Friday, January 13, 2017

A Jolly Quirky Christmas (Part 2)

Our little 3 foot Christmas tree has been put away, along with all the special decorations that have stories and memories with each one.  We were grateful that Pastor Rob brought us new Christmas lights, as ours had all reached the max life stage which was less then 1/2  to no strand working status.  The tropics having played its humid torture to yet another electronic thing in our home.  January 3rd was when life finally calmed down enough for Darron, the boys and I to enjoy a simple family Christmas. It was complete with Doritos from Singapore and a Christmas pudding from Australia.   I think all of us appreciated this Christmas family time even more than Christmas’ past because……..

Perhaps I should back up and pick up this story from where my last blog left off.  Remember, Andrew and I were landing into Papua after an all night flight from getting Andrew’s visa in Singapore. 

We arrived into Sentani and went directly home at 7:30 a.m..  Honestly, I thought I was going to explode from fatigue, the pressure of turning immediately around and needing to catch another flight to head interior, and hoping everyone had all their stuff packed and ready.  Ashamedly, I hit our home frustrated and a wee bit angry. Yep, being a missionary can pull the most unbecoming qualities out of me.  Aubrey took the brunt of my anxiety and handled me calmly while I flew around the house switching 1st world gear for 3rd world interior gear.  40 minutes later we were back in the car heading to the airport.  At this point, I let our a huge sigh. Recognized my poor attitude.  Repented to my kids and God. Grace is a beautiful thing.  I asked the Lord to strengthen me for what lay ahead as I didn’t have it in me and I drank in the grace extended to me.

The airport was crazy with Christmas travelers.  When we checked in, they informed us that our flight was delayed.  Due to no information when our flight would be, we decided to wait it out.  3 hours later we boarded.  As usual the tropical terrain out the airplane window was breath taking.  30 minutes later we began our decent into Wamena (the largest city that is air supplied only).  Pastor Bahasa picked us up in his truck along with KD and Erin.  As we began our drive to Heberima I was surprised at the stone walls and countryside that was a mixture of tropical and almost England.  I was startled by how much it reminded me of England, minus the sheep.  I was enjoying the relief from the pressing humidity and anticipation began to fill me of the adventure of it all.

When Darron saw us pulling up, he ran/danced from the church building sight.  His body language said it all.  He was thrilled that his family had arrived.  I think the image of his joy in seeing us will be replayed often in my mind.  It was the sweetest welcome greeting ever.  It spoke volumes of love.  Darron’s JOY was a Christmas gift, of the finest quality, to me.  I enjoyed being shoulder to shoulder with him, as often I stay home.

We quickly settled our belongings and joined the group to go to a village traditional feast given in part to honor us and in part as an offering of gratitude for a “new” vehicle that the village had obtained (it was only 24 years new).  My boys and Darron have been to many traditional feasts, but this was my first one.  So despite the rain, I watched the village women in complete fascination.  They started removing layers and layers and layers of weeds and grass from a large hand dug pit.  Then they were down to the edible greens.  These were laid on the rice sacks and banana leaves.  More layers of weeds were removed, along with hot rocks.  Out were pulled dozens and dozens of cooked chickens.  These were also laid on the ground.  Skinny, hungry village dogs began to sniff around and were shooed away, if they were noticed.  More rocks removed, more weeds, discarded, more cooked greens discovered.  By now all the village people had gathered.  People broke up into clusters.  A pile of hot cooked weeds and chicken were laid on a banana leaf and everyone started digging in with their right hand, squat position.  Honestly, the greens were delicious.  They had made a spicy Indonesian like hot sauce dressing and bathed it over the ferns. Ferns are incredible!!!  Talking with all the village women and girls was beautiful.  They had a unique wave, which in American culture was more like an handle gesture that would mean, come here to me….I want to talk with you.  So any time one of the ladies would wave to me, it went through my American filter and I would find myself taking steps towards them.  

The nights were cold and cuddly.  It was REFRESHING to FEEL cold and WANT to drink hot drinks.  Something we rarely or perhaps never feel in Sentani.  “

My three girls had taken the cooking in stride.  They had adapted to what the situation handed them.  They made adjustments and went with it.  I was thrilled at their ability and ease at which they served many many people.  Also Darron’s secretary, Erin, and a new Indonesian nurse that has joined our team, Afri, were there.  They also cooked delicious Indonesian food to keep tummies filled.  So I played in the kitchen, rather than led.  One day I made steamed cinnamon rolls, and another day steamed garlic bread.  It was fun to utilize tricks that I had learned my student mission year in the jungle of the Philippines more than 22 plus years ago.

