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, Ruth