Gotcha!

Just over a year ago, on August 15, 2013, we went to court, signed some papers, and left as an official family of three!

We ended up being in Sentani for Elias’ “Gotcha Day” this year, but we still had a mini party with good friends, pizza, brownies and ice cream.

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What a difference a year makes, huh? Last year’s Gotcha Day:

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We sure do love this sweet boy of ours and are ever so grateful that he is forever ours!!

 

Signs Elias’ childhood is very different from my own.

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1. Before the age of one he had been on an airplane (I didn’t fly until I was 13), visited 9 States, flown internationally (didn’t do that until I was 22) and flown on a small plane (not until I was 24).

2. He has eaten durian…and he likes it.  If you don’t know what durian is, check it out here.

3. He loves the ocean.  I didn’t see the ocean until I was 13.

4. One of his favorite play things is a freshly fallen mango.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what a mango was until grade school.

5. He has never had fresh corn.  Poor kid.

6.  There is an airplane hangar within throwing distance of our house.  I couldn’t even tell you the first time I saw an airplane hangar…

7.  He does not always sit in a carseat when we ride in a car, sometimes he just sits on my lap (please don’t freak out about this…we live in a country where seat belts are not required and we never drive over 30 mph.  Indonesians usually just sit their kids on the back of a motorbike, often without a helmet!)

8.  We frequently take family walks down the runway (after it’s closed).  My family walks as a child were around the block, on a sidewalk.

9.  He has swam in the ocean more than a swimming pool.  (see number 3)

10.  We speak to him in two different languages, depending on who’s around.  If we are with Indonesians, we speak to him in Indonesian.  At home, we speak in English.  He knows the Indonesian words for “Goodbye” (Da-Da!), “don’t” (jangan) and “patience” (sabar).

The Team: A Very Brief Picture Show

Well, our team has come and gone.  I’m not sure I would ever do their experience justice since I wasn’t there with them, so for now I’ll post a handful of their pictures.  But please, go find them and ask.  They are bursting with stories!

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There are sooo many more pictures than this, I haven’t even looked at them all yet.

We are so grateful for these four guys and their willingness to travel half-way around the world to serve us and our friends!  They kinda rocked it! :-)  Thanks gentlemen!

The Team

About a year ago, Nathan mentioned an idea he had to bring a team of guys from America to Papua to do some kind of work project to an elder in one of our supporting churches.  It would be adventure, it would be dangerous, it would be a blessing to those they serve.

Y’all.  They are coming!!!!!!  We have a team of 4 men from one of our supporting churches in route to Papua as I type!  What, What!!

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We so rarely get visitors here because it is FAR.  I mean, like, FAAAARRRR.  They left from Chicago yesterday morning and arrive tomorrow morning.  I think Papua might possibly be the farthest you can travel from the U.S. of A. or at least it’s the longest travel time.  I haven’t researched that fact or anything…but it’s FAR.

Anyway, we are super excited to have these guys coming!  They will be in Papua for just over a week.  On Thursday they will head into the village of Turumo (which I wrote about here) where they will be helping some missionary families build their homes.  These are the first missionaries to ever live among the Turu people.

Turumo is hot, there are bees and scorpions and poisonous snakes.  There are malaria and dengue fever carrying mosquitos.  There is no electricity or indoor plumping (yet!…but it’s coming…plumping, not electricity).  It’s going to be like extreme camping, while doing construction under the blazing sun in the middle of the jungle to which there are no roads and no nearby medical care, near crocodile invested rivers, in the middle of Papua (which is the farthest you can travel from the U.S. of A).  Sound fun?

I told you: adventure and danger.

But what a blessing it will be as well!  These 4 men are traveling from the U.S. of A to the jungles of Papua to help missionaries build their homes.  Their homes where they will raise their children.  Their homes where they will celebrate holidays.  Their homes where they will live and eat and work.  Their homes where they will study a tribal language and write it down for the first time ever.  Their homes where they will teach the Gospel to a people who desperately need to hear it.

So, pray for these guys will you?  Add Nathan to your list as well, he’s going with them.