It’s hard to believe that we have been back from furlough a month already. Though some days it feels like we never left. Honestly life moves along at a blurring pace. Darron teases me (and there is much truth mixed in) that even when all our children have flown from the nest, I will still be busy, because I create things to do. Yep….that’s me. Guilty as charged!
So what do I do? haha Even one of my kids, state side….wants to know, what I am doing…..Thus this blog inspiration.
Well let’s just say that everyday in Papua is a kitchen day. Even with so many less mouths to feed, I still spend at least two hours a day in the kitchen. That is a light day. Jacob and Nathaniel are in the “two or three plate” stage per meal. Which is how my house helper worded it. Kitchen day only works if there are groceries. I survive grocery shopping here by doing a once a month BIG grocery shop for all the staples and weekly market shopping for all the fresh veggies and fruits (which are abundant). The market always takes much courage to face each week. I have an absolute love/hate relationship with it. It truly is the center of the heart beat of the culture here. I have some precious friends there, that I buy from every week and have now known half a dozen years. Picking out fresh goods and visiting with people are the highlights. Dealing with the dirt, mud, heat, sweat, filth, garbage, jeering men……are all things that make it difficult. Over the last several years five impressive new market buildings have arisen. For months they sat completely unused as sellers sold from make shift shacks. Now they have allowed all the Papua mamas to sell on the concrete floors, which is so much better than the ground that they used to sell on. Yet, the main permanent stands (which in reality are wooden shacks), located in the far back alley of the market, have still not been permitted to move into their new buildings and they don’t know when it will happen???!
The clinic at the International School keeps me on my toes. Sadly, we have lost several of our expatriate nurses recently ……which adds to my plate of responsibility. With every loss comes new people. A recent addition is Mykie, who is our new “school nurse”, and I have had the joy of mentoring her. I honestly love the clinic and this part of life here. I find it very challenging, humbling, and rewarding. One of the things I enjoy is trying to help the missionaries that are treating sick patients in remote locations. Many of them are treating patients with very limited training and a hand full of books, but hearts full of compassion. Recently, here of a few pictures that have come into my inbox:
Last spring I really thought we were going to be part of starting a clinic at the SDA school next door to the aviation campus.http://iwillgoruth.blogspot.co.id/2016/12/if-i-go-to-hospital-i-will-die.html As time has gone on, it has become clear that this is not going to come to fruition. For MANY different reasons, one being our sponsoring Indonesian doctor moved away and another reason the school desperately needed the classroom space. However, with donations that have come in and with a heart for the seminary students I am in process of mentoring students at the seminary and helping them set up a little clinic cabinet to take care of their first aid type needs and assessing as needs arise. Also donated money and supplies are always in need with our flying medical aviation program to remote areas. Skin issues is one of the main things that has been treated so far. This has been especially rewarding as each week, after church, when everyone stands in row and shakes hands……I get to “check in” with all my “patients”. Their strong warm handshakes and beaming smiles and reassuring words that they are so much better, is reward enough. Darron and I really have a heart for this group of young people. They live so humbly and are just some amazing young people. We believe it will be them that will finish the work here. Long after we are just a memory.
So between keeping food on the table and keeping sick people well…… I busy myself with keeping fit! Wendy and I are off to a great start of running five days a week. Darron and I have been super motivated since returning from furlough to kick the slowing metabolism and do something about it. We only eat deserts now on the weekend, which has been a reluctant but healthy change for both of us. In one month, the scale and our clothes (and hopefully our whole bodies) are showing that hard work pays off. The great thing about exercise is it helps keep our stress levels down also.
I’m missing my taxi driver, Aubrey, and my car pooling neighbors. So every day, I am spending at least an hour and twenty minutes on the road. Dropping off and picking up kids.
Of course the boys are still a devoted focus of mine. I am enjoying being able to focus on the younger two as they now can receive my direct attention. We have started Pathfinders (a Christian boy/girl scoot club) and I am enjoying wrapping my mind around that each week. Our first meeting we met out on a boat, at beautiful Lake Sentani. Who knows where this group will go!!!?! With older brothers gone, the younger brothers are becoming much more vocal. And their personalities are emerging more. Jacob is heard singing all over the house and yard with his baritone voice and he is the tallest boy in middle school! Nathaniel would still prefer to hang in his hammock and read a good book all day, but he is enjoying the soccer team that Pastor Umboro is leading on the aviation property. They ask the most interesting questions, this morning it was, “I wonder if someone can survive off vapor alone?” The problem is, I don’t know the answers to most of their questions anymore. Also you can imagine that I savor any chance to connect with my State side boys.
The chicks have not been able to fly interior. So now we have 40 thriving chicks. One month in, they are getting so big. I was much relieved the day they were moved outside, thanks to a friend lending us a cage. We have had to build an outer cage because our dogs love chicken nuggets. Praying that at least some of the chicks can fly interior before they are laying over several dozen eggs a day. Though we do know many friends who would love fresh eggs. So I add, chicken farming, to my list of one month deep.
We are also gearing up for a women’s retreat. These are always a highlight for all the missionary women (and more) each year and a passion of mine to mentor and nurture women. Encouraging them and providing room and space for them to process and renew.
I wanted to report that the little boy who was so malnourished prior to our furlough is now thriving. Thank you for praying for him. It delights my heart to see him running and playing outside each afternoon. http://iwillgoruth.blogspot.co.id/2017/06/letting-go-and-fighting-hard-for-life.html
Unquestioningly, another focus of each of my days is trying to support Darron and all the hats he juggles. Maybe it is just being a listening ear or providing a hot meal or taking care of HIS chickens (haha…..emphasis fully intended). I love his heart and passion for missions and ministry. He has many exciting projects gearing up. If he doesn’t write about them soon, I may just have to be a little news reporter and give you glimpses into his world. We have enjoyed the challenge to be intentional to really pray together three or more times a week. That sounds kind of crazy that a married couple would even find that a new thing to be working on, but honestly we had slipped into the habit of praying at meals and half heartedly while falling asleep each night or in emergencies. Now it is very rewarding to be awake and focused and united in prayer.
There is more unexpected and different things that arise each day……just like in your life. Feeding 14 guest a breakfast. Writing. Praying with friends. Moping buckets and buckets of water up from our floor after a heavy tropical rain storm. Discovering mold on the back of six recently purchased picture frames. One beach date. Weeds. School projects. Encouraging discouraged hearts. Ministry stuff………but here we are once again in the heart of Papua. One month deep. And I am at peace…..praise His name!