Today was our first day at language school. Morning class and afternoon practice in the community. "Don't walk around Post 7" we have been told numerous times. "There are too many drunks. The white people prefer to drive in cars here."
I had two thoughts. The first was that we
had a problem. Our guest house is in Post 7, we don't have a car, and
we need to practice the language. My second thought was, really? How
will the drunks who live on this hill know the truth and love we proclaim to live in the name of if all of us avoid their neighborhood?
We threw around the idea of walking in Post 7 all last week. Today we
decided to leave all valuables at home in hopes that if we were hassled
by a drunk we wouldn't have anything to give them and they would leave
us alone. We also went walking in the mid afternoon, around the time we
supposed school would be letting out. Hoping that if we avoided the
evening we'd be ok.
My heart is so full. Everyone we met today
was kind, talked with us and helped us with our language learning.
Everyone loved Isaiah. He sat on nearly every motorbike we came across.
We played with a group of children in school field. We spoke with older
women who come from the interior and live in tree houses. What a rich
afternoon. No one hassled us. Everyone welcomed us.
We will go
out again tomorrow. Walking the "don't walk there" neighborhood. I am
not naive. We've been stopped by a drunk previously while driving with
an Indonesian colleague. I know this very well may happen again. We pray
before we go, "Lord, we want to meet the people you have for us to
meet. We want them to know that not all the white people will avoid
them. Thank you for the privilege of walking in Post 7."