All photos and text are property of Dave Forney and may not be used without express permission.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Office

These are a few shots from "my office" over the past week. It was practically like a family reunion in Binuang (below) when I landed there for the first time in six months. After greeting everyone, sharing a meal of rice, wild veggies, and some whole, crunchy-fried fish with my buddies Kalfin and Bapak Daud, I took off for the next village.

I took two medical patients out of Long Bawan (below) at the end of one day. One young girl was sick with something unknown, and then just before I took off we got word of an older guy that fell from a high tree while trying to pick buah mata kucing (which literally means "cat eye fruit.") He was hurtin'--with a compound arm fracture, and what appeared to be some broken ribs, and who knows what else internally.

After a few terrible weather days early in the week, which resulted in many cancelled flights, the later part of the week proved to be just gorgeous.

I'm in the process of trying to get comfortable flying from the right seat in preparation for the IPS (Instructor Pilot Seminar) that I'll be attending the next few weeks at MAF headquarters. (Pilots typically fly from the left seat, co-pilots in larger planes will sit in the right seat. Instructors will sit in the right seat, so the pilot getting instruction can sit in the left, normal, seat.) I have to tell you it feels VERY awkward and strange! I mean, I obviously had to fly from the right seat years ago when I got certified as a flight instructor, but since then, I've never really done it again.

In addition to the medical patients I mentioned above, I also took two pregnant women to town to give birth. Then today, Sunday, I got called in to do a medivac to Long Nawang which is our furthest village from Tarakan that we serve on a regular basis. These were a few shots along the one and a half hour flight each way.

I was glad the weather cooperated. In fact, it was unusually beautiful weather, as typically the village would have been clouded in that early in the morning. The poor guy that I picked up had a tree fall on him yesterday afternoon, but it was to late in the day for us to get there before dark. So he had to wait all night until we could come in this morning. Even so, there was no complaining. Everyone there clearly understands the alternatives. There aren't any!

He was in pretty bad shape, and would almost certainly have died if not for MAF. By noon I had him on his way to the hospital here in Tarakan. I really count it a true blessing and privilege to serve the dear folks of Kalimantan with the wings of MAF and in the name of Jesus. What a great job!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Having Fun--Indonesian Redneck Style!

I have to warn you: if you you're grossed out by rats or snakes, OR if you especially like cute, fuzzy baby chicks, you should probably stop reading this blog post now! However, if you're like my sons, you'll probably love it!

Some of you may remember a blog post that my wife wrote last year. Just as she was starting into the first relaxing bath she'd ever taken here in Indonesia (just not something that happens very often here for a variety of reasons), she heard a loud snap on the other side of the wall, followed by an agonizing, relentless, high-pitched squealing noise. Turns out that my boys and I had caught us a nice rat in the gudang (shed) which shares a wall with the bathroom. Such is life in Indonesia--always plenty of critters and rodents to do battle with.

Well, the war continues! When I got back here last week, our gudang smelled like a bat cave...only there were no bats hanging on the ceiling. Hmmmm? What else could be making that smell. Lifting up our two car seats that were stored in there, I discovered a virtual farm-size pile of rodent manure. Guess we're done using those car seats. In fact, everywhere I turned there was rat poop! It's seriously nasty!

Well, that just made me mad. As if I didn't have enough to do already. The week before furlough I had to tear out all of the shelving in the gudang because of bad termites. Every last shelf came out, which meant that when I returned last week, there was nowhere to put our storage until I rebuilt all the shelves. So that's what I've been working on in my "spare time"--nights and weekend. But smelling rat poop while working late hours just doesn't sit well with me.

