Global Mission to Indonesia 2006

Elim Orphanage, Pematangsiantar

Elim Orphanage, Pematangsiantar

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Elim Photos Page
Prayer House

Medan Airport Welcome:
Bpk. Napitupulu, Emmy
Rista & Jenti

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Elim Photos Page
The St. Mark Mission Team

The St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Anchorage, Alaska conducted a global mission to Indonesia from July 30 through August 13, 2006. During the visit our mission team focused on the Elim orphanage (Panti Asuhan Elim-Diakoni Sosial HKBP) in Pematangsiantar, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The team also visited villages, most memorably Parapat where we boarded a boat to cross Lake Toba to Tomok, on Samosir Island, the Toba Batak village of Aekkahombu and town of Padangsidempuan, and Salib Kasih (The Cross of Love). We stood on the very spot where Ludwig Nommenson looked over the valley in 1862.

Our experiences at the Orphanage were absolutely heart warming and unforgettable! We helped build brick walls and painted, of course. But our highest calling was to work with the orphans and staff just getting to know our new friends and working together. Through the skillful talents of the director, Pdt. Ch. T. Napitupulu, MRE we had little to worry about. He insured that we had wonderful meals, lodging, and transportation as we needed it. And he has a warm sense of humor to boot! A member of his staff, Deaconess Emmy, worked with us continually throughout the visit and really enabled the team to feel very much at home. She demonstrated talent as a church leader and musician, as well as linguistic skills that very much helped those of us who were Bahasa Indonesia challenged. Another extraordinarily talented member of the Elim team was Rista who sacrificed personal comforts to participate maximally in the activities of the St. Mark mission team. Ristaís enthusiasm and optimism were inspiring and give hope to many. Also, Roma demonstrated her very capable abilities to get things done by organizing our sumptuous banquets and creating professional quality gifts of Indonesian neckties. And Jenti led traditional dancing and music which added immensely to our enjoyment of the visit.

There were many others who worked very hard to welcome us strangers from the arctic north, too many to recognize adequately in this short monologue. The orphans were also very energetic and appreciative of all that we did. And we did have fun with them. Marshall created enthusiasm for physical exercise outside as he employed his pilot skills by getting them involved with flying "machines" of their own creation. Clyde worked with groups inside with craft projects, while Yuyuus took photos of every one of them to be mounted in their newly made picture frame. Yuyuus friend, Elliott, the only Alaskan teenager in the group was a hit with young ladies all over Indonesia, including the orphanage. Bimen was very much at home as our pastor, interpreter, and musician. The Batak music was especially enjoyable, and the traditional dance performance at Parapat seemed to bring us all closer together. They truly gifted us with themselves even while giving abundant material gifts as well. Our own giving in return seemed hardly adequate in the exchange.

The many gifts collected by St. Mark Lutheran Church were well received at the orphanage. The sewing machines were almost immediately pressed into service and were used to produce several of the gifts to us that were received at the final gathering. The tubs of craft materials were enthusiastically used in completing specific projects during craft work activities for the children. Each one now has a personal photograph made with a Polaroid camera left with them. A new fax machine was also left that was actually a combination fax/copier unit. And funds for the purchase of pews to replace the chairs in the prayer house were delivered in a special ceremony. The fund raising activities at St. Mark over the past months had impact well beyond the walls of our church in Anchorage.

Orphanage staff welcomed us with respect and treated us as if we were really important people. In fact, arrangements were made that resulted in our team meeting with several high level officials in Pematangsiantar and at the seminary in Parapat. The best analogy would be if we had a mission guest from the orphanage come to Anchorage and we arranged for that person to meet with the Mayor of Anchorage, the President of The University, and the Bishop of the Alaska synod. Yes, this was a very important and substantial mission.

Our final night at Elim was exciting for the major show put on by orphanage staff and residents, including a traditional dance in costume. The dance was different than we see among the traditional peoples of Alaska, but reminded me of that in some ways. It is clearly an important cultural tie among the people there. The St. Mark Mission team did itís own musical performance this trip, singing "This is the Day" and "O Tano Batak" in English, Indonesian and Toba Batak. Sadly, that final night was also tearful for many because of the strength of the friendships made. The team from St. Mark and those from Elim now have a strong connection and desire to continue strengthening the bridge to our future relationship in Christ.

Godís spirit was visited upon us all during that journey. We pray that we will continue to work together and in the future see each other face to face again. We wonít say goodbye, only "Sampai jumpa lagi". Hopefully, not too much later.

To each and every one of our hosts we say "Saya senang bertemu dengan anda". I might add "banyak" to that. The food was "enak". The hearts of our hosts "hangat", and we hold for you "Mencintai di Kristus". Pasu-Pasu ma di hamu.

Current time in Pematangsiantar

Toba Batak
Bahasa Indonesia Language Instruction