Sunday, December 28, 2014


For lunch today I made sup bayam and ayam semur. Baby spinach soup and chocolatey brown chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce over steamy white rice felt just right. I sliced up papaya for a little dessert afterwards.

I can’t remember the last time I had a sandwich. A proper sandwich, the kind with thin sliced ham, crunchy iceberg lettuce, tomato, sharp cheddar cheese, mayo and mustard. I’d stuff cool ranch Doritos inside just before the first bite.

Lunch has a whole new meaning in Papua. Life feels like it has a whole new meaning in Papua, only trouble is I don’t really know what it is.

Of course I know why we came. The why hasn’t changed and last week, as my husband flew his first flight to an isolated village way up in the jungle covered mountains, the why felt so big and all consuming.

I’m pretty sure my neighbors on one side don’t like me. I don’t really know the family on the other side. At the end of my road there is a really nice young couple with a little boy about Isaiah’s age that are always friendly when we pass by or stop to talk. They sell fried food from a cart on the main road a few yards from their front door. Today we bought fried tofu and bananas.

A couple weeks ago, coming back from a ladies’ bible study with some girlfriends, we had to stop the car in the middle of the road. A crowd approached and as they did I hurried to cover my son’s eyes. A man was being beaten in the street. I locked my door and prayed. Guilt and helplessness pierced me through. We heard the next day that the man died. We had witnessed a murder.  

There’s a girl at the market who sells mustard greens and always smiles. I don’t know her name, but she’s possibly the funniest person I’ve ever met. A little down the road from her there’s a mama selling pumpkin who is always kind to me. 

As I look to a new year what I really want to know, the thing I want to look back at the end of 2015 and see and understand, is what my part is. To know my purpose. To know where I fit in the great big why of our life here.

I’ve never been big on New Year resolutions and finding my purpose in Papua probably wouldn't make a good one anyway. Instead, I step into 2015 with eyes open in anticipation and good hope stretched out before me. 

Neighbors, merchants, farmers, street children, drunks, all right outside my door.  The needs are great, so much bigger than I am. 

Before we arrived in Papua, I felt my kitchen table would be my place of ministry. A place to provide hospitality and encouragement, friendship and the gospel, starting first with my own little family and extending to whoever might find a seat there. 

I don’t know what 2015 will bring. I don’t know my purpose in the grand scheme of our life here, but that’s ok. In the meantime, my heart and kitchen table are open.

This post is a linkup to where others are discussing their 'one word' to focus on for 2015.