So the other day, while I'm in there I here some squealing behind some wood. I ran and got the pellet gun and a flashlight. Much to my surprise, I saw a small rat and a shrew in some sort of battle. They disappeared and then I caught a fleeting glimpse of one. I took a shot and killed it on the spot. (In case you're a rodent lover, don't worry, it didn't suffer.) Turns out I got the shrew. I'd rather have gotten the rat, but eventually I'll be getting them all one way or another. It's not very big, but you can see it hanging in my left hand. O.k, so it doesn't have a rack, but it's a nice hunting "trophy" for over here.
It made for a nice little meal, fried up on a bed of steamed rice. O.k. I'm kidding. I didn't eat the shrew. But several minutes later I heard more noises. Trust me, there's turf wars going on in my gudang. Well, I pulled a few more boards out and what do you think I found? That's right, a nest!

And inside were two little rodent babies. If you're smarter than me you can tell me if they're shrew babies or rat babies. I think they're shrews, but it really didn't make a difference to me. The rat was probably trying to get in there to eat them. Suddenly I was excited. You see, our pet reticulated python was hungry (he eats about once every three weeks), and that meant that I had to find time to run to the other side of town to buy a baby chicken. Yeah, that's what it usually eats--live, fuzzy, wuzzy, peeping baby chicks! I just didn't know where I'd find the time for that. Voila! Fresh veal...or rodent. So I dropped those poor little smokies in the tank and I can almost promise you I saw that handsome snake flash me a happy grin.

Then, in one lightening-fast strike, he'd grabbed both of them at the same time in his toothy mouth, and he was squeezing for all he was worth. Is that more detail than you were interested in? I warned you. Just keep in mind, these little baby sausages were going to grow up to by whiskery, smelly rodents with long tales, dropping presents for me in my gudang. And besides, snakes need to eat too! Incidentally, isn't that a beautiful snake?

Keep in mind, I'm here by myself. What else is a guy supposed to do for fun on a hard work day? I killed about three birds (er, um rodents) with one stone! It was great! What do you think, does this officially qualify for the first official Indonesian redneck sport--rodent hunting followed by snake feeding?

O.k. I'm ready for all the nasty comments. I can already hear them coming from my wife, mom, Carrie K, and others.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

It's been a very, very busy first week back for me here in Indonesia. Without boring you about all the details, I'll just say that I've completed the necessary MAF and Indonesian requirements to be out there doing what I love again--serving the People of Northeast Kalimantan with the little red and white airplane.

It's been so fun to see friends in villages that I haven't seen for six months. They've been very excited to have me back as well, since we've been short-handed on the flight line for quite a while now.

And I'm loving the food as always! This is called nasi goreng (fried rice). There's a fried egg and hard boiled egg mixed in, as well as a few kerupuk (basically crispy fried air--or batter of some kind.) I could eat rice three times a day. I guess that makes me a weird American, but having grown up in Brazil, perhaps there's a good excuse. Anyway, I missed the good rice here while I was in America...although, I certainly enjoyed some of the other treats there that we can't get here.

So all that to say, it feels like home sweet home except for one big problem...I'm missing my wife and kids!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Thanks for your prayers! It seems like Tanner is pretty much totally out of the woods now. We're so grateful for the prayers and concern of you and others all over the world. And we praise the Lord for His healing, and for an ER, doctors, and nurses that did a brilliant job treating our little guy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Encouraging Update on Tanner

Just heard from Joy again. It's 7:00pm in Oregon and they just got home from the hospital. Sounds like Tanner drastically improved throughout the day on Saturday. Joy's still giving him nebulizer treatments at home, and he'll need to be watched closely. But we can breath a sigh of relief, and praise the Lord, because it seems that the worst is over. Thanks so much for your continuing prayers for Tanner, Joy and the rest of the kids. We're very grateful!

Pray for Tanner!

I just got off the phone with Joy. On Friday night around 10:00pm (Oregon time) she took Tanner to the Emergency Room. She had to wake the other four kids up and take them with her, because I'm obviously on the other side of the world right now. He had been sick since I left, and his condition was really deteriorating quickly. Long story short, by the time she pulled in, he was barely breathing...or rather, trying very hard but barely getting any oxygen. She said when the staff saw him, they bypassed all the desks, people and paperwork and rushed him straight into a room where doctors and nurses swarmed him and started him on oxygen, IV's, steroids etc. She said that it was suddenly very obvious that he was fighting for his life.

