And suddenly I’m sitting in my new kitchen! This last week has been a whirlwind! We’ve barely stopped for two seconds to take a breath. But we have an apartment. We have a table to sit at (no couch yet…but hopefully that’s in the near future). We have a bed to sleep on. And we have internet. So, we’re getting there little by little, day by day (right, Nabireites??)
This week we are also debriefing with MAF about our first term. Um, let’s have a little moment of celebration that we made it! They say that the first term is the hardest and we are here to testify that you can live through it! (and maybe even kinda love it??) So here are some things that happened during our first term; some of them good, some of them bad, some of them ugly…but somehow all of them together are a beautiful testament of God’s love in our lives.
-We moved halfway around the world…twice (if you count our most recent move back to the U.S.). We all know that moving is stressful. Moving halfway around the world? Well, that reaches whole new levels of stress. Not only do you have the move, but you end up somewhere where you don’t know the language, customs or culture. The first night we sat in our new house in language school, it all of a sudden hit me that I had no idea where to buy groceries, what kind of groceries I would even find, how to get to the grocery store…or even how to ask how to get to the grocery store. (obviously there was a ton more that I didn’t know, but finding food is kinda a big deal, ya know?) I knew nothing. But we figured it out. We didn’t starve.
-We learned another language. Yes, Indonesian is one of the easier languages to learn…but let’s face it, when you can’t say “Where is the nearest grocery store?” you kinda feel like a 1-year old; it’s frustrating and stressful. And even now when I’m speaking Indonesian, it’s an effort. My brain has to be fully engaged in the conversation. But we did it. And that is luar biasa!
-We had a major medical issue within our first three months in country. Third world medicine leaves something to be desired. And, forget about finding the grocery store, how do you explain complicated medical stuff when you barely can say “My name is Becky”? This medical deal sent us packing. Nathan needed surgery and we weren’t ready to have it in Indonesia. So we returned to the U.S. Seven months later, we went back to Indonesia Crohn’s symptom free (for a little while at least…Crohn’s always comes back).
-We went on some super awesome vacations to Bali and Karimunjawa. So fun! Except that I got really sick in Bali…sigh. Intestinal parasites are not so fun. We did get to do some snorkeling in the ocean. A first for me. We also have spent some near-perfect afternoons on empty-except-for-us tropical islands, white sand beaches and all.
-We moved again. Halfway across the country, from Java to Papua (it’s kinda like moving from Arizona to New York, distance-wise. But let me assure you that Papua is nothing like New York!)
-Nathan completed his in-country flight training. He was the first newbie pilot in Papua to solo in a turbine aircraft. He’s pretty awesome and studly if you ask me. And he loves his job.
-We moved again. From Sentani to Nabire, our final base. We were SO SO SO excited to finally get to Nabire and get settled into our home. We may be biased, but I’m pretty sure that Nabire is the best base in Papua :)!
– We celebrated 3 Easters, 3 Thanksgivings and 3 Christmases apart from our family.
-We struggled with infertility. This started before we left for Indonesia, but it has been ongoing for 5 years. We are so grateful for the ways that God has taught us and encouraged us.
-We swam with whale sharks, which, you gotta admit, is pretty stinkin’ amazing.
-We never got sick with Malaria or Dengue Fever. Praise God! Because those illnesses are doosies.
-Nathan was asked to be an instructor pilot for MAF (see, didn’t I tell you that he’s awesome and studly?) so, we came back to the U.S. for the three-week Instructor Pilot Seminar.
– We decided to adopt. So, this wasn’t a quick, easy decision. We didn’t want to rush into adoption because we were desperate for a child. We took our time; we grieved the “loss” of biological children. And now we can see God opening doors moving us toward adoption and it’s pretty cool. God is pretty cool, isn’t He?
Whew! It’s been quite a term huh? There, of course, has been a lot more good, bad and ugly things that have happened. These are just some of the highlights and well, lowlights. But God is good and we’re so blessed to be serving Him with MAF!