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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Place of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are a part of life no matter where you live, but seeing them in a 3rd world country opens your eyes to a lot of new things.  The people here do not have insurance, so when a mud slide comes through your living room, a volcano erupts and wipes out your home, a typhoon sweeps your roof into the sea, or an earthquake cracks through your foundation, it is just gone.  There is nowhere to go and nowhere to sleep.  Your life will never be the same.  Recently, Luke took a 6-day trip to Manado to help with some clean-up from the flood there.  Entire villages were covered in mud and the clean-up efforts seemed endless.  They helped clean a mud slide out of one house and spent time helping a pastor clean up and fix his house.  Below are some of the pictures from his trip.

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This week on the Island of Java, Mt. Kelud erupted, killing several and relocating thousands.  Even 260 km away, we had ash fall that kept us inside with doors closed.  It was quite an experience!  

The kids were cooped up too long and had to get out!

The kids were cooped up too long and had to get out!

Our front yard.

Our front yard.

Airport covered in Ash.

Airport covered in Ash.

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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas in the Tropics

After our Advent celebration, our family wanted to do something completely different for Christmas to chase away some of the homesickness we knew would be there.  We took a trip to the beach!  We spent an amazing Christmas day boat riding, snorkeling, visiting Turtle Island and enjoying the beach.  While riding on the boat under the bright blue sky, Caleb shouted, “This is the best Christmas ever!”  It accomplished our goal of making Christmas different and special, but we still missed being with family! This may turn into a new family tradition!

Largest bat we've ever seen!

Largest bat we’ve ever seen!

Welcome!

Welcome!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

New Christmas Traditions

Christmas this year was different from any other Christmas we have celebrated in the past.  Being in a tropical country away from our loved ones, we didn’t feel very “Christmasy” this year.  All of our Christmas decorations are also in our crate, that we won’t get until May or June.  We had to be really intentional about bringing the meaning of Christmas into our home. We found a “Focus on the Family” advent calendar that used the Adventures in Odyssey shows to teach lessons having to do with the Christmas season.  We also started a Jesse Tree, which studies a different person in Jesus’ family tree every day until Christmas.  These things really helped us prepare our hearts and home for Christmas this year.

Reagan and one of her friends by our Jesse Tree.

Reagan and one of her friends by our Jesse Tree.

One tradition that Joy’s family has done every year that she can remember is Advent.  Every Sunday leading up to Christmas the family would have a devotion and light a candle on the advent wreath.  Then, right before Christmas, The entire family and friends would gather for an Advent meal and light all the candles on the wreath. Joy’s mom made sure that each one of her children had an advent wreath when they got married and started their own families, and it is Joy’s favorite family tradition.  This year we decided to share this tradition with many of our friends and neighbors in Indonesia.  We invited them to our home for a traditional American holiday meal and to share our Advent tradition with them.  This was an awesome opportunity to share our hearts and love with our Muslim friends and neighbors.  Everyone came and we had an amazing time explaining the different holiday dishes, sharing the Christmas story and answering many questions.  We are honored and grateful for the experience.

Lighting the Advent candles.

Lighting the Advent candles.

Trying American foods

Trying American foods

English learning class.

English learning class.

The men's group

The men’s group

Pak Wawan and Ibu Nanik are our closest friends and neighbors.

Pak Wawan and Ibu Nanik are our closest friends and neighbors.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized