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Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Poor Rat!" And Other News of the Week

On Saturday I heard my dear wife utter words that I never thought I'd hear her say in this lifetime. Based on other comments and reactions she's had concerning rats around our house, I just never thought I'd hear her say, "That poor rat!" It all started with a morning trip to the mangrove park in town.

It was a typical, very muggy, showery morning. No matter what the weather is like, the monkey park always seems like a sauna! The tide was up, so that meant that all the critters that normally hang out in the mud have no choice but to climb up onto the roots of the mangrove trees or drown. Fortunately we get to walk on the boardwalk above the muck.

We saw a few Macaques up in the trees, swinging around and playing.

We saw some crabs and birds and other critters.

Of course, we saw a bunch of those weird mud skippers too. Those are the strange fish that can breath both in AND out of water, and can "walk" or "skip" around on the mud and lower branches with their fins. Strange!

But the strangest thing we've ever seen...ever, was the monkey and the rat! Look closely at the Macaque below. Do you see what he has under his mitts? Yeah, it's a rat. And it was totally alive. Apparently this unfortunate rat had gotten caught by a sadistic, deranged monkey suffering from severe boredom or simply the need to torture.

Have you ever seen a cat play with a live mouse? Well, this was like that except weirder. I'll spare you all the gruesome details, but suffice to say, the rat, although making a valiant effort to bite back or otherwise escape his tormentor, was obviously NOT going to get away. It's pitiful squealing prompted Joy's outburst of, "That poor rat!" By the way, although it was drizzling, you can see that the rat is far wetter than the monkey. That's because the monkey crawled down the roots and very intentionally held the rat under water, with the obvious intention of drowning it. I'm telling you, it was pretty sadistic, even if it was a rat that was being tortured. Incidentally, I did get it on HD video, but it's a little gruesome for this wholesome family-friendly blog.

Moving on to much more important and uplifting news: While I've been busy flying, Joy and the kids are having a great time getting re-acquainted with all their Indonesian friends and neighbors. This past week Joy hosted the Bible study that she and another MAF wife have been a part of for a long time now. She's also looking forward to getting back into the kids club ministry, as well as building relationships with other Indonesian moms in the neighborhood.

Our kids are loving the warm weather, as well as re-connecting with their MAF friends. A few days ago they had a big water fight party at the College's house. Looked like fun!

I flew every day last week and loved it! It's so fun to see all my friends interior again, and to be serving them in such a tangible way with the airplane. On Friday I had the very unique privilege of flying a group of Westerners out of Long Bawan, and back to Tarakan. I had heard that there was a ministry team doing programs in various villages in the Long Bawan area, and that I was supposed to bring them out on Friday to catch their flight to Jakarta. One of our other MAF pilots had flown them in, but that was before I was back from the U.S. last week.

Boy was I shocked to find out that they were not only from the U.S., but they were actually from the Portland, OR area. In fact, several of them were from Gresham, where Joy is from! Isn't that amazing? Seriously, we almost never get "outsiders" here doing ministry, so this was very unusual. What a small world! I fought a lot of weather that day, and had a very long day of flying three loads of these folks, but eventually got them all back to Tarakan and on their way. I know the village churches were blessed by their efforts!

In addition to all of the "routine" flying, I've been blessed to be a part of other ministry flights, as well as a ton of medivacs. In fact, just today (Sunday), I got called in to do a medivac in Mahak Baru, an hour and a half one-way from Tarakan.

I had not one, but two young men (the second one is behind the lady's seat on the right side,) both seriously injured after a vehicle they tried to drive on a perilous, jungle road, apparently rolled over on them. From what the folks there could figure, one had a broken pelvis, and the other a possible broken neck. They obviously both had other internal injuries. There's no doubt that they'll have a long, long road to recovery. But can you imagine what it would be like if it wasn't for MAF being able to take them to the hospital? There would obviously be very little hope of ever living a normal life again...that is, if you even recovered at all.

The people here understand that, and they're very thankful for MAF. A lot of the medivacs we fly are pregnant women having complications in childbirth. In many of these cases, it's very clear that the baby, the mom, or both would die if not for the help that comes on the wings of MAF. I love being a part of these clear opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ in such a tangible way. And many of you are a part of this as well, through your prayers for us and partnership with us in this ministry. Thanks!


Kristi said...

I bet that's one awesome video! Although, a little sadistic, it's neat to see the way animals act in nature!

I'm glad you are so blessed by your job, and I'm thankful that so many are blessed by you and what the MAF is doing! It's nice to make a REAL difference in people's lives and in the world!

Dave Downing said...

Glad to see you back safe and sound at your post of duty. As usual I enjoyed the pics and story's of the week. On the med-evac were you flying from the right seat?
Keep up the great work.

Carrie said...

OK, Dave, that rat story was beyond strange. What in the world??

Rakel said...

Great to read your you guys

Dave said...

Yes, Dave, I was flying right seat on that medevac flight. Been flying mostly right seat as of late to build up experience.

The Other Alice said...

Hey, Dave! I am new to your blog, but it is awesome! I'm a missions nut (living in the U.S.) so this is really neat! Linked to your blog and your wife's blog here:

Stunning photography! And you've got a sweet family. I'll be checking back regularly!

grammy and papi said...

When we were in Kenya some years ago, people from our Work and Witness Team thought I was terrible when I commented that I wanted to see a "kill". I was only going to take still pics.

A missionary pilot we met in Kenya was named Eby. I've forgotten his first name. What a special job flying folks to otherwise difficult places to reach. Or at least MUCH quicker travel. Bless you as you go about your daily service.

Have a God Filled Day

taniad1992 said...

I just started following your blog. So awesome how God is using all of you to spread the Gospel!