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Finding Ways to Connect

Language school is a tedious and time-consuming job.  We go to school, do homework and study as much as we can.  We have come to realize how important it is to be able to speak in the heart language of our chosen home.  Becoming friends with our neighbors has been such a wonderful experience.  Not only have they been wonderful helping us learn the language, we have bought birds from a breeder that lives right behind us, had a seamstress make us sheets for sleeping mats, and had many cups of tea and coffee discussing local customs and just trying to form simple sentences.

One way that Joy has connected with the women in our community is to join a group that call themselves “professional mothers”.  This is a group of women who want to better their families and meet together to learn as much as they can.  They have different classes every week and on Saturdays they meet to learn English.  Joy and a couple of other MAF wives have started going to class and helping these women learn English, and in return the women help with their Indonesian language skills.  It has been an encouraging and wonderful way to get to know many other women.  Joy has had opportunities to talk about American customs, Easter and has even been able to explain about her personal relationship with Yesus.  She has learned so much about Muslim women and customs as well.  These meetings have become the highlight of her week.

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Women’s Group

Luke has also found ways to interact with the men in the community.  He joins in monthly men’s meetings, where the men plan community projects, catch up with the news and share a meal.  He also frequently visits neighbors and talks with men about coffee, motorcycles and farm animals.  Luke is giving his testimony in Indonesian this week in chapel.  He had an good experience working with a neighbor to correct his Indonesian and prepare it to give on Monday.  We are always excited to see the ways that God opens doors.

This week the men of the community decided that the road in front of our house needed some repairs.  Luke enjoyed working with the crew.

Fixing the Road

Fixing the Road

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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

“Love Ya” Packages

Getting a package from the U.S. is a big deal!  We have had several people ask about sending us care packages, so we thought we’d put together some information about how to send packages and give some ideas for things that we miss or like. This list will probably change over time and we may add or subtract things as we find them.

1) We have heard from people here that the best way to send a package is by US Postal Service and to use a flat rate box. It takes an average of three to four weeks to get here (no matter what they tell you at the USPS office). So please, no perishable items!

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2) Please keep the value of the package under $50.  Taxes and fees can be pretty steep, which we pay for when we pick up the package. If the value is over $50 it would be better to send more than one package than to go over.

3) Take items out of the original outside packaging and take off price stickers and tags.  You can also put food items or small items in a Ziploc bag for extra protection. You will have to fill out a customs form on which you list the items inside the package and their value.  We have heard it suggested using the “garage sale value” of the non-food items, and listing them as “used”.   Once price tags and packaging is removed from an item it is then considered “used”.  Customs laws here assume that things are being mailed here to sell, so they charge heavy taxes and fees for these types of items.

**Thank you to everyone who sent a package while we were in language school.  Each one was special and exciting!

UPDATED IDEA LIST (This list will be updated periodically depending on changing needs)

  • Amazon Gift Certificates (Can be sent via email to flying4royalty@gmail.com)
  • Flavored instant oatmeal
  • Beef Jerky
  • Pudding or Jell-O packets
  • Dried cranberries
  • Marshmallows
  • Resolve Stain Stick-solid
  • Boys size 12 jean and gym shorts
  • Small goodies for the kids

Thank you so much for generosity and care for our family. It is such an encouragement and so nice to have a piece of “home” sent to us!

Our Mailing Address:

Luke & Joy Bryant

Kotak Pos 239
Sentani, 99352
Papua Indonesia

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Our Amazing Race

When we left my parents house for the airport the morning of June 18th, we were expecting about 43 hours of travel time before we reached our final destination in Salatiga, Indonesia.

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Saying Good-bye at the airport.

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We boarded the plane in Dallas to connect to our international flight in San Francisco, and the plane just sat there.  After a 3 hour delay because of winds in San Francisco, we missed our connecting flight.  We were put on standby for the next available flight the next evening, which was overbooked.  Unfortunately, there were NO hotel rooms available in the whole area because of a convention.  We ended up having to spend the night in the airport.  We found a “nursery” room that was fairly quiet and dark and we settled in to rest.

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Sleeping at the airport.

Throughout the night Luke was trying to get in contact with our travel agent to see what we could do to get back on track.  The carrier we were on was overbooked for several days, which would have us missing our orientation in Indonesia.  We finally found an agent on the East Coast that started working on our problem and when Idaho woke up, our travel office got involved.  We finally got on another flight around noon to Los Angelas, but not before we had to collect all 12 of our checked bags and pay for them again with another carrier.

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We ended up taking 5 different flights and being in 4 different countries before we finally got to our new home in Indonesia. We had to collect and re-process our bags 3 different times. The whole trip took 62 hours!!

Throughout the trip we felt God’s hand on us in an amazing way.  We could literally feel prayers surrounding us.  God gave us peace and grace for one another.  The children were amazing!  They were troopers and such a big help to us.  Thank you for helping us get to our new home.

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Our house while we are in language school

So far we are loving our experience here.  The children have already made Indonesian friends.  Caleb has thrown football with several boys next door and both children are already picking up some Indonesian words.

Each day we have a pretty big reminder of why we are now in Indonesia.  Each morning at 4:20am, at Noon, 3:00 pm, 5 pm and 7pm we hear the Muslim call to prayer over several loud speakers around the neighborhood.  As we listen to the prayers that are broadcast around the city, we feel the urgency of God’s call on our lives.  We long to be “salt and light” in this dark area of the world.  We are excited to get started learning the language and seeing all that God has planned for our future.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Travel Tales!

Our journey to Idaho for our final training begins in South Georgia on Valentine’s Day…

Packed Tight!

Packed Tight!

I think that's it!

I think that’s it!

Grandpa helps tie on the trunk.

Grandpa helps tie on the trunk.

On Valentine’s Day we pack the car with everything that we have left that is not in our crates and head toward Idaho.  We head toward Kentucky to stay the night and take a tour through Mammoth Caves!

Watch out for Bats!

Watch out for Bats!

In the Caves.

In the Caves.

After Mammoth Caves we made our way to Chicago where we stayed with some good friends and supporters, the O’Youngs.  We stayed a few days and had a wonderful time!

Jeanette & Joy

Jeanette & Joy

Double Date Night with Jeanette & Jason.

Double Date Night with Jeanette & Jason.

Reagan, Kylie Joy, Caleb & Bryce.

Reagan, Kylie Joy, Caleb & Bryce.

Ripley was Reagan's new best friend!

Ripley was Reagan’s new best friend!

Bryce and Caleb are Lego Buddies!

Bryce and Caleb are Lego Buddies!

After Chicago we headed to Nebraska where we were blessed to visit with another family that are friends and supporters.  On our way, we had to stop at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois.

Just like my Great Papaw!

Just like my Great Papaw!

Caleb Harvesting Soy Beans

Caleb Harvesting Soy Beans

Hanging out.

Hanging out.

Taking a break in the tractor tire.

Taking a break in the tractor tire.

In Nebraska we woke up to 5 degree weather and were shocked when our friend, Molly, suggested we go to the zoo!  Since it warmed up to 11 degrees by the time the zoo opened, we decided to go for it!  Fortunately, all the sights were in indoor pavilions.  I guess they were used to cold weather!

Fun Times!

Fun Times!

Reagan makes a new friend!

Reagan makes a new friend!

The kids were amazed by the frozen water falls!  Water doesn't freeze in GA & TX!

The kids were amazed by the frozen water falls! Water doesn’t freeze in GA & TX!

We were able to have a couple of extra days with the Gaviolas.  Our car cracked a radiator and had to be repaired and a snow storm decided to dump 10″ of snow on us the day we were to leave.  After digging our car out, we finally got on the road.  The conditions were pretty good until we got to the Rockies.  We hit another storm and made it through.  It didn’t help much when Caleb threw up across the state of Nebraska and Reagan joined in and threw up across the state of Wyoming!  It took us an extra day to travel it.

