Welcome to our new blog! After much thinking about it, I decided to keep the name "The Unruh Trek" but to change our main photo so that it is appropriate to the area we are serving in. The picture I have chosen (for now) is a photo taken above the coastline of Banda Aceh. This is a beautiful part of Indonesia and I love that the mountains run right into the coastline of the ocean. Just a few kilometers off of the northern coast, there is an island where everyone goes to for vacations and there is world-class diving and snorkeling. We are looking forward to heading out there when the boys come home for Christmas break.
The Aceh province is located on the northern tip of Sumatra. In earlier days, it was a perfectly situated spot in the middle of the Malacca Straights where East met West and vice versa. This area has been heavily influenced by India, the middle east, Malaysia, and Holland. This has also been an area that has a long history of conflict.
Since the tsunami happened (end of 2004), it dramatically changed not only the physical appearance of this province but also brought much healing to this land. It was at a great price but many of the people will tell you that things are much better now. The tsunami opened up this province to the world, something that would never have happened before. So many people and international organizations have invested a lot of money and much time and effort to help rebuild this area and the people's lives here.
MAF arrived here a few days after the tsunami hit. As you may recall, Stan and his chief pilot, Peter Spahr, were the first pilots to come. A base was established down on the coast in Meulaboh and eventually permanent staff were assigned there. Now that the region has been rebuilt and the Acehnese are back on their own feet, most of the foreigners have left and we have seen the need to make a change ourselves.
Our first main job is to move the team and all assets up here to Banda Aceh from Meulaboh. We are also in the process of contracting the use of a large storage facility out at the airport to be used as a hangar/office for us. We are discussing with the governor's office several possibilities of flying to certain villages through out this province that do not have other good transportation options. We have finally found a house for ourselves but cannot move in until the first of September. So as you can see, we have been quite busy since arriving here but we are very happy and can see so much potential for ministry in this area.
Please pray for us as we work with our team members in making this huge transition. Pray that all the different things we are presently working on will come together and that the Lord will bless our efforts. We are excited about being here and pray for the success of this program.