We had recently celebrated with our Indonesian Cultural community during the Indonesian Independence Day, on a crisp night in August.
People were welcomed with the sight of a steaming bowl of mie bakso, a comforting Indonesian street food dish with soup, noodles, and meatballs. Volunteers had lovingly organised, with army-like precision, the dozens of bowls stacked up ready to pour the fragrant broth on one table, and a selection of sambal and kecap manis on another.
As we entered the room, the sounds of famous folk songs were sung by a team of our Indonesian students from Hillsong College. The crowd became particularly excited when they heard the familiar refrain of “Manuk dadali” and sang and clapped along.
Different Indonesian cultural groups were represented: from Jakarta to Surabaya to Bali, with people dressed in their batik (famous Indonesian textile).
Just after supper we had a welcome note from our Cultural Pastor, Kim Brinsden, who greeted us
“Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan (Happy Independence Day)”.
“Hillsong Church is a multicultural church – you belong here” she reminded us.
We then played a game of kerupuk hung up on a string, with the participants racing each other on who can eat their kerupuk the fastest. And after two rounds of highly competitive eating, the winner was awarded….a with almost a year’s worth of kerupuk!
The night ended with dessert and new friendships formed. How powerful it is when people gather together in community, to raise up the name of Jesus – in every language.