This past week we have been reading up on where we are going. We had a general idea of where we were going, what religion is most prevalent, what the weather is, etc. But we finally had a chance to sit down and read through how Indonesia was founded, who occupied it first, how religion was spread, what grows there…the stuff you learn about when you are about to visit. It has been interesting and I thought I would share a bit with you.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago. What the heck is an archipelago?!? An archipelago is a group of many islands. Indonesia is made up of 17,500 islands of different sizes. Indonesia has more than 400 volcanos, but only 100 are still active. It is home to creatures such as elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, monkeys, Komodo dragons, cobras and many more. (I am sure that there will be no cockroaches or mice, though!)
Indonesia is one of the most heavily populated nations in the world. More than 231 million people live on the islands. There are hundreds of ethnic groups spread throughout the nation, each with their own customs and beliefs. 88% of the population is Muslim (making Indonesia the largest Muslim country in the world); Buddhism and Hinduism make up about another 10% of the population with Christianity being about 2% of the population. There are many Muslim mosques, Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines and Catholic/Protestant churches.
And the weather…I would hate to cause envy in my dear friends, so we will skip the lesson on what we have learned about the weather. Let’s just say that it is not similar to Wisconsin.
Our route tomorrow starts in Madison-Chicago-Tokyo-Jakarta-Kalimantan. Our travel time will be 46 hours with flying time being 37 hours. We depart Madison at 10 am on Wednesday and arrive in Kalimantan, on Indonesian time, Friday morning at 8 am.
We are so thankful for the love shown to each of us through my Dad’s surgeries this past month. We have been prayerful in making our plans, but allowing God to direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9). The Jehovah-Rapha, the great healer, has brought my Dad through…praise God! My parents will be recovering here in Madison at our home while we are gone.
Our excitement is building! We have gotten the head knowledge and now look forward to experiencing Indonesia! Pray however you feel led for our family…we need it!