Well, for many, many months my "adopted" Bapak (Father) has been asking me to bring my family (wife and kids) into the village. So last weekend we finally got the chance to do it.
I've spent the night in 11 different villages now, and I've got to say that this was one of the best! Of course, we don't go in to have a "good time," we go in to encourage and minister to the people. However, what usually happens is that it's mutually encouraging. They often minister to us as well, and though we come home exhausted, it's also invigorating for the whole family. That was certainly the case this time!
The fun thing about Rungan was the people. They are so warm and friendly and generous!!! I think we ate a meal just about every hour, as every family had to have their turn having the pilot and his wife and kids into their house for a meal. Seriously! We ate about 10 times while we were there! It was humbling, b/c these folks don't have much, and yet they essentially killed the "fattened calf" (or chicken in this case...and jungle deer, and wild pig...and you get the idea) on our behalf. Our kids had an absolute blast playing non-stop with the kids from Rungan. There may have been some cultural and language barriers, but an outside observer would have had trouble spotting that. From the moment we landed on the short, slippery patch of grass in the jungle, until the moment we left, our kids were running around, laughing, playing--just being kids with their new friends. It was great to see. Above, one of Tyler's MANY new friends is helping him find another ayam (chicken) to chase. Below, clad in his freshly-made, banana-leaf hat, Hudson chomps on oh-so-sweet sugar cane. The kids all got to try some during a hike through the jungle.
Each of these kids were so kind and generous with the little that they had. When we left, we gave them our soccer ball and Aerobe. They were overjoyed! Above, Hudson is playing soccer with his new buddies. Wish I could include audio with the picture. There were so many laughs, it was great!! Below, Hannah amuses herself with a live dragonfly on a piece of grass. Britton and Hudson found a myriad of strange and fun insects and animals. Although for Britton, the best ones were the bats that kept flying right through the partially built church during the film I showed. The high-intensity projector light drew in all the bugs, which in turn brought the bats. It was great entertainment for an eight year old boy.
As usual, the evening revolved around the church service. This was the first time that anyone had ever shown a large film in Long Rungan. The people were very excited!! So sometime after dark the entire village showed up and we had a big church service. I had the opportunity to share as well as show a film. It was a fantastic service and a wonderful privilege. I really enjoy each chance I get to spend time with the people interior, outside of the busy flight schedule. And this time was no different! :)