In February, following our “baby furlough,” we were finally ready to come back home to Papua. Our newest daughter, Audrey Jean, had all the necessary paperwork needed to enter Indonesia. Our oldest daughter, Grace, was really missing Papua, which made us happy to see that our kids are just as excited about “home” as we are.
On the one hand it is always very hard to say good-bye to family and friends, on the other hand we really look forward to seeing our friends and our home in Papua. This time we brought our new baby daughter, Audrey, and it’s amazing to see the joy a baby brings! One of my favorite meetings was with a man named Geri who works for the local doctor. This man used to work for my parents when they served and lived here in Wamena, and Mr. Geri used to hold me when I was a baby. I showed him a photo of our newest baby and the first question is always “Is it a boy?” He told me that he would come visit tomorrow. “Tomorrow” in this culture can mean tomorrow, a week from tomorrow or even longer, so you never know when you will have visitors. Well tomorrow came and Geri was waiting outside with his family and he cried when he got to hold Audrey in his arms. He was so happy and told us about how he used to watch me, and how naughty my older brother was.
Another lovely meeting was when our friends Abed and Dorli came to meet Audrey. Dorli crocheted Audrey a “noken” (a local net carrying bag) to carry her in. She put Audrey inside it and explained the technique. Hanging up the noken makes it a great tool for rocking the baby to sleep in.
It is such a joy to live here and have such good local friends to share in the joys God gives us. We feel such peace in raising our kids here because we know that God has called us here and He gives us the relationships we need!
Matt M., Pilot and Mechanic