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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bunnies and Other Stuff!

Some of you may remember our sad bunny stories way back when we were in language school.  Four separate times we bought a bunny for the kids at the local street market.  And four separate times something awful happened to each bunny...getting eaten by a monitor lizard, dropping dead of unknown causes, hauled off by a stray tomcat as the kids and neighbors chased the screaming bunny in vain.  Yeah, it was traumatic!  The picture at left was taken nearly five years ago.

Well, after we got back from furlough, Hannah and Joy started talking about bunnies again.  I guess all the reptiles around the house just didn't cut it for the lady folk.  One day they came home with a little bunny.  It died.  This called for serious action.  So the boys and I built a double-decker rabbit cage and girls gave up on the little bunnies and brought home two large rabbits instead.  We were told that these were tough and wouldn't die.  Oh, and we made sure that they were both least that's what the guy that sold them to us promised.

Well, they got along splendidly...the white one was named Snowball, and the grey one, (in the shadow to the right of Snowball,) was named Flopsy, because her ears hang floppy.  I'll try to keep this kid-friendly.  Let's just say that one day Joy was shocked to see them really, REALLY getting along splendidly!!!   Turns out that Snowball was actually "Snowman!"  YIKES!

Two weeks ago, Thursday afternoon, Tanner came in and told Joy that there was a little baby piglet in the flower bed.  Piglet?  Now that's strange!  Turned out to be a furless, pink little baby bunny.  All said, six bunnies were born, with one being DOA.  Not wanting to waste the dead one, and wanting to be wise stewards of our time and money and save a trip to the chick store, we fed that dead one to Britton's python.  The others escaped that fate by growing and staying alive.  Here they are at exactly one week old.  Their eyes opened at about 10 days, so were still closed here.

And here they are at two weeks old (today).  I was going to do a post last weekend, showing them to you, but our phone lines got taken out in a storm and we were without Internet and phones for five days.

There's one for each of the kids!  But despite what Joy and the kids think...NO, we are not keeping them all!

Isn't it amazing how each one is so different.  They all came from a fully white "buck" and a brownish-grey "doe" (just like the fat bunny in the top of the picture below.)  Yet they are each totally different colors.

Well, in other, more important news:  it's been another great couple of weeks flying.  I had many neat flights this week and last, including flying the Bupati (a high-level local government official) and his gang into Alango and Pujungan on two separate days for big events.  The second one was a big youth revival.  The following day I flew the Indonesian pastor back out that had travelled from Samarinda to speak at the youth conference.  He said there were over 200 teens there from 10 villages up and down river.  Nearly 100 kids either placed their faith in Christ for the first time, or re-committed their lives to him.  The village was very excited!  It was a real privilege to play a small but critical role in helping to make this youth conference happen.  Long Pujungan is a very short and marginal airstrip and no other operator other than MAF can go in there.

There were dozens of other flights as well--from the mundane to the exciting, each one somehow playing a part in communicating God's love to the people we serve.  Below, a picture of a very full 206 I'm piloting with 10 people on board (there are only six seats, so each of the adults in the back four seats has a child on their lap with a kiddy belt).  I had already stopped at Mahak Baru and picked up six passengers when I was called to pick up the young son of a pastor in Data Dian.  The child was running a high fever and unable to eat and needed to go to a hospital.  We were able to all squeeze in and still maintain the required takeoff margins and fuel margins.  Within two hours they were at a hospital.

This is the terrain that we flew over on our way from Data Dian to a hospital.  I don't have to describe to you how rugged it is--that's pretty obvious.

Before MAF was here, this trip would have taken 1 1/2 - 2 months.  We can do the same trip in about an hour and 15 minutes!

Although as a pilot I often get the credit and enjoy the thrill of being on the front lines, I recognize that I'm just the last in a long string of people that join together to make it happen.  The Lord has put together an amazing team, and I'm privileged to play a small role in that.  But without YOU, and our many other prayer warriors, financial ministry partners, supporting churches, and MAF teammates here, we'd never be able to do what we do.  There's a whole crew of guys working mostly behind the scenes here in Tarakan, that often don't get the "glory", but are absolutely critical to keeping things going.  Here, our two maintenance specialists, Tim and Karl, are busy at work changing an engine in Malinau.

In addition to Tim and Karl, we have a whole crew of wonderful Indonesian men (and one woman) who help keep things going in the hangar and office.  Here, Yus and Nelson are washing the Caravan after it's return from a muddy day of flying.

And Luhut is taking out the spark plugs on a 206 engine as part of a routine inspection.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say, I am just a small part of a big team of amazing people that have come together to share God's love at the ends of the earth.  Man do I love my job!


Alan said...


It's strong and moving for me to see and read what the Lord is doing through you and your team. It's fun to have the sights, sounds, and smells in mind having had the priviledge of riding with you in jungle.

Proud of you & your team. They're all choice servants.

Carrie said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, flying blah-blah-blah. But BUNNIES!!! Oh friend Dave, that's the best post yet (even if you did feed the DOA to the snake - though that appeals to my frugal side)!! Hip hip hooray!! But what are you going to do with them? It's so convenient to have one for each kid and a mom and dad for you guys...seems perfect to me. ;-) And P.S. Thanks for not sharing a picture of the snake eating the DOA bunny - not sure I could forgive you for that. ;-)

Unknown said...

Aww Dad, how can ya look at all those smiling faces and say, we're not keeping them all? Tee hee. We too, had the "snowman effect", which turned out, hope this is kid-friendly enough, to supplement our meat budget.

Laura Lee said...

Try living in downtown Atlanta with bunnies! Crack addicts like to eat them. That was not a fun time for a 10 year old girl. No sir it wasn't.

The Other Alice said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!!!! Precious! Other news is awesome, too! The team sure looks like they're having fun! God bless you all!

Jennifer said...

The bunnies would make a perfect example in my genetics class this year! Nice pics.

Dave said...

Wow! You people really seem to prefer the bunny posts over the snake posts. Who would of thunk it? Laura Lee, that is an awful thing to imagine...crack addicts going after your bunnies! I had no idea that even happened. The truth is, my dad and I used to hunt rabbits in the fall, and we would eat them, because we ate everything we shot. But I don't think my kids would ever forgive me if I fired up the grill with the intentions of making bunny shish kabobs!

Anyway, thanks ya'all for the comments. Love 'em!