Another favorite memory of mine was Sabbath morning.  After waiting for quite a while for our ride to church, we began to walk.  The countryside is gorgeous and it was downhill to the main road.  Many of the village women and children were going to church also.  They walked barefooted, saving their best shoes for in town.  Its now Christmas Eve day and I’m loving these people.

Christmas Day.  The group knows we need to work because all the village people want to join us and help.  For days our group and many others before us had been mucking around in the foundation.  Moving huge rocks.  Leveling dirt.  Building ditches for foundations.  Overwhelming piles of dirt, dirt, muck, more dirt, wet dirt, mud, stick to your shoes, stick to your clothes, DIRT.  This was our quirky Christmas.  When I was squatting in the bathroom, I realized that Mary probably didn’t realize the circumstances under which she would deliver this baby placed in her womb by God.  A stable???!  This truth became so real to me and something I had never pondered.  It was a precious spiritual nugget on Christmas day, that I will carry with me the rest of my life. Life is not always comfortable.  Gorgeous things are born in discomfort. If God’s own son was born into very very humble circumstances…..who am I to think I deserve or should have more?  Maybe not Jolly thoughts, but good ones.  There were sweet Christmas treats (Puppy chow and fudge, thanks Wendy). 

I think finally on the Tuesday did the building start going up. It lifted the moral of the group to stop doing dirt only.  Now it was dirt and steel. 

Wednesday night I left to get a 24 hour head start on the group arriving back at our home.  Not a time to hit the massage parlor and put my feet up, but rather time to hit the kitchen to prepare for 9 extra mouths, post interior hungry. What a treat to spend the night with a lovely missionary family who live in the town of Wamena, before my early morning flight.  I was served their left over Christmas dinner on special Christmas dishes.  I was teary all evening with gratitude or maybe it was just the hot shower that kept leaking out of my eyes. Arriving back into Sentani I was blessed that people helped me shop at the market, my baker showed and a friend came to chop veggies for different dishes for 3 hours.

Friday, the group arrived back in three different time slots.  Each with their back packs full of dirty clothes and all longing for a hot shower. And so meals were produced and bellies were filled and stories were shared and growing was done.  The house became a constant stream of young adults with my own family mixed somewhere in it all. Saturday night was much anticipated as there is NOTHING like an Indonesian New Year.  We stayed up very very early, watching in AMAZEMENT once again, a firework display that goes and goes and goes until the smoke in the air is so thick that it blocks out the more distant fireworks.  Unbelievable.

Sunday, New Years Day, we were slow to get going from our lack of sleep the night before.  Shortly after our late breakfast it was decided that rather than go to a beach we would do a more local activity.  The waterfall was the destination.  I decided to stay home and try get things straightened out.  A few hours later Darron calls to share that one of our visiting young adults had taken a 100 foot fall at the waterfall. His toes were clearly dislocated and a large gash was in his knee.  He felt that Jordan was making slow but steady progress out and to be ready to meet them at the clinic later.

An hour later, Darron calls again.  This time there is more urgency in his voice.  Jordan is no longer able to move as well.  Could I send a stretcher in?  And more clean water?  At this rate, it was going to take 5 hours to get out to the main road, is how Darron felt.  I know many details happened at the waterfall and on the trail that I don’t know of.  People running the trail and a car sent to the clinic and phones and people left at the base of the trail and one phone up with the group helping Jordan.

Meanwhile I make my way to the clinic. I am so grateful that Dr. Di and Alicia were there, as my mind was not as clear as it usually is in these type of situations.  It was being muddled with the feelings and emotions of responsibility and this was one of “our” kids.  With anticipation a medical back pack was loaded with splints, pain meds, slings, gauze and more.  A team of the most ripped and eager college guys was rounded up to go carry Jordan out.  Prayers were uttered and answered.

