I can still remember the day she first shared her dream with me.
Crystal had been serving and attending school in the inner city of San Francisco while I was on the other side of the country working through my college degree. It was hard to be away from my best friend, but I took comfort that we were at least in the same country and, thanks to a then recent phenomenon called the internet and email, we stayed easily connected. There was also the fact that I was sure to see her at least every Christmas and summer break. I found this difficult, but doable. I took some sort of solace in the fact that we were only separated by a couple thousand miles, but somewhere deep inside of me I knew it would not be like that forever.
In 2001, she flew out to be at my side as the maid of honor in my wedding. I remember how many conversations and emails we had over the next couple of years, desperately seeking to understand the plans God had for our lives; praying and encouraging each other, sometimes crying, but always seeing each other through everything regardless of the distance.
Then it came, the blow I feared—that we would end up in very different parts of the world. A lump grew in my throat as my dear friend shared her impassioned vision with me of moving to Indonesia to love the people there, to work and to serve in whatever ways God would direct her. My mind quickly sorted through all the possible scenarios, and much to my dismay I tried to dissuade her at first. I knew that as a small child she was a missionary kid in Indonesia for several years, and the love of that country burned with a passion in her. I secretly hoped that this was just a whim of fancy, a fleeting desire to simply visit or something—anything that would not have us spend years apart.
In 2003, after having all of the plans and details for her departure fall into place, my best friend left for Indonesia. Indonesia, land of limited internet access, dirt roads, and gourd wearing tribal natives, now was more than a name I read in the "made by" tags on much of our country's clothing. It was a land that had my very best friend. As the years ticked by and I continued to hear more and more of the work Crystal was doing there, I knew how very selfish I had been. Crystal was receiving opportunities to love and serve in ways that most will never experience, and she never felt she gave up a single thing to do it.
In 2007, I got the phone call from her saying she had found "the one"—a small, lovable Indonesian man named Agustri that I was determined to believe could never be good enough for my dear Crystal. In 2008, Agustri left everything he had ever known to come here to marry his lovely bride. It was my turn to be at her side, to be her matron of honor. I cried like a baby (I admit it) as I watched one of her most precious dreams coming true. She was marrying the man of her dreams. As he knelt down to wash her feet in an act of both humility and service, I was profoundly moved. He was good enough. He was perfect for her. Here were two people willing to leave their native lands—everything they have ever known—to follow their faith in God wherever it led them.
Almost exactly a year later, precious little Ovidah was born, a beautiful marriage of two wonderfully different cultures who has her own very distinct little personality. It has been my personal honor to get to spend the last two years watching Crystal and Agustri's lives unfold while they have been here in the United States. They have faced cultural problems, language barriers, financial strains, and various other uncertainties at every turn; and yet they press on. All too soon, in my heart's opinion, they will be heading back to Indonesia to serve and love the people of Indonesia again. Why? They say it is to share the love of God, to serve without counting the cost, to give all of themselves to help the Indonesian people.
They inspire me. Their love changes me.
Crystal and Agustri, thank you!
If you would like to know more about Crystal and Agustri's ministry or would like to help support them, you can contact them at email@example.com.
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