Day 8 - TEAMS
After a much needed day of rest and with a couple of team members still feeling a little off colour, today we were given the option to divide into two teams. One team would take a fairly strenuous trip back up into the mountains on motorbikes to visit schools and Corps in the Lindu District, while the other team would stay local visiting Corps and Centres in the Palu area.
Team 1 - Nyoman, Robert and Adam headed off into the mountains, leaving our car at the entrance to Lindu National Park in exchange for motorbikes to continue the journey up the mountain along single tracks through gorgeous tropical forests to Lake Lindu. The track was more narrow than our last adventure into the mountains, but not quite as steep. However, there were a number of landslides along the way showing how vulnerable this thoroughfare is for locals. For such a remote track, there was a considerable amount of motobike traffic taking goods to and from the villages.
Along the way we stopped off at Schools and Corps at Puroo and Tomado. It seems there may have been some mixed messages about where we were to have lunch, so we were treated to lunch twice at Tomado Corps and Langko Corps. While in Tomado, Adam and I were taken for a walk along Lake Lindu, enjoying some stunning views and a bit of history about the area. This area has abundant crops of coffee and cocoa, making it almost heaven!
On our return trip off the mountain we called into Salua Corps with Kindergarten where we stopped for refreshments. The Lieutenants, Jeffrey and Phoebe, were Cadets in Jakarta when visited Jelambar Corps on our last Mission Trip and they remembered meeting us at a combined youth meeting. It was great to be reunited with these lovely people who have such a fresh enthusiasm for their ministry and community. (Team 1 reflection by Robert)
Team 2 - Suni, Vanessa, Steve, Kirsten and Rebekah took a tour around Palu visiting DHQ and Salvationist Supplies (called Haleluya Christian Books & Accessories Store), Palu Corps number 1 & 2 and Palu Girls Home, Woodward Corps which is also a apart of the hospital. It was great to be able to meet the Divisional Commander and Divisional Secretary at DHQ who gave us a very warm welcome.
When we arrived at Palu Corps number 1 it was a pleasant surprise to catch up with the Major and his wife who were in charge at the Bali Boys Home when we visited there for a previous Mission Trip. He remembered us and was surprised at how much Bek had grown up since we had last seen him in 2009.
One of the things that has consistantly stood out to our team is the amount of people that attend the meetings throughout Palu, many of them have anywhere up to 300 people in both their holiness and salvation meetings, and many of the salvation meetings are full of youth which is very encouraging. The other highlight for the team was being able to visit the girls home. There are 56 girls at the home and those who are old enough attend the school in Palu that Nyoman and Suni are the directors of. As we arrived, the girls were coming home from school, each one of them with huge smiles that certainly lit up the room. Each one of them were keen to show us their rooms which held approximately 26 girls in 13 bunk beds.
Woodward Corps was a real contrast, as it is only 12 months old and had been opened by General Cox and was one of only two corps in Palu that has airconditioning. This congregation is made up of some of the nurses and administration staff that work at The Salvation Army hospital which is across the road. (Team 2 reflection by Vanessa)