To Jordan’s aid came Papua guys who piggy backed him out of the jungle waterfall trail.  By the time my muscle team arrived, this other group almost had Jordan down to the easy part of the trail and road.  It seemed like very little time on our end at the clinic, and the team….with Jordan…..was there.

Again, I am so grateful that Dr. Di and Alicia were at the clinic.  We went to work, cleaning, assessing Jordan and his wounds. It wasn’t long before Dr. Di felt the damage was significant enough that it warranted Jordan leaving the country early and getting to Singapore for surgical care.  She carefully placed a drain in the wound (made from a foley catheter) and we put a boot on Jordan’s foot.  Pain meds and antibiotics given and then we took him to our home to arrange flights and insurance coverage and keep Jordan comfortable.  Meanwhile, mouths were fed and many needs were met and tickets were purchased.  This is where my stress level really rose, because our internet has been almost non existent again.  Also trying to get a phone line out of the country was extremely difficult.  So trying to contact insurance companies for flight and hospital approvals bogged down into poor poor, hour after hour reaching out and getting almost no where communication.  It was one thing to have an emergency on our hands.  It was a whole new level, having an emergency and not being able to make appropriate phone calls and get approvals needed.  We decided to move forward despite approval or not. 

Nick, another one of the short term guys, committed to traveling with Jordan.  This meant cutting his time short here in Papua (and with his girlfriend, Paige) short by 24 hours. At 11:40 the following morning Jordan and Nick were Singapore bound.  At the time of his flight, we had insurance approval, thank you to a team in America…..working hard.  The whole group was somewhat deflated after that.  Even though Darron and I just wanted to crawl into a hole, we put on our happy missionary faces and got everyone excited about going for some beach therapy.  It really proved to be good for all of us.

The group left the following morning. Their testimonies were sweet.  Their lives had been impacted.  Papua now a part of their heart beat.  As it is ours.  We tried really hard to disconnect and be a just a family for the next 5 days.  And that is how long Jordan was an in patient at the hospital in Singapore. 

It was a Jolly Quirky Christmas indeed.  One that will not be forgotten in a hurry.  I think all of us appreciated this Christmas family time even more than Christmas’ past because….. we had given and we received much in our spirits in return.   And that is the mystery of serving a God who seems to thrive in working in the most unusual, unique circumstances.  A God that can use the most humble settings: like a stable and a squat pot.  A God that chooses to use humans.  Pujih Tuhan.  Praise the Lord.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Jolly Quirky Christmas

 

Anticipation of this Christmas is not running high in our home this year, as we won't even be home.  Today our family is stepping into another world, the interior of Papua, where Christmas trees and Christmas cookies are unknown.  Our goal is to join Darron and his team of 9 young adults from America, 5 guys from the seminary, and 2 Indonesian girls, to help finish a jungle chapel.  

This is a project that we have been preparing for over 3 months for.  Darron in all the preparations of designing a new build, ordering material, getting it cut to size, going ahead several times to work out all the logistics, sending a crew on ahead to prepare the foundation, going with Pastor Rob (camp director from America) to help with that foundation and more logistics, and more details that I am completely unaware of.  I, had to wrap my mind around how to feed a team of 16+ in the tribe.  The grocery trip alone took 6 hours.  Which then all had to be boxed and shipped.  

A detail that sent my mind spinning was it became clear that Andrew would need to leave the country to get his visa status worked out.  Once a minor gets close to 18 they can no longer be carried under their father's visa.  It was decided that it made most sense that once the mission group from America was launched interior, and finals were taken, that Andrew and I would whisk off to Singapore to get the needed Visa.  Leaving the other three Boyd brothers home alone.  So it became necessary to take all my cooking thoughts and impart them and empower the three girls with them. 

Singapore was an amazing adventure.  The visa was obtained smoothly.  Meanwhile in 2 days Andrew and I crammed more first world Singapore in then you want to hear about.  Let's just say we road the MRT and bus system all over the city, Andrew filmed the city at night, we indulged in foods that are not available in Papua, and saw more Santa's and Christmas trees to make up for what we will not see this next week. 

