Good bye Oma

Today, around 7:30am Indo time – Oma came back to her maker. Her health took a dramatic turn to the worse at the end of 2018, so while the news was surprising but it was also not unexpected.

Never expected to open the new year with the loss of someone that I hold very near to heart. I feel a bit upset with the whole Covid thing, it has robbed me a chance to meet her in 2020 (as we were planning to come back in the mid of 2020).

However I was thankful that I made the solo trip back to Indo in June 2019 – with the sole purpose of meeting her. From memory, something had happened to her, maybe she was falling ill and needing hospitalisation for few times. So mum and auntie encouraged me to go back and see her just in case. Lina was very supportive of the idea too. And I glad that I did it.

I will look at week long trip with a lot of fondness. My main purpose was to share the gospel with her and in a way saying goodbye and saying thank you to her for bringing me up. I read the bible to her and pray with her every day when I was there. I don’t know whether in the end she entrusted her life to Jesus or not, when I asked she said she wasn’t ready. Just like most Indonesians, she “believes” in Jesus – but we Christian knows, believe means putting Jesus as king of your life.

Last picture with oma

My last picture with Oma – June 2019

I would like to think that God softens her heart in the end, as my son Matthew never failing to pray for her to accept Jesus in his daily prayer.

It broke my heart to see how much her health has deteriorated, her mind was affected too – she forgot quite a lot of things (and it’s gotten worse since). And I can see she was in pain too from her back injury. So in a way, like Lina said it’s a good thing that she can be liberated from the pain.

Before I left to go back to Sydney, she asked me to come back again and see her – I am sorry Oma I couldn’t make it in the end.

What do I remember of her? Well, I remember that she cares about me a lot. I always regard her as my primary carer as she was always around present at home and consequently I am closer to her than anyone else at Trunojoyo household. Reflecting that fact, it just dawned on me on the importance for parents for being present for their children as much as possible.

She’s a tough woman – her husband died young and she had to raise her 2 daughters and running the furniture business and other ventures on her own.

She’s also good at managing money and wealth, she managed not to only preserve whatever wealth that the husband left her but she managed to expand it as well through her hard work. I remember how sharp her mind was especially around number and money, maybe I got this from her as I quite enjoy the aspect of managing banks, investment etc.

She has her flaws, she is very hard to trust people and was suspicious of people. Her distrust of people was getting worse as she ages. If only she can lay her worries to Jesus – she would live a much more peaceful life.

Is there any regret? Yeah, of course, I wish I could look after her on her old age as she has looked after me well. Often I asked her if there’s anything that she wants, she always said no. On the later years, when I go back to Indo – I always left a small amount of money as a token of appreciation for her (usually in a secret place after I leave the house to the airport – so she can’t refuse), she’s always thankful for that but she said it’s unnecessary.

She’s been generous to me with her money, her gift enabled me to buy my first apartment and start off my property investment journey – so I really thankful for that.

Thank you for baking those kue gulung for me every Sunday – I really really missed that, you know that was the thing that I really look forward to every weekend. Thank you for thinking about my boys – how you always want to bake cookies for them. I think you tried to bake them during my last visit too.

Good bye Oma, thank you for raising me up and looking after me. I won’t be who I am today without you. I am really going to miss you, I actually have been missing you for awhile, I miss the healthy in mind and physically healthy version of you. I love you and good bye.

Dad’s passing – 14 years

Tomorrow would be my dad’s 73rd birthday, were he alive. I reckon Jeremiah and Matthew would have overtaken him soon in terms of height (and weight too).

The Trunojoyo household has certainly missing the presence of a man of the house. Dad wasn’t an imposing figure in the house, however I think people in the house were quite respectful of him and his decision. Since him passing, I don’t think mum was able to take that mantle.

In some way, perhaps he was the only person that mom really listens to. After him gone, his voice is now replaced by many other voices and influences – but none that is life guiding, yes she needs Jesus.

Can’t think of any memory that I haven’t written down.. Was he an angry person? No, not really – he was very scary when he was angry though. I can count with my fingers how many time he was angry with me. I was quite trying in my teenage years.

Oh music! I didn’t know when I started to have the courage to change the radio station when we’re in the car. But I usually change it to rock or pop station, which I know it’s not his cup of tea. But he let me do it. And sometimes he even changed the radio to my fav station (is that really happen or me imagining it?).

Anyway, I don’t think we have anything in common in terms of music… In this area, me and my boys are better I guess, I do try introduce them to music I like.

Japan Holiday 2018

We just came back from a 2 weeks holiday in Japan. It was a wonderful time – certainly a memorable one.

I really enjoyed the fact that we didn’t encounter many international tourists during our trip – perhaps we picked our spots and time well. We did encounter a lot of local tourists as it was a school holiday period in Japan.

Memorable moments

Awa Odori festival at Koenji

If you want to know what Awa Odori is all about, you can read it in this wikipedia article, the Koenji Awa Odori website also has more information and videos.

Prior to seeing the parade, we went to a shrine in Koenji where the locals open up food and game stalls. Our boys, Matthew in particular, were so happy to participate in Kingyo-sukui (goldfish scooping game) – yes they’ve seen this game in a few anime.

