Dear lurking lurkers,
Today is the 8th day of my Daniel Fast challenge. Today I woke up early, despite the fact that I went to bed really late. Maybe it is because the sun is coming up earlier or maybe it is due to the fact that I follow the strict diet that is part of the Daniel Fast. I don’t know, really. I just wake up less tired than I usually do.
For breakfast I had a cup of boiled water and a cucumber salad. Then at lunchtime I had myself a steamed sweet potato. I was also practicing some tunes for next week’s service and forgot the sweet potato was still on the stove. They were not burnt but tasted a little smokey, though.
It is Monday. Lots of people detest this day like the plague. I too was one of those people who just couldn’t stand the thought of having to wake up on another Monday. There are several blog posts in this incoherent rambling filled yada yada blog dedicated on how much I wasn’t liking Monday.
But since I have lots of stuff to do in the weekend and not that much on Mondays, I actually have come to enjoy this day of the week. I get to sleep out on this day. I get to relax on this day. I get to just hang with Droppie Rabbit on the couch, playing my favorite tunes loud and clear for the entire neighborhood to hear. I get to chill out in the backyard, which is especially nice now that the sun is shedding its rays more often. For me, the Monday has become a day of rest. A day to regenerate. And thus to I’ve come to the conclusion that Mondays just aren’t that bad, really.
Sunday was church day. Aside from being part of the worship team of my small Indonesian church in Amsterdam, I also sing in a vocal group with a few church members. We usually just perform in our small Indonesian church. But sometimes we get invited by other churches to perform there too. This Sunday, our vocal group was invited to sing at a special Indonesian themed event at a Protestant church in the northern parts of the land of wooden shoes.
Their service would start at 10.00 in the morning and it takes about 2 hours by car to get there. We were supposed to show up fully dressed in traditional Indonesian clothes. Since getting into a dress like that is quite a hassle. My outfit looked a little like the one in the picture, except the kebaya [blouse] was brown with longer sleeves. The skirt is very tight fitted
So that Sunday I woke up at about 5:30 for morning prayer, took a shower and then hoisted myself into my traditional Indonesian dress. I had just finished my make-up when I could hear the doorbell ring by 8.00 in the morning. A few of my fellow group members picked me up with their car to head to the northern parts. It was quite a hassle to tiptoe my way to the car as fast as I could and getting into the car with my outfit. The drive to the church was fun with sunshine and happy tunes playing on the radio.
At about 9:50 we arrived at the church in the northern parts of the land of windmills. The church was kind of hidden in an alley between two local shops.We parked the car and tiptoed our way to the church, with people oogling us because how often do you get to see ladies dressed in Indonesian Kebaya on a Sunday morning in a typical village in the land of wooden shoes? Apparently not often. Once we entered, we were greeted by several Dutch older folks. They complimented us for our nice outfits and showed us to our seats, which was near the stage.
We weren’t the only vocal group to sing at the church in the northern parts of the land of wooden shoes. There were several other Indonesian vocal groups and musicians that had gathered at this special event too. Two of which have often performed at our own small Indonesian church in Amsterdam.
On the stage stood 4 traditional Menadonese kolintang, which are basically large xylophones. The service started with a traditional Protestant hymn that were sung accompanied with the tropical and funky sounds of these instruments.
The other performing vocal groups were all very impressive. Some sang Indonesian songs, others sang English songs. There was also a Dutch poet who wrote an interesting poem about the days before for Easter. He only read parts of it and said he would read more of his poem as the day of Easter Celebration comes closer.
Then it was time for my vocal group to sing. We stumbled our ways to the stage. There were 4 solo bits in the song we would sing, of which one was mine to sing. There was only one microphone so we just had to make sure we would sing loud enough for the people in the back to hear. People apparently liked our performance, because as soon as we were done they clapped and cheered and asked us to do a two more songs. It was an overwhelming response.
After our singing, the female preacher who was of Indonesian origin took the stage to preach. It was a preach about fasting and devotion. Which was to me quite funny because I am fasting myself. Apparently the female preacher was too. Her words were very empowering and encouraging. The sermon was enclosed with one more performance by another vocal group who sang a traditional Indonesian hymn accompanied with the kolintang.
Altogether the entire service took no longer than an hour. That is pretty impressive, considering that there were quite a lot of vocal groups performing at the church in the northern parts of the land of windmills.
After the service we were invited to stay for lunch. The men with the kolintang decided to give another show while everyone was enjoying their meal and chitchatting about the service and other things.
If it were up to me, I would’ve gone to Amsterdam straight away. My own church would have a service too in the afternoon and since it is a 2 hour drive, I did not want to waste too much time. Besides that, there was hardly anything available that I could eat. Especially after hearing the words of the female preacher about fasting.
I figured to just thank kindly for the food without eating anything and go outside for a little fresh air. Just when I thanked the kitchen staff, they showed me a crate of mandarins. What a blessing! I filled my bottle with water and took a few mandarins for in my purse and headed outside. The sun shining brightly over the alley where the Protestant church was hidden, which was a nice treat. But the others were hungry so I had to wait for them to finish their food. And they like to eat, they eat a lot.
Once everyone finally had eaten their meals, with every now and then asking “why are you not eating girl, you should eat something”, we thanked the Protestant church in the north and headed our way back to Amsterdam. We arrived straight on time in our own church, where the worship team and I could sing some more.
We also had choir practice later that Sunday after service, because of Easter. And band practice for the next Sunday. And after that a meeting with the staff about the future developments of our small Indonesian church in Amsterdam. It was about 2.00 in the morning when we got home after church.
Yup, a full Sunday it was. A good Sunday it was. Now, I am very glad to have a lazy Monday. I will boil myself some water and sit in the sun in my backyard for a while. If you had the patience to read through all this and came to this ending, then thank you for reading.
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