A favorite restaurant that is no more...
"Green Valley Resto" in Central Java, Indonesia
Today seems like a good time to remember one of our favorite restaurant memories from Indonesia. The Green Valley Resto in Central Java, Indonesia, was a unique dining experience. I took Tamara there on our trip to Indonesia in the summer for 2000. I could see the smile on her face as we walked the winding bamboo staircase down into the valley before finally deciding on a small circular landing that seemed to have a nice view.
We took our two small children there sometime around 2008 (see photo) and once again enjoyed the unique experience. The place was clearly past its prime. The bamboo walkways were not what they used to be and the decorations were in disrepair. The food, however, was still a treat—
· Fresh, young coconut water from a coconut cracked open before our eyes.
· Boiled kankung with garlic and butter with a dash of chili pepper. Mmmmm…
· Grilled duck with insanely spicy sambal,
· Fried calamari,
· Tom Yum soup,
· And, of course, white rice, because nothing in Indonesia gets eaten without a healthy portion of white rice.
Unfortunately, we did not live near this restaurant, so our visits were infrequent. But we always knew that whenever we visited Central Java, a visit would be high on our priority list.
In 2016, following an unexpected move from our place of ministry, we found ourselves moving to a town near the Green Valley Resto. We were so excited. On our way there, we were planning in our minds the items we wanted or order and anticipated the delicious meal we were about to enjoy.
As we approached the valley, I began to question whether we had passed it or not. It seemed like we had gone too far. So we turned around and continued looking. “It’s near the Coca-Cola factory,” I said to everyone, but the Coca-Cola factory came and went…again…and no sign of the Green Valley Resto.
It was gone and in its place was the Cimory Yogurt retail store and amusement park.
We went inside, looked around, and ate an overcooked hotdog. This was not what we had planned and not the way we had imagined spending our afternoon.
We went home very disappointed.
As with most things, change is the only thing in this world that doesn’t change. It’s one of the very few constants on which we can rely.
The good news is that we can change, too. We don’t have to live in our past, our mistakes, or our failures. We can find victory over the hurts, habits, and hang-ups that once defeated us.
There is a new day ahead.
We can find new hope, new peace, and new life.
The Green Valley Resto was no more, but the fond memories remain. May it be that when people remember me (and when they remember you), it is with fondness and joy and a desire to be in our presence again. And when they are, may our words and actions be encouraging, hope-filled, love-saturated, peace-promoting, and God-honoring expressions of our faith…our hope…our peace…and our love that comes from our relationship with our gracious and loving Heavenly Father.