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Valentine’s Day in Indonesia

MAF missionary family Brad and Rebecca Hopkins serving in IndonesiaI live on a small island where there are no long-stemmed roses, none of my favorite dark chocolate, and no romantic Italian restaurants.

And this Valentine’s Day, my own Valentine wasn’t even here. He’s been shivering in America for some training. I’ve been sweating through another tropical February here in Indonesia.

Though we we’re apart this year, Brad and I have spent several Valentine’s Days together in Indonesia since we moved here almost 10 years ago. But since there are none of the usual holiday gifts or seasons to tie memories to, I don’t remember if that nice dinner I made for him was for Valentine’s Day or our anniversary (in July) or just because I happened to get a package with special food items that week.

So even though I have very few unique Valentine’s memories from Indonesia, many days have a mixture of romanticism and reality that makes doing life here—marriage, kids, ministry—something I’ll never forget.

Most days, Brad comes home with jungle grass stuck to his pants from some remote Borneo village and stories of adventurous and often life-saving flying. My face is sweaty from cooking or visiting neighbors or teaching Renea how to ride a bike. Our lives and ministry are full, sometimes exciting, usually tiring and often hard. I’m not sure when the last conversation we had wasn’t interrupted by a kid or a mosque or a call for a medevac or a power outage.

But there’s the element of love—God’s amazing love for us, our love for each other and the kids, our love for this work, love for the people we serve and the people with whom we serve—that fills our souls like nothing else can.

Plus, I know before Brad leaves the States to return to Indonesia, he’ll fill up his suitcase with all those post-Valentine’s Day chocolate sales. (Hint. Hint.)


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