Life can be really short…

After spending four weeks in quarantine Tony, and Lina Keller with Levin , Chloe, Lias and Nora were happy to be back in the village in Asia-Pacific. Finally, they were all able to see the new house that Tony had put so much effort into building. He was very anxious to show it to them. Moreover, he was anxious to see how things would work out once the family had moved in.

They were given a warm welcome by their co-workers who had swept through the whole house. They soon put up a small solar system on the roof, mounted the beds and shelves, unpacked everything and even put up a few pictures. Now they are living in a truly beautiful house with a view onto the river and the jungle.

Everything is so different! The day starts very early in the morning. As soon as the sun rises, the Bukets get up, make their cup of coffee and sit outside on the porch and this is how they slowly start their day—right around 4.30 a.m.! 5.30 a.m. is the early hour they start paying visits or asking to have their cell phones charged. Tony and Lina do not get up at 4.30 a.m., but when people pay them an early visit, they do act surprised.

Recently Tony and Lina’s minds were occupied by the tragic death of a young man. It took three days to look for his body in the river. He had been out on a boat at night time, fell into the water and drowned. It is that much more tragic, when you know that this young man did not get to know His Saviour. Ps. 144:4 says it this way: “People are like a breath; their lives are like passing shadows.” This event triggered a new sense of urgency in their stay with the Bukets. We do not know when we will breathe our last breath. However, we can make good use of today to prepare for eternity. The funeral took place on the day he was found.

Everyday life is a mixture of different things: They try to enhance their knowledge of the language and the local culture. They do their best to keep the cobwebs out of the house, they are home schooling Levin, taking care of different wounds and trying to treat mosquito bites that are infected. They plan all kinds of things, but at the same time, they try to stay as flexible as possible!

Getting to know the language and the culture is completely different to learning the major language in the city. They have to cope with the fact, that there is no alphabet to work with and that implies that they don´t have any written word. They have no language teachers visiting daily at the house to help them study the language. There are many noises around them and it makes picking up the language even more difficult. BUT they are living right in the midst of the people, who enjoy it when Tony and Lina share their pictures and are quite willing to help them to learn their language. Little by little, they increase their knowledge!

The people are incredibly friendly. They gave them a very warm welcome and they really make a big effort in helping them learn their language and allow them to watch everything they do. Tony and Lina get the impression that they simply live to survive. A normal workday consists of looking for food, preparing food, gathering wood for the fire, taking a bath, doing laundry, hunting or fishing and tending the rice fields. If anybody has an income, it is by selling wood or by selling wild boars or carpets/mats. Nevertheless, their lives are not without problems.

The children have adjusted quite well moving from Germany to the jungle. It is life as pictured in a picture book. They play outside, play in the mud, swim in the river, get to wear short-sleeves all the time and are tired and exhausted from a day filled with all kinds of activities. There are dangers everywhere; be it the river, scorpions or snakes or even just a little tub of water. Pray for them.