The month of April has flown by figuratively and literally.  I’ve made some good progress on the final stages of my Caravan Amphib checkout.  Next week I’m scheduled for my first PFR (Proficiency Flight Review) in the Amphib.  At the completion of that flight if all goes well I’ll be given the green light to start flying solo.  I’m sure there will be pictures in a following post of me dripping wet again.  It’s not a bad way to celebrate the mile stone in the tropics as I’m often soaked with sweat anyway so a nice cold water soaking isn’t so bad.  Back home in Canada however I’m glad I missed out on that tradition during my initiate pilot training ;-).
Anyway lets talk about the title of this post.  I’ve been struggling with concerns about how to connect with our neighbours here of late.  It’s been heavy on my heart and one of the main reasons why we were so excited to be assigned to Merauke, was the idea of being apart of an Indonesian neighbourhood.  As I’ve been praying for ways to connect.   Which can be hard in many facets, logistically not being an exception, with the sometimes long work days, process of learning new skills, operating in a different culture and language, and life in general brings you home tired and exhausted.  How an I going to build these friendships with my neighbours?  It’s a slow process which I often forget, wanting things to happen fast or instant.  Anyway I want to share specifically about an a cool experience I had one evening early this week.    As I was heading out to lock our gate for the night which is a nightly routine item here.  Our neighbours across the street saw me and called me over.  At first I was thinking, ah I need to get to bed it’s getting late.  However, as I walked over in my bare feet I quickly noticed that there was a whole lot of people sitting gathered around their front door, sitting on whatever was available drinking tea and eating peanuts.  My need to go to bed quickly disappeared as they handed my a plate of peanuts and a cup of tea as I sat down to listen and share stories with them.  I can’t say that I understood all of the conversations as I still struggle with the language if I don’t know the context or subject of the conversation.  I was able to laugh with them as I messed up some of my Indonesian and they messed up some of their English.  The story telling/conversations last about 2 hours as we moved from their yard to standing in the street for a while then going our separate ways back into our respective homes.  It was an exciting thing to be included in their spontaneous neighbourhood meeting.  Please continue to pray for our family as we desire to become part of this community and be able to shine Christ’s love and light here.
The Dole Clan

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