Monday, September 25, 2006

Now that's a content little boy Posted by Picasa
Our little beach bungalo~ Posted by Picasa
Sandy chips anyone? Posted by Picasa
Beautiful view eh? Posted by Picasa
Please daddy, can't I climb the steps?  Posted by Picasa
The Potter 3 1/2 at the beach in Pacitan Posted by Picasa

What do we miss?

Tonight finds us listening to our favorite music from home, trying to drown out the sound of the mosques and the never ending call to prayer during this season. They have gone on for hours the past few days! This night also finds us both feeling very homesick. Just reading an email from my mom about the missions conference at church brought tears to my eyes. She wrote that Lance, Jerry and Stan sang together and that just put me over the top. I can just hear it in my mind. I haven't heard singing like that since we were back home in Missouri. So instead of just feeling alone in this, I thought I'd share with you all some of the things we miss from home. Some you may find silly but when you're this far away, they seem like gold!

  • Our church in Springfield
  • Our families
  • Target
  • Starbucks
  • The mall - even with no money but just to browse
  • Grocery shopping at a grocery store
  • The fall and all it holds, colors, cool weather walks through the leaves
  • Sweaters
  • Wearing shoes with socks
  • pudding, especially tapioca
  • cool whip (I remembered MOM!)
  • a selection of cereal other than corn flakes and rice crispies, even if they cost a fortune, it's gotta be better than $10 for a box of cheerios when you can find it!
  • ground beef
  • boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • Parks
  • Kids toys that don't break when you get them home
  • Scrapbooking
  • English!
  • Lines at offices and stores (at least they have them, even if they are long)
  • Streets with more road than potholes!
  • Friends who know you inside and out
  • Organizational supplies for the home
  • Things for the home in other colors than pastel and in plastic
  • Candles
  • Coffee shops
  • movie theatres
  • making a cake or brownie from a box
  • Being able to buy veggies without having to bargain for them
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Good pasta
  • Bread that doesn't mold after a day!
  • a regular sized fridge
  • A real oven (bigger than 1foot by 1foot)
  • more than 2 burners on a stove
  • clean tap water
  • rain!
  • sweet mangos
  • Real mexican food
  • salsa
  • walnuts and almonds
  • swiss cheese
  • doctors who speak my language and encourage questions!
  • Our sunday school class - Family Matters
  • Coffee with Brittany at Panera
  • Dinner withe STeve and Val
  • My mom and dad's house
  • Lunch with Tom
  • Lunch with anyone!
  • Restaurants

Ok so the list could go on and on. Maybe you could do us a favor...when you find yourselves doing one of these things, pray for us. God is our sufficiency and He always will be but we are weak beings who need prayer! Oh and Johnny and Jen, as we were having baked potatoes and corn the other day - no steak, we had a moment of dreaