OUT AND ABOUT
Hello everyone! I’m Andrew Hartono, IFGF Men Global Coordinator and I would like to share with all of you a story from IFGF Men’s recent activity. Our IFGF Men team, together with several other men from IFGF church and non-IFGF went for an overnight camp at Ranu Regulo, East Java. We were delighted to be out and about, and almost everyone wanted to have another IFGF Men Camping.
Just like other events, the success of our camping was due to the meticulous planning by the team. Based on our experience, the team prepared delicious food, enough stove, flavourful coffee, tents & mattresses to rest on.
Everything was well prepared for the day. Our campsite is located on a mountain so off we went with 5 4×4 off road vehicles to reach the location. However, along the way one of our cars had an issue which pushed us to do a detour. We had lunch while waiting for a replacement car to come from Surabaya. Afterwards, we continued our way to the campsite.
Our campsite had the most beautiful view and we were amazed to see God’s creation. The lake, located on a mountain, was serene and peaceful, calming and lush. Everyone retreated from the business of the city, work and daily challenges we’re facing everyday. We were able to relax and open up to each other with honest and entertaining talks.
Apart from the fun, we faced challenging weather which wasn’t expected. We had to spend 2-3 hours making a fire for cooking and warming up. That night temperature was 9-10*C rather than 16*C that we expected. It then dropped to 4-6*C overnight. We weren’t ready but still, when morning came we were greeted with beautiful fog over the lake. A scenery that can’t be found at home.
The camping was only 1 night but there are some lessons that I learnt. First, reality can be different from our plan. Obviously it can ruin the program that we’ve planned and the goal that we want to have. However, being in a positive group will make a difference as everyone tries to solve the issue and it makes the problem seem small. I remember this saying, “Imagine what we can achieve together when no one cares about the award.” This is exactly what we experienced during the camp. A broken car, extreme weather, and fire issue, all those were the little things on our camp. They became special memories for us as we are now trained better for the future.
I think if one of the issues happened on my solo trip, I would just head home right away. However because I was with other men who were working to solve the issues rather than grumbling, everything was solved well. Moreover, that night in late July was when shooting stars could be seen clearly. As if a reward for all of us.
The second thing I learnt that night was the start of communication. Some of the participants haven’t been going to church or even never going to church. But that night we were able to chat about life, marriages, relationships and other things. New doors opened and discipleship happened. I remember how on the first session of IFGF Conference, Ps. Sam Hartanto reminded us to never despise humble beginnings. Our IFGF Men Camp was only for 1 night, but from that night we might see the continuation of the Holy Spirit’s work, discipleship and positive stories.
Thus, this is why I titled this article “Out & About”. As men, we are not created for ourselves. When Adam was created, God gave power and authority for Adam to rule over the earth and give names to the animals. It is our calling as men to go out of our comfort zone, to retreat from our business and go back to nature because nature is where we build our manly instinct. Then later we will be able to fulfill our calling in The Great Commission.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
Discipleship doesn’t only happen in church, but should happen outside of church where people could see Jesus in our lives. This could be seen in our relationship with our wives, how we conduct business and career, and also in ministry. I believe each of us will find where we are called in for discipleship because our lives are not our own, but for others and the glory of Jesus’ name.
I would like to encourage you, brothers, to get out of your comfort zone, surrounded by mentors and friends, to face new challenges that can be discussed and solved well, and in the end to share your valuable testimonies with your community. Stay healthy, stay strong and God bless!
Source : Andrew Hartono (IFGF Men Global Coordinator)