Barner Christian Academy

May Newsletter

Volume 17, No. 5

Damaged shooping mall on busy street

A SHOPPING MALL IN BANDA ACEH, INDONESIUA WAS FLATTENNED BY THE EARTHQUAKE ON 12/26.


TAPAYA: A GREAT WOMAN OF GOD

The slim dirt path unraveled its crooked beige thread as it wove in and out between trunks of coconut trees and banana plants. As my gaze climbed these living wooden spires up to the night sky, the familiar stars were there: Orion, Big Dipper, and of course my good old friend the moon.

His rays glistened silvery along the graceful fronds that framed the dark sea of black ink. Almost I could imagine its dour face shrouded in respect at the passing of Tapaya, a great, ancient woman of God.

Like sentinels, the troops of trunks stood guard round the above-ground cement poncion which would tomorrow embrace her human frame. A century ago the grandparents of the grandparents of these trees had heard Tapaya’s first baby cries coming from a bamboo hut with only leaves to keep out the elements.

Cannibals and monkeys roamed these hills back then in this part of Mindanao, until WWII, when Tapaya’s oldest child (Elvie’s mom, then a teen) led her to salvation through Jesus Christ. Now, over a hundred descendants gathered to pay their respects. Pastors, church planters, farmers and fishermen.

They had ventured into the bush armed with the prayers of this faithful warrior on her knees. They planted churches with seeds of love and compassion: thousands of believers will one day greet Tapaya in heaven and say thank you. The village itself was named after her. A century from now, should the Lord tarry, travelers will say,

“Take off your shoes, for we now pass through the former home of
a great woman of God.”


YOU KNOW YOU ARE A FILIPINO IF...

...you call a person’s car their “service”


Fishing boat resting on mosque

THE TSUNAMI CRASHED A BOAT RIGHT OVER TREES AND INTO THE SIDE OF A MOSQUE.

COMPASSION: THE HEALING TOUCH

Tears coursed down my cheeks. I shook with sobs as praises to God were voiced by 200 worshippers in the little 2nd floor 10x30 ft room of a cracked building in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. “This is the persecuted church” I thought, “Everyone here takes their lives into their hands daily to live as believers in Jesus Christ.”

Down the street a mall was crumbled from the earthquake. Windows were smashed by the tsunami. But here, worshippers’ joy overflowed in praise to. A day later I visited the United Nations compound.

Outside the tents was an emaciated man who nevertheless carried a certain dignity. “May I give you money?” he asked me, to my amazement. A half-drunk man nearby knew a little English, so he interpreted for me. As his story unfolded, I stood there, awestruck.

The man did not really want to give me money, but to get my attention so he could tell me his story. Here where the tsunami had hit so severely, so many wanted to empty into our hearts their stories of the crisis they had gone through. This man had been the director of a strictly Islamic boarding school in Pidie for all ages, which was demolished by the great waves of 12/26.

“How many students did you have before and after the tsunami?” 300 was his answer. “Was that before or after? “No” was his answer. No…what? How many are in the school now? The interpreter walked away. He glanced back at me and shook his head slowly.

Suddenly tingles rained down from a dark cloud of grief as realization hit home. There was no one left. Not even one. Not one teacher or student. He alone was spared. “I am so sorry,” I consoled, “Not even one?” He hung his head and walked away. Not even one. No, not one. Read my United Nations Pulau Weh report: http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/sumatra/assessments/index.asp

DO YOU HAVE A SPRING PROJECT?

THESE ARE NEEDS THAT WE HAVE TO SUPPLY FOR OUR 2005 BLC CONSTRUCTION:
  • 44 F1 Bulb Sets: $4 each
  • 10 door jambs: $17 each PAID!
  • Fire Escape: $357
  • Home Ec. Room: $4,000
  • Windows/Frames: $2,000
  • Man-Hours (80,000): 25 cents/hr
  • Ventilation Windows: $178
Large group of children in graduation gowns

32 BLC GRADUATES
OF THE CLASS OF 2005 PROUDLY DISPLAY THEIR TASSLES AND DIPLOMAS AT CEREMONY.

IN APPRECIATION…

(upon Angel’s graduation from BLC preschool)

DEAR PASTOR PAUL…

“Next to God and Angel’s sponsor, I would like to thank you Pastor Paul and Elvie for exerting much effort for the education of my daughter, Angel. We’re really thankful, because it is through your sponsorship program that we received salvation.

“Last night I & Jun were discussing/reminiscing our 4 years’ stay in Barner Learning Center and Faith Fellowship Church.

“We’ve been through thick & thin, sadness and laughter; and thank you for being there always.

“Once again, thank you for sponsoring Angel’s education in preschool and in the coming years.

“It’s truly God who will reward your kindness. God bless you.”

-Angel’s Dad & Mom


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Last edited August 22, 2012
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