The Weary World Rejoices

My favorite Christmas song at the moment is “O Holy Night”, especially the line “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”  At this point in time, just before Christ was born, God had been silent for hundreds of years.  Can you imagine how discouraged the Israelites must have been?  Years of prophecies and miracles were followed by silence.

BUT THEN, suddenly, a new and glorious morn!  One holy night a baby is born and the weary world REJOICES!  The silence was broken…and not just broken but shattered by a Savior!

I hope that you are rejoicing with you Savior this Christmas!

Fagerlie Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas!

 

Missing: Baby Jesus

IMG_3476

We unpacked all of our Christmas decorations just two days after Thanksgiving, only to discover that baby Jesus was missing!  Elias was walking around the house saying, “Jesus, where are you?” And I couldn’t help but think that this could be, without some intentional thought, be exactly how Christmas plays out for each and everyone of us.

With all of the activities and decorations and presents and Hallmark movies, is Baby Jesus missing from our Christmas celebrations?  Even here in Indonesia, where Christmas is less commercialized, our schedules are still filled up with activities, the stores are slowly starting to carry more and more Christmas “stuff”, the pondok Natals (Christmas shacks that are set up all over town) are blaring Celine Dion singing “I’ll be Home For Christmas”; all the while it is so easy to forget what all the hubbub should be all about.

God come to earth?  What an amazing blessing!  God came to earth with the purpose of wiping away every tear, every shame, every sin!  That is the true meaning of Christmas!

While our Little People Baby Jesus may never be found, my prayer for myself and my family is that the real Baby Jesus, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, would be found in our home this Christmas season.

But God…

We’re adopting again!

I thought I’d tell you the BIG NEWS right out of the gate before I got to all the juicy details.  Because, Yay!  We’re adopting again!

So…for months…years even, we’ve been saying that we were open to adopting again but we just didn’t know how it would happen.  We still had a loan out for Elias’ adoption, we didn’t want to take a huge chunk of time away from Indonesia again, but we still felt like if we were to adopt again, we’d want to do another infant adoption (which pretty much limits us to a domestic adoption and requires us being in the U.S. for that huge chunk of time).  How would all of those things come together??  We didn’t think it possible.  BUT GOD…isn’t that a spectacular statement?  “But God”…wonderful words, because when God is in charge anything can happen!

BUT GOD stepped in and took care of all three of these things within a matter of about a week.  Our loan will be paid off in the Spring, much sooner than we expected (because of some super generous people).  I had a brain wave about how we could both stay in Indonesia AND still do a domestic adoption!  Basically, we will be partnering with two adoption agencies: one for the home study and one for the placement.  The home study agency is able to do our home study in Nabire because they specialize in adoption for expats, but normally only do international adoptions.  Our Idaho agency that did Elias’ adoption has agreed to use this other home study and place us in their infant adoption program!  Yay!

Right now, we are in the very beginning stages of our home study, but hope to have it completed within a few months.

Family of four in 2016?  Only God knows.

Pahme-Giving (Thanksgiving in Daboto)

Do you ever have moments when you step back and think “how did I get here?” This past weekend, as I gazed across the beautiful mountains of Papua from our friend’s porch in Daboto, I was asking myself that very question.

The frustrations of life in Indonesia seem to fade away for a moment whenever we go interior.  I’m reminded of why we are here.  We see people who have come to know Christ after years, decades, centuries in darkness and also those who have not yet seen the Light.  It is always amazing.  Always humbling.  And always eye-opening.  God is doing great things in the mountains, valleys and low-lands of Papua.

Isn’t it awesome how the Gospels spans generations, cultures, and language?  It is still just as relevant and needed today as it was 2,000 years ago.  It is just as needed in the heart of America as it is in the jungles of Papua.  Praise God that he never gives up on us!

For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to take the show on the road and visit some of our missionary friends who do not have other Americans around to celebrate with.  Daboto is only a 30 minute plane ride from Nabire, but it is an entirely different world.

(I took over 250 pictures, but narrowed it down to just 23 for you….so much to cram into one blog post.)

Daddy's Helper

Just after arriving, isn’t he the cutest little helper you ever did see?

Sweet Carolyn

Steve and Carolyn were the kindest and most gracious hosts.  Carolyn even made us little elephant towels!  I’m sure they will open their B&B any day now.

The View

This is the view from their back porch.  How amazing is this?

In Church

On our first day, Thanksgiving Day, we had a feast with the Moi.  We brought in live chickens (well, at least, they were alive when we left Nabire.  Apparently chickens don’t fair well in the heat and at high altitudes.) and lots of rice.  Chicken is a treat for the Moi since they so rarely eat it.

All of the black pots in the photo above are full of rice and noodles that was divided out after we gave thanks to God.

Steve

I love that his boy is holding on to Steve’s toe.

Hi Friend!Moi Mama

HikersHikers

On Friday morning we took a short hike down to a hamlet a little bit below Steve and Carolyn’s house.

The Party House

We stopped to see the new “jump house” that they are constructing.  The floor in this house is specially constructed to have give so that you can bounce on it like a trampoline. This is where they have huge celebrations, where they literally bounce the night away.

Moi boys in red

Two cute boys, plus you can see a little bit of the bouncy floor.

Looking down the Valley

Group

Our whole group!  The Panambunans, an Indonesian family who used to be missionaries in Daboto but have now moved to Nabire where they continue to work in a support role, Steve and Carolyn, us and Esther, the Dutch teacher who lives in Nabire.

Elias and Jakobi

Elias spent the afternoon playing outside with some of the Moi kids.  Even without a common language, I love to watch how these two boys played together.  We later learned  that this boy was around 4 or 5 years old and is named Jakobi.

Elias and JakobiOn the Porch

Moi Dudeson the trailSurrounded

Everyone wants to watch the GoPro.

Surrounded

The greeting in Daboto is “aba aba aba aba” over and over again, until someone gets tired of saying it. (I’m sure there is some cultural “thing” to tell you how many “abas” you need to say, but I didn’t figure it out.)

Anyway, in this picture I am saying my “abas” with this lady while we do the traditional “secret handshake” that many of the mountain tribes do.

Paper Airplanes

Elias and “Uncle Steve” or “Uncle Doug” or “Grandpa” (Elias had many names for Steve) played paper airplanes together.

Thanksgiving with a view

Dinner with a view!  Also, check out the super cute napkin holders that Elias made.  He was so proud.

Thanksgiving Dinner

And finally, we did sit down for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, turkey and all!  Yummy!

Pahme (the closest thing to “thank you” in the Moi language), Steve and Carolyn, for hosting us all!  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving (or should I say Pahme-Giving?) and have much to be thankful for.