Words don't adequately describe a flip side to this exotic traveling.  The inability to communicate with Darron and my boys at home.  Darron has no internet access and very splotchy (at best) texting only coverage.  We've been hobbling along in communicating with random texts here and there, but once I left Indonesia, we had to try relay info through Aubrey who could receive emails from me and text main ideas into Darron.  YA, great plan.  Reality, it did not work.  We have no internet in our home, and evidently Aubrey was not able to access internet at the school.  This is a huge need and prayer request of mine, that we can have internet in our home.  I did get random information from Darron as we were leaving the country.  "2 people were shot.". In my questions to if they were safe.  His response, "Yes, we are safe, it's a distance away.". And more random information like, "The plates you sent for the group, went missing, bring more when you come.". "Text me as soon as you arrive back in Indonesia.". Which I did.  The only response in our 3 hour lay over was, "Hey are you awake and not flying?.    Its dumping rain so i just woke up from the rain on the roof.". This text was delivered to my inbox 4 times.  Clearly non of my texts had gone into his inbox.  Lack of communication increases stress as Andrew and I land in Papua and 3 hours later are on a plane (with the rest of the family) to join the group.  What if there are things they need, supplies that are running short?  The inability to communicate basic stuff is: _______________ (I'll let you fill in the blank, about a million words are popping into my tired head).

So we land in about 30 minutes.  I am hopeful that the other boys are alive, packed and ready (in that order of importance).  Also hoping to grab my last shower in the next 6 days and to sit on a clean toilet.  Pastor Rob did assure me that there is a squat potty and it is "very real". Hopefully I'll remember to grab the hand sanitizer, that is not yet in my stack of stuff to go.  And all those last minute items that I haven't thought about in the last 72 hours and not sure I'll remember on a nights lack of sleep (in the middle).  I need to hand my passport over to someone, as it is in process of a 5 year renewal.  And dozens more details. 

This will be a Jolly Quirky Christmas indeed.  I've wrestled with my thoughts about it all.  And I'm still wrestling.  Honestly I would rather be home with my family (that is about to undergo radical change) and just embrace good will, and music and normal things that make it "Christmas" at this time of year.  In my wrestling I have concluded that I will probably SEE more of Christmas than I have ever seen before in the next week.  A Christmas that makes no sense, a Christmas full of the most humble beginnings (like a baby in a manger).  A Christmas full of young adults working hard and sacrificing their break.  A beautiful people, with hungry hearts.  A chance to be shoulder to shoulder with Darron, in a work he loves.

So from us to you:. May you have yourself a lovely little Christmas.  We are descending right now into Papua as I type these final words. Peace.  Good will to ALL mankind.  Be looking for a follow up blog to see what was revealed to me in a gift of time that I don't yet understand.  Love, RuthIMG_20161221_121612 (1)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mom, Dad, Look What I’m Doing

It has always fascinated me, the need children have for their parents to SEE what they are doing.  The little backward glances, to see if Mommy saw that cool high jump out of the swing to the persistent, “MOM, DAD…..watch me dive, tumble, ……. “and you can fill in the blank.  It gets less verbal and sleeve tugging as the years slip into mature teens.  Yet there are still those eyes that meet yours across the court, when a goal is made.  Do I still as a middle aged woman desire my parents to SEE what I am doing and the world I am living in?  Do I still want their approval and affirmation?  Eyes catching mine and them trying to understand what is going on in my world?

Yes.

And so what a delight this last month, that after living in a foreign land for 5 years, they came.  My Mom and Dad.  My Uncle and Aunt.  They saw.  They tasted and felt.  They touched.  They met many of my friends.  They walked where I shop.  It is not an easy walk.  There are piles of garbage and bad smells, smoke, intense heat, extreme poverty and too much to absorb in one pass.  They sat on our incredible tropical beaches and walked on our favorite lake road walk.  They saw glimpses of needs and mission and vision and dreams.  They sat in our hot, more than hot, pretty much non existent, air conditioned cars.  They came to the school and saw a dress rehearsal band concert.  They saw my children thriving. My husband was bombarded with deep cultural questions by them.  My children filled their overflowing senses with more:  music, songs, driving, a fully catered meal complete with outside dining, candles, flowers, music and so much thought.

And so now they understand.  Now they SEE.  A land and a life that words and pictures cannot fully express.

And now there is a deep part of me, that is so so so satisfied.  Knowing that MY Mom and Dad came, and looked, and noticed and saw what I and my family are doing.

