Dave Gullett

a miscellanea

Leaving Bali

Hey Everyone,

Helen and I just finished a couple of days of r&r after a long week of debriefing here in Bali. Our time in the villages  was good, but challenging. I hope to share some more about that time in the coming days.

We are headed to Manado this morning to spend some time with Helen’s extended family before returning to Jakarta.

Thank you all again for your prayers, it has ben an amazing summer so far and we are so thankful to God for allowing us to serve Him here

Grace and Peace


“It will always be true that the wisest course for the disciple is always to abide solely by the Word of God in all simplicity.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Its been a long day…

Well, its been a long two days. We have driving through the backside of Borneo on our way to the villages where we will spend the next ten days. 


We are here to help with some reading and storytelling contests in support of literacy development efforts here. While many here learn to read and write in Indonesian during elementary school, they are not taught how to do so in their local dialect, in their heart language. And since it is useless to have a translation that no one can read, literacy efforts here accompany the translating process.


Half of our team has been riding buses since we left the capital city of this province which, while having a comfortable ride, can be a harrowing experience as the drivers are fearless speeding down narrow roads, bouncing over countless potholes and bullying other traffic out of their way. The rest of us have been following the bus in our host’s Dihatsu Rocky 4×4, trying to keep up despite the truck’s age and the crazy traffic and broken roads.


Driving in Indonesia is an interesting experience. Like many other countries around the world traffic flows in the opposite direction from the U.S. Likewise, the driver sits on the opposite side of the car and show shift with the left hand instead of the right. The accelerator, brake and clutch are in the usual order, though the turn signal and wiper arms are reversed.


Our first three days in the city were spent making preparations to go to the village. The team helped prepare the puppets and make an audio recording of the Bible stories in the local dialect. The Bible story puppet shows are meant to begin the process of injecting God’s Word in to the hearts of this people. 


While the team worked on these projects, Helen and I went around town buying the supplies we would need for our time in the villages. While some food and things can be purchased there, the cost is nearly triple of that in the city, so we will be buying most everything here and taking it with us. We will need rice and noodles, canned meats, powdered drink mix to make the boiled water taste better, soap and many other items.


Our shopping trips gave me some much needed practice driving here, as the rules of the road are different and not always even followed. 


The first day on the road to the village was exhausting. Trying to keep up with the bus while holding ones own against the on coming traffic is difficult. The main road out of the capitol in quite narrow, and you pass on coming traffic within inches and have only inches to spare on the edge of the road. With the aggressiveness, speed and size of the oncoming trucks and busses, we are almost ran of the road nearly constantly. Passing slower vehicles is an adventure in itself, there are few if any passing zones, you just wait for a clear opportunity and go.


Defensive driving is a must, and offensive driving is a cultural expectation. Driving in Borneo is no place to be timid on the road. 

The second day on the way to the village was on dirt and gravel and broken pavement. Sometimes at speed, sometimes crawling in four-wheel drive. Across rickety bridges and through mud and water, around blind curves, through palm oil plantations, and dodging more buses and palm oil trucks.


Driving here is in some ways an act of faith. You have to have faith that the other driver will not stray too far out of their lane. You have to have faith that the countless motorcycles around you will not crash into you. Or you into them. You have to trust your vehicle and your skill. And just like life, when the unexpected and unavoidable happens all we can do is our best and trust God for His protection.


We were on the narrow crazy highway just a few hours out of the capital city when we nearly had a major accident. One of the oncoming trucks strayed to far towards us and we had to go of the edge of the road. When our tires got in the berm it threw the back of the truck to the right and we went off the road straight at a couple of people by their parked motorcycles. We missed them and their cycles by mere inches and barely made it back on to the road. 


It is only by God’s grace we didn’t run over them  and wreck ourselves. IT shook all of us up and reminded us that we are truly dependent on the Lord….even when we do our best things are not truly in our hands. We had a few more close calls on the way to the villages, but this was the closest. And for the rest of our time there it was a reminder to me, not only to be careful, but to trust that God was with us no matter what.


We arrived in the village area just after dark on the second day of our drive. Despite a fuel leak, broken exhaust, bad roads, heavy traffic, that close call and those two long days we had arrived where we trusted God wanted us. 


And despite whatever you faced today, or yesterday…you, just like us, have to trust God..that He is with you, that He is for you… wherever you are, no matter what.




Grace and Peace,


Dave, and for Helen


“Elephants. I just want to see elephants”

…says Lauren, or at least something to that effect. And we all wanted to do something together as a team. All of the team members have spent the last two weeks staying with several different homestay families and we haven’t had any time to spend together, just for fun and relaxation.


