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.)
Just after arriving, isn’t he the cutest little helper you ever did see?
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.
This is the view from their back porch. How amazing is this?
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.
I love that his boy is holding on to Steve’s toe.
On Friday morning we took a short hike down to a hamlet a little bit below Steve and Carolyn’s 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.
Two cute boys, plus you can see a little bit of the bouncy floor.
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 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.
Everyone wants to watch the GoPro.
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.
Elias and “Uncle Steve” or “Uncle Doug” or “Grandpa” (Elias had many names for Steve) played paper airplanes together.
Dinner with a view! Also, check out the super cute napkin holders that Elias made. He was so proud.
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.