Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saturday in Jakarta

Saturday August 11th (Sarah's birthday) was a great day in Jakarta. Here is the early morning view from my 46th floor hotel room. Most days in Jakarta are spent interviewing people for my book on the history of the LDS Church in Indonesia and waiting in slow-as-tar traffic to get too and from places. The sky line of Jakarta has changed a lot since I served here in 1976, but many other things have not changed.

A map of early Batavia (Jakarta)

In recent years I have studied and taught more about the Dutch colonial era and so I decide to visit the original location of the Dutch mercantile capital. This is the restored governor general's administrative office

Inside the palace was a painting of three great judgements, including this one of Solomon and the two mothers.  

A three hundred year old Dutch draw bridge over  the Big Canal that led from the port of Sunda Kelapa into the city center. The canals were used for shipping and trading and also to drain off rains. Old Dutch homes still  line parts of the canal. The Dutch canals still help prevent flooding, but they are now chocked with litter, plants, mud and other stinky things. Several municipal workers were plying the waters picking out refuse. They have a big job to do.


The Dutch port of Sunda Kelapa is still used for fishing and transportation.

Some of the old Dutch warehouses have been restored. The above white buildings were built in 1645 by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) to store spices. They are now a large maritime museum.

Three photos from in and around the fish market

The oldest Christian Church in Jakarta--built in 1695 outside the city walls for Euraisan converts.

After my tour of the Old City, I met up with some missionaries and members to help unload (it was done early before most of us got there) relief supplies for families whose homes were destroyed in a fire earlier in the week.  Elder Russell and Sister Eileen Healy (in skirt and white shirt above) are the directors of Humanitarian Services for the LDS Church in Indonesia and they quickly coordinated this project. I served in Semarang at the same time as Elder Healy and I helped tutor Sister Healy a few times in the MTC earlier this year. To read their impressions of the project see there blog here: http://www.russellandeileen.blogspot.com/

 Here's a view of nearby homes that were not burned. 405 homes burned.

This graffiti states; "All that remains are memories."

Some of the 565 families displaced by the fire are camped in a nearby cemetery. We went there and handed out balloons, balls and bracelets.

I did not get to meet this sister, but she was doing a great job at interacting with the children. You could tell she loved what she was doing.

Sister Healy and Tia Subiantoro who was my Indonesian TA at BYU last year. Her father Djarot is the Jakarta State President.

I blew up lots of balloons. I also entertained them all by singing (several times) a well known Indonesian song about a child holding five balloons of different colors and the green one pops. (photo courtesy of Eileen Healy)

Piles of sleeping mats, food, hygiene products etc. contributed by Gereja Yesus Kristus Dari Orang Orang Suci Zama Akhir.

 After an early dinner and nice visit with the Healys, I then joined with Juswan Tandiman' s institute class. When I interviewed him (he is the newly called first patriarch of the Jakarta Stake) on Friday he asked me then if I would be willing to share a little about my Holy Land experiences. I told him I had my slides of the life of Christ ready to go and so I was recruited to teach his class. It was a challenge coming up with words like whitened sepulchers, wheat and tares, and press but I was surprised at what I was able to explain.

After class I interviewed two of the students--some of the first recipients of Perpetual Education Fund grants (started only in 2010 in Indonesia). A great, fulfilling day.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another inspirational account. I wonder if any of the news agencies will ever bother to do some research on how a small portion of the "7 billion" in tithes and offerings is actually being used. Probably not. Thanks for the report Chad.