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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wild Weather, a Film, and an Upcoming Adventure!

It's been a wild weather week--massive, prolonged thunder and lightning storms day and night.

On Saturday night I set up all my film stuff in the hangar, and we enjoyed a time of food, films, and fellowship with all of our national staff and their families, and others. We're really blessed with a quality group of people here, without whom we'd really be hurting in our ministry and operations. It was fun to just hang out together. Along with some MAF flight videos, and Tom and Jerry (they absolutely love that here,) we also watched "End of the Spear." It was especially encouraging and interesting to them, not only because of the theme of true redemption and lasting peace, but also b/c of the piece of MAF history that played out in the film through Nate Saint and his little yellow plane. They really take pride in being a part of the ministry of MAF, and a famous part of that past ministry so vividly portrayed was indeed inspiring.

Here's some random shots from the rest of the week. The spots of sunshine and pretty scenery were hard to find--and short lived. But as usual, it further emphasized the reason why we're here.

Last week I spent a long night in the jungle, hunting pigs and fighting torrential rain swollen rivers. We were a few young men in fairly good shape only a few hours hike from the village, essentially stranded until the waters subsided. Can you imagine trying to make a hike through 100 miles or more of this jungle in similar conditions with an elderly or sick person or child? Yeah, that's why we're here!

In a few weeks, Paul and I are going to attempt our most ambitious adventure to date. If all goes well, we'll be taking a week of vacation to fly into the village of Pujungan. From there, we'll be trekking the old-fashioned way for seven to eight days over 70 miles through some of the most rugged and inaccessible terrain in all of Borneo to reach the village of Data Dian. The pictures above and below are all taken from above the area that we'll be crossing.

We'll have several experienced local guides leading the way, without whom we'd quickly become completely lost. However the reality will still be there. When you're that far out in the middle of nowhere, there's no one coming to rescue you should something go wrong.

I think that's part of the appeal really. First of all, Paul shares my characteristic of not being able to simply enjoy things from the "easy" perspective. We like challenges and adventure. But also, there's something to be said about experiencing the alternative to the MAF airplane. It not only opens our eyes to the hardships and challenges of foot and river travel, but also shows the people whom we serve that we understand their dilemma.

And the really cool part is the relationships that we'll build with the local guys. Trust me, when you're trudging through leach-infested, muddy mile after mile of dense jungle undergrowth, and sharing a campfire under a hastily-built shelter in pouring down rain, there's plenty of time to get to know each other. We really enjoy these times of fellowship and ministry, when we can connect on a deeper level than is typically possible on a busy flight day.

So stay tuned, I'm sure as the trip approaches, there will be more updates. And when it's all over, hopefully I'll have quite a story to tell, and a new appreciation for the role that MAF plays in the remote corners of the world.

P.S. I have an amazing, unbelievable wife to let me go on adventures like this, don't you think so?!


Jennifer said...

I've enjoyed your recent posts Dave. Wonderful pictures as always! I agree you have a wonderful wife and I'm glad to hear that your family is on the mend. Thinking of you all!

Warren Baldwin said...

I'm looking forward to reading about his upcoming adventure.

Unknown said...

Hey Dave, I don't know if you heard it, but on A Higher Plane (MAF Podcast), they talked about you and Paul C. Check it out at (it's the one from April 3.

Just thought you'd like to know :)

Lew Cass said...

Dave - You lucky dog! What an adventure this will be coming up! Yes, you have a very wonderful wife that is very supportive of your visions and goals. Just don't bring back the Anaconda this trip. Let Joy warm up to Shiela first then spring "Bubba the Anaconda" on her. She'll be able to handle the transition better! Ha!
Wish I could join you and Paul! You guys will have a blast!
Alot of hard work but worth the adventure to build ties with the local folks. I know they too will appreciate the fact you are experiencing "walking in their shoes".

Ronda said...

Ooh, how fun!! I know that if Stan were still there, he'd love to join you guys. We just arrived back from our 10 day trek and I will be posting pictures shortly. What a great idea for showing films at the hangar, sorry we missed it!