Off to a Birthday Party! (a children's story)

Posted on: 
May 13, 2022

Yesterday a neighbor inquired, “Could you give us a ride to a birthday party an hour away, since you have a van?”

We still don’t know whose party it is, but Dad consented, so now he’s taking out the back seat and spreading our rug for them to sit on. It’s time to go! All dressed up, our family and neighbors spill onto the street. As we all squeeze into the vehicle, some have to stack!

Our faithful van groans out to the main road and picks up more people. Oh, here’s another lady who wants a ride! She is the eighteenth in a car made to hold eight!

“Everyone in?”

Iya, sudah!” Rain sprinkles softly outside, but inside it is cramped and steamy. After what seems like ages we see the party, a house jammed with people of all ages. Will we even fit? I guess somehow there is always room for one more. Or eighteen. We squish into the house and find a little spot. It’s hot in here too!

As we seat ourselves on the floor, we hear about a dozen little children screeching out happy birthday songs in Indonesian. Through a doorway we glimpse a cluster of ladies squatting on the floor cooking a massive meal.

They give us each a bowl of noodle soup (sop mi) and a spoon (sendok). Sitting cross-legged on the floor, we try heroically to not spill broth everywhere. The soup is delicious, so we slurp it up. If the menu had not been noodles, we could have expected rice with a bit of chicken or fish and cooked green leaves. Here people think that if you don’t have a big pile of rice (nasi), it’s not a complete meal. I guess noodles count too.

Next they pass out pieces of cake on tiny, plastic saucers with tiny, plastic forks. The white cake looks very fancy, but it tastes odd, like candlewax.

In the midst of all the hullaballoo sits a small girl of five or six, dressed in stiff, formal clothes. This is a big contrast from her daily clothes which are much like you would see on an average American child, unless she is dressed in her school uniform. Nearby, the corner is filled with packaged sweets, the standard Indonesian birthday gift. It’s her birthday, the poor thing. Whether she likes it or not, she must sit quietly and smile. We hope she’s enjoying it at least a little, because, unless her parents are very rich, she might not get to celebrate her birthday for another five or six years!

—ACS in Indonesia, April 2022

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
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  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10