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