So we made them a deal. This past Thursday they moved back to the guesthouse to begin to prepare to go to the villages. Thursday was also the final day of Indonesian class, which means a test. A big test. Each test is worth 100 points. There are 9 team members. So we promised them that if they got a combined score of 700 then we would take them to the zoo in the afternoon for some fun together. We thought that the students who learn language more easily would balance those who do not. And they did. They had a combined score of 737. So off to the Ragunan zoo we went. 


It was a lot of fun and though we arrived to late in the day to see the gorillas, Lauren did see the Sumatran elephants, Melissa saw a hippo and we all saw the komodo dragons and Sumatran tigers (which are my favorites). There are birds from all over indonesia, snakes (big snakes), monkeys and baboons and all manner of fish and deer and many other animals. And even from this small zoo it is easy to see the amazing diversity of God’s creation.


While we are here in Jakarta, we try to give the team an exposure to Indonesian national culture, so on Friday we went around Jakarta to visit the National Monument and the National Museum. And for lunch we stopped in at a famous Padang restaurant, one of the first in Jakarta. Padang restaurants are similar to buffets, except that they carry all of the food to you, on plates stacked two or three or four high. the plates fill the table and when you are done, you pay for the dishes you have eaten off of. There was rice (of course) shrimp, goat, beef, cow lung, cow brain, tripe, leafy greens, sambal (chilli sauce), lots of fish, chicken, fruit and a lot more. We all had a delicious meal (well except for the brain…not my favorite) and then headed off back to the guest house.


Saturday was spent packing and in taking care of some last minute shopping for our village trips and for our  “Thank You” dinner we have for all of the host families. In honor of the Fourth of July and Canada Day (yep they have a day too ;) we had hotdogs and hamburgers. Most of the host families were able to come and we all had a great time of fellowship during or last evening before leaving Jakarta.


The “village phase” of our trip is both an exciting and a challenging time. All that the participants have been learning for the last few weeks leads up to this, and it is a chance to put in to practice many of the lessons they have learned here, and in school. At the same time, it is a whole new experience for most of them. While Jakarta has many of the comforts of the West, most of those cannot be found in the village. The lifestyle and the culture there is very different from that of the average westerner.


After just getting used to the way of life in Jakarta, the team has to readjust again to a new place with somewhat different values and expectations. And this can be very difficult at times


Life in the village also reveals how attached or accustomed to things we have become. Whether for our entertainment or convenience, we often center our lives around stuff and not people. And it is not that the people in the village do not want these things (like the Amish in America) it is just that they do not have most of them yet. They still live in a different mindset.


And so it is important to mark the end of our time in Jakarta, Both to show appreciation but also to reset our thinking for what is coming next. So we can be sure to change our expectations as we change our locations. And maybe so we can listen to what God would say to us as we travel on.



Thanks for praying,


Dave, and for Helen

Leaving Jakarta

Hey Everyone,

Its almost 4am here in Jakarta and in just a few minutes Helen, I and 5 of the Discovery Participants will pile into taksi’s and head to the airport.

Our weeks in Jakarta, packed with orientation classes, language learning and cultural immersion are over.

We are heading off to visit a language project on another island. We will be helping with literacy development in a remote area of Klt for the next three weeks or so.

I apologize for not getting an update out sooner, life has been hectic, as it always is in Jakarta, and I have not had much time to reflect. And with out reflection it is hard to share more than just a travelogue of who, what and where.

Please pray for Helen, the team and I, and our village host as we spend the next few days in the regional capital preparing, then make the long journey to the village, and for the work we will be doing there.

I’ll have internet access for the next three days or so, then not again for about 2 1/2 weeks, but I will have limited cell phone access with my Indo number.

Thank all of you for your prayers and support of us, it means so much.

Grace and Peace


Our Praises to the Lord

Supporters, Friends, and Families

First of all, we are so grateful and thankful for God’s blessings, grace and love in our lives. We would like to thank you all for all your supports (prayers, love, encouraging words and funds) in our lives since the beginning until today and then… Thank you so much for being with us in prayers and now all of us can give praise and glory to our God the Father in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have seen the great work of God’s hands in our lives and others here in Indonesia… We do praise GOD for that!

June 14th 2008 is the day when we stepped out on our new journey together. We got married on that day! The day which God united us as one family. It was the most big and wonderful day ever in our lives. Seeing families and friends came celebrating together with us was so encouraging and blessed us so much… We would like to say thank you so much for coming and rejoicing and celebrating the day with us… We are learning to live as a family and doing ministry together now… Status and some things have changed in our lives. We do need your support in prayers for us that God will strengthen us as husband and wife, enable us to understand each other and love each other. Pray that we become increasingly close to God and be open to what He wants us to do and where to go to spread the Good News. Also, pray that through the difficult times we focus on God and God help us by providing the way.

