Well hello there friend. It has been a while. Here in Papua-land our internet has been quite dreadful. Apparently a shark bit the cable in the ocean and we have been internet challenged. (Probably not a shark, but fun to think about.)
Beyond broken cables, I think when I move into new situations I feel like I "lose" my voice. I don't know what to write, how to write it. Like the hugeness of all the newness is too much, too overwhelming to put in words. But alas, I must try. And I want you all to be on this journey with us! So voice or no voice here I am!
We have lived in Wamena almost 4 months! Wow, time goes fast. We are almost to ONE YEAR living in Indonesia.
The first month in Wamena was HARD, like super hard. I was SO homesick, I cried buckets each day, but felt like a wimp (hard on myself, i know) =) I just wanted to go home. I felt awkward and joining the team of people here seemed a monumental task. I don't even know all the reasons it was hard, it just was....there was an intense ache everyday. I learned something about myself. I don't JUMP in new situations guns blazing. I am more like a turtle. I join a new situation with all my limbs sucked in my shell and slowly I come out when I know it is safe. It takes about a month to start feeling comfortable, stable ground. I feel comfortable now. We have such nice people in our team, this place is really amazing. I love the Papuan people. I love the wildness of Wamena. It is a wild place. I LOVE that about it.
I am really thankful God chose me to come here. Sure it is not always easy. But it is not always hard either. It is an HONOR to live here. I love living out of the "norm" I love adventure, I love that living here is like a peep-hole back in time. I love learning about Papuan culture.
I love trying to break down the barrier that my white skin is....and really trying to create meaningful and life-giving relationships with people here. It takes more time.....but it is possible, and it is happening!
My hearts cry as I want to reach out to the people here is : We are different colours, we have different hair, we have different cultures, different houses....but we have the same heart, and to God we are the same! I was at the local market a couple months ago and I was buying some veggies from some ibu's (momma's) and I was explaining to them what Helimission does here.....they got so excited and explained to me that they love Jesus, they started saying to ME what has been so heavy on my heart. They said "we have chocolate skin, you have white skin, you have straight hair, we have curly hair, but we are the same, and Jesus sees us the same" I started misting up right there and told them I completely agreed. On the spot I invited them to my house the following sunday. They have now come to my house two times, and we have a future date to bake cookies together (they want to learn how) What a blessing to my heart. God placed these ladies in my life. One lady asked me if everyone in America loves Jesus (this is a common assumption) I explained to her that America is far from Jesus, that everyone has heard about Jesus, but MANY people don't follow Him or love Him. This was surprising to her. How could people who know about Jesus not love him and follow Him? We live in a place where there are so many languages. Many of these people don't have the Bible in their language, they don't know about Jesus. I explained to my new friend that America needs missionaries.....maybe a few from Papua.... =)
I really do love living here. It is feeling normal. Third world living.
I was texting my friend in America the other day. I told her that we all just took our worming pills along with the animals.....she was like "WHAT?!!!" I was confused as to what she was "what-ing" she laughed and said "look at you, so used to third world that you don't even know what I am what-ing" =)
Papua is a rugged place, there are some rugged people. I find it easy to love them, love this place. Yes, living here is an adventure, and you know I love some adventure! But this is so much more than just adventure....living here has changed me so much more than my presence here has changed this place. I am being changed, mountains are being moved in my heart, and I pray that God uses me in some way to touch this place and these people.
Love, Amanda =)