January 04, 2011

New Year's in the Krayan

After a lovely Christmas in Tarakan hosting Indonesian friends, opening gifts, attending church services...

...and riding around the island visiting friends, we headed interior on a ministry trip on New Year's Eve.

As always, the scenery was gorgeous...

...the kids had a blast...

...and we ate well.  Freshly-harvested short-grain Krayan rice is hands-down the best rice in the world!  Still recovering from a parasite, I was unable to eat this big hunk of fat and skin, but I appreciated them giving it to me just the same. :-) 

Two other MAF wives and I led a Sunday school for the kids.  Some of the kids brought small tin cans of rice with them.  Their teacher explained that if they don't have money to give, they bring a can of rice...

...and give it for their offering.

The people were so kind to us, accompanying us out to the plane as we left, one lady grabbing my arm as I fell into a big mud hole (it had rained a lot) and pulling me out.  She then told me how she had two children, but the oldest, a daughter, got sick when she was in college, and David was the one who flew her home to her village so she could die at home with her family.  She was so appreciative - even several years after the fact - that David did that for them.  

Sometimes I count the cost of what we do and I think it's too high a price to pay - the distance from family, the frustrations of living in a different culture and climate, the giving up of silly things like Chik-Fil-A and shopping at Target.  But every time we take a trip interior, I am reminded of why we're here - and I realize the cost isn't too high, that I am glad to pour out my life in service to the Lord here.  
Usually I make some sort of resolutions at New Year's, but having failed to meet last year's very lofty ambition of learning to whistle loudly (you know, that kind of loud, ear-piercing whistle your p.e. teacher could do), I'm not feeling very motivated to make new resolutions.  I'll keep working on the whistle, and I'll keep plugging away at reading the books stacked on my shelf, and I'll keep working on an idea for a novel.

Happy New Year from Tarakan!

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