On December 12th we left Phnom Penh for Papua, Indonesia; the Island filled with mountains, rivers and around 250 different tribal groups. World Team has been involved in ministry there for over 50 years and today has about 15 missionaries ministering to the people in different ways. Papua is absolute beauty and I love it there! So, we loaded up the Cottle tribe to go see.
We stopped off in Wamena to visit families for a few days before boarding the heli and flying out through the mountains to a small village (Danokit) where we enjoyed three days of being totally off the radar and hanging out with a missionary family and the tribe they work among.
While in Danokit we paddled a hand carved canoe to the waterfall…not easy no matter if the 10 year old native is doing it with one arm tied behind his back. I must have said “are you kidding me” 1oo times as I struggled to keep the vessel straight and not dump out my kids (no pics of this frustrating moment). However we enjoyed the waterfall once we got there and shooting the hand-made bows and arrows. Caleb and I got two bows from the villagers and brought them back to Cambodia.
After Danokit we returned to Sentani where we celebrated Christmas in a borrowed house and Christmas tree. That was a first, but it was great….we were exactly where we wanted to be. We were just missing our oldest daughter. The next day we loaded up on a few boats and went to a nearby beach with the Johnson family for some fun in the sun and sand.
Our New Year’s evening was spent lighting fireworks, many of which I discovered would be illegal in the United States. I could not believe the power these little “bombs” were unleashing. One firework blew off the wooden handle of a shovel that was lying on the ground next to it. These things were no joke. The adult men, (me included) went back to our childhood but we were safe and the actual kids enjoyed seeing that kinda power. FUN!
On January 2 Lynette and the kids returned to Cambodia while I (James) stayed on to participate with 7 others in a 10 day prayer walk through two towns World Team is hoping to launch ministry this year. I will post more about this in the very near future.
All in all, we had a great time and really enjoyed visiting the families in Papua. God is doing a great work there and it’ s always nice when we can see it firsthand. We are back in Cambodia for now and fully engaged in the various ministries and school life here. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for our upcoming visit to the US in June.