The last few months have felt like we have been sitting on the edge of the world! It is easy to lose touch with family and friends back in the U.S. We have been in a perpetual state of training and waiting for so long, that it is easy to become disillusioned and forget the reason we came. This weekend we decided to take a family trip to Wamena. Because this is the city that we will be moving to after Luke’s initial checkout in the Kodiak, we felt like it would be a good way to boost our spirits and see what life would be like when we move there next year.
Wamena is in the Baliem Valley, surrounded by rugged mountains. The only way to reach Wamena is by airplane. Wamena is strategically located near dozens of the small airstrips that we serve. In fact, the gospel first came to the region 60 years ago by missionaries that were brought in by floatplane.
This trip was our family’s first official flight with MAF. We were so excited to stop at two different interior villages. These villages are tucked away in the mountains. It was amazing to look out and see nothing but mountains until a small strip of grass comes into view just about the time you realize that you will be landing on it! Standing under the wing of the airplane as it gently rained around us, we felt like we were standing in a postcard or calendar. We were surrounded by villagers, all perched on the side of the hill, watching as the plane was unloaded. Before we left, 3 live pigs were placed in the pod, squealing their displeasure. As we waved to the children out the windows as we took off, we couldn’t help but feel our hearts fill with a renewed sense of purpose. This was the reason we were here, and it was so good to see how MAF continues to serve the people of Papua.
During our time in Sentani Luke has had the opportunity to meet several missionaries that live and work interior. Many of them rely on MAF to provide transportation to and from the villages where they live and serve. Their stories of living in these villages are surreal and we love to hear them as they come through. There is still a great amount of Bible translation work to be done in Papua. We are amazed that God has chosen us to be a part of this ministry.