Goldfish scooping game

Goldfish scooping game

Jet, Matt and I didn’t do well in this game – however Lina is a pro – she caught more than 10 goldfish (and we have a video to prove it). I guess years of looking after our guppies has trained her to be a fish whisperer.

The food stalls were amazing, they have different types of okonomiyaki (sister in law told us apparently different regions in Japan do okonomiyaki differently). We were still full, so we decided to watch the parade first and then come back to get some food. This was a mistake and probably the only regret I have in our holiday – we couldn’t make our way back to the shrine afterwards due to the crowds and road closure.

Fish on stick

Fish on stick

Anyway the parade itself, it was great, I totally loved it – definitely one of the highlights of our holiday. I loved the beating of the drums, the silly and cheeky dance movements, the colour of the clothes and the cheerful atmosphere. If you travel around end of August – make sure to check one of these festivals (apparently they have it in few places – the Koenji one is the biggest in Tokyo).

Awa odori parade - Koenji

Awa odori parade – Koenji

Disney Sea and Disney Land

Nothing much to say about these to parks, I love them – as expected I love them more than my kids did.

Disney Sea

Disney Sea

If you have to choose between Disney Sea and Disney Land, I would suggest pick Disney Sea, as it is the only Disney Sea in the world. You need to be a bit older to appreciate Disney Sea, I totally loved the details on the buildings and the overall atmosphere of the place, no expense was spared in this park, you will totally feel immersed in another world.

However if you are travelling with the young ones, Disney Land would be better – it has more attractions, shorter queues, lots of parades and involves less walking compared to Disney Sea.

If you are a planning person like me, Disney Tourist Blog is an invaluable resource, just search for their one day plan for each parks. Also this iOS app (it has an Android equivalent too) – TDR Wait, Fast Pass, Show Times is a must have when visiting the parks, it really helps with planning which attractions to go to depending on the queue time.

If you are like my wife, just go, take it easy and take in the atmosphere as much as you can – do whatever attractions that catch your fancy and does not involve long queue.


Hakone is a mountain area, about 80 mins express train ride from Shinjuku station. It is a beautiful place with really well organised transport system.

You should definitely get a Hakone Free Pass to make use of all the transport mode in Hakone, which includes: boarding a pirate ship across Lake Ashi (yes, you read that right, pirate ship), ropeways to travel between mountain tops, cable car, train and buses.

Hakone - Lake Ashi pirate ship

All aboard the pirate ship – har!

We stayed in a Ryokan (Japanese traditional hotel) for a night. Our room has an awesome view to the woods.

After onsen ice cream

After onsen ice cream

The ryokan has a private onsen (hot bath) – which the boys really enjoy (was super hot though). The private onsen is one of the main reason for me choosing this ryokan, normally public onsen in Japan would require you to be totally naked and I don’t think we are up for the full monty (I later found out that Yunessun has an onsen that allows swimming clothes – more on that below).

We did some bush walking, followed by the Hakone Round Course using all the transport mode as provided by the free pass. It was nice trip overall, too bad that it was a very cloudy day hence we couldn’t see Mt. Fuji from the lake, otherwise we’d see this:


By Kentagon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Our Lake Ashi’s view 🙁

Lake Ashi

Not quite as advertised

We stayed in Hakone for 3 days, on the last day we went to Yunessun – I’m not sure how to describe it, it’s like a small water park and it has a various pools with differing themes for example a coffee pool, a wine pool etc – they make the water colour and smell to match the theme. Yeah, it was silly but the best part is the outdoor hot pool with the view of the mountain – this is the way onsen should be in my mind.

That outdoor onsen alone is worth visiting Yunessun – oh yes – most importantly you can wear your swimming clothes here, which is great.


I realised now, visiting churches is just part of how we the Tjandrawibawas do holiday. And I really glad that we have that tradition, it’s never a waste of time for us, in fact it’s usually an encouraging time.

I personally was glad to see fellow believers in Japan no matter how in the minority they are (1% of Japan’s population claims Christian belief).

We attended 2 services at the Double O Cross Church in Kichijoji – the church that my sister in law serves in. I was glad to hear Pastor Ryuta preached the gospel clearly and faithfully in Japanese.


I was officially done with eating Japanese food after the 4th day. The bentos, okonomiyakis, takoyakis, tempuras, karages, sushis – while they are nice, but I got bored by their taste after awhile. Lina and the kids were fine though – so it could be just me.

We frequented the convenient store such as 7-11, Lawsons and Family Mart almost in daily basis to get our food. You might say that’s why I got bored by the food – but I did honestly try to find restaurants – but from their menu, I can see similar food from the mini markets but with more expensive price tag.

I really missed Lina’s cooking and thankfully she cooked for us for few days (although she said she didn’t want to cook during the holiday – glad she did :)). I guess my tastebud really used to the full flavour of south east asian food (Singapore is food paradise for me).

I do love the ramens though, we got to eat a lot of them. The best ramens that we ate was from Ippudo in Shinjuku and from a place in Kichijoji – the place has no English name, my sister in law said it’s Kyushu ramen.

