Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 28 Photos - 5

Semarang Chapel.  We went to church on Sunday, 25 March (Maret).  We had been meaning to get to Semarang since last October, but the car situation and other pressing issues kept us from going.  They really wanted us to come, and at the District Leadership Meeting, I had no fewer than three people ask us if we coming on Sunday!  Here are photos of the building and some of the members.  Oh, the building is right in the midle of Semarang, a large seaport city.  The building next door is a large shopping mall.

This building houses the chapel now - it was the second phase.


This was the first phase.  It is now all classrooms and the "cultural hall".

The landscaping.


President Immanuel Barsuki on the right and his counselors.

Branch Council + Full-time Missionaries

Week 28 Photos - 4

Thank you to the Stake! (Harrisburg, PA)  We're not sure what the activity was, but we really appreciated the "Card."

[editor's note: The occasion was  a stake youth activity/dance. "Cards" like these were made and sent to the many missionaries serving from the Harrisburg, PA Stake.]

Week 28 Photos - 3

Friday was a holiday before the Hindu New Year on Saturday, so everyone had a day off. Then how about a meeting!?!  This is the District Leadership Meeting.  Tha's President Catur on the phone.  He's the fellow who got us our car.  He is Branch President of the Barat Branch.

Here is our Mission President, President George Groberg and his wife Bonnie.

President Agus Sutadi, the District President.

This is the Jogja Branch, with President Jusuf Budiman Suhardi and his branch leadership doing a branch council roleplay.

Week 28 Photos - 2

On the way from Ampel to Boyolali Kota (City) we stopped for lunch at a Javanese fast food place (as Bono calls them).  Cafe Eat Tegal.  That's the Musak seated at the front door.

Here's the band.  Please note that's a small cello being played like a guitar.  They were playing a traditional type of Javanese music - the name of which I can't remember.

Ok, how about some lunch.  Choose from a large variety!  Oh, and it all goes on rice!  Serving area.

Front of Serving area.

Cooks and wait staff.  A little camera shy!?!

Just enjoying lunch.  Kowo, Sister Greenway's head, Elder Meredith, Sister Meredith, Bono, Sutarno, and Sister Kepler sipping her water.

Saying our farewells.  The Merediths are going home April 11, 2012..

Week 28 Photos - 1

On Thursday, the 22nd, we drove up to Ampel (Boyolali County) to document the water project progress and to meet up with the Merediths, Seiters, and Keplers.  The reservoir is being allowed to cure before filling.  They ran a second 5-inch line from the water source (you can see it split off in one of the photos).

The roof in on the tank and is still being supported in part by bamboo scaffolding inside while the cement cures.  So now you've seen the reservoir being built from start to finish (almost).

Here is (L to R) Kowo, Ismun, Sister Seiters, Elder Seiters, Elder Meredith and Sister Meredith.  The tank is above Kowo's head.  Kowo is a member from Jakarta.  He supervises in Sutarno's absence.  Ismun was the foreman of the reservoir.

Week 28

Well, Hello Everybody!

Let me just say that it is soooo good to hear from many of you. We are grateful because we love you and love to hear about your families, and about your world.

Our world was a bit skeewampus this week, but nevertheless we managed to get a bunch accomplished. But I have to tell you that nothing can compare to the news that it is official...The Surakarta District is to become a STAKE on April 29, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The second in all of Indonesia, and we are here, and we feel so full of gratitude for so many who have worked so hard to help this come about. It is a joyous, joyous moment in the lives of the members here. So the rest of the letter is just stuff compared to this news!!!

However, before we knew about the Stake being formed, Pres. Agus, the District Pres. asked if I would organize a choir for District Conference. I told him of course, and would it be alright if we had 2 choirs -  one general choir and then a youth choir. He was very excited. So I began pouring over all the music I brought, and found two pieces that I think will work. So I then had to find two accompanists.

