothes with a white hat that looks similiar to what the soldiers used to wear during World War II - that little pointed thing in front and back.

We had our driver to stop and my Chinese lady friend and I jumped out of the car and ran back to where the crowds were gathered on the side of the road.  They were preparing the bodies for cremation and as we watched, they draped white sheets over them, then people came and put different offerings on top.  One lady put an offering of some flowers in a little basket.  There was also some money folded and stuck inside the little basket.  Naturally, I was wondering if they would burn the money also.  Just then a man carefully removed the money.  He was one of the men who was preparing the body.  Now, I don't know what he did with that money, but it sure wasn't going to help the dead guy, so I was happy that he took it.  We watched - just at the end of the body - until all the offerings were placed and then watched as a man brought a butane bottle to the head of the body and ignited a torch and set fire to the platform which held the body. 

For the Hindus, the cremation is a joyous time because the burning releases the soul of the dead person so the soul will be free.

A funeral takes all day.  They eat food and have many activities while the body is being cremated.  Afterwards, the remains are gathered and they go to the ocean and the priests walk out into the water and dump the ashes.  The water cleanses the soul for the afterlife.

We were received very well and many were happy to have us to take their pictures.

We left and went on the orphanage.  The children gathered and heard a Bible story.  A little boy about 4 and a little girl about 3 held onto Bill and me.  It was so sad, but a blessing that they were in a place of safety with someone to care for them.  The lady in charge of the orphange said that they get many abandoned children.  They have a baby that was taken there one day after its birth.  There are thousands of abandoned children here on the island.

We drove back to the city and went to a large covered fish market on the beach.  We walked through aisle after aisle and viewed fresh fish of all kinds, squid, prawns, and smelly, awful scenes.  We chose a yellow tailed fish and paid $3.50 for two of them.  The man cleaned them and cut them into fillets for cooking.  He put them in a bag and we then took them to another area called "grilling stations."  We chose a station and paid 50 cents to have them grilled.  Then we sat down in the very undesireable little eating area to wait until they were done.  A young lady wiped the table, but then I took a Clorox wipe and finished the job.  Because of all the flu here, I also used a Clorox wipe on the fork and spoon.  The fish came on a little basket, we bought a bowl of rice and had our dinner.  It was good, even though most of you who are reading this would never consider eating your dinner there.  Such is the way of life in Bali.