Dreamy ramen at Kichijoji

Dreamy ramen at Kichijoji

We went to the supposedly most famous ramen in Tokyo, called Rokurinsha in Tokyo station, but it was overrated, nowhere as good as the two places I mentioned earlier. I didn’t mind it – but Lina really didn’t like it.

Lost and Found

At Disney Sea, Jet managed to lose Lina’s wallet. It was quite frustrating at first but we managed to keep our cool heads (despite the super hot weather) and enjoy the rest our day there.

At the end of our day, we went to see the Customer Service department to check if someone has found the wallet. Note: there is no Lost and Found in Disney Sea – which we worked out finally after a couple gestures + mix English / Japanese dominated conversations with Disney Sea’s employees. And to our joy and relief, they have found Lina’s wallet! Thank God 🙂

We’d hoped that was the last time when we lose things, but unfortunately not. We stopped at Odawara on our way back to Tokyo, to visit the Odawara castle (which was awesome). When we speed walked back to the station from the castle, Jet tripped and hurt his ankle – Lina sat him down to check and she put Jet’s phone on the bench. Matt wanted to sit down on the bench too, moved Jet’s phone aside. When we were back on our feet again and started to walk towards the station, no one remembered the phone :/

We only realised it after 20 mins on the train to Tokyo. I was quite tired and upset that time and told everyone that we should just consider the phone lost, it was highly unlikely that the phone still there anyway. Lina however was determined to go back and try to find it. And so we did. We back tracked our way to the place and sure enough it wasn’t there.

We then went to Odawara’s station koban (small police station). After half an hour of questioning and form filling – the police finally told us that they have the phone! Praise God. And then after they gave us the phone – another rounds of forms to be filled in! 😀

At Odawara's Koban

At Odawara’s Koban

I am quite impressed by the Japanese’s honesty. I also learned the lesson of not giving up easily, thanks to Lina. And I hope we as parents have shown grace and forgiveness in the way we handled those frustrating moments. On the flip side, those frustrating moments are the ones that make holiday memorable.

Closing Remark

I am thankful for the trip – I think we’ve made some good memories. I quite like the pace of the holiday too, I didn’t make the same mistake as I did with our Melbourne holiday – which was cramming too many things into the schedule. Also God’s willing I suspect we’ll be travelling to Japan quite often, so there’s no rush to do and see all the things.

When we asked the kids what their favourite thing about the holiday, they said they said it’s the time they spent with their aunt – I think they got their priority right.

Church Camp 2018

FOCUS church camp’s topic this year is “Worship that satisfies”. This year I came with both Jet and Matt.

When I heard about the topic – worship that satisfies – at first, I thought about what sort of worship that can satisfy my spiritual needs. It’s almost automatic that my mind thought of Hillsong songs and its worship atmosphere. But then Josh (our pastor) flipped the question around, what kind of worship that satisfies God? That question would be answered on the 2nd day of the camp.

On the first day (it was a four days camp) we looked at:

  • Wrong object of worship, for example: Elijah vs the prophets of Baal.
  • Wrong way of doing of worship, for example: Israelites and the Golden Calf. In this case the Israelites got the God right, but due to their sinfulness they created a thing to represent the Creator. The mistake had deadly consequences.

On the 2nd day of the camp, I missed the 2nd talk which answers the question what worship that satisfies God. Some of the campers shared the session with me though – in a nutshell, Jesus is the answer – it’s cliche I know, but to be expected 🙂 Who else can satisfy God beside His own Son.

The highlight of the camp for me was hearing the 3 couples who are planning to go back to Indonesia and serve there. Going back to Indo has been proven to be quite a daunting prospect for many of us. There has been concerning stories from those who have gone back to Jakarta particularly, some of them has been struggling with: the cost of living, traffic jam, hard to be involved in ministry etc.

These things have been on the forefront of this group’s prayers and by God’s grace, God has opened up an opportunity which addresses some of the concerns above.

I must admit this sounds like an exciting opportunity. This certainly has put some seed in my mind and Lina’s. For me personally, it is somewhat a test for me whether or not I truly believe my status as a sojourner in this life. It is super early, it’s definitely something that I should continually be praying for.

Reflection on 1 Peter 2:11-12

Last Sunday, 1 Peter 2:1-12 was being preached at church. I found the 1 Peter 2:11-12 stands out to me and even more as I re-read it this morning.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

It’s about Christians being exiles, sojourners in the world – not sure why but it seems God keeps remind me about that fact.

Being a Christian in Australia especially in the last few months you do feel like you are an outsider. With issues like SSM and euthanasia – Christians are at odds with the masses and indeed have been portrayed as evildoers like Peter said. But shall we expect anything less? No, we shouldn’t – the pastor said on Sunday, we are not Australians, we are not Indonesians, we exiles even in our countries.

Keeping our conduct honorable is a good point to remember too. Last night, my wife told me an encounter with a parent at school whom want her child to be enrolled in Scripture class. She herself is not a Christian strangely enough. But she said her child’s teacher who is a Christian left such a good impression to her as such she wants her child to have exposure to Christian teachings.