Over Christmas, my parents visited us here in Papua. Together we traveled by MAF to the interior mountain town of Wamena for a few days.
After we landed in Wamena and my parents gushed over the beautiful scenery of the Baliem Valley, they turned to our pilot, Luke Bryant, and thanked him for the flight.
“It’s a privilege to serve here,” was his reply.
His words ran through my head a few days later as we were on our return flight to Sentani. We had to go via Nalce, a small village in the in the mountains to the east of Wamena, and to get there we had to circle up to 13,000 feet to clear the mountain passes. I looked down below us, at the rugged terrain, and thought, we are seeing an area of the world that not many get to see. What a privilege.
I thought of his words again as we rumbled down the airstrip in Nalce and lifted into the air, soaring over remote, beautiful land. In the village below us, children were waving, some of whom go to a new school that is supported by MAF. What a privilege it is to be a part of those kids getting a quality Christian education.
The word “privilege” has lately sometimes had a negative connotation, but taken in our context, it is a beautiful thing. We have come to serve, and yet we also get the benefit of being a blessing to others and being blessed by others. It is a privilege to partner with other like-minded workers, to have deep friendships across cultural and language barriers, and to see God work in amazing ways.
It is a privilege to serve here. Does that mean all days are a walk in the park? No. There are hard times. Cultural fatigue. Issues with coworkers. Homesickness. But taken as a whole, it is truly a privilege to serve with MAF in Indonesia.