The general choir will sing a song arranged by a past Stake Pres. in PA., Jon Meilstrup. It combines "He Sent His Son and I Stand All Amazed" and it is simple enough to do but gorgeous. The Youth piece is a combination of "Teach Me to Walk In His Light / True to the Faith / and We'll Bring the World His Truth" that I arranged quite a while ago. So, I asked Widap to play for the General Choir (she panics at the thought, but said yes) and Yos to play the harder of the two, for the youth. He just attacks the songs and will be great! My hope is that I can teach the music and then get two conductors that are not me. We start practices this next Saturday.

We spent the beginning of the week letting me arrange music and getting it ready to use, then we went visiting a whole slew of elderly members of a couple of the branches. We visited grammas of piano students, a member that was baptized by our Mission Pres. when he was a missionary here sometime around 1972. We visited one elderly couple who are taking care of two grandchildren while their parents work out of town, and for the first time in Indonesia, those two (ages 7 and 5) crawled on our laps and snuggled on their own. We were in Heaven!!! Usually, they are afraid of our "whiteness", but these two.... It was wonderful for two grandparents who really miss their grandchildren. We had some marvelous days. We also went with the Jebres Elders visiting a less active sister whose son works in Jakarta at the Mission Home. She was so nice, and sent her two sons to buy us each a cold Sprite. In Indonesia, they come in glass bottles, icy cold, just like the old days in the U.S.

Thursday we met up with the Meridiths at the Boyalali / Ampel water projects. They are the Humanitarian Missionaries who are about to go home. They are checking on their projects, and we were happy to spend some time with them. The huge reservoir workers have been working on for a long time is 99 per cent complete. It is amazing!!! We enjoy our time at these projects, and I had taken cookies for everyone. It was so fun, the plastic container with cookies, just disappeared. It was passed around the work site, then went on down the hill to the villagers. But in the end, I found it in the car when we went to leave.

Elder Greenway took some great pictures, however he missed the one from when we were going up the mountain. We came around a curve, and there were two fathers with their sons (we suppose) carrying a huge dead monkey dangling from a pole resting on each man's shoulder, just like an old Tarzan movie. They were also carrying bows and arrows, and huge, huge smiles. We had already passed before we could react. Bono had just finished telling us that there are no more monkeys low on the mountain, only up high. We of course wondered how high the men went to get there dinner. Sorry about the picture, it would have been a shocker.

Friday was District Leadership Meeting. In Indonesia, March (or Maret here) 23rd is the Hindu New Year. In Bali, everything absolutely stops! But in Central Java it is a big celebration. So everyone has the day off. Hence, District Leadership on a Friday. It began at 10:00 am. and ended a 3:00 p.m. Pres. and Sister Groberg were here, and we enjoyed the meetings. The morning was spent teaching the leaders, then they served an Indonesian lunch. Bakso (a meatball soup), barbecue chicken (Indonesian style) with peanut sauce, tofu, and tempe. In the afternoon, each branch role-played a branch council. That is 7 branches, but they have really taken the Rescue Program seriously here, and the Pres. wanted them to be able to get ideas from each other. Elder Greenway can be proud - they have really stepped up and accepted the program, and are finding their Sacrament meeting attendance rising.

But that's not all... At 3:00, they had a District Young Women in Excellence. I need to explain that Samerang and Jogja have to rent buses for District meetings. So the girls came on buses, waited all day, and then had their meeting. I was honored to play for them to sing. You would have had goose bumps hearing them sing "Guardians of Virtue" a pretty new song from the General YW. Sweet Ron had to turn pages for me, so you hear too much piano on his recording. It was marvelous. All of the leaders waited while the girls had their meeting, until 5 p.m, and then finally they started the 2 or 3 hours for home. Dedication, Consecration, Sacrifice...

Saturday, Elder Greenway and Bono took Pres. and Sister Groberg to Jogja. Elder Greenway also wanted to meet with Mike Allen, the wheelchair man. I stayed home and made sloppy joes, banana bread, and got the makings of 4 cookie recipes ready for the YSAs . They met at 5 p.m. and made 4 kinds of cookies for a fireside to be held Sunday at Kapatihan, plus played UNO, which Elder Greenway found out that there are the rules the world plays and then there are the Indonesian rules. Quite frankly, they cheat. But it was great fun, and we made a ton of cookies. For many it was a first, and they were thrilled.

