My family braved the double digit flights hours, transits in strange lands, and airplane food to come and see us for a week. To me this was an unbelievable feat since my dad is always balancing preaching and running the safe and lock shops, which makes for very little down time. But they made it, and we enjoyed every minute of the time we were given together.
I was super proud of my dad for navigating the airport in the capital city, getting to a hotel and then managing to catch the next flight out to the smaller city nearby. He had even studied some language beforehand!
My mom was by far the most adventurous. Not to say the others didn’t join in, but people stereotype my mom as kinda fearful and not very exploratory. Instead, this amazing lady didn’t hesitate to jump on the back of my motorbike and ride through insane traffic with me…but without the shouts and dashboard pounding that accompanied my drivers training as a teenager. Maybe because there is no dashboard on a bike? Hehe. 🙂 She even hiked 832 steps down to a waterfall and then back up. I loved sharing a bit of our life here with her. Now I know she knows how to pray for me in a more “enlightened” way since she’s tasted a little bit of our daily life in a new culture.
Oh yes, and my mom hiked up to some old temple ruins too with all of us! She has indeed opened a new chapter in life!
Everyone tried new foods, new snacks, and new ways of eating! And for both my sisters living in the same city for most of their lives, they did tried all sorts of things outside of their comfort zones too (like zipping all over town on a motorbike and scouring the market for random stuff).!Everyone participated in a mock Stage 1 lesson, just like Payton and I did when we first got here! Then we kind of explained the rest of the steps we go through as the language lessons get harder. By then end our helper had them replying to commands and everything!
I’m proud of my dad too. He went all “batik” on us and was ready to go to any event. As it turned out, he was invited to preach at church (since it was guest speaker Sunday), then share at a smaller Sunday School up in a village. Later he also got to share with some seminary students in a Homiletics class. All of this was only made possible by our dear pastor here who wanted to my dad to share and translated for him.
And in classic dad and son-in-law fashion they worked on a project…figuring out what was clogging our kitchen sink for months on end. We’d probably put about 3 lbs of lye down it over the course of a few months, assuming it was from oil or food, since the drains here are not always put together well (no p-traps or other normal plumbing stuff). We figured we’d just kinda chemical burn it out. Turns out, a toothbrush and some silverware were the culprit. I had assumed it was the hundreds of roaches we’d previously killed and left to rot in there. Nope, it was just some ancient stuff that had to be fished out with a doohickey they rigged. Fun times!
I will cherish the beautiful time we had together. I am so thankful for technology. If I’d been born 100 years ago, I’d probably have sailed across the ocean never to return again (how many of Adoniram Judson’s wives died?!?). But one thing I’m especially thankful for is the willing hearts that both of our families have. I know they’d love for us to be close, but they never complain or add weightyness to our hearts. They have opened their hands and given us the freedom to serve and learn without guilt and extra pain. For that I am eternally grateful. Their sacrifice is indeed heavy. Our hearts’ desire is that one day there will be a new people group that will worship alongside them as brothers and sisters in Christ…and we will spend eternity together, realizing that every moment we were separated was worth it.