Shoestrings, Bucket lists, and Missions
As student missionaries in the 90’s (Philippines) Darron and I learned 100’s of invaluable lessons that parents, textbooks, and everyday life simply cannot teach. One of those lessons was: if you are somewhere in the world (far from home) enjoy it. See it. Experience it. You may not be able to return. So we have a bucket list of things we would like to do in Indonesia while we are here. On that list is to go to Raja Ampat. The 4 Islands of the kings. This location is here in Papua, up in the birds head. It is known for the best diving in the world.
While we are not suffering by any means. Raising 4 boys on a mission salary does make one look at their shoe strings and say, “Yep, I can get one of us or maybe two of us to Raja Ampat but 6 of us?” To move 6 people around is not a cheap feat.
So the idea developed that maybe we could go and do “missions” in Raja Ampat. Honestly, once we had decided this….I would embarrassingly blush, cover my mouth, hang my head and say, “We are going to do missions in Raja Ampat.” Imagining the lovely western resort that most of the missionaries stay in and the distant villages that we would just visit and minister too from a distance.
However, I am no longer blushing or embarrassed when I tell you that our family is leaving in 3 days to go do a mission trip in Raja Ampat. Nope. No shame. Because we are not going to stay at the world class resort. We are going to travel an hour beyond this resort (by boat) and live with the national people there.
Over 20 people from our seminary next door have already left on a boat to travel the three day journey to get to Sorong. We will fly to Sorong on Thursday and meet and travel on with them from there. For the next 9 days Darron will work with the seminary students. Teaching them practical ways to share their faith. Then during the day they will practice the teachings. In the evenings there will be sermons and singing for the local people and the surrounding villages. The seminary students will also teach many practical things: like recycling, gardening, composting. I have been asked to give health lectures. The boys and I have been working on children programs (on a pure shoestring with almost no fancy things to supplement with). The sock puppets are ready!
The menu is written. Indonesian food. Immersed is what we will be. Of course as a responsible mother I think: Where will we sleep? What will we eat? What will the bathrooms be like? How will the children do? So many unknowns. The hammocks are packed, along with the mosquito nets. Some fruit is dried. Some granola is ready, to supplement tummies that may not want rice for breakfast too. Toilet paper still needs to be bought. Along with hand soap for washing clothes and more mosquito spray. I still need to pack the “just in case” medicines. I came across a lovely “general utility tray” in my medical stuff, all nice and sterile, designed for suturing. It’s going. Trusting I won’t need to use it.
We are truly going to minister and work. And honestly despite all the unknowns and the pushing out of comfort zones, I AM EXCITED. Excited that for the first time in 3 years of being in Indonesia that we can truly work alongside Darron and get to be a part of what he gets to do everyday. I know that we will be more blessed then we can even imagine. That in going, we will receive so much. That we may at times be challenged, but the FRUIT for our family and hopefully others will be eternal.
And in our free time, we will just have to dip into the ocean and peer into a world of beauty that few people get to see.
So here is to bucket lists and shoe strings. The next time you hear from me we will either be awaiting to board our plane to America or we will already be there.
I have a feeling that there will be MANY stories to tell you. As always thanks for reading and praying.