I sat among famous people this weekend. Now—you don’t know them. You’ve never seen them, and you wouldn’t recognize them if you did. And even most Indonesians here in Tarakan don’t know who they are, probably think they are just ordinary people.
I’ve known some of their names for years. Nelson. Iman. Lelis. I met more of them this weekend—Paulos, Filipus, Ronny.
They live and work and serve among some of the world’s poorest, and certainly most unknown people.
We met together for some training. I sat with them, learning their names and seeing their hearts. We learned from Pak Ronny, who has spent a lifetime serving throughout far flung islands in this archipelago, in places you’ve never heard of, and probably can’t even pronounce.
He knows his stuff, about changing lives, though you won’t ever see a book he’s written on any bestseller lists. And his workshop wouldn’t fill a stadium or be broadcast on a radio station.
But then most of this life here involves things and people and places that are unknown to the rest world, unnoticed by people in the know. Motherhood certainly does that. Living on an island smaller than most people’s towns creates it. Serving people who don’t own computers, don’t speak English and have never left the equator confirms it.
Yet this weekend, I knew I was with people who are doing things that last, for an Audience who is eternal, for a Name not their own. So, I sat and watched and learned, humbled by their importance, challenged by their sacrifices.
photo credit, Christian Haugen