My cart is full and my weekly shopping is done for another week. Now it’s time to head to the check-out line. Sometimes this is the hardest part of shopping. I push to the cashier and start unloading. No big conveyor belts here that carry your stuff to the pack up area; it just piles up there for all to see. I look back at the person standing behind me and see she is holding one or two items, and my face grows warm with embarrassment. This is not the first time this has happened. I just want to quickly pack up and get home where eyes are not watching. I have so much to learn about daily living surrounded by poverty.


Most people here shop daily to get enough for one day. Since many live without electricity or refrigerators, it is not worth it to buy for more than one day; and many don’t have enough money for more than just one day.

The memory of checking out at the grocery story makes me think about how I sometimes “stockpile for security.” Instead of trusting God for the day in front of me, I worry about the future and try to plan for things that are out of my control. Will the kids be OK after moving so much? What will furlough be like? Where will we live when we retire?

The grocery line is a good reminder to me to be thankful for what I have from the Lord—for one day, and every day. He is my security and my Hope. He is enough.

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.”   Job 11:18



  • Audrey Schmidt (Good Shepherd Church) says:

    Hi Debbie, Thinking of you all and keeping you in our prayers. Thank you again for your sweet weekly messages to keep us up to date with life in Papua. Thank you for your honesty…it makes you so real to us and our prayers for you specific. Praying that your “final” move (for now) goes smoothly and that you will be able to settle in quickly. Also, we hope that you are able to enjoy a type of Thanksgiving celebration there with other missionaries. I know this is a hard time of year as memories of past celebrations come to mind. Trusting that you will sense God’s comfort and peace. We are looking forward to seeing your folks soon as they make their trek to Florida. I have missed your mom’s presence in our ladies prayer group each week. And too, we enjoy lunch together often after church on Sundays when they are here. They are special.

    May the joy of the Lord be your strength!

    Hugs and prayers, Audrey

  • Lud & Karen Scholten & Family says:

    Chris & Debbie, we pray for you always and are so proud of the work you do in Indonesia. We know it can’t be easy to be away from home so much of the time but always love to read your emails and catch up on what you are doing. God bless you and your family! And thanks for taking the time to visit at Harlem Reformed Church!

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