Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Part 2--My Village Trip with the Kids

I came for this story….

The 14-year-old pregnant bribe, married in the village church, giggling, terrified, her high school friends surrounding her. Entering both marriage and motherhood with little knowledge, with heavy burdens, with life stacked against her. One of many from her remote Borneo village becoming moms as young kids. Many others choosing instead to stop the lives inside with traditional herbs.

My Dutch midwife friend and I spent three days in an interior village of Borneo with this story in mind. We’d been asked by our Indonesian friend to speak on healthy dating practices, on pregnancy, and on motherhood. But I discovered many more stories along the way.

I won't forget this story...

Brad landed the plane in one village and we rode in a pick-up truck through the mountains to another village. We laughed and hung on as the truck drove through a river, the current passing by us, the adventure of jungle life surrounding us.

I smiled at this story…

My 3-year-old son making war with sticks and friends with Dayak boys and memories with river visits. My toddler daughter was never alone—friends of all sizes sticking close to offer love and attention.

I admired this story…

The tribal woman who was married at 15, becoming a widow…at just 15…then dedicated her life to serving village churches throughout Borneo. She served us, opening up her home, cooking for us, then cleaning up after us. The other woman with her own two little kids, heating up water for our baths, peeling fruits for my kids, answering questions from within her wooden shack.

I told this story…

The one about love that is patient and kind and trusting and hoping and forgiving—the kind that I long for these kids to embrace and live both in marriage and in their own souls. The story of second chances when things have already gone wrong. The one that says life that doesn’t have to be how it’s always been.

I rested in this story…

I, the harried mom, stomach in knots, exchanging my fear for His courage, my fumbling words for His truth, my dirt-covered body for His pure spirit.

And once I was home, the story continued…

The teenage girl called my midwife friend, confessing her pregnancy. She fears that her father will find out and kill her. Her boyfriend wants no part. She wanted to know of village herbs that would stop the life.

But maybe, just maybe, some of the stories will have happy endings…and beginnings.


  1. Thank you for sharing the stories you heard, saw, lived and shared. I'm sure you are carrying them in your heart--pondering them even as you are pounding them out for us to read. I am so thankful for you...

  2. Thanks for your encouragement, Linda!


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