We live amongst a tribal group known as the Dem who are located in the mountains of Southeast Asia. We are here to learn their language, translate the Bible into their language, and teach them about God. If you would you like to receive our monthly newsletter, send us an email at:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Our trip to the tribe!!!!

Dylan was interior for the last week doing some more framing and work on the house in preparation for the team of guys coming from the States at the end of the month.  We decided to try to have the kids and I be on the flight that picked him up yesterday to give us a chance to meet some of the people and see where we will be living!  Everything worked out and we were scheduled to leave around 6am on Wednesday morning.  Since Dylan has been there so often, I've seen so many pictures, heard all his stories, and have been thinking about the Dem all the time, I almost felt like I had been there, but now it wouldn't be just pictures and stories!

I couldn't sleep well the night before, waking up about once an hour and then for good at 4:30 even though my alarm was set for 5.  I woke the kids up and got them dressed.  They were so excited.  Raquel had been making little presents and had a bag full of necklaces and little toys ready to give to all the kids she had seen in the pictures and heard about from Dylan.  Gideon was over the moon excited to go on a 'trip airplane', so they were incredibly well behaved and cooperative as we set out for MAF at 5:30.

We spent about half an hour in the waiting room watching the pilot do his check on the plane, making sure everything was in working order (I was thankful for that:)
 Then it was time to board the plane!  Raquel was our co-pilot and got to wear the headset and talk with the pilot as we flew.  She was pretty funny.  When we got on she asked Mike, our pilot, if he had ever flown a plane before.  He told her it was his first time that morning, but he'd been here for 16 years.  He was great with all her questions and the squirmy boys in the backseat.
 Gideon was in the seat behind the pilot and I held Roman on my lap behind Raquel.  It took a little over an hour to fly to Dem.  The views were just amazing.  Gorgeous mountains, rivers, and lakes- and we were in this tiny little plane above it all.  I think I would have been more nervous, but I was trying to entertain Roman, who was not as impressed with everything. When we got over our airstrip, there were too many clouds to land so we kept circling hoping they would move.  It was crazy knowing Dylan and the people were down there waiting for us.  The clouds didn't move and Mike decided to fly to a city about a 1/2 hour away to fill up with fuel and then we would come back and try again.  Again more amazing scenery and then we arrived at the airport. (I had to explain to the kids that this wasn't it quite yet, the plane just needs gas.  Thankfully, Gideon bought this story and didn't freak out about not seeing Daddy:)  We went to the pilot's rest area room and were able to go to the bathroom and stretch our legs for a little bit.  We were right next to the org that flies the helicopter so the boys loved that and I had trouble getting Gideon back onto the plane when it was time.

While we were there, Dylan called me from the satellite phone to ask what was going on.  When I told him, he said the clouds were gone there, so we should be fine coming back.

Back on the plane and the boys were kind of losing it, but suddenly, Roman laid his head down and went to sleep on me and Gideon put his jacket over his head and fell asleep.  Thank you Lord!

The pen marks are from an earlier attempt to let him draw in a notebook from my purse.  His legs and shorts turned out to be a more delightful medium on which to practice his art than silly old paper.
 Ahhhh, sigh of relief, Roman's asleep.  When we reached the airstrip for the second time, the clouds were back and we continued to circle the area.  I was just praying and praying.  I would have been so disappointed if we didn't make it after all this time and of course we needed to get Dylan!  I was thinking of the song 'He's got the whole world in His hands' and was asking God to just move his pinky and get those pesky clouds out of the way:)  Well, He did it, and Mike leaned back and said those three little words "We're gonna land"!
As we got closer, I could see the airstrip then we touched down and taxied past our house on the right continuing up to the top of the airstrip where crowds of people were gathered on either side, chanting and dancing and waving.  It was an amazing experience.  We waited for Mike to open the doors and then the people were there.  They helped Gideon and Raquel out and I handed Roman to someone while I moved the seat up to get out. There were people there right away shaking my hand and saying the greeting of wa wa wa wa.  I recognized some from pictures and just wanted to hug them all (by this time I was crying (and I'm not a crier!), so overwhelmed and happy to finally be there.  
As I was walking around the plane to find the kids and Dylan, ladies kept coming up to me and putting necklaces around my neck, shaking my hand and trying to do the knuckle snap thing they do, which I cannot do, but I tried:)
Then they were giving us fruit, vegetables and peanuts, so much that I couldn't hold it all.
See Gideon?  He just hung out and joined in the dance:)  while Raquel handed out the little presents she had made.
After shaking hundreds of hands, smiling a lot:), we headed down to look at the house (Dylan had taken this pic that morning)
We then just stood around while Dylan and the guys unpacked and put away the supplies we had brought in with us on the plane.  The Dem kids stood around us and stared, and we stared right back:)
This little girl cracked me up.  That is a (thankfully pretty blunt) knife she has in her mouth and she played with it the whole time we were there.
They all loved holding Roman and he would put up with it for a few minutes before he wanted to come back to me.
I thought this guy was funny.  It kind of looks like he was trying to cover up his buns, but missed:)
Miniature bow and arrows- I think they are made by Mattel:)
We couldn't say much to each other but we could smile and laugh:)

On our flight home, we flew out the two guys who had been in there cutting wood the last two months.  There weren't enough seats for all of us so the kids sat on our laps while we had an uneventful flight home.

So happy to have Daddy back!
It was an incredible day!  Dylan told me later that people had come from many of the surrounding hamlets to see us, and they were all dressed up in their best and brightest clothes.  I'm so thankful that we were able to go in and see the people and can't wait to go back for good!