Indonesia 2013: Following Jesus and Waging Peace

Over 19 amazing days in September and October, two American pastor friends and I followed Jesus to Indonesia. Here is our story:

A Message for Our American Friends

So many of our friends invest in our work through feverish prayer and generous giving and persistent encouragement. Carrie and I want you to know that we are so very grateful for you, for your evident love for God, and for your incredible kindness to us. Your love and prayers and generosity make our work possible, and we give thanks to God for you.

A Message for Our Indonesian Friends

I also want to thank all our friends in Indonesia--both Muslim and Christian. Some we have known since 2005, when our young family lived in Sumatra for a year. Others I just met last month. Regardless, I want you to know that I receive you and your friendship as gifts from God. I am thrilled about the ways we have been able to work together already, and I look forward to discovering with you many more ways and reasons to work together for the good of humanity and for the glory of God.

You are university presidents and students and professors. You are imams and pastors and pastry makers. Most importantly to me, you are my friends, and I thank you. 

Thank you for hosting Papy, Ryan, and me and for loving us lavishly. Thank you for taking risks and making sacrifices for the cause of peace. Thank you for trusting me enough to put us before audiences who could easily feel threatened by American Evangelical presenters. Thank you for your over-the-top encouraging responses to our messages and for inviting us to coffee and meals and impromptu gatherings to discuss the most important matters of the heart. And thank you for the multiple invitations to return to speak again in multiple Indonesian cities. 

My answer is "YES, let's schedule it, because I cannot wait to see where God takes us next as partners for peace!"

A Message for My Pastor Mates

Papy Fisher (Journey Coach Pastor at Fellowship of Christ in Cary, North Carolina) and Ryan, you two are all that's right with the church in America. You love God uncompromisingly, and you love people with ridiculous passion. You are humble servant-leaders who put the interests of others first and consider others better than yourselves. You pour out your hearts and lives in order to pour life into others. 

I am consistently and gratefully on the receiving end of your love, and I loved serving with you in Indonesia. You guys make me better and more whole, and I thank God for giving me friends and partners in the Gospel such as you! 

And mad props to Papy for the photos in the montage above!! Thanks, bro!