The week before Hannah's birthday (October 27) Dave had an unexpected passenger. Just before preparing to take off in Long Bawan, a black and teal butterfly decided to meander into the cockpit. It perched next to the door, and Dave closed everything up for take-off. The butterfly calmly remained at its post for the hour flight from Long Bawan back to Tarakan, and as soon as Dave landed and opened the door again, the butterfly flew out, to the surprise of the MAF national workers in Tarakan. "Wah!" they cried, "ada penumpang!" (There's a passenger!) When Dave came home and told me the story, I teared up because it was so close to Hannah's birthday. How special of God to give Dave a special encounter with a butterfly.
The week before Hannah's birthday was really hard. I can never tell what kind of emotions I'm going to experience, but I felt that weight of grief on my heart. Perhaps because the last birthday she had on this earth was in Singapore, soon after we had evacuated Hannah from Tarakan for medical care. But the MAF team here is awesome. One friend gave me a note and a little tea set in memory of Hannah, another wrote me a card, and our long-time friends the Holstens gave us a plant in memory of Hannah. So all-in-all, we were well-loved, even though we're away from family right now. God is awesome to provide us with what we need, isn't He?
The day of Hannah's birthday, I decided to take off from school with the boys and go to the beach. My old friend Glady came too, along with two of her three children. I used to disciple Glady when we lived here years ago. She was one of my best friends. It has been fun to reunite with her, although we are both busy so we don't see each other as often as we'd like. So it was fun to reconnect and share Hannah's birthday together since she knew Hannah. The kids had a great time playing together and discovered some jellyfish that had washed up onto shore.
Homeschooling is going well, although I don't always feel like I know what I'm doing! But we have our good days and our bad days. It sure has been busy lately! You can pray for the whole team here as there is so much work to do and so much going on. Pray that we all can keep Jesus as our first love during the busyness, and seek to follow His plan each day. I love and miss you all! Linda