Finger Painting

These pictures are from August, and I just now took them off of my camera.  Oy, am I behind or what?

Anyway, in August, we had a great time finger painting with all the littles on base…plus a few extras.  And what fun is finger painting if you can’t 1) eat the finger paints 2) smear the finger paint all over your own body?

Group Finger Painting Papuan Kids Finger Painting My Sweet Finger Painter Group 2 Finger Painting Elyse Eating Paint Paint Your Head Typical Ethan :) Beautiful Kids

Let’s Show Them Love

One of the perks of Nathan’s job is that he gets to visit several different villages all over Papua.  This means that he hears all kinds of stories, he talks to all kinds of people, and he visits with a bunch of different missionaries.

It has been our goal this term to support these missionaries beyond just being their pilot.  We want to pray for them, listen to them and care for them.  We want them to say, “MAF Nabire loves and cares for us!”  One of the ways that I love to care for them is to send them little care packages when Nathan visits their village.  There aren’t stores in most villages, so everything gets flown in.  They can’t just run out and buy a Coke if they are craving one.  I have sent everything from fly paper to lemons to special treats from the U.S.

Package Contents

A recent package I sent: Butterfingers, A Frappuccino, Homemade Bread, Kool-Aid packets, fly paper and a flash drive with some TV shows on it.

If you are interesting in helping to give some love to these amazing people who are serving God in remote places, please contact me!  I would love to have more people involved, so that these missionaries can say, “We are loved and cared for by the church!”

To get in touch, you can either comment on the blog or email me at bfagerlie [at] maf [dot] org.

 

A Tale of Two Fridges

On our way home from PNG last week, we received an urgent text message from our friends in Turumo saying that their fridge was not cold and they were going to lose all of their food.  And when you shop for 6 weeks at a time, that’s a lot of food!

They hoped that we could bring some freon to recharge their fridge (do I sound like I know what I’m talking about? Because fridge re-charging is not on my list of know-hows) on our flight through their village the next day.

Thankfully, MAF had some sort of fridge re-charging tool on hand and so the next day we boarded the plane (daddy’s pane!) to Turumo.  Nathan had two flights to Turumo that day, so Elias and I were lucky enough to spend 6 hours on the ground with our dear friends, Ryan and April, in between flights.  The fridge re-charging thingy came out on the first flight and worked like a charm!  The food was saved!!  Phew, one less stress for our sweet friends to deal with.  We watched with delight as the fridge temperature slowly went back down.

I loooooved my time on the ground in Turumo.  I tried to spend some time with each of the families there.  Elias ran around like a crazy person and had a blast.  I helped April clear some floor space for the next plane load of stuff and I swept her floor.  For months we had been taking about sitting in her tribal living room, sipping cold drinks and that day we did it!!  Sure we were surrounded by a plane load of boxes, but we were there…in her house!  I’m so grateful.

Fagerlies/Becks Turumo

The 6 hours flew by and it was time to head home.

HOME!  We had been away for a week and I always love coming home after a trip.  No matter how much fun the trip is, home is awesome.  My bed is heavenly.  My own bathroom is…private.  My kitchen is well stocked.  And my fridge…is WARM!!  uh-oh.

We managed to save the solar-powered fridge in the jungle, but our own fridge in the city was already warm.  Somehow we popped a circuit while we were gone, and since no one was there to notice, we lost all of our food.

But you know, I wasn’t even that upset. (Even when I threw away a bag of strawberries!)  I was just so grateful for the fridge and food that was saved that day.  Our food is much more easily replaced than theirs and in the end, it’s just food.

Blessings, my friends.  I’m off to get a cold drink from my fridge and I’m going to praise Jesus for it!

 

From Here to There: PNG

Last week, we were invited to go to Papua New Guinea (not to be confused with Papua, Indonesia, where we live) to attend the MAF PNG family conference.  PNG is an MAF-International run program while MAF Papua is a MAF-US run program.

While we share an island with PNG, the difficult border crossing means there is not much interaction between the two programs, but they try to invite a family from here to attend their conference each year and vis-versa.  This year, we were lucky enough to be the ones invited!

Our journey started in Nabire, we flew from there to Mulia, then to Sentani.  We then hopped in a car and drove to the border.  Once at the border, you have to walk across no-man’s land to get to the other side, so we lugged all of our luggage, plus Elias into Papua New Guinea.  Thankfully, our tourist visas had already been issued so getting through customs was actually not too bad.

Once on the other side, we got a “taxi” (read: a mini-bus crammed as full as possible full of people) and rode for an hour to Vanimo.  In Vanimo, an MAF airplane was waiting to take us to Wewak where we spent the night on the MAF base.  The 544 mile (as the crow flies) trip took us about 10 hours.

The next day we flew from Wewak to Mt. Hagen where we spent another night on the MAF base.  And finally we flew from Mt. Hagen to Ukarupma where the conference was held.  For such a short trip, we were excited with how much of PNG we actually got to see.

