Be Still My Heart

This photo has nothing to do with our Natalan (keep reading to find out what exactly a Natalan is) except that it was taken the same day.  Do you have those moments as a parent when you just look at your kid and your heart could burst with joy that they are yours?  Man oh man, do I love this kiddo!  I love that he calls me mommy.  It’s such a honor.  I am ever so grateful that his birth mom chose me to be his mommy. [Heart bursting…]

Ok, Natalan: Natal is the Indonesian word for Christmas.  A Natalan is a Christmas event (or at least, I believe that’s how the word is used…oy with this second language.)  So, a few Saturdays ago we had our MAF Natalan.  An Indonesian Christmas party is a pretty formal affair.  There’s singing, a sermon and lots of food.

Nabire Team

We took the opportunity of having all of our National staff and their families together to take a photo of our awesome team (including our two airplanes!)


This was actually on our way out to the plane.  Elias, Nathan and Paul.  And a helicopter!

Natalan Hangar

Our hangar, all decked out for Christmas.

Kids singing

A bunch of the kids sang for us.

Expats singing

All the expats did some singing too.

Elias by candlelight

It was right around the candlelit rendition of “Silent Night” when Elias was ready for bed, so I went home to tuck him in.  Nathan hung out at the party and listened to the sermon and ate some soto ayam (basically the Indonesian version of chicken noodle soup)

All and all, it was a great evening and a great kick off to the Christmas season!

Pig and Machetes

120 kg Pig and a Machete Wielding Passenger!

That’s what the headline would read in the U.S., right?  But here, it’s just another day of flying for Nathan.

The village of Hitadipa has a huge Christmas feast coming up and roasted pig is on the menu!  Today Nathan picked up their pig, weighing in at 120 kg, from one village to be carried to Hitadipa for the feast.

Pig on a stick

Pigs are a big deal in Papua.  They are traded like currency and used as a bride pride.  I have no idea what this pig would go for at the market, but I would guess it’s worth at least a thousand dollars.  So roasting it for a Christmas party is a really big deal.  Only really special occasions warrant a pig roast.  For the village of Hitadipa, Christmas is just such an occasion.
Pig strapped in to fly

This guy was too big to fit in the pod of Nathan’s airplane, so he got priority seating alongside the other passengers.  Pigs are not happy fliers and so they strapped him down tight to be sure he couldn’t get loose (and, as we all know, a loose pig on a plane is bad news.)  Nathan then handed one of the passengers a machete and said, “if the pig gets loose, you have to kill it.”

Yup, just another day in the life of my jungle pilot.

P.S.-the pig didn’t get loose.  It now awaits its fate in Hitadipa.

Safety Bash

Recently, MAF Papua celebrated 3 years of accident-free flying!  Each base gets to have a little party to celebrate, so we in Nabire decided to have a beach party.  Pantai Gedo (Gedo Beach) is just about a 20 minutes drive from base, so we all gathered there for some singing, eating and swimming!

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This is our whole Nabire team including our national staff families.  We are so honored to work along side these awesome folks!

Safety Bash Singing

Our time starting out with singing and praising God for protection and guidance over the last 3 years.  Safe flying doesn’t happen without each and every part of our staff and we are so grateful for them!

Safety Bash Swimming

And, of curse, you can’t have a beach party without some time playing in the water and a good ol’ game of soccer (or football to everyone except Americans) on the sand.

Playing Catch

Elias got in on some of the ball-plyaing too with a game of catch with Gideon and Teguh.

Big E, Little E

Nabire has put up huge signs on each of the beaches with the name of that beach, so we had to take a picture of our little E in the big E of the “Pantai Gedo” sign.  Don’t worry, Nathan is right behind him so he couldn’t fall.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we live, work and fly in Papua.  Please continue to pray for safety in our flying over the next 3 years!

Bali Vacation!

One of the fantastic advantages of living where we live is the amazing vacation spots!  Like most people, we plan and save for vacation.  Unlike most people, we choose our vacation spot by availability of western food and shopping :)  Seriously, we’ve often said that the three things we miss the most are family, friends and food!  Bali (an Indonesian island!) knocks two of these out of the park!  Friends and Food.  Ok, well, our friends came from Papua to Bali with us…but still they are awesome sauce.  You would want to vacation with them too.  And, being a tourist destination, Bali has amaazing western food.  Steak!  Tacos!  Steak tacos!  Salad!  Ice cream!  And really, what more do you need than that?

