I am guessing you do not have this on your calendars but Ramadan, one of the sacred holidays of Islam, ends in a little more than 11 hours according to what I can find out on the Internet. Why am I telling you this? I am visiting Indonesia the first part of next month and I wanted to be sure I was not visiting during the month of “Ramadan.” Indonesia, being 99% Muslim, would of course celebrate this sacred holiday which largely consists of fasting from sun-up to sunset for the period. It is hoped that this practice will bring them closer to Allah as the time taken for eating is to be used for praise and worship instead.
In my visits there, I did go once during the fasting month. Even though I was visiting the Christian staff, faculty, and students at Kalimantan Theological Seminary, since it was Ramadan, it presented problems for them. I had to take my breakfast and lunch in my hotel room with the shades drawn which made the scheduling for the day a bit challenging. Dinner is always after sunset so it was late. The hotel makes these accommodations for foreigners (even though I am the only one in town usually in this remote area) but it is not so convenient for the local Christians, who, even though they don’t necessarily fast, must also eat in secret so as not to offend their Muslim brothers and sisters.
At any rate, since the holiday ends in a few hours wherever Islam is practiced, I will not have this experience this time around. I understand this has created some interesting challenges for Muslim Olympic athletes who participated in the summer games. I just thought you might be interested to know this as I visit Indonesia and see the great work that the seminary and related churches are doing. Gam and Alice Shae, retired IM missionaries, served at this seminary many years ago for a time. God is doing amazing things through them. One of the things is an eco-empowerment project that is funded in part by the Palmer grant this year. It is an effort to introduce holistic and practical models of green lifestyle; organic foods, organic agriculture, fuel-efficiency, energy use, church recycling programs, caring for creation groups, ecological awareness, ecological preaching, and solidarity with people of color and other religions. I will give you updates when I get back!
Perhaps of further interest?