New Guinea map

(if you squint, you can see our travel path on the map below.  Pink is our journey to PNG and blue is our journey home)

Playing Soccer

The conference itself was held at the SIL training center in Ukarupma.  The complex in PNG is the largest SIL base in the world.  It was HUGE.  We were told that anywhere from 800-1,000 people live there.  It’s like a little town.

Everything was really laid back with lots of free time.  Nathan and I each read three books! It was awesome.  Elias looooved running around with the other kids on the big open grassy areas.  He seems so grown up to me, playing soccer with the other kids.

Elias running

Bah, he’s adorable, right?

PNG from the air

In keeping with my take-very-few-pictures-at-conference tradition (since I took exactly zero at Papua conference), I took very few pictures in PNG and now that I’m home I wish I would have taken out my camera more.

PNG looks very similar to Papua in landscape, but culturally and politically it’s very different.  We weren’t there long enough to see all of the differences, but a few things that really stood out to us were the lack of litter and motorcycles and the presence of large walls and razor wire.

We loved getting to know the PNG team.  They are great people (obviously, right, because they are MAF!) and we hope to see them again someday!

P.S.-Papua people…they had Sara Lee Cheesecake in the grocery store.  Cheesecake!!!  So, yeah, PNG is amazing.

Septembers

While Fall is creeping in on the land of my youth, Summer is ever present over here in the tropics.  And while I miss apple cider, fresh crisp air, pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters, I am learning to enjoy this eternal summer.

The Septembers of my youth were spent shopping for school supplies, drinking apple cider, and apple picking (it’s all very idealistic in my head).  The Septembers of Elias’ youth will be spent taking boat rides to empty, secluded tropical islands.  It’s a wee bit different.  But both amazing and special in their own way.

We have a family staying with us on base for a few weeks.  They are awesome people.  You can learn more about them here.  They, along with us and the Marxes took an hour and a half boat ride out to Garden Eel island this past Saturday.

The boat

Our boat.

dug-out canoe

Not our boat.

water wings

My little fish.

a walk on the beach

Looking for pretty shells (It’s kinda like apple-picking…right?? except for the sand, ocean, hot air and lack of apples.  Practically the same thing.)

Wake boarding

Some people carve pumpkins, some people wake board.

macro coral

Playing with the macro settings on our waterproof camera.

Through the leaves

It’s not a pumpkin spice latte…but I’ll take it.  This view.  Gorgeous.

A boy and a beach

Playing in the sand is very serious business.

Sand builders Looking for crabs

Some shop for school supplies in September, some hunt for hermit crabs.

Racing crabs

And then the crabs have to race, obviously.

All the babies are tired

At the end of the day, all the kids are pooped.

Sleeping on Mommy

Nabire shoreline

View from the boat on the way home.

So, while my Septembers are no longer made up of changing leaves and pumpkin carving, they have a special beauty of their own.

Illaga

After our stop in Pogapa and a weekend in Timika, we winged our way over to Illaga on our way to Sentani.  Am I name-dropping villages and cities.  Yep, cause I’m cool like that.

Illaga, like Pogapa, is also a mountain town.  The airstrip is paved, which usually means they were touched by the outside world earlier on than some of the other strips Nathan services.  That’s not to say that Illaga isn’t still a difficult strip.  Nathan says that it looks easy (because it’s paved and mostly flat), but it still has it’s challenges.  If I were a pilot, I could explain those challenges to you, but this blog isn’t really about that is it?  As a passenger, I’ll say this: my hubby rocked it.

Plane in Illaga

There is usually a military presence in Illaga.  The soldiers are usually friendly and are excited that we speak Indonesian.  They usually ask where we are from and if they can take our picture.

Found a Rock!

Totally unimpressed by the airplane and scenery, a rock draws his attention.

Smiling boy

I love capturing pictures of smiles.

Pictures with the Soldiers

Elias often gets his picture taken with strangers, but he has his trusty bear in hand to keep him safe!

Kodiak in Illaga Illaga runway

Illaga has beautiful colors!

 

Eighteen Months

My baby is eighteen months old.  Where does the time go?  It somehow seems like yesterday and also ages ago that we held him for the first time.  He is one awesome kid!

Some fun facts about Elias:

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1. He loves to swim.  I mean, like, really truly loves it.  He is a crazy man in the water and he has no fear!

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2. He loves to help me in the kitchen.  Just about every time I’m cooking or baking, he scoots a stool over to stand next to me so that he can, ahem, “help.”

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3. He wants to be a big kid.  If the big kids are jumping off the top of the playset, he wants to jump too!  We don’t let him of course…He keeps us on our toes!

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4. He loves to give hugs and kisses.  I’m so grateful for my affectionate boy!

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5.  He likes to help around the house, so I give him little tasks to do like putting his dirty clothes in the hamper, cleaning up his own spills and throwing dirty diapers in the trash.  He has such a happy spirit about it!  I hope that we can continue to foster that spirit as he grows.