It was a gift.  It was sacred. 4 nights and 5 days.  It was full of memories and goodness that cannot be measured.  But our eyes met, across my table, across my living room, across the car and our eyes understood.  Our eyes met again as they got swept away in the cue of people being cleared through security at the airport and it was ENOUGH.

Thank you Mom and Dad for still looking at your girl. 

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About the time that I was working on this blog my parents sent an email.  Them reacting to what they saw.  It was meaningful to me and I have their permission to share it with you:

 

“”While everything is still relatively fresh in my mind……and before the routine of life here in Travelers Rest cause things to blur…..here is a listing (in no particular order) of sights, sounds, tastes, feelings and emotions of our Sentani visit.

>The constant swarms and “buzzing” of motor bikes and scooters, particularly in the City……coming at all angles and from al directions……with often little regard to safety.

>The comfort and safe location of your spacious and light-filled home which has most of the conveniences of Western living.

>The awesome boat ride and time spent with the family at the lovely middle beach and picnic there…..felt like we were on a private island paradise…..quite magical!

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>The hap-hazard and illogical way things are done in Papua, often with no sense of logic or efficiency (e.g. road improvements between Sentani and the beach).  Only two traffic lights in town …..and one not working).

>The high standard of the facilities and faculty at Hillcrest International School ……which would exceed that of many schools in the USA.

>The missionary community at large……the dedication and commitment…..and strong support for each other, across denominational boundaries.  Very impressive and God-honoring.

>The inter-faith service…..enthusiasm and passion of those ministering…..meeting your friends and the final song about “taking Christ to the Nations”…..very appropriate and emotionally moving.

>Seeing our wonderful grandsons on their home turf…..and being able to observe their different personalities, characteristics and gifts.  Aubrey:  passion for music, maturity, great driver, willing helper, cool, collect and calm.  Andrew….so talented in every way (amazing that a 16 year old could pull off a candle light dinner for 10 with such class and style).  Jacob:  lovely to see him so happy, singing round the house, alive in the moment and thriving in his school experience.  Nathaniel:  not wanting to miss a thing, very quiet but absorbing it all, respectful and endearing.

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>The native welcome dance around the camp fire arranged by Darron, and meeting Eric and Gary and their wives and family.

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.>Having a greater appreciation, understanding and respect for the work Daron is doing among the indigenous people and visiting the clinic where Ruth works.  Meeting Fiona and Dr. Di and visiting Dr. Di’s home with barnyard, goat pens and experimental garden projects.

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>The “blackboard” listing all the things that we would do and experience…..WHICH WE DID!

>All the efforts to make our living accommodation as comfortable as possible…..nice bedrooms, dedicated bathroom.

>Meeting your “helps” : wonderful cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing.

>The third world squalor: dirt, poverty, smells, lack of hygiene at the market.  But also seeing the smiling faces of the “wheel-barrow”guy who normally helps….and the girl at the vegetable stand where you usually go.

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>The stark contrast between places of great beauty – The Lake country, mountains, ocean beaches, etc. and the squalor, rubble, unfinished projects and garbage.  Can’t be too critical as we see some of the same things in South Carolina. IMG_20161008_170133

>Coping with the heat and humidity…..especially outside the house.  Being blessed with very little rain.

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>No buys or sickness.  The internet “hot spots” via your phones.

>The impoverished neighborhood and small dark home where the “3 girls” live. 

>The “live” hymn music filling the house from Daron’s playing on the piano.

>The lovely meals, drinks and tasty morsels that we constantly enjoyed.

>The opportunity to have our clothes washed and ironed after 10 days of travel.

>Evening candle-light supper at the school.

>Attending band practice at the school.  Seeing Aubrey in action and chatting with the Band director.

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>Learning about how the various tribal laws still carry so much weight and often supersede government laws.

>Lots of love, laughs, and sharing with the family.  Three generations of us from 3 continents living together for a few days.

Wow!  When I review this list, and there are probably some things I've missed, I can’t believe that you managed to pack so much for us into the 4 nights and 5 days we were with you.  We wouldn’t have missed it for the world….neither would Sonia and Allan. 

Thank you so much again for all the planning, preparation, and effort you put into this (and all this, in the midst of your busy lives).  It was so much appreciated, an amazing experience , with unforgettable memories!!

