The Elder's Hotel

On my second ministry trip to Indonesia I took Lisa, my children, and a babysitter. We arrived in Denpasar, Bali, a resort island.

An elder in the church we were visiting owned a modest hotel in a very noisy section of town. We had traveled a long distance and had had very little sleep. We were exhausted. That night we were awakened several times by loud noises and barking dogs. We only stayed overnight and did not get the rest we needed.

The following day we continued on to Java and ministered for the next two weeks on a very busy schedule. We had only one free day in that two weeks, and that was for travel. In one twenty-four-hour period we ministered five times at a church with thirty thousand members.

At the end of the trip we were scheduled to go back through Bali. The pastor informed us that we would be staying at his elder's hotel again. We were not thrilled about being in those conditions again after two solid weeks of ministry.

At breakfast on the morning we were to leave Java for Bali, a precious lady offered to pay for our accommodations at one of the finest resort hotels in Bali. I was so excited because we would get to rest and stay in a beautiful place.

As we left the restaurant to pack, Lisa told me she did not feel good about accepting this lady's offer. The interpreter and I reasoned with her and said it would be fine. Again on the plane from Java to Bali, she said she didn't think we were doing the right thing. I was foolish and didn't listen to her. I told her it wouldn't cost the church anything and would be fine. When we arrived in Bali, she pleaded with me at the baggage claim one more time, but I ignored her.

When we met the pastor, I told him we would not need to stay at the elder's hotel because of the woman's offer. He seemed uneasy with what I had said, so I asked him what was wrong.

Fortunately he was open with me and said, "John, this will offend the elder and his family. They've already reserved the room for you, and they're sold out for the evening." I had also apparently offended the pastor because I did not appreciate what they had arranged for us. Finally I told him we would stay at the elder's hotel and pass up the woman's offer.

The Lord dealt with me about my attitude. I knew the pastor was hurt. I saw that demanding my rights had offended this brother and that it was a sin. I asked for his forgiveness. He forgave me. I hope I don't have to learn that lesson again.

Bevere, John. The Bait of Satan. Lake Mary, Florida, Charisma House, 1997, p. 124,125

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