Monday, June 29, 2020

Keeping in touch, Furlough plans/Corona virus, Wamena riots, Local Indonesian pilots, A surprise

Wamena, Papua, Indonesia

Keeping in touch

June 2020

Hello! Sorry it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from us via a newsletter. We are admittedly pretty awful at keeping in touch this way, however if you want more than the occasional “we’re still alive!” newsletter here are two options:

Facebook page.
regularly updated with ministry flight videos. Click the picture.
WhatsApp prayer group:
Messages sent only for requests/info we would not otherwise post publicly. This group is updated on an as needed basis and will go quiet for long periods. To be added, send us your WhatsApp number by clicking the picture.
Just before we went on furlough, I(Ben) was able to take Isaiah with me on a medevac picking up two patients. After we dropped off the patients at the hospital Cara joined us on her very first helicopter ride back to the hanger.

Furlough plans/Corona virus

We left Indonesia on March 6th for furlough, just as the transit countries around us began closing to international flights. For the last 3 months, we have been under various levels of stay home orders at my (Anisha’s) parents’ house in Texas. While we are very glad to be safe and have a comfortable place to stay, we are of course disappointed over cancelled plans. We were still hoping to travel to our sending church in Florida and also to the UK, but at this time travel and meeting with friends/family is either severely limited or impossible. So we sit and wait, praying for an end to this pandemic.
As for Wamena, the town has had seventeen confirmed cases of the covid-19 virus so far, infections are increasing as time goes on. While it is not surprising that the virus made it into our mountain town, it is devastating. As challenging as social distancing is to achieve in the Western world, it is almost impossible for places like Papua where community living is the basis of the culture. As a response, Papua cities have issued curfews and Indonesia as a whole is shut down to all international and domestic air and sea travel until the earliest June 19th.

Wamena riots

Thinking back over 2019, one major event jumps to the forefront. On September 23rd, our town erupted in riots. Motivated by racial tension, hundreds of shops and vehicles where burned, including the Mayor’s office and many government buildings. Isaiah and I(Anisha) saw the rioters running down the street just before police began shooting and the violence began. Ben immediately left the office and picked Cara up from school, hiding in the classroom with her until it was safe to leave. Throughout that day, we listened from home as gunfire resounded around town with the occasional boom of buildings exploding into flames. Two days later we were able to evacuate out to the coastal town where we waited until it was judged safe to return. The riots left a devastating scar of destruction and death across our town and although rebuilding has begun, there remains the deeper work of healing and rebuilding hurting people.
Smoke rising from burning buildings behind our home.

Local Indonesian pilots

A highlight this year has been the recruitment of our local pilots. Prior to leaving for furlough, Ben spent several weeks training two Indonesian pilots who have joined our team. Getting to this point took a massive amount of work in securing funding to send them for training, as well as approval to provide further type specific training in house on our aircraft. It is exciting to see Indonesians passionate about reaching people in their own country and making big sacrifices to do so. Having local pilots means that if one day Indonesia decides not to renew visas for expat pilots, our work can continue.

A Surprise

2020 just got a bit crazier for us as we recently found out that I(Anisha) am pregnant! Yes, that’s right, after twelve years of unexplained infertility and the honest feeling that birthing children in our family wasn’t meant to be, heaven decided to surprise us. The ultrasound shows a healthy wiggly little person with a strong heartbeat. Hilariously, although this is our third child, it will be our first infant. Baby is due November 28th.
Thanks so much for supporting and praying for us. It really means a lot!

With love,

Ben, Anisha & Isaiah


A big thanks to all who have faithfully supported us over the last 6 years.  It's crazy to think its already been that long.

We quite literally couldn't be doing this without the team supporting us.

If you would like to join the team and be a part of the mission, we'd love for you to consider joining us as a monthly sponsor.

For information on how to give, click here:


-Peace/health in Papua.

-HIS teacher need: our local missionary school is in desperate need for teachers.

-Furlough: Whatever this may now look like.

-Team currently in Wamena.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Returning home

Wamena, Papua, Indonesia

Heading Home

October 2017


Tomorrow we board the first of 3 flights that will take us home to Wamena over approximately 30 hours of travel. There’s always a fair bit of uneasiness during transition, but mostly we are emotionally ready to get back. At the moment, there is only one pilot in Wamena and we’re especially looking forward to being able to provide some relief for him.

Getting back will also mean the start of first grade for Isaiah. We’ve been home schooling up to this point as the school in Wamena doesn’t begin until first grade. Like most new students he’s a bit nervous (his parents more so!), but he has a lovely class and teacher eagerly waiting his arrival.

 Furlough Recap

We left Wamena in March, making for 7 months away. The first stop was England where we celebrated our arrival with copious amounts of chocolate, curry, and tea.
Ben and I then went to France for a week long debriefing retreat. Especially over the previous 6 months in Wamena, we knew something had broken in our emotional health, but weren’t sure what it was or how to fix it. France provided a much needed safe place to process everything we’d been through.
Following on from France we headed to Helimission’s HQ in Switzerland where Isaiah came to join us accompanied by Grandma and Grandad England. After meeting with leadership we signed up again! This time for an ‘indefinite’ period of time and look forward to continuing to serve with Helimission for the foreseeable future. And of course we also made time to enjoy amazing Switzerland!
Coming back to England we were excited to share with everyone about the work we do in Papua and made the rounds to many small groups and speaking in the service at City Church. It was a great time to reconnect with everyone.
Sharing at City Church St. Albans.
In July we left England for Texas. Anisha’s brother got married and we enjoyed a family reunion together in Branson, Missouri.
We spent August in Florida and soaked up the time reconnecting with our friends and church family, sharing at small groups, and at Crosswalk.
In September Ben attended pilot and mechanic courses at the Bell and Airbus factories.
We returned to England for our last two weeks before we head home. The leaves are changing colors and the air is crisp enough to enjoy a few log fires. Ben did make one last trip to Switzerland, but we’re all back together again and winding down before the big trip tomorrow.

The BIG News

Four days ago we were officially matched by China for the adoption of a beautiful 3 year old little girl! There is still a fair amount of paperwork to take care of before we can actually travel to China to get her, but we’re hoping for the new year. In the meantime, you can join us in oooing and ahhing over all this cuteness.

What’s next?

Right now we’re trying to focus on getting stuck back into work and life in Wamena. However, this will only be for a few months as we’ll travel to China soon for the adoption. We’ll need to then return to the States to process her citizenship, passport, and obtain a visa for her for Indonesia. We aren’t sure exactly how long this will take, but hope to minimize the time as much as possible.
Thanks so much for supporting and praying for us. It really means a lot!

With love,

Ben, Anisha & Isaiah


Over the next several months we have some big financial needs, specifically for adoption travel and airfare. We would love for you to consider donating a special one time gift towards these expenses.

Also, with the addition of a new family member, our monthly living costs are increasing. We'd love for you to consider joining us as a monthly sponsor.

For information on how to give, click here:

On time flights and that we’d all make it without losing any luggage.

· We would all be healthy and well (Anisha has a bit of a cold at the moment).

· Our home would still be ok and not need many repairs.

· Isaiah would settle in quickly and comfortably at school.

· Getting back into work and life in Wamena.

· The remaining adoption paperwork, and specifically for the citizenship process to go smoothly and quickly.

· Positive responses from the grant organizations we’ve applied with. We have some big adoption related expenses coming up soon.

For the latest news:

Anisha's blog:
Family blog:
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