Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Today's scare! And another reason to get this language!!

Well, today I think my heart might have stopped beating!  We were in class, it was around 11:30 – almost done and Joel’s phone rang.  It was our home number calling – uh oh, that’s not good. Our pembantus never would call unless something was wrong.  Joel left to answer the call and I would have joined him, but the teacher was calling on me to answer the next question.  I was so distracted I got it completely wrong and then excused myself from class to find Joel and see what was going on.  He was listening to our Pembantu say something on the phone and then said, “Sebantar” – just a moment, and handed the phone to me. 

There was worry in her voice as I thought I heard her say, Jack’s very hot, he wouldn’t eat or drink he’s been crying a lot and he’s been sleeping all morning but I can’t wake him up!”  Panic struck my heart and I said, “kami pulang, sekarang!” – we’re coming home right now!  We gathered our stuff and hopped on our motorbik, (I was so thankful to have it now as it’s a ten to fifteen minute walk and I don’t think I could have stood that!) going as fast as was safe to get home.  When we got there, Jack was in Ibu Nur’s arms and looking like a baby looks when they have a fever – a far off look in his eyes.  But he was awake!  Oh, my heart just beat all the faster.  Thank God it wasn’t what I thought! He was burning up and I took him to hold him as he wimpered.  I asked her what happened and it turns out I misunderstood her completely. 

He was fine until around 9am and then she put him down for his nap. He slept for only 20 minutes and woke up crying and wouldn’t be consoled – very unusual for him.  She tried to give him his cup of milk but he didn’t want it, then offered him a snack and got the same response.  All the while he was feeling very warm and getting hotter. By the time she called, she was very worried.  I know she did everything she could to figure out how to help him during that time and I am so thankful that I know she will always take good care of him.  I am still not sure how I got that he wouldn’t wake up from what she said, but I do know that it is a new motivation for learning this language.  Jack has fought the fever all day, but is sleeping peacefully now and hopefully we can just chalk it up to teething.  When you all are praying for us each day, and you pray for wisdom and peace, this is one of those tangible ways we benefit from your prayers.  This is a country of many unknowns yet to us but we have peace knowing that it is all known to our creator.  Even our little boy is in His hands and we can trust Him!  Bethany

Monday, July 24, 2006

Once again, we're ok!

Hello once more!  First of all, the latest earthquake, which happened on Sunday afternoon off the Island of Sulawesi has not affected any of our personnel or those they are working with.  If you are wondering what in the world is happening to this island nation with all its natural disasters, well, the folks here are wondering the same thing too!  Questions are being asked like, “Is God judging us?  Why so many things in a short amount of time?”  Please pray that as these questions are being asked, we might have some avenue to share the answers we believe can change lives.

We are into week 3 of unit 2 and are continuing to learn.  Today, while I was sharing my “pengalaman” – experience from yesterday (something we have to do in front of our class every day, in Indonesian), I came to a word I’ve heard a dozen times but so far hasn’t sunk in to memory, and all of a sudden it was there!  Joel let out a “wahoo!” on my behalf, knowing how I’ve struggled to remember this word!  I was so pleased! 

We are each getting out just about every day to speak with our neighbors and friends and are continuing to build relationships.  I am now teaching 2 English classes a week at our house. One for the neighboorhood kids and one for 8 adults from our neighborhood.  It has been a lot of fun and is also a great chance to learn Indonesian at the same time.  Pray for us as we have these folks in our home that they might begin asking questions about our faith.  We are not permitted to bring it up in an effort to evangelize so we must pray that they will be curious and ask, We are then free to share. One of our Pembantus was sharing with me the other day that all of the Christians she has ever met have been so friendly and helpful to her.  When she had a sick family member it was her Christian friends who came to her house to pray for them, not those of her religion.  Then she said, “I don’t know why, but they have all been so kind”.  It is doors like this that we hope for.  Pray for me to have wisdom as I share with her on these occasions.  She sees us day in and day out and so what I say must match what I live.  Please pray for that for us.  We want to be lights before these people but with our helpers, especially, that can be very hard!

I have one other prayer request tonight.  Many of you know that my dad has had some health problems in the past few years.  Right before we left to come here, we finally were given some answers as to what might be wrong and since then my Mom and Dad have been to several new doctors seeking concrete answers.  We still don’t know for sure what is wrong, it could be dimentia, it could be obsessive/compulsive disorder, it could be a reaction to a medication he took over a year ago, it could be alzheimers or it could be all of these combined.  It has been very hard for my family as my Dad seems to be slipping away from us.  It is hard to know that Mom is facing this and that I am not there to help her but I know our God is able to supply her every need and to be her strength.  Would you pray for us in this.  For Dad that daily life could be enjoyable and that the things that are consuming him would lessen and that he could have a clear mind.  For Mom to have strength each day to go to work and then come home to care for him.  For my brother, who is now living with them to know how to help best. And for us to trust God to care for them all.

We are so blessed to have so many people “following” us here and praying for us daily.  We are so thankful that you are interceding for us! 

In His daily care, Bethany

Monday, July 17, 2006

Most Recent Quake and Tsunami

I want to communicate that neither we or any of our team mates were anywhere near the south-western part of the isalnd of Java so we’re fine. We didn’t know it happened until this evening, Monday the 17th here in our timezone. Just a quick update!




