Written by Kasia Ashwill, 18, after a trip with her family to visit the Indonesia GlobalFingerprints site with Site Coordinator, Rachel Bliss.
Exiting the airplane, I was extremelygrateful for the flowy skirt I was wearing as the weather was warm and decidedly humid. The differences between my chilly home state and this tropical land were larger than just the weather, though. Great big smiles were everywhere on the tanned faces around me, each about 4-9 inches below my own exhausted, yet ecstatic grin. Colorful covered heads bobbed all around us as the women gathered their children and luggage. It did not seem at all rude to stare at the tall, white people standing awkwardly in the center of the tiled room, in fact, it seemed to be a cause for great enjoyment. As we were ushered outside, it appeared to me that we were leaving a “safety zone” in which everything I had previously attributed to life, would be left behind. How right I was! However, I did not realize that it wouldn’t be the country or culture that would cause the greatest astonishment and impact in my life, rather the people I met.
My sister and I went to the mall one day and met a mom and daughter from a small town. We were in a restaurant, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the mother. She was one of the most petite women I have ever seen. Not short by Indonesian standards, but oh so small. You could see the years of starvation in the creases of her withered hands, in the stoop of her shoulders, and her gaunt cheeks. This woman was beautiful, though, I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. Her body was covered head to toe with loose clothing and the usual head covering, a jil-bob. There was not a thing about her that would inspire beauty according to what the world says. Yet there was an intense beauty in her eyes and her mannerisms that caused me to stop and wonder.
The question of beauty stayed with me the longest, and I realized the answer. It is the same answer for why the Indonesian Christians go to the market place and explain who Jesus is over a box of pungent dried fish or spicy red peppers. It’s the reason why the missionaries care so much for the little girl suffering with malnutrition and family problems. And the reason they do not hide in their houses in fear for their physical safety. The answer to my persistent question was simply the truth of who God is. These people had a faith so alive they radiated the love of Jesus. Despite the poverty and poor-health, I saw an alluring grace that was not fading. For though they themselves might be faded, their souls were gaining strength, and it was gorgeous!
Currently there are 2 girls in Indonesia who are in urgent need of a sponsor:
Putri (Child number 310009): a precious 14 year old girl, living with her mother who is working to provide for the family. Putri is responsible for caring for her baby brother and chores at home which prevent her from attending school. She also needs health care for her eyes and teeth. Sponsorship will help with these needs.
Widya (Child number 310001): a shy 15 year old who loves sports and riding her bike. She is in her second year of high school and needs sponsorship support to continue school in order to graduate. She also needs nutritional care.
To sponsor one of these girls or view other children in need of sponsors, please visit www.globalfingerprints.org