This is it. My last 24 hours in Indonesia. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see my earlier post entitled "BIG NEWS".) I'm not a particularly sentimental person, so I'm not going to try to get all mushy on you. But it would simply be inaccurate to describe our family's time here in Indonesia as anything less than life-changing. So I have to at least try to put it in perspective.
Joy and I have been married thirteen years, eight of which we've spent mostly in Indonesia! Many of our best memories together have been here. And of course there's been plenty of tough times too. This has become "home" to our kids--indeed, our younger ones aren't even able to conjure up early memories from the U.S. We've gained friends that will last a lifetime, and given a lot, physically, emotionally and spiritually, to the life and ministry here. There's been plenty of ups and downs, struggles and challenges, but this chapter in our lives--our time in Indonesia--is something that will significantly impact us and our kids for the rest of our lives.
It's tough to say "goodbye", but we do so with the confidence, and peace, and excitement that comes from knowing that the same loving God that brought us here to Indonesia back in 2005, is still right here with us as we go into the next chapter--as we go to Uganda.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to say "goodbye". We're going to miss a lot when we leave here.
We're going to miss the people. We're going to miss our friends, both our Indonesian friends and our expat friends. We're going to miss the ministry.
I'm going to miss the flying--probably some of the most challenging airstrips and flying environments in the entire MAF world! I'm going to miss the Kodiak, pictured below. It's been a blast!
I'm going to miss serving and hanging out with our friends in the villages interior.
And a whole lot more!
But I think it's a great way to leave--appreciating what we've been a part of, grieving what we're "losing", yet looking forward to the future with all of the new unknowns, challenges, and changes that come along with it.
If we live our lives in the safety of our own comfort zone, afraid to take risks, afraid to invest in peoples' lives, or meaningful causes, for fear that one day we might fail, or that one day we might have to experience the pain and uncertainty of change, I think we miss the entire point. Life here on earth is short. And we don't want to look back one day and have regrets.
So we're ready for the next challenge, the next adventure. We're ready to walk hand-in-hand with our heavenly Father into the unknowns of our next assignment, because the one thing that IS known is that He will be with us. That Jesus will not only be our expert guide, but also our faithful companion! And from that--from Him--we gain the peace and courage and strength to say "goodbye" to Indonesia. In Christ's strength, we're ready for what's next! So with a heart full of a strange mix of sadness, excitement, and nervous expectation, I say, bring it!
FYI: the next weeks and months are going to be very busy for us--lots of traveling, training, speaking etc. I will continue to post updates to the blog as able, but it probably won't be quite as often.