Now, we are doing a cultural and language orientation for 9 university students who came a couple weeks ago with SEA Discovery. The orientation lasts for 3 weeks here in Jakarta. After the orientation weeks, we are divided into 2 main groups and will go to 2 locations, KT and PP. We will spend 3 weeks in those locations directly engaging with the local workers. During in the locations we will spend time interacting with the local people so that way we can learn deeper about their culture and some of their language. The goals of these trips are directly involved with the language projects, with learning the life of the field worker, getting know ourselves and God’s calling in our lives. Please pray for the preparation (our hearts, accommodations, technical things, and equipment, transportation, weather, and paper work), communication between the team with the local workers, and also the interaction with the local people. We are praying that our coming will be accepted well by the local people and we can be the blessing of God into their life, we are given boldness to share God’s love and Good news. Please also pray for our health and God’s protection. After the village living phase, we are going to have a debriefing phase for a week. This week we will use to process all what the whole team members experience in the locations by sitting, sharing stories and praying together. Also, this week will be used as team preparation going home (US and CAN). Then the SEA Discovery 2008 will be over and that means we can take a rest for a while J …. But soon have to start the next year SEA Discovery! Please do pray for the whole program of SEA Discovery will go fruitfully, well and smooth!
We appreciate so much all your support in prayers and financially so that we are able to do God’s work here in Indonesia.

During the orientation weeks, the participants also have home stay program with local family in Jakarta. They have been starting to live with their Indonesian families since June 19th. The home stay program lasts till July 3rd. The goal of this phase is that they are able to learn more about Indonesian and the culture together with the family and learning about Indonesian family ideals.
Please pray for the participants will have fruitful days and become blessings to the host families.

We are so grateful to God for we are living under God’s grace and love… We truly know that we cannot do anything without Him and His power in our lives. He is so good to us. This week is a week we can see how great and wonderful our God is. Why? Because He is the unlimited and stoppable God! His promises are true and He will fulfill them in His timing. Last Tuesday, June 17th 2008, was my final step for getting my fiancé visa. It was my interview day. Dave and I went to the US Embassy at 1 p.m. and we had to wait for my turn having the interview. There was a couple who had a long interview before me. The consulate asked them many questions and that took about 30 minutes. Be honest, we were worried and afraid of not getting the visa. But we gave all our worries and fears to God and trusting Him for every thing that would happen that day. Then after them, the consulate called my name and asked to go to window one which was a small room, different from with the couple. We went together in to that room. First, the consulate asked me to swear that all that I told him were right and that I was not lying. Then he started with how we met and when, then about how we got in touch to each other, asking where we are going to leave, asking about one of our friends who had once sent me a sponsorship letter in 2006, and about Dave’s job. After that, he asked us about our communication record which we didn’t have then. In our mind we were a little bit worry that he won’t believe our answers because we weren’t able to give him our emails and chatting record since 2006. Then he took some pictures from an envelope that Dave sent to the Embassy together with the petition letter last year. He asked me some questions referred to the pictures he showed me. Then after that, he asked Dave a couple questions about his job and salary. Then he went to the back room .We didn’t know what he was doing there but we took the moment to pray. In a few minutes later he came back again and asked another question to Dave about the sponsorships because they have standard minimum salary of the person who sponsor the applicant. Praise GOD even though the his sponsorship was at the minimum standard, he consulate had confidence in Dave (we can see from his face) that Dave will be able to sponsor me because he knew that Dave is an employee of a propane company. After having about 15 minutes interview, finally, he decided to give me the visa!!!! WOW! PRAISE GOD!!!! We will return to the US Embassy in Jakarta to take my passport with the visa stamp on it. It is a great blessing for us. We are running out of words to praise and thank God for all what He has done and for all the blessings that He has given through every situations and people in our lives. GOD IS FAITHFUL GOD! He has started and He will continue the work in believer’s life.

Dear supporters, friends and families, we are so excited to see what’s next God will do in and through the SEA Discovery Participants’ lives and all people lives, including ours, here in Indonesia.
We also would love to pray for you all if you have any specific prayer requests… We praise GOD for you all!!!

Well, that’s our update news so far and still on the journey with the Lord of lords and serving the King of kings ever…. We will keep in touch with you!
Let’s praise the Lord of hosts, all the creations on the earth and in the heavens!!!

Warmest regards,

Helen Maria, for Dave Gullett

“The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” (2 Peter 3:9, CEV)