Thankful…

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Recently we celebrated Canadian thanksgiving together with some other MAF Canadian folks.  One family had received a turkey from their parents (purchased here) and they decided to generously share it with their Canadian co-workers.  We hosted the meal in our home and it was delicious!

We have a lot to be thankful for.  Last week we as MAF Papua program celebrated a year of accident-free flying.  We know that this safety milestone is a gift from God and not just the result of our great work here.  We in Sentani celebrated by having a lunch together with all our national staff.  We sure enjoyed the yellow rice, chicken, fried noodles and beans and Magnum bars to top off the meal.

We personally are very thankful for the help of kind folks across the pond.  Over the summer one set of Christiaan’s hearing aids stopped functioning as they should.  Following family conference one couple who came to serve at the conference, took the hearing aids back to America with them.  From there they sent them off to our good friends in Canada.  She in turn dropped them off at the Public Health Unit where we had originally purchased them.  When they were ready for pickup, she retrieved them and sent them back to the family in America.  They then passed them onto our Indonesia Area manager who took them in his luggage across the Pacific and then across to Papua where Christiaan is now super happy to be able to use them again!

Last week I took the opportunity to visit one of the widows in our church as she was sick and therefore not working that day.  She has a job as a house helper for a family in town here.  I have such admiration for Ibu Y.  She has had a rough life.  Left by her husband while pregnant with their second child she eventually left Papua and returned to her home village in Kupang and lived with his parents there.  That was fine for a time but then she felt it was time for her to move on.  She came to Papua alone, leaving the children with their grandparents.  Her plan was to get a place to live and a job and then send for the children.  This was a multi-year plan.  However, the in-laws were soon sick of taking care of the children and when Ibu Y’s ex-husband passed away, she went with his body to Kupang.  She returned to Papua with her daughter.  Her son had been sent by the family to a Catholic boarding school in Java due to his naughtiness.  Ibu Y has had to deal with a lot of difficult things that have occurred to her here including the advances of a man who turned out to be already married.  She now lives in a small house owned by some family members of her late husband.  They don’t need the home as they are government workers and have been given a place to live.  Ibu Y has opened a small kiosk in that house where she sells such staples as ramen noodles, sugar, salt, clean drinking water, cigarettes, beetle nut, candy, krupuk, and diapers.  She also has a small freezer that she was able to purchase from a former employer.  She sells popsicles to the kids living in the community.  She would really love to have a small fridge as people often ask her for cold tea, water or soda pop.  I love her industriousness and how she works so hard for her and her daughter and son (she sends him money).  I’d love to help her buy a small fridge to increase her sales so that one day she can hopefully purchase her own home in the same community.  This community is one that is made by the government so the houses can be legally purchased.  If anyone is interested in helping Ibu Y, you can comment on the blog and from there I can email you.

A few weeks ago Hugo and I participated in the Sentani Funbike.  This event was organized by the airport in celebration of its birthday.  We all started together and had to bike behind a police pick-up truck which moved along at a snail’s pace to the point where people were nearly crashing into one another.  Once we went up a hill the situation improved and upon descent, Hugo, another MAFer and myself blew by the truck and completed the course unobstructed.  Afterwards there was lots of food and some giveaways.

Two weeks ago was the annual parents/teachers vs students volleyball games.  Myself and the other moms of volleyball team members played against our daughters.  Fun times!

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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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