Somewhere Between 700 Trucks and 3 People
Numbers shouldn’t define who we are. In nursing school we were often talked to about knowing the patient name, not just their room number. Yet numbers have crept into the very depth of my soul. We are a family of SIX. We have FOUR boys. We have now been missionaries for FIVE years. We will soon be married for TWENTY years. Numbers remind us of passing time and changing seasons.
As only THREE people sat at our dinner table tonight, I thought maybe you would enjoy an update on this summer season we are in.
Currently our TWO airplanes cannot fly. Please pray about that. While this has been discouraging, I have admired what Gary has been doing with his on ground time. SEVEN HUNDRED PLUS truck loads of gravel have been added to our grass runway so that when it rains it is not so soft and muddy. Also a drainage ditch is being added. This has been a huge project to manage and have vision for. Also Gary has been using the time to go to many meetings regarding our dream and vision to start a medical aviation program. If God be for us, no ONE can be against us.
ONE of my problems with home school is I tend to delay or put on hold things that can wait. So June has been crazy full for me. TWO of the things I will highlight are: hosting all the area Pastor wives for a day. Over TWENTY of them came, along with their husbands and children. For some reason the sky’s decided to gift us with rain all day long. The blessing: it was cooler. The frustration: with SEVENTY plus people here and rain it added to the intensity of our time together. The children could not play so freely outside and the husbands sat under our carport, avoiding rain splashing in. Despite the rain I believe all the ladies enjoyed painting. TWENTY TWO canvas’s left the house and hopefully our love and encouragement went with them.
Another fun June project was teaching FOUR ladies how to suture. They practiced on chicken breasts. Most of these ladies will work in remote tribal groups in the near future.
The FIRST born son, Aubrey, took wing from the nest at the end of May and flew to America. There he is working at a summer camp. I am quite certain he is learning more than we or he imagined. Aubrey turns EIGHTEEN in days. Only ONE year left with this young man living in our home. I have had him living under our roof for more years than I imagined and for this I am ever grateful. He is excited about his Senior year in Papua. Aubrey and Noah have been friends since babies.
Andrew, the SECOND oldest, took wing last Sunday and flew to Jakarta. There he is hanging out with Pastor Jasper (a friend and a tremendous photographer/videographer). They went waterfall/volcano chasing.
Our table went from SIX to FIVE to FOUR when Andrew left. I miss his humor, and cooking with me in the kitchen and more….. so thankful that both sons are keeping in touch.
Last Friday, husband number ONE ; ), flew away to build the THIRD jungle chapel in ONE month. Super proud of his determination, heart and goals. On my birthday this past week (I’m sure I am just TWENTY TWO???!) he took the whole day off and took me to the beach and just spoke my love language all day, by simply being with me. We found the sea glass in less than THIRTY minutes of beach hunting. I’ll see my man in FIVE more days. YES, I am counting. Currently in order to call me, he has to walk ONE mile, up a mountain, in order to have signal. Now that is love. Darron proudly stood by newly graduated Hermonus, they have spent many hours together in remote places.
Jacob, son number THREE, is now FIVE foot SIX which equals taller than me. He is also THIRTEEN. Jacob helped Darron on one of the recent church builds. Darron before departing commented, “Ï wish Jacob could go with me on this church build, he is such a great help”. Most days you can find Jacob working in the hanger or somewhere with Pilot/Uncle Gary. Aviation is creeping into this boys world and heart. He will give new meaning to my boys “taking wing”.
Nathaniel, the last of the FOUR, is my happy ever flexible, just give him a book……ELEVEN year old guy. This last semester he pulled off adjusting from home school life to “real” school. And he plans to keep at it. He is the last little glimmer of young boyhood in this home and I’m kissing those cheeks while I still can.
On Wednesday I will have finished THREE months of language school. They have been a tremendous THREE months. Growing my language skills. It has not been without a lot of stress to me, adding FIFTEEN plus hours into a week schedule that was already full. Yet, I have no regrets. I understand so many more things about the culture than I did before and can communicate so much clearer. This week I will teach (in Indonesian) a tremendous program regarding saving babies. TWO weeks ago it was a painting class. FOUR weeks ago it was a presentation on HIV/AIDS. SIX weeks ago it was a lecture on malaria, all at least THIRTY minutes long. WHEW. Sometimes when I learn language I feel like I’m FORTY FOUR. Shhh….
In SEVEN days we begin our trip to America. Nathaniel is counting down the days for us, he started on day EIGHTEEN. We hope to see HUNDREDS of you, our friends and family and listen to your stories. We are also excited about all the people who are planning to come visit us this next year in Papua. There must be at least TWO DOZEN of you.
Hope that gives you a little glimpse into our world. It’s time to set the breakfast table. Let’s see: today it will be for THREE. And Just in case you are tempted to think your mode of transportation is too small: consider this family of FIVE on their motor cycle. Numbers can give perspective. : )