This was our first vacation with Elias in Indonesia.  He travelled like a champ, and cozied right up to vacation living!  The first word out of his mouth most mornings was, “pool!”


This kid loves the water.  He was sticking his face in the water and blowing bubbles without any prompting from us.  I think he’s going to be an olympian someday : )


We also got to visit the Bali Zoo.  Indonesia doesn’t have the strict safety laws that American zoos have, which is both awesome and terrifying.  Want to feed a tiger?  Your not-even-two-year-old can do it in Bali (though ours did not.)


Elias did, however, love feeding the elephants!


And the sweetest little dear you ever did see.


Our next stop was a WaterBom, the local water park.  It was a blast!  Elias being the little fish that he is loved it too.


The lazy river with one tired boy.  The water park wore him out!

We are so grateful for breaks like this!

Laundry Detergent


This ad for an Indonesian brand of laundry detergent popped up on my Facebook feed today and it makes me laugh.  Because as we all know, the ideal way to do laundry is in a bucket with a scrub brush!  Only in Indonesia…

Color Tray

Elias is a very busy little boy.  After nearly diving off the stage at conference when he was 16 months old because all the big boys were doing it, one of the other moms said to me, “you have you hands full with that one!”  Yep, he’s one active and oh-so-adorable little guy!  He keeps me on my toes.

We spend a lot of time running around outside chasing geese; looking at airplanes; playing on the swings; going down the slides; gathering rocks, dirt, mangos and leaves, hunting hops (frogs); and squashing bugs.

Lately, I’ve been trying to add in some other learning type activities to his day.  If he can learn the parts of an airplane (Prop! Wing! Tail!), he can start learning about colors, right? So far we have learned about the colors red and yellow using color trays.

I just look around my house for things of that color and throw them on a tray together.  Then Elias and I sit and talk about that color.  Eat the coordinating snack.  It all lasts about 10 minutes before he’s off chasing hops again.

Color Tray: Red

The red tray: blocks, a fire truck, a (empty) Coke can, wooden coins, macaroni noodles dyed red in a red bowl, a tomato, an airplane and another fire truck.

Color Tray: Yellow

The yellow tray: blocks, a Duplo airplane prop, a spoon, a bowl with rice dyed yellow, a yellow plate (that I later put pineapple on), a ball (that now look lemon-shaped), a car, plastic bananas, a glue stick (that we used to glue the rice to the piece of paper) and a crayon.

My proud mom moment came the day after we did the yellow tray when he went to pull out a clean yellow diaper (we use cloth), and said “yewwow!”  So proud.

Any other brilliant ideas out there to keep an active 19-month old busy??

Projects Lately

I’ve started and restarted this post a bunch of times, because I’m trying to think up some cute story or anecdote that says, “here are some recent house projects we’ve completed.” But alas, I have come up with nothing.

So, without further hurting my brain (seriously, it’s not just pregnancy hormones that steal brain juice),…here are some recent house projects we’ve completed:

Rise & Shine

This is our bathroom, which is difficult to photograph because it’s a narrow room.  I have this super awesome machine called a Silhouette, which does many amazing things, including cutting out custom wall stickers like this one.  Notice the painted-over earthquake crack down the wall?  Yep, we have earthquakes.

Anyway, I love this cheery reminder every day to “give God the glory!”

E's Shelves

This is Elias’ room.  I finally finished some book shelves for above the chair where we sit and read and I loove them.  These were truly a labor of love, because everything, from finding wood that was somewhat straight, to cutting it, screwing/nailing it together, sanding, painting and glossing was way more work that it needed to be.  But we live in Indonesia, and that’s the way we roll here.

The dino art on the right however was easy peezy.  I found a scrap piece of wood in our wood pile, cut it to size and painted a brontosaurus head on it.  It took about 20 minutes start to finish.  Can you tell it’s a brontosaurus?  I go back and forth between completely loving it and thinking it’s ridiculous.  Today, I love it.

Now for some art on the rest of that wall…

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.