It was a long weekend.
We were up at 6am to catch a 10am, two-hour flight from Phoenix. A 2-hour stop in San Francisco and then a 10-hour flight to Narita, Tokyo where we had 30 minutes to make it to our next flight, a seven-hour flight to Jakarta, arriving at midnight Saturday night Jakarta time. We enjoyed a good night’s sleep in Jakarta, testing negative for Covid Sunday afternoon, allowing us to board our 1:30pm flight on Monday for a quick two-hour flight to Medan.
Unlike our first arrival in Indonesia back in February, this one was familiar. Less rushed, less exhausting, less confusing, less overwhelming. And there were myriad little recognitions along the way.
The first coffee we tried in Indonesia has also become our favorite (under the guidance of our daughter who is the coffee connoisseur in our family) in Medan. So we were excited after going through security Monday to know we could enjoy this little treat. Another little treat at the Jakarta airport is an English-language bookstore with a very impressive array of titles, as well as the restaurant where we had our first meal in Indonesia back in February.
Lots of touchstones, to be sure.
Much of the exoticness we perceived in February is gone, replaced by a comfortability. We have a long way to go before language fluency and cultural awareness but we’ve come a long way from February. We have been sustained and instructed and guided along the way by God the Holy Spirit working through a myriad of people mostly clustered here in Medan and counted now as friends as well as teachers.
Thanks to our partners for your prayers. The trip literally could not have gone any smoother! It’s good to be back home, preparing to restart life in our new home. But it’s nice to know that it really is home. Our brief time in the US – while a blessing for seeing family – did not tempt us with the idea of staying in the US. Each one of us voiced on multiple occasions both an appreciation for our time with family and partners and the LCMS Youth Gathering, but also an eagerness to return home to Medan, because that’s where home is now. As improbable as it might seem, after nearly a year of wandering we have a home, and it’s good to be there.
The trip home was bracketed by two beautiful gifts from God. On the drive to Sky Harbor International Airport Friday morning Gena spotted a rainbow in the sky. No rain, but plain as day a rainbow. A reminder of God’s promise and presence and a great comfort to us as we embarked. And as we got into our rides to take us from the train station in Medan to our house, we were greeted by an amazing Indonesian downpour of rain. Two of our favorite things in all of creation book-ended our journey, tangible, palpable, visible reminders of our God’s constant presence.
We are grateful. Tired, but grateful!