Friends of ours, Wes and Esther Dale, live in the interior village of Mamit. They are amazing missionaries from Australia who have served in Papua for many years. So, when Dave asked if I’d like to ride along with him to Mamit, I said, “You bet!”
Esther communicates via humorous and creative letters, outlining the struggles of daily life, particularly among the children that she tries to teach every day. Because working among the local people is not easy, I had visions of being an encouragement to Esther. But, as we arrived, and were greeted by some of these children, I marveled at how blessed I felt as one of them trustingly took my hand while Esther and I walked down the runway toward her house.
It just happened to be Wes’s birthday, so Dave and I got to enjoy the festivities as the Indonesian teachers from the new school in Mamit showered Wes with songs and laughter. I marveled at how God had provided these vibrant young teachers and this new school through an MAF connection with an Indonesian businessman. His heart had been burdened by the poverty and need of interior villages in Papua. I felt encouraged at being reminded that God is working here.
I watched Esther graciously help a villager by giving her a pair of reading glasses. She told me that many villagers need reading glasses as they get older to be able to read the Bible. I marveled at Esther’s ability to be gracious to so many, and was reminded that God calls us each to a particular ministry and empowers us for it.
As we left Mamit, I was the one who was encouraged. I had gone in to be a blessing, and had come out being blessed.