From Spearing Fish to Spearing Beef Burgers

Spear-a-beef-burger-dad-instagram-300x300Well, here we are back in town after a whirlwind of packing up all that has been home to us for the past 8 months of our lives. We have had a beautiful welcome home and it has been so good to see all of our family and friends again. We have also been enjoying the many benefits of coming back to the developed world… running water, drinking straight from the tap, fresh produce on any day of the week and refrigeration amongst other things. Some of you may remember the blog ‘Spear a beef burger Dad!’? There have been quite a few ‘moments’ of hilarity as we experience the ease of basic things we took for granted before we left. On our first day home my Dad actually called to remind us not to light a fire in the lounge room for our morning coffee!! Thanks Dad!

Our last days (for this year) on that beautiful Island were so special… Much laughter and much tears were had as we said goodbye to our new friends, our second family and really to our new 2nd home. We have fallen in love with this place, with this people… changed forever, never to be the same again. We have been apprehensive about leaving the simple life we have been living…where we feel safe to sleep with no walls and fresh air, where we awake to the gentle sounds of waves, nature and simple village life. A place where people really do come first… And feeling a little uneasy on how to negotiate a world that seems to thrive on busyness & where everyone seems to have an agenda.

Our dream is to bring these two worlds a little closer together!

These two worlds have SO much to offer each other!!

Sampai Jumpa (See you) Matt, Nat, Jayden, Molly, Grace &Noah

Making a Difference

Delfiana-in-her-Mercy-Huts-Hat-instagram-300x300Something else that became apparent to us as our days here drew to a close, was the impact we had made as a family just by simply being part of this amazing community!

We had visit after visit from different people that we had prayed for or helped out in some simple way. They kept asking us not to stay away for too long because they felt that God answered all of our prayers! We explained each time that it was our God and their faith that saw answered prayer, but here, specifically, are some of the things we learned:

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  • a young girl with a skin condition had been healed
  • an old man that could barely see regained his sight and was healed from another illness
  • Delfianas mothers’ back had been healed
  • An undernourished baby that would not eat and could not see, is now eating and seems to be able to see a little. The mothers name is Liz and she had already lost 2 babies.
  • each time we were asked to pray for protection of their seaweed farms from large waves and tides, they were saved. We have been asked to continue to pray for this. (for more on this see our next blog)

2012-03-23-7-300x300The scariest thing that happened actually turned out to be the most beautiful thing we saw. One night after hearing that there had been a motorcycle accident involving 2 of our friends and resulting in a fatality, we were visited by one of the injured passengers. He told us that his brother in law was being taken to a hospital in Kupang and was not expected to live through the night. After praying with him and helping him look after his injuries he sadly went home. We learned later that his brother in law not only survived but made a full recovery which led to the passenger (and friend) we had prayed for coming to Christ.

It is amazing when you strip back the busyness, that this leaves more room for real connection – with God, with nature and with people – and from this place real joy is found.

Blessings

Matt, Nat, Jayden, Molly, Grace and Noah x

7 months here and Feeling Like Family

Thistlewaite-Family-in-RoteIt’s been 7 months since we were standing at Sydney Airport waiting to board our flight to Indonesia… with all of our luggage in hand and expectancy in our hearts for the adventure that lay ahead.

We had our sights set on this small island in Indonesia and the children of the new ‘Mercy Home’ there. We had met these children briefly the previous October and had fallen in love with them and their house parents Benny and Defi. Some of the best times we’ve had here so far have been with these kids. We’ve loved our times swimming together in the fresh water spring near their home, or when they come and play with us here at Delha. Everyone has a ‘blast’… swimming, riding bikes, playing soccer, eating coconuts. Little did we know what else was in store for us and how many other children and families would make their way into our hearts!!

  • From our first experience of learning Bahasa Delha with sweet coffee, dough balls and all 22 teachers!
  • To teaching English to some of the locals, including Mama Chi.
  • From witnessing many wild and amazing things being auctioned off for the weekly offering at the local church.
  • To helping with Sunday School and a Kids Club after ‘big church’ where we have continued to see more and more children each week walking up the dusty roads to join us to sing and hear about Jesus….At last count we had close to 150 children which is more than double when we first started!
  • This connection with the local church has also led to having the opportunity to run English lessons twice a week for village children, which has been so rewarding AND fun!

In the meantime, Molly, Grace, Noah and Jayden got to hang out with 2 of their heroes… pro surfers Bethany Hamilton and Lakey Peterson (who happen to be our neighbours). They enjoyed swimming together, eating popcorn and even going for a ride in the Kijang aka The Bomb.

We have also built our first sun hut in the trees and had the pleasure of hosting our first guests. The Beaufils family were here with us for 1 month and they too fell in love with this place.

It is a child’s fairy tale here… One young western girl staying with her family in a very luxurious private house, after seeing our place – with our bunk beds made of drift wood, our traditional clay oven, our well, and our buckets all lined up in the shower area – went back to tell her Dad that she “had just seen the best house she had ever seen in her whole life!” Perspective hey!

More recently we have been able to provide many seeds for agriculture as well as new rope and seed for damaged seaweed farms after a huge swell that came through. This was because of a donation from three little girls that has greatly helped 20 families. Seaweed farming is the people of Delha’s livelihood! We have become more familiar with the root issues of this beautiful community and have developed a strong relationship with the Kepala Desa (head of the village) and his wife.

This experience will stay with us forever and we so look forward to sharing this piece of paradise along with its beautiful people with you when you visit this Island for yourself.

Sampai Jumpa Lagi (See you later)

Matt, Nat, Jayden, Molly, Grace and Noah x