Wednesday was MAF’s worldwide half day of prayer. In true MAF Nabire fashion, we had ours at the beach! Three languages (Indonesian, Dutch and English), ocean breezes, acoustic guitar, crashing waves, sunshine, singing birds and happy kids all made for a beautiful morning of people from three cultures coming together to worship one God.
This was Esther’s (the Dutch teacher) last Day of Prayer before she leaves for Holland on Monday, and so she had this super cute cake made as a “thank you” to the national staff.
The kids spent most of the time making castles, rivers and pools in the sand while the adults prayed for MAF programs all over the world.
We love being a part of this team and I love seeing their hearts for the Lord on days like this one.
There is a beach across the street from our base and it is beautiful as long as you don’t actually look down at the sand. Sadly, it is full of trash, glass, dead animals, etc. so we don’t swim there, or even walk there.
To get to a swimming beach, we just have to drive a bit out of town. It’s sad that we don’t go more often actually. But we did go this last Saturday and I have the sunburn to prove it. (And also these photos…)
Can you believe I live here? Me neither.
And to this kid, all of this beachy beauty will be his “norm.” It will be home.
This little “flower”? It’s from a coconut! How amazing is God’s creation, even in the little details.
We we kept still enough in the shallow water, a whole bunch of little fish would swim around us. Elias really wanted to catch one, but we were never successful.
We did catch several hermit crabs though!
Elias and his bucket of crabs.
So, I know that Indonesia is really, really far from the U.S., but don’t you want to come visit us anyway?
It finally happened. I had to go to the Nabire hospital. And, you know, it wasn’t too scary! Thankfully I was just there for a chest x-ray, so once we found our way through the trash, mud and barb wire, we (a friend came with me) found the radiology department! And then 45 minutes and $8 later, I walked out with a picture of my lungs.
I’ve had a myriad of symptoms including cycling low-grade fevers (for about a year) and now a persistent cough (probably unrelated), all of this quite a mystery as to what I really have. There are a lot of theories, which I won’t bore you with…but good news!..I do not have walking pneumonia or valley fever.
For now, just pray as we try to figure out this puzzle. I am so very grateful for the medical professionals we have around us who can help!
Truth be told, I probably won’t make most of these mixes if/when we live in America again because store bought ones are so convenient and still pretty tasty. But here, where such things are only occasionally available (never in Nabire) and cost a pretty penny, I make my own.
The two I almost always have on hand are muffin mix and pancake/waffle mix. I love muffins. True story. And we have breakfast for dinner every Sunday night, so the pancake/waffle mix gets used weekly!
(I haven’t gotten around to labeling the Pancake Mix container yet…)
12 cups flour
4 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups mix
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (I have substituted oil with bananas or applesauce)
Bake 15-18 min at 400*
Optional Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
Cut the butter into the flour/brown sugar mix. Pour half of muffin mix into half of muffin cups. Sprinkle half of the streusel, then cover with the rest of the muffin mix, and finally top with the rest of the streusel.
2 3/4 cups of muffin mix
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries
1 tsp vanilla
Bake 15-18 min at 400*
8 cups of unbleached flour
2 cups nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
To Make Pancakes:
2 cups mix
1 3/4 cups of water or milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
To Make Waffles:
2 1/2 cups of mix
2 cups of water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
This last one, I probably will still make in the U.S. because you just can’t buy it’s equal!
Mega Mix for All Things Breaded and Fried
oil for frying
2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 cup milk
1. Heat oil to 375 F.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Whisk together milk and eggs.
4. Cut [chicken, avocado, onion petals*, zucchini…whatever you want!] into strips. Dip each piece into flour mixture, then egg/milk mixture and then flour mixture again.
5. Once all of the [chicken, avocado, onion petals*, zucchini…whatever you want!] is coated, place pieces into oil one by one. Fry until golden brown, 5-6 minutes flipping once.
*For onion petals, I first soak the onion pieces in buttermilk (or milk and vinegar) for about 30 minutes.
I haven’t tried baking these yet, but I may try that someday for a healthier option!
Before moving to Indonesia, I thought I knew how to cook. But basically what I knew was how to heat things up. Moving overseas; where there are no frozen pre-made meals available, not many jarred sauces, and very few shortcuts when it comes to cooking; has been my crash course in cooking from scratch. There have been many misses along the way, but these are a few of the tried and true recipes that I make regularly, Sauce Edition.
[Warning: I have found that cooking from scratch has ruined me for most store-bought pre-made food. Food made from scratch tastes so much better!! So, if you venture into the from-scratch type of cooking and you can’t stomach jarred sauce or store-bought dressing again, don’t say I didn’t warn you )
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef or pork sausage (I usually leave this out and add meat later when I’m actually going to serve the sauce)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 lbs tomatoes, quartered (or maybe smaller depending on the size of the tomatoes)
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups water (or beef broth)
- In a dutch oven cook meat (or cook veggies in olive oil if not included meat), onion, green pepper, and garlic till meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat.
- Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, salt, basil, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Stir in the water or beef broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 ½ to 2 hours or till sauce is of desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti.
Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
- 4 pounds Roma tomatoes, or other ripe tomato
- ½ cup diced onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil minced
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut each Roma tomato in half the long way. Then cut them in half from top to bottom.
- In a large bowl place tomato halves, diced onion, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper flakes, salt and oil. Toss to combine then pour out onto a sheet pan. Arrange tomato halves cut side up and roast uncovered for one hour. Remove from oven, flip tomatoes and roast for 30 more minutes.
- (Note: different tomato varieties have different water content. The above step should be monitored. You are looking for a good deal of the water content to evaporate but not burn the tomatoes)
- Using a food processor, puree the tomato/onion mixture.
- To the pureed tomatoes, add the tomato paste, agave nectar, onion powder, butter and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning. Use on your favorite pizza or freeze in small plastic bags for later use.
On the left and middle: spaghetti sauce. On the right, pizza sauce.
Both of these sauces can be frozen and saved for later.
Easter comes quietly in Papua. There are no chocolate bunnies, no pastel eggs lining store shelves and not even a single Peep in sight. It could almost sneak up on you. Music playing from church loud speakers is the only indication that something is on the horizon.
For us, we celebrated with our teammates. Eggs were hunted, salvation bracelets were made and food was consumed. But the real joy, the real celebration is that Christ has saved us! And it was free!
And because He lives, because death could not contain Him, because he chose to adopt me into His family, I can, like the old hymn says, “face tomorrow. Because I know He holds the future.” And that future is secure.