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Holding Baby Elijah.

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Playing in the snow instead of traveling!

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Hanging out with Isaac.

On the road through the Rockies.

On the road through the Rockies.

We finally made it to Idaho, 3 days later than we originally planned, but on time for Luke to start training on Monday morning.  This was a trip that we will never forget!!

At the apartments at MAF headquarters.

At the apartments at MAF headquarters.

Travel Worn

Travel Worn

Relaxing in front of the fire.

Relaxing in front of the fire.

Everyone's wiped out!

Everyone’s wiped out!

 

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
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Packing Up

How do you categorize your life?  What things in your home can you not live without?  What toys will fit in my trunk?  These are all questions we had to ask ourselves as we started packing up for good.  We needed to fit everything we owned into three 4×4 crates and our suitcases.  It is pretty tough for a 5 year old to decide what toys will go with them on the airplane and what they can do without for a year and a half.

Filling in holes with books!

Filling in holes with books!

Joy's Mom & Grandma drove from TX to GA to help pack the crates.

Joy’s Mom & Grandma drove from TX to GA to help pack the crates.

Finally Closed Up!

Finally Closed Up!

Caleb moving crates into position for the fork lift.

Caleb moving crates into position for the fork lift.

Caleb moved the crates himself!

Caleb moved the crates himself!

Reagan helps...notice the shorts and bare feet in January...

Reagan helps…notice the shorts and bare feet in January…

Caleb works the fork lift.

Caleb works the fork lift.

Ready for Storage!

Ready for Storage!

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Unreached People in Indonesia

I was surprised and excited to find out how many missionaries were headed to Indonesia with MAF.  To me it seemed like a lot, until I started reading about the country.  Indonesia has over 17,000 islands and is the 4th most populated country in the world!  Eighty percent Muslim, largely mountainous and full of jungle, this country has hundreds of unreached people groups.  MAF has 9 bases scattered over Indonesia and provides crucial transportation for God’s people to share His love.  I found a story that gripped my heart and showed me just how important it is to reach these people that were considered “unreachable” until the small airplane came flying onto the scene. If you would like to be a part of this amazing endeavor go to our website at http://www.maf.org/bryant and join our team by becoming a financial partner.

Papua Indonesia

Click to watch “Unreached People”

So What is our Schedule?

  • January 21-26 – We pack our crate and have our last yard sale!
  • February 14 – We leave Georgia to drive to Idaho for our final training.
  • End of April – We finish our training and head to Texas
  • 2nd week of May – We leave for Indonesia from DFW!
  • May 25 – Language School Orientation
 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Changing Course!

When we first joined MAF as a Missionary Pilot Family, we told everyone that we did not feel called to a specific place.  We knew God was preparing us for the job He wanted us to do, and He would reveal to us where He wanted us to go.   For some time now we believed that the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa was that place.  We embraced that assignment and we prepared our hearts for that position.  In the last couple of weeks MAF started looking closely at the programs in Africa.  After prayer and many meetings with program directors, we have been asked to move assignments from Africa to Indonesia.  This was quite a surprise for us, but we have seen God’s hand moving in the process and have come to believe that this move is the best decision for our family.

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world and some very isolated and rugged conditions, including the area devastated by the Tsunami several years ago.  As part of our preparation for this new assignment we will receive specialized training in how to minister to Muslims in Indonesia.  This assignment will provide different challenges than we would have faced in Africa, but we are confident that the Lord will use us to bring His light to the darkness invading these islands in Southeast Asia.

We know that many of you have been following our journey from the very beginning and we are so grateful for your faithful prayers and support.  We are learning more and more how flexible we need to be as we open ourselves up to serving on the Mission Field.  We pray that each of you who have been supporting us financially to go to Africa will also see the great need in Indonesia and be willing to continue your support.  We cannot do this alone!  Your prayers and financial support have sustained us in so many ways.  Click on the link below to see a new video about what our ministry to Muslim Indonesia will be like!

Overcoming Isolation in Indonesia

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized