After getting new passports and waiting on visa applications to be
approved, we were finally able to make it back to Indonesia. We were
excited to be on our way back home. It has been a long time away with
covid lockdowns between Texas and the UK, and baby Rebecca coming along.
On our way to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Keeping ourselves amused during our 5 day quarantine.
Arrival and pre-release Covid PCR tests.
Finally released to continue our flights to Papua.
COVID in our family
After a week of quarantine and negative PCR tests in Jakarta, the
capital of Indonesia, we flew to Papua on Friday 2nd July. We were
thrilled to be back on the island and planned to spend the next few days
in the coastal city of Sentani to complete immigration paperwork and do
some supply shopping before taking the last short flight in to Wamena.
Unfortunately, all our plans would change on Monday morning when Isaiah
woke with a fever and cough. We immediately went for antigen testing.
Ben, Cara, and I tested negative, but our suspicions were firmed further
with Isaiah testing positive. We began to inform all those we’d had
contact with and Ben took Isaiah for a PCR to confirm. As expected,
Isaiah had covid.
Thankfully by day three Isaiah was mostly himself again. Symptoms have since then been making their way through the rest of us.
After a couple days of freedom from quarantine, we find ourselves now
isolating with covid. Not exactly the start in Papua we imagined! But
here we are. I had to laugh when Ben said, “Usually we at least make it
home before everything falls apart.” It is so very true. There is always
SOMETHING that goes wrong!
COVID in Indonesia
Things are changing fast here in Indonesia as the delta variant sweeps
across the country. Flight restrictions and lockdowns are in place in
many heavily hit cities. Wamena airport will close on the 12th July for two weeks. As we won’t get out of isolation until at least the 16th,
we will have to stay here in Sentani until the airport opens again. As I
told a friend, I will never again complain about the normal 36hrs of
travel it takes to reach Wamena. With travel, quarantine, covid
isolation, and lockdowns it’s looking like this UK to Wamena trip will
take an entire month!
Signal prayer group
We have moved our prayer updates group over to the the
Signal messaging app after some privacy concerns with Whatsapp. If
you'd like to be a part of the new prayer group please click the link
below: Signal prayer group
Thank you for your prayer and financial support
We really appreciate your encouragement, prayers, and financial support
over the years! We are thankful to be in Papua, and looking forward to
getting back to Wamena and the work we care so much about.
Lots of love from our family to yours,
Ben, Anisha, Isaiah, Cara, and Rebecca
HELP THE CAUSE
A big thanks to all who have faithfully supported us over the last 7 years. It's crazy to think its already been that long.
We quite literally couldn't be doing this without the team of people who financially support us.
If you would like to join the team and be a part of this mission, we'd love for you to consider joining us as a monthly sponsor.
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:
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
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
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
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
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!
Ben, Anisha & Isaiah
HELP THE CAUSE
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.