Sometimes people tell me they couldn’t do what we do, that it must take a special kind of bravery to face the myriad challenges of life overseas.
But I think my parents have the harder job, and a kind of courage all their own. My husband and I chose this life we live in Indonesia. My parents, on the other hand, did not choose to have their child, their only daughter, move halfway across the globe, taking along with her their grandchildren.
The pull of those grandchildren is strong. Four different times, my parents made the long journey to visit us when we lived in Kalimantan. This spring, they made their fifth journey to Indonesia, this time visiting us in our new home in Papua.
I worried for them, knowing that it’s a draining trip, with many connections along the way. I fretted over what they would think of our current situation, if they might freak out about malaria or the scary and unpredictable neighborhood drunks.
But thankfully it’s been a wonderful visit. It’s always fun to see our life through a visitor’s eyes. We get so used to our life here that we forget the roads are more pothole than road, that freshly picked pineapples are far superior to store-bought ones, that the view out our back window is stunning. Several times my dad has commented, “Papua is growing on me!”
There have been some amazing moments: snorkeling over a coral reef, going on a field trip with one of the kids, flying along with David for a day. There were also some tense moments, including an interaction with a drunk. They took it all in stride, and Dad’s comment was, “Well, now we know how to pray.”
I’m so thankful for their prayers, support, and willingness to bravely travel farther than anyone in their right mind should, just to see us.