I had also put a picnic together on Sat. because we left a 5:45 a.m on Sunday for Samerang about 2 1/2 hours away. It was their Branch Council and we also needed to visit the Elders and inspect their apartment. Most of the Branches serve an Indonesian box lunch before council meetings, but we never know, so we pack a lunch just in case. We try to pack enough for the Elders, so today it was egg salad, chips, carrot sticks, candy, etc. They don't have lunch meat here so the choices are limited. We had a good visit with the Elders, and got to know the people of the Samerang Branch better. We will be going more often now.

When we had no car, Bono was worried about being paid while not working. We warned him that when we got the car, we would make up for lost time. We are keeping him busy now. He is one of the most honorable, fun, dedicated, caring people I have ever met. We are lucky to know him.

I think that hits all the highlights. We feel it is such an honor to work among these great people. They take the Gospel seriously, and are teachable and humble. We learn so much from them every day. We hope you can tell how we love them.

Take care of each other, happily
Elder and Sister Greenway

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 27 Photos - 1

Here we are in Wonogiri, southeast of Solo.  We are at the community's office of social services, which is actually a typical Javanese, open-air pavilion. 

This is the one chair that was special ordered for a child with a unique diagnosis.  This Event was organized by that child's father, Heru Setiyono.

And here is little Hanung Mahes Pratama.  He is 2 1/2 years old and has hydrocephalus.  This is the first safe mode of transport he has ever had.  He has either been carried by his mother or grandmother, or placed in a cart that I was told was extremely unsafe.  Hanung is severly mentally disabled and cannot blink, but seems to respond to love and gentleness.  His mother was able to get him to smile for a photo.  He seemed to be really comfortable.

This woman has severe cerebral palsy (CP).  Her mother passed away a while ago and her father is her only caregiver.  I was told she "never" gets out of her home.   She seemed to like being in a comfortable chair.  Remember, these are customized to fit each patient; then they are fine-tuned at the fitting.  What is remarkable is that her chair-back was broken, so the therapists (Sarwani, Gilang, and Puryoko) took a part from a chair they brought along just for parts, and made the repair/replacement on the spot.

Here is Sarwni, PT, working on a chair and in the background is Damai, one of the UCP (United Cerrebral Palsy) administrators.  Michael Allen is the Director (from California with his wife Laurie), here in Indonesia for another 2 years.  They have offices at the factory where the chairs are produced.  The Church has authorized funds for another 5,000 chairs for Indonesia.

Here are a few more of the kids we served at one of four venues during this trip to Wonogiri.

Week 27 Photos - 2

Here Gilang, PT, is demonstrating to the parents how to navigate stairs, etc., with the wheelchairs.  The provided individualized care and instruction as to how to seat their child and properly and safely transport them in their new chairs.  Again, none of these clients has ever had a wheelchair prior to this visit.

Here is a mom wearing a typical baby sling, and her son in his new wheels.  For those wondering, a nominal charge is assessed to each family for the wheelchair/fitting/instruction - less than the equivelant of $5.00 USD.

Many adults were also served during this day of visits:  a fractured neck caused by a fall from a coconut tree, polio, stroke, and a fellow with multiple amputations of unknown origin (I suspected arrested leprosy).

The wooden "platform" and the worn flip-flop located on the floor under his foot piece was his mode of transport.  He placed the platform under his left hip, the flip-flop on his left hand, and pulled the platform forward as he lifted his hips with the left hand.  He will continue to use this mode of transportation when he has to beg on the streets to "earn his money."

I have many more photos, but this gives you an idea about what the needs are in this area.

Week 27

Selamat Malam Terekasih Keluarga dan Teman-teman,

This has been an unusual week. So I am starting this letter, but Elder Greenway will finish. He had a very unusual experience that only he can tell you about.

