Friday, February 3, 2012

First Light in Bali

The title of this post is also the title of the latest post in my new blog, Yndonesia, which is a memoir of my recent trip to Indonesia. The image above is a screen shot of the blog masthead. Yndonesia is still ‘under construction,’ and I hope the best is yet to come. Read the blog chronologically by starting with the earliest post, and at the end of each you will be linked to its sequel.

What do I mean by ‘first Light in Bali’? Well, the double entendre is intentional, I assure you. In the post at Yndonesia, it refers to waking up at dawn on my first day in Bali, to the cacophony of a crowing cock, but even there, allusion is made to the fact that we were guests of the first Orthodox Balinese Christian and her family. In this post I want to share some the photographs we took of Ibu Anna and her family, and the church within her family compound, which is still used for daily prayer and occasional divine liturgies, as well as the reservoir in which the first seventy Orthodox Balinese were baptised—all this within the walls of Ibu's family home in Singaraja, the old Dutch capital of Bali and the Lesser Sunda Islands. This is what I mean by ‘first Light,’ as scripture says of Christ, ‘a Light to enlighten the nations,’ and as Christ says of us, ‘You are the Light of the world.’

The Indonesian Orthodox Church in Bali has grown and now has its own temple nearby capable of holding a large congregation. Fr Stephanos Boik Nino, the priest of this church, received us warmly and with great hospitality. Unfortunately he was pressed for time, as we visited on a day when he was getting ready for a pan-Christian feast in honor of Christmas, and we did not take his photograph. Yes, the Balinese Orthodox presbyter is the chosen leader of the Christians in Singaraja, regardless of their denomination. After I post photos of the first church, I will post a couple of the new Singaraja Orthodox church.

Ibu Anna Ketoet Moertini, the first Balinese Orthodox, seated between her daughter Titi (left) and her granddaughter, in front of the entrance door to the first Balinese Orthodox church, in Singaraja.
Ibu Anna, with Yudhie Kristanto, standing before the curtain of the temple.
The curtain of the temple (corresponding to the Royal Doors) open to show the altar.
Ikons on the south wall of the temple.
Ikons next to the sacristy doorway.
Yudhie and Ibu inside the entrance.
The reservoir in the courtyard behind the first church in which the first seventy Balinese were baptised into Christ in the Orthodox Church.
Yudhie Kristanto holding palms together
in the Balinese gesture of veneration.
Detail of the baptismal reservoir
in the courtyard.

The first Balinese Orthodox church, Singaraja.
The following two photos were taken inside the new Orthodox church in Singaraja.

The interior of the new Orthodox church in Singaraja, Bali.
Another view of the interior of the new church, showing the bishop's seat.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these photographs with us. I think it shows that God is in control: He can bless whomever He wants. Your Indonesian friends seem blessed to have found Christianity in a Muslim country; you were blessed to travel to the other side of world; and we are blessed that you shared your trip with us. I know they have hardships just as we do--probably more--but God has revealed Himself to them nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

He's my teacher :D

Daniel said...

Hi, thanks for this information. I am from Serbia and now in Bali for few months I would like to be in touch with the Orthodox priest there. If you have his contact please send me an email

Petar Bajic said...

Beautiful! Will be in Bali for Easter Sunday. Could you email me the schedule for Easter Sunday? God bless.