Cliff Jumping

When Darron is gone, I don’t like to stray far from home.  It all stems from the fear of a potential break down with the car, in a foreign land.  In America, I don’t worry….travelling hundreds of miles on my own.  Papua, leaves me intimidated to go further then my normal trips to town.  Culture and language barriers make me intimidated, if there were car problems.  So when we were invited to join a group of friends from the international school to go to “Kali Biru”, while Darron was away…….we decided to “leap” for it. 
The morning came for us to go to Kali Biru (translated = Blue River).  Over 30 of us were travelling with 2 men coming along.  One man led in the first vehicle.  I was the third car.  Then the other man was in the fourth and last car.  I felt “hedged” by these men.  The drive was long, twisting over steep hills and around the Sentani lake.  Pushing us further then we have driven before.  Over an hour and forty five minutes we pressed on, at last turning down a narrow lane that led to the blue jungle river.  Here we were at this site, described to me as “It’s a boy thing (place)”.  A short, but very powerful waterfall and then steep cliffs with jumping platforms and edges….calling boys and men (and a few women and girls). 
No time was wasted for the first jumps and dives. 15 feet off the platform.  Nathaniel and Jacob took longer to build up their courage for the high dive, but they were not far behind their brothers.  The current was swift.  I had no desire to leap, despite mild pressure.  However, enjoyed a refreshing dip in the “get out” spot.  The current was swift enough that I could swim straight into the current and not go anywhere.  Naked native children were playing.  They climbed way up into the tree and jumped out of it.  I would guess their ages were around 5-8 years old.  No fear.
Five of us missionary ladies decided to go for a float down the river before the falls.  We hiked a long way back into the jungle barefooted.  Finally, we found our get in spot.  Screaming and giggling the whole time, like only women can do.  The water was cool and swift.  We were surrounded by dense jungle.  One could not help but wonder what else was in the water with us.  We had to dodge sharp fallen limps off tropical bushes, climb over logs…..screaming and screeching all the while.  At one point one of the seasoned missionary ladies pulled us over to the side commenting, “Ladies, this is going to fast.  We must stop and enjoy this just a little bit longer.  It will all be over too soon.”  We shared as only mommies in the jungle can share.  Seasoned with love.   Our jungle float ended all too soon.
After lunch, one of the mothers said….”This is when it gets scary.  The boys will get restless and start doing more and more daring things.”  Sure enough, the older teen boys….many of them who have grown up here their whole lives, starting doing all these daring dives.  Often times, I was just holding my breath and muttering prayers for them.  Fortunately my own boys were intimidated (I think) and resorted to other activities.  Andrew and his friends decided to hike for the float down the river and found clay in the journey.  They had many camera’s clicking away on their return to our picnic hanging out spot.
I was blessed with two very meaningful conversations with two different women.  I believe that these conversations were God ordained.  They both addressed two different concerns/burdens that were on my heart.  It was worth the drive, just for that.  I loved fellowshipping with people that I am normally not around.  Many of the people working out here are people with amazing hearts, commitment, and devotion.  Often friendships can only deepen through shared experiences, like “jungle river floats”. 
The drive home was uneventful.  The memories still are so sweet to me.  God knew the message I needed to hear.  Fortunately I didn’t have to jump off a cliff to hear it.  Just had to take the “leap” to get there.  When you come, we can take you there.


  1. We hope to join you next time... and, btw, Kali Biru translates as Blue River. :-)


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