SoCo Hearts Indonesia 2013

At the end of each day, Ryan, the development project officer of FH, led us to share our Dopes, Nopes and Popes.  The Dope would be something positive happened during the day, the Nope something negative and the Pope is something that we felt God’s presence.

For this one week trip to Indonesia in general, my Dope is definitely the fact that we were able to do everything and more things than we had planned.  There were a lot of plans but somehow, we saw every one of them coming into reality.  We ran Kid’s Club for over 500 kids, finished building the Community Center in Sendayan, built a toilet and provided soap making/sanitation class to more than 100 mothers in 2 villages.

However, since the first day of the trip, the more I spend time in the village, I was overwhelmed.  There were just too many problems on public sanitation.  The reality of the living condition is unspeakable, made me feel like I am just a city boy with no idea on what is out there, fooling around with few bars of soap.  Feeling powerless, great feeling of helplessness made me angry.

And towards the end of the trip, during prayer, there was a whisper in my heart.

“MJ, You’ve seen what I have seen for many years, you’ve heard the cries that I’ve been hearing for many years.  Now I want you to start living a life that I once lived long time ago.”

One of the things I realized since I started Soap Companion is that, we the people are unable to really understand other’s pain and struggle.  We would say, “Oh, I’m sorry, Oh, I know how you feel.” but speaking of the truth, we don’t know S***.  We don’t know unless we go through the same pain, the same struggle.

The sense of empathy.  The capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another being.  Our God demonstrated the greatest sense of empathy by bearing the cross 100 score years ago.  That was the life, His life, the life of true empathy.  No matter where we are, what we are dealing with today, he knows it all.  He knows it all because he went through every and each one of them. He knows it all because he overcame every and each one of them.

So rather than seeing people struggle, rather than knowing the struggle, studying the pain and telling others that there are kids dying out there because they don’t have a bar of soap, he wanted me to live a life, a real life where I can share the struggle and the pain, together.

And I was scared.  I was afraid to respond, because I know I am not ready.

We came back to Seoul on Sunday.  I got home, take a good shower for an hour, took everything from Indonesia to coin laundry and boom, everything is clean.  The smell of Asia, the essence of Asia, they are gone.  But there was still something in my heart that I am not yet ready to respond.

Maybe that’s why I looked so gloomy since Monday besides that watery PMS(Post Missions Syndrome).

“In life, we are measured by the company we keep.  We are ennobled by the work we do, together.”  - Ban Ki-moon, Remarks at the Haiti Earthquake Memorial Ceremony -

This is the quote that held me strong ever since I started Soap Companion.

And this morning, still with the worried, unsettled and burdened mind, while I was preparing the slideshow, I came across this passage.

“Behold, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” -Genesis 28:15 -

Oh, How we long for your presence Lord, and how we long for your promises you’ve made for the land of Sendayan.  PTL.  God bless Sendayan.

August 18~25, 2013
Sendayan, Indonesia

Soap Companion