Love, Dad and Mom”

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Caught Between Two Worlds, Called to ONE

He didn't ask to be brought up in a Western culture despite his Indonesian Passport, yet he was.  Attending Western level schools, eating Western food, Ryan by age sixteen is fully immersed.  A blessing most would say.  Ryan's father obtained his masters and doctorate in the  Philippines, during much of this time.  Abruptly his world changed, as Ryan's parents felt called back to their passport country to be "missionaries" in Papua.  Apprehensive, somewhat reluctant, and uncertain Ryan follows his parents to Papua.

I clearly remember the first time I met Ryan, this past August.  His story captivating me.  He was playing the clarinet for special music in church.  Beaming a beautiful smile that radiated peace.
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We talked after church.  Perfect English, despite the Asian skin coloring.  Over a Mexican, Western lunch in our home, this sixteen year old boy shares his journey of the last two months.  Being placed into an Indonesian classroom, where he is forced to learn a language he has never had to understand, and deal with academic rhythms that make no sense.  Moving into a home, that fell way below the standards of what he is used to.  Being immersed in a culture that is so far removed from anything he has ever known.  Caught.  I found this boy, Ryan, caught between two worlds.  The world he grew up in and his passport world.
That afternoon as my boys and my student missionary girls, chittered and chattered around, to and over Ryan, I asked him a question.  "Ryan, are you overwhelmed?"  I'll never forget his answer.  "No, this is magical".  At last, he had stepped back into a world that was familiar to him.
Our friendship has developed over the last few months.

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Many Sabbaths Ryan will join our crew as we fellowship over yummy food and outdoor excursions.  Ryan continues to radiate peace, even though he will admit that this has been difficult.  I recently asked Ryan what he intends to do upon graduating in a year and a half.  His response filled my heart with joy and pride.  "Aunt Ruth, I want to return to Indonesia and serve as a missionary."  Heart stopper!  I couldn't have paid him to have given a better answer.  Yet money, glamor and ease of life didn't grant this future goal.  Something and Someone much deeper is at work in Ryan's heart. 
So my question to you is: "Would you be willing to sponsor Ryan to attend the Christian International School that my own boys are attending?"  He needs to be back in a Western level school; however, he desires to continue to live here in Papua with his parents.  Ryan has half of his junior year and his senior year left.  The tuition is $2825.00 per semester.  Ryan's parents are getting a very meager missionary wage here, with no subsidy for this school.  Thank you for prayerfully considering sponsoring Ryan, so that he can be released from caught to be fully called.

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*If you are interested in sponsoring Ryan, please message or email me and I will give you further information. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Delight for Dr. Di

What a privilege it has been to be mentored these last 5 years by Doctor Dianne Mathews.  Affectionately known as Dr. Di…..with no pun intended.

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She is an incredible teacher and full of grace to us nurses.  I’m never afraid of how she will respond to decisions I make, though I don’t treat her kindness flippantly.  Her life is a story worth telling.  And it will take me several blogs to do so.  For now, I thought I would tease you with the things that delight Dr. Di.  For even though she enjoys patient care and gains much satisfaction from it, her real love is teaching AND puttering around with plants and animals and rocket stoves.  Her blue eyes come fully alive, when she knows that there is a project involving dirt, teaching and community development.

Just two weeks ago Dr. Di taught students from our seminary how to build a rocket stove.  The purpose of these stoves is to use way less fuel (wood) and create almost no smoke.  In many of the interior villages, smoke, from cooking fires inside the huts, is causing long term lung/health issues.  These rocket stoves are virtually free to make, using local clay, grass and water, with a banana stalk for a mold.  Everyone had so much fun mixing the red dirt into clay with their feet.  There was singing and joking as the clay balls were slapped down into shape, laying up the chimney of the stove. Dr. Di was in her element.  Teaching and then watching to see if her students understood by demonstrating back to her what she had just demonstrated.  It was inspiring to watch her joy and it was contagious.

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If you swing by Dr. Di’s house on any given day, you will want to go see her aquaponic gardens.  Using PVC pipe, and drip irrigation….a simple pump, feeds the plants from the fish in the pool below.  With this method, Dr. Di has been able to grow many fun salad greens and items that the rest of us simply day dream about.  Also she has developed another aquatic garden, designed to fit in any standard small Indonesian yard.  It also uses the fish/pump/irrigation method but this time on a gravel bed.  Her goal is to provide ways that the local people can have gardens plus protein and to teach that they can do this with very little land.