We did start the week with our favorite activity. We went visiting less active members with Bono, our driver. Last week as we were visiting we ran into a member whose vocation is Taxi Driver. We were saying good-bye to one family and he happened to stop next door in his taxi. His name is Setyio, and so we waved and said hello. But when we got in our car, Bono told us that his wife was "long time not active". So on Monday we "dropped by". She runs a small food shop, and she does sewing in her home for a near-by factory. She was very cordial and told us about her family, but I could tell there were problems that we did not know about. So we will have to figure that one out.

Our next visit started out to be with the father of one of the first people we were introduced to here. Arif is a young father, a return missionary, married to Yanni and the father of Angel. Bono took us to meet Arif's father, but first we ended up next door at the home of his uncle, Sriyadi, his cousin, Maria and her husband, Bowo who live there also. Bowo cuts fabric at a sewing factory while attending pharmacy school. I left with 2 Indonesian tee shirts (sort of). They are all active, but so kind and it was a joy to spend that time with them.

Then we went to see Arif's father, Suyanto. It was hard to imagine Arif growing up in the home. It was very similar to a small old Utah barn, with a dirt floor and ample ventilation through the boards and roof. I was reminded for the umpteenth time that we have no clue how many in the world live. He is a delightful, super friendly man, and I was so glad to tell Arif we met his father, uncle, and cousins, and Arif was happy we went. That of course made it especially worthwhile.

Also, Pres. Agus, the District President, SMS (texted) us and asked if I would organize a District Choir for the upcoming District conference! Sure??????!!!! They would like 2 songs during the main session on Sunday morning. So of course my brain started whirling about the way it does when I get an assignment like that. After a couple of days we SMS back and asked if the Youth could do one song and the Adults another. He was thrilled. So I will be preparing one song in Indonesian, and the other in English. Pres. Groberg and Elder Subandryio also let us know this week of a new goal to have all the young Indonesian members become proficient in English. So there will probably be branch English classes. Hence, the adults will be singing in Indonesian, but the youth will be singing in English. I will get things started, but I would really like to have members direct and play. I have the pianists, I will see about the directors.

Anyway, that leads me to why Elder Greenway had his wonderful experience without me. He took off with Bono on Thursday to Wonogiri (about 2 hours up into the hills) to work with United Cerebral Palsy to fit wheelchairs to people in villages there. I stayed here, looked over all my music, did some arrangements, and messed around on a keyboard much of the day until I pulled some music together that I thought would work with my limited Indonesian teaching members with limited English, and some with no English. Trust me, his experience was far better than mine. So I told him that he needed to be the one to tell you about it. He also took pictures. Some are difficult to look at, but I will let him tell you about them.

OK - I have been commanded to keep the plates and engrave a partial history of our sojourn in the land of Wonogiri. As I begin this report, I want you all to remember what Sister Greenway and I have noted in previous letters, and we do not mean to sound condescending - it is just our observation that much of Indonesia could be compared with the USA in the 1950s and early 1960s in so far as everyday modern conveniences and medical care.

On Thursday, I had arranged to travel to the area of Wonogiri which is south and east of Solo. On the Sunday before, when I was in Jogja, one of the things I was able to do was to meet with Michael Allen, the UCP country director. I had met him earlier when we were here for the visit of Dr. Russell, the eye surgeon from the University of Iowa. During this meeting he told me that his team was going to be in Wonogiri, which is about 1 hour from Solo. They were going to be in the area for Weds., Thurs., and Friday. As it turned out I was able to join them on Thursday. Bono and I left early in the morning and were on site at 9:30 am. If you remember, the church provides the majority of the cost of the manufacturing of the chairs; and UCP and US Aid covers administrative and other costs.

The team and the truckload of chairs were there and ready to go. The team consisted of Damai: she was the paper-work part of the team; three physical therapists: Sarwani, Gilang, and Puryoko; and then several drivers and heavy-lifters. The first client we met was a middle-aged woman with severe Cerebral Palsy. Her mother has passed away and her father provided all of her care. However, she rarely got out of her dwelling because her father could not lift her and had no other means of transport. We provided her first wheelchair.