Keep in mind, Joy still had the other four kids with her. At around 1:00am (Saturday), they took him by ambulance to Emmanuel, which has a unit that specializes in kids. It's now 3:30pm in Oregon, and they're still there. (By the way, this is Joy's birthday, hugh?) However, Tanner has definitely started improving, Joy said. I guess he has a good case of pneumonia.

She called and woke her parents up at 1:00am when she had to go with Tanner in the Ambulance, because obviously the rest of the kids couldn't come along in the ambulance. So the other four kids are staying with their grandparents right now, and Joy's sister, Heather, has been kind enough to bring some treats to Joy and check in on her. But Joy said that Tanner is pretty terrified of all of the equipment that he's hooked up to right now, and understandably won't let her leave his side.

It's very tough for me to hear news like this, and be totally and completely unable to do anything to help either my precious little boy, or my bride. So I'm doing the one thing I can do. I'm asking you to pray. I'd appreciate it if you'd take a minute to pray for Tanner specifically, that God would heal his little body and allow him to breath normally again, and that the doctors would have wisdom in treating him. And pray also for Joy, she's obviously very tired, both emotionally and physically, and dealing with a lot right now!

Thanks! I can't tell you how much it means to me to know that hundreds of you will be praying around the world!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Joy!

Happy Birthday Joy!!! I sure wish I could be there to help you celebrate. But since I'm on the other side of the world, I thought I'd give you a birthday shout out here. I set it up last week, to post automatically, and I've never done that hopefully it works. :)

This could go over really big (earn me some serious browny points)...or it could totally backfire. I mean, I didn't exactly get your permission to show these pictures, and I can just hear you groaning as you scroll down. But common, these are some real classics here. The logging picture from Alaska...the semi-automatic, pistol-toting, porquipine killer picture?--these are classic shots that people need to see. What other georgous gal gets out and does this kind of stuff? You're amazing!

At least I'm thousands of miles away, in case you don't share my enthusiasm for showing these pictures to the rest of the world. :)

Anyway, I was just thinking how unbelievably blessed I am to have you as my beautiful, Godly, amazing, talented, loving, caring... etc. etc. bride and best friend! You've been by my side from the Arctic Circle to the Equator, and you've always managed to make our house into a peaceful, warm, inviting home no matter where and what we have to work with.

I love that you are my kids' mommy. You honor the Father and you honor me through your passion and desire to love and train and raise our children to know and glorify Him. I'm so proud of you! Happy Birthday! Now get up and go get a big Diet Coke and enjoy the day. You deserve it!

Oh, and good luck in the big 5k!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Today was an exciting day for our family. Britton and Hannah were baptized at Good Shepherd Community Church by their Grandpa (affectionately called "Baca" by the kids). Here's a few pics.

After the service we grabbed a quick family photo. Along with Joy and I and our kids are Baca and Grandma Hlavka and Steve and Heather (Joy's sister) along with their two kids.

Last week it snowed here at the mission house. The previous pictures of snow were all taken up on Mt. Hood (which is much higher and colder than here.) It doesn't snow much at all here, so this was a real surprise and treat. It was only about an inch, but the kids and I managed to roll up a few balls for a snowman, and have some fun.

Well, I leave on Wednesday morning for Indonesia. Joy and the kids will be staying here in Oregon until I pick them up in late February. It's going to be a real bummer being gone from them for so long, but I'm really looking forward to getting back to Indonesia. If you think about it, we'd appreciate your prayers for all of us over the next two months. Joy will have her hands full with all the kids, and I'll be doing a lot of flying and training on the other side of the world. Thanks!!