Life here is always interesting and often challenging.  Lately we’ve been dealing with power issues.  The power has been rather inconsistent.  Some days/nights it flicks off and on up to 10 times.  We have a delay switch installed for our air conditioners and fridge/freezer otherwise they may have been fried by now.  We also have a massive unit called a stavol and it’s job is to keep the voltage at a stable 220W.

The condition of the road on our hill continues to deteriorate.  No one goes down the road in a straight line.  We are all swerving all over the road in an attempt to avoid the worst of the potholes.  It’s mostly a futile effort as there are few sections of road that remain smooth.

Christiaan has been sick for around a week and a half.  He’s not super ill, but has been feeling really tired, and experiencing headaches and occasional upset stomache.  This past Wednesday we brought a blood slide to the best slide reader in town and she declared him to be positive for malaria Tropika.  So we started treatment.  She could be wrong, but we don’t fool around with Tropika.  He has completed his course of treatment but is still feeling tired.  Hopefully he will perk up soon!

Last week we had a safety “bash” to celebrate one year of accident-free flying.  We know that it is not our stellar mechanics and pilots who have achieved this milestone, but it is only by the grace of God.  Just last week there was a tragic accident involving an aircraft from a locally run mission org.  Just another reminder to never take safety for granted.

We as a family (minus Christiaan who stayed home) along with some friends were also reminded of this today.  We had wanted to go to a spot in the river where you can jump off rocks into a deep spot.  This spot is located in one of the local military bases.  Today, however, it was closed due to a boy scout event.  Earlier this week the vice president of Indo made a brief visit to open the event which was attended by boy scouts from all over the country.  So we had to change our plans.  We decided to hike to the waterfall as it isn’t far from our home.  It was nice weather for a hike; cloudy.  We hiked up to the spot we normally play at but there was a fairly large group of local boys playing there so we decided to find another spot up higher.  We ended up at a spot where a concrete wall was built to funnel the water from the river into a concrete “dam” and from there some of it was going into a large water pipe which provides many of the people in town with water.  We sat on the dam and the kids explored a bit.  It got a bit cloudier and the kids got hungry so we all sat and ate our lunch.  Marc decided to go into the river again, the water was quite low, and was lifting up heavy rocks and moving them.  Suddenly one of the men yelled “Look out!!!” and we looked up and to our horror we saw a massive wave of brown water come over a huge rock up higher.  Hugo had just enough time to run down and grab Marc and keep going.  In those few seconds the water had risen so much that he no longer felt safe to cross back over to us.  In a matter of half a minute the water rose approximately 5 feet.  Praise the Lord the rest of us were all on the concrete dam and we walked across the narrow wall to the side of the mountain and climbed up.  The water was right to the top of the dam.  It wasn’t an easy climb and the water was very high and everyone was very frightened.  We managed to get all our backpacks across because they had been already packed to go.  At the moment when the water came, a group of local teenage boys were there instantly and helped us.  They were great!  Hugo and Marc made their way down as far as they could but on their side of the river there is no path down alongside the river.  We went down and some of the men threw water, juice and snacks to Hugo and Marc and the plan was for them to wait for the water to go down.  However, once we were almost all the way down I realized that Hugo’s backpack was unaccounted for and one of the men went back up to see if he could get it.  In the meantime, two of the teenage boys had incredibly bravely jumped across into the raging river to get to Hugo and Marc in spite of Hugo advising them not to.  They got across safely and were able to guide Hugo and carry Marc up higher and then across to the gardens of the local folks where they were able to safely go down.  The other local boys handed over Hugo’s backpack to the man who had gone up and so he was able to tell us, who were down below, that Hugo and Marc were safe and on their way down.  Inevitably one can’t help but think of all the what ifs.  What if the older kids had gone higher up (we asked them not to), what if we’d been lower down and the kids were playing all around and not close to us like they were?  Ultimately, what we do know is that all aspects of life are in God’s hands and he was in control of this situation as well and we praise Him for keeping us safe and we thank him for those local boys who bravely helped us.


About Erica Feunekes

Myself, my husband Hugo and our five kids live and work in Sentani, Papua, with Mission Aviation Fellowship.
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8 Responses to Life…

  1. jbredenhof says:

    Wow! What a story! God was indeed watching over you all! Incredible that it all ended alright! ABC. Always. Be. Careful.

  2. Kees and Ria VV says:

    Hi, Hugo, Erica,kids…. Thankfully we don’t need to deal with the what ” IF’s . Thankfully as well you are all safe. We shall thank our Lord here in your home congregation, tomorrow ( Rev Van Spronsen ) for your safety. How is Christiaan doing ? Hopefully feeling better. We are starting our “family visit ” visits here in Aldergrove, and I would love to do one. Can we arrange for a “Skype” sometimes..? Please let me know.. Are you able to keep up with the Aldergrove news?
    Please also let me know , of any other needs/concerns you may have at the present time..
    Greetings, Casey Van Vliet …..
    P.S. Erica on a personal note, our daughter Andrea is getting married 2 weeks from today, you must remember her from your “Cloverdale” days !

  3. PaMa OpaOma says:

    I left one at Facebook

  4. pearljh says:

    Hi everyone! Thanking God for his protection over you all. Scary! We’ll be praying that Christiaan starts recovering soon and it doesn’t last too long. Love Pearl and the gang

  5. willandsheree says:

    This morning in Aldergrove we were comforted by the words of Psalm 73:
    Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
    You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
    Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

    May these words also give you strength in good times and bad and may you continue to find strength in our heavenly Father who watches over his children. May he continue to bless you in your work!

    Will & Sheree and family.

  6. doulanic says:

    Wow – what a scary ordeal!! I can hardly picture it – it sounds so strange. I’m so thankful that all is well. God is good and gracious – and always with us. We will continue to pray for you guys through all of the challenges you face.

  7. Audrey says:

    So glad to read that you are all okay. Though so scary!!! Awesome that those guys were there to help out. God is good!

  8. Trish says:

    Wow, what a scary thing to happen to you and very thankful that you are able to share it with us! Another reminder of God’s constant care! Sorry to hear Christiaan is sick. Hope you’re able to narrow down what’s ailing him and he recuperates soon.

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