JRF's #47 - My Jakarta by the Jakarta Globe

This book is a collection of 200 + pages of interviews conducted by of anyone and everyone in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia and the world's 2nd largest metropolitan area with more than 28 million souls.

From street buskers to politicians to gay rights leaders to fundamentalist muslims the people and perspectives offered in this collection are as numerous as the islands that make up Indonesia.

This book would be interesting to virtually any reader who has an interest in culture and urban life.  However, since Sarah and I are pursuing a life of work in this city, the information captured in these pages was fascinating and exciting.  It has helped put a face on this overwhelming city.  Many seeds of ideas for opportunities to meet the felt and real needs of these precious people have been planted as a result of reading their stories.

JRF's #33 - The Nudge in My Side: Stories from Indonesia and the Philippines by Bob McCroskey

A friend gave me this book, knowing that we are interested in missions in Indonesia.  Overall its a good book, filled with short stories of God's work in Indonesia and the Philippines.  It was exciting to read about how the Lord has called former Muslims, Animist canibals, and nominal Christians to faithfully proclaim His Good News and plant churches in this "closed" country, often with little to no resources.  It was also informative to read about how vital the pastor's training schools were in these stories.  Reading this has definitely got my wheels spinning about future ministry models. I would probably hesitate to recommend this book to many others however, due to it being a publication of the Church of the Nazarene.  As such, there are many references to unfamiliar traditions, squirelly doctrines, and Finney-esque methods ("holiness" preaching, alabaster offerings?, words from the Lord, accepting Jesus into my heart...etc) that would probably be confusing to some readers.  Also there seems to be no acknowledgement in the stories that there are any other churches, missionaries, or believers in these areas other than those in the Nazarene church, which I know is not the case.




JRF's #23 - City of Dreams by Mark W. Medley

This book is a collection of short reflections, observations, and ancedotes about Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta.  They provide a street-level view of the crowded, gritty, humid urban life of the world's densest metropolitan jungle as seen through the eyes of an expatriate.

Unfortunately, said expatriate is a horrible writer...seriously...really bad.  Virtually every paragraph had misspelled words, missing or inappropriate punctuation, or non-sensical grammar.

Most of the stories were interesting (if you could decipher the grammar), some were crude, many were bizzare, and all were informative.

When read through a missiological lens, there is much to chew on in this quick read.

But someone needs to send this in for a re-edit.