It’s been 2 weeks and 5 days (but who’s counting..) since I landed in my busy hometown Surabaya. Many have changed; my little cousin’s major improvement in verbal skill, Surabaya Town Square was quite brandished with fashion retails and restaurants, there’s new tollway from Juanda International Airport across the city which becomes a huge relieve for city commuters, and a way faster internet connection nowadays. Good stuff.

But on the other hand, many stayed the same. The same crowded roads with motorists crisscrossing despite “Taat Marka” signs along the street, the same reply of “ya” instead of “terimakasih kembali” when we say “makasih” to shop retailers, the blast of chants from every corner of the city, on TV and radios at 6pm daily, and the sound of jingles from ice cream sellers on their bikes around the complex. As for me, that same feeling of confusion and lost are still overwhelming as they get stronger when nearing Sunday.
Where should I go ?

This year I followed my pastor’s advice to go to one of the big Bethel churches in Surabaya in the middle of CBD. I’ve been there twice, and the services were quite conformable to BIC, which is a good sign. Of course there’s always differences, whether the way the WL lead the congregation, the process (this church has its offering in the middle of the service, before the sharing. Pretty sure they have a strong reason for doing that), and so on. The most important thing that I’m looking for is the Word, and I may say that I am humbled and strengthened by the Word shared in both services.

Bigger complications, instead, come from the inner circle. One significant decision has turned my life into a huge swirl of dilemma that has been tearing me apart since 2006. On one side, I have found true peace and joy and hope; I have encountered my Lord Jesus and His sweet majestic presence. Through worship and being obedient shall I spend my life for His glory. Now, on the other side, that transformation of me has been rebutted and rebuked by some, and the strongest comes from my beloved mother. Not the actual act of commitment and faith, but the label under which I entrusted that commitment to. It breaks my heart because once again I have failed her, ironically when I found my triumph. It breaks my heart that she couldn’t and wouldn’t see the changes as something that will mold me into a better person, a better creation. Or perhaps, I have failed that already ?

I remember KD taught us about ‘growing’. For us to grow most effectively we need to grow UP and DEEPER. A strong and healthy plant is not merely indicated by the greens of the foliages and the size of the buds, but also by its strong and stern roots. That, I come to realize, is my weakness. The reason of my confusion everytime I return to Surabaya is the absence of community, of that sense of belonging that more often than not causes me to swing around undecidedly. I felt stronger and belonged when I joined FA and choir in BIC Melbourne, because together with my fellow followers of Christ I learn and I grow. And here, in Surabaya, I have not a place to plant my feet, let alone to grow.

Men are not created to be alone (Gen 2:18), and I do believe that we all need someone and maybe more to surround our lives, a company to go through life. I admit that I am a bit worried about finding a new community, with all the inevitable changes and alterations. And what if I chose the wrong community ? I can only depend on the provision of He who brings me forward up until this moment. Where He guides, He provides (Psalm 37:23). I do know the roads are never going to be as smooth as that new tollway from Juanda Airport, but I will learn to see everything through the eyes of faith, to see the unseen and to hope for things to come.

Have a lovely week, everyone. God bless.