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Also on Dr. Di’s property are goats, plump healthy chickens and many healthy plants that contain whole proteins.  All of this is set up to be an example of local farming.  Using local materials and feed, but bringing in more productive lines of chickens and goats.  Dr. Di’s farm is a model and a live example for people to come see and be inspired by.

 

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Dr. Di’s other passion is teaching her seminary students.  She loves when she can see the “light bulb” ahhh haaa   moments in their faces (when they saw the rocket stove fire up and flames shoot out the top, for instance). 

Some people may not understand this woman who is extremely diverse in her area of passions and gifting.  But thousands have been blessed by her knowledge and love for the Lord.  God has granted Dr. Di with a sharp mind and keen diagnostic skills.  Her 20 years of service here in Papua have not been in vain.   What a delight she is.  I have no doubt that the Lord takes great joy in the life of Dr. Di. 

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

EXCEEDINGLY MORE

I’ve almost found my groove for this school year…….but honestly, I’m still wading through adjustments.  The biggest adjustment is that Jacob is in school half time.  This has been a giant step for him and delightfully positive.  We would not have taken that leap without the wonderful encouragement of Jacob’s special education teacher.  She has faithfully walked with us these past 3 years.  Even when Mrs. Kolb could not be here for three-fourths of last school year, she still encouraged me weekly with her supporting emails.  God brought her and her husband back last school year in March.  Roger, her husband, had recovered from an extensive skin cancer surgery on his foot.  Abruptly, last Friday, the Kolb’s flew back to America because a tumor was discovered in Roger’s brain.  We are believing that God will do EXCEEDINGLY MORE than we ask for Roger and bring healing to him once again.  Please join us in praying for him.  Many many students are affected by their departure, along with all the work and responsibility that Roger carried in the IT department with MAF.

Jacob being in school half time is fueling my desire to get my nurse practitioner degree.  This has been my hearts desire for the past 10 years.  It has about reached a burning burst of energy.  Yet, I am praying to not run ahead of God and wait for the green flag from Him.  More prayer requests!!!!  There are specific things that need to happen before I can move forward.  Exceedingly More than I ask……is how I believe God will answer.

I am super excited about a NEW dream that has emerged just since last Saturday.  I was sitting in church and noticed a girl with a large wound on her elbow.  My mind wandered to an email that our doctor had sent out, regarding a seminary she is working with starting a clinic because of all the health needs.  At our school next door we have over 300 students on that campus daily.  When we chatted with the dorm parents, they enthusiastically agreed that medical help was much needed.  Wanting to go through the proper channels and inspire local leadership, this will take time and be a process.  However, the idea of providing input to medical needs locally is thrilling.  Soon we will begin the ground work of setting up a clinic.  Exceedingly more than we ask……..

Our “girls” are settling in so well.  We are very proud of them.  They are growing in their confidence to spread their wings and do things more and more on their own.  We have developed a pattern each week of our interactions together.  So on Wednesday, and Friday nights our table is full with youthful chatter.  Along with all day Saturday too.  On Sunday afternoons they usually come over to bake and/or do laundry.  I’m sure as time goes along, we will make more adjustments.  I am believing that God will use these girls exceedingly more than we ask…..

I can only imagine what and where God is taking each of you, my friends.  I know that we ALL cry out at times for just a touch of grace from above.  It’s hard sometimes to imagine that God is ready to lavish Exceedingly More than we ask……but this is what I have been pondering on all this last week.  I know it’s true.  Let me know what you are asking for and how God answers.  It will be EXCEEDINGLY MORE!

 

 

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tools of Insight

I didn’t know it would be so easy to get medical equipment for our up and coming medical aviation program.

All I did was ask, link needs to Amazon and my blog, and YOU gave.  Thank you. 

Much work is being done to set this program all in motion.  Please know that your gift of faith and love will bless many many in need.  I can’t wait to tell you stories about how God will use these tools of insight to bring accurate diagnosis and healing.

Please pray for God speed, blessing and open doors as we try to set dreams into motion.  Thank you for responding.

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