Yahooo!!!!  No not the Internet search engine, but our engine!  Yes, we finally have wheels and thus independence.  On Friday, Joel was able to go and buy one of our motorbikes.  It’s called a Supra Fit by Honda and it has given us great joy!  Ok, well I shouldn’t take it too far with the whole joy thing, but we’re pretty excited!  We took it to school today and only had 2 close calls J!  Yeah, well, we will have to keep practicing in our little neighborhood before venturing out to the big bad world, but at least we can go when we want now!  Now even more reason to be praying for us.  Not only have we never driven motorbikes before, but we have never driven on the left side of the road before!  Lots of opportunities for God to show His ability to protect His children. 

These are coffee beans from our very own backyard, picked just today. Joel is drying them for a week and then will learn the next step in the process from our neighbor.  Posted by Picasa
Our new wheels! Posted by Picasa
Jack wants to take a ride! Posted by Picasa
Jack wearing his Guyana t-shirt from Gram and Gramps - hello in Guyana!!! Posted by Picasa
A view from our front yard at night - wow! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Has it really been 3 months?

Hello all!  Sorry for the laps in information here. We were on break and kept pretty busy.  But now our classes have begun again.  We just finished day three of Unit 2 and, whew, are we challenged.  Yeah, for those of you who find a joke in that, we are probably considered mentally challenged too!  Hee Hee.

Our break was wonderful in many ways. Our brains rested, maybe a little too much but none the less, they rested.  Our house got many needed projects finished. Jack got lots of “mommy/daddy” time and we even got away for a day without him to do some shopping in the city. 

Our class changed over the break. As for the students, we are now with all Americans.  Before it was the two of us and four Koreans.  Added to our class is a gal we know and are neighbors with.  She had to step out for a time to have a baby and so now is joining us. It’s been fun to have her there.  The other two students aren’t with our group – NTM but are here for the same reasons!  Amanda is a teacher at the International School here and is taking this unit while she is on summer break.  Justins parents “work” here and he has spent 11 of his 16 years here in Indonesia.  He’s a neat kid and we enjoy his youthfulness and what it adds to our class dynamic!  So we are now 5 English speakers trying to learn Indonesian and having fun together doing it. Our Korean friends are now in a class all their own and I’m sure are glad to be able to communicate together in Korean.  The class also changed in content.  We are now focusing on word conjugations.  Fun for me, but Joel finds it a little less desireable. I think it’s like figuring out a puzzle.  Right now we are learning all the affixes they put on words to change the root word from a noun to a verb and then to a command and to a passive verb, etc.  We are still learning new words every day but along with those are many more phrases for conversation.  Once again it’s like a fire hose aimed at our heads, but we just take in what we can and trust that the rest will come in time.

We’ve both just had our 2nd RT meetings tonight for our neighborhood.  It’s amazing to me how much we are able to say and understand now. Just one month and it makes a huge difference.  I had an entire conversation about babies and how children sleep here and there, all in Indonesian!  Wow!  Oh and by the way, Indonesians have their children “sleep in” with them until they are maybe even 10 years old!  Waaaa, no thank you! I like a peaceful sleep and not being whacked in the head all through the night by a childs flailing arms!  It’s bad enough to share a bed with a 6 foot guy who forgets I’m there sometimes and whacks me with his elbow!  Add 2, 3 or 4 kids to the mix and I’m finding a different place to sleep.  They can’t believe we don’t want our kids in bed with us.  Funny how cultures can vary.  Neither being right, just different!

Ok so there’s the update.  We are still so glad to be here.  Keep praying for us.  It is making a difference!


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday Morning

It’s about 8:30 here on Sunday morning.  There is a nice breeze coming in from outside, Maranatha is playing inside, we ate French Toast for breakfast with Maple Syrup and we are all healthy and content.  Well, except Jack who has decided he hates sitting on the potty!  He’ll get over it!  It really is beautiful here this morning. We love mornings like this.  Our service at church doesn’t begin till 10 am so we get to enjoy a slow quiet morning. 

We have one more week before we go back to classes again. Last week was nice and long and we were able to knock of some big projects that had been on our to-do lists.  This week will be more of the same but will have some relaxing elements to it as well.  “What do we do for relaxation here”, you might ask?  Well, there is a hotel in town that is easy for us to get to by public transportation and they have a really nice pool.  There is a little wading area, even Jack can stand up in.  We can order lunch by the pool and play for a few hours and except for the 5x a day call to prayer, broadcast all over the city, you’d never know you were in a foreign country!  We also have several little restaurants that cater to westerners, one of which is a little sandwich and fancy coffee drinks shop, called Fru Fru’s.  Joel’s been already but I hope to go this week with a girlfriend.  We also have a great big back yard and we just got some lawn furniture for it so maybe we’ll set up Jack’s blow up pool or the sprinkler and he can play in the water while we enjoy the great outdoors.  There is a place toward town called the Poncesilla. It’s similar to the town square and there are dozens of little vendors selling snacky foods, rides on little motor powered kiddie cars, and there are always lots of people there just hanging out. 

SO it’s not hard to find ways to relax.  I, Bethany left my scrapbooking stuff home so that hobby will have to wait till I can get it here.  Joel is hoping to get a bike soon so he can ride about the mountains.  Apparently there are some good trails around – it will be great exercise for him and a wonderful brain breather. 

We hope, on this Sunday morning in June, you are able to rest as we are. Relax a bit with your family and thank God for them.  Enjoy a time of peace and quiet together. Read a book, watch the stars, or play in the sprinkler.  Whatever you do, enjoy the people God has surrounded you with.  We are!