I'll mention here that these are not your every-day, off-the-shelf wheelchairs you can find in any Rite-Aid. All chairs are custom measured and fit to each individual. The team had been to the area several weeks before to take measurements and then spent the interim prepping all of the chairs that were provided during this three-day visit.

The next chair was a special custom model that the therapists were able to obtain and adapt for a 2 1/2 year old little boy with hydrocephalus. His only means of transport was his mother and grandmother who carried him with great effort. They had a "cart" in the past, but it was too dangerous for his use. We then headed up the mountain to a village where the team set up and trained children and families of about eight kids with CP, and one adult who could move about with a flip-flop on his left hand and pulling along his left foot with his right hand, all while in a complete squat. I hope you can picture what squatting is: a typical resting position in Asia.

Our next stop further into the mountains around Wonogiri, was in a village where we saw nearly all adults. These included folks with strokes, spinal injuries, and one fellow who I am guessing had either multiple amputations, a peripheral vascular problem or arrested leprosy. Again, we were providing the first wheelchairs they had ever had. I ran out of day and Bono and I had to return to Solo. However, once again, I remind you of the "era" in which we find ourselves. Some may ask, why was this allowed to happen. Well, it just does and there is no recourse for those involved.

[Consider] your un-numbered blessings and realized you have brothers and sisters who are much less fortunate by US standards and that the Lord's church is doing much to alleviate the hardships in less developed countries; whether it be wheelchairs, eye surgery, cleft pallet, clean water or artificial limbs. As I participated I had cause to remember Alma 7:11.

I therefore end my writing upon these plates.

We love the Lord's work and feel ever so blessed to have been given this opportunity. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in its restored fullness is true. May each of us continue in our own conversion process. In spite of all we may think - these wonderful children of God are full of hope and happiness.

Elder and Sister Greenway

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Blog - Emily

Ok, as everyone knows (or if not they will soon), I am trying to get a small business going.  I am calling it Curlytop Quilts (wonder where that came from?).  Anyway,  I now have a seperate blog dedicated to this little venture.  Click on the name above and it will take you to my site!!  I would love feedback, comments, criticism etc.  Just be nice!!

Week 26 Photos - 3

Here are more pictures from the King's Palace here in Surakarta - a few artifacts.

This is the coronation parasol from China.  No, it is not in any kind of protection.

Two coronation carriages. Notice they are sitting on an exposed porch.

These are dowery chests.  Yes - we could touch them if we wanted.

And this is the circumcision umbrella.  (Frankly, shade is the last thing I'd be worried about!!!!)

And this is a special plate that apparently would change color if the food was poisoned

Sister Greenway playing the musically tuned pots.  Oh, did I mention that the plate and these pots are gifts from the MING Dynasty!!!!  I would guess we saw no fewer than 12 -15 Ming artifacts.

Week 26 Photos - 2

Here is a set of pictures from the King's Palace here in Surakarta.  In 1945, or so the King was stripped of political power - and any tax revenue.  The current king, #13 in the line, has a job and only one wife and his kids go to public school.

He sand the family still live in the palace, which except for a few ceremonial activities, acts as a museum.  The Tower in the wall of the inner compound.  The guide said you could see the ocean from the top.  Uhhh I don't think so - we can't see it from where we live and we are much higher.

Where you officially meet the king.  Note the Victorian Grecian statues.

Same place - straight-on view.  Traditional dances are also performed in this building.  The very openness is very Javanese.

Week 26 Photos - 1

Well, you all know about the break-in at the Elder's apartment.  Well, the President of the mission called and asked me to go over to the apt. and just be there for support.  ABout 10 minutes after I arrived the polisi came.  CSI is the guy in the T-shirt by the gait.  He wrapped his hand in a plastic bag (small sandwich), and put the evidence in another plastic bag (small grocery) then was going to leave it with the elders to bring with them to the station in the morning ... then thought better of it and took it with him.  This photos was taken before another 5 or six officers showed up.

Here are a few of Sister Greenway's piano students.  Ricko.




Almost always a few, up to 5 or 6 at the same time.

This is Kiki.

And let's not forget the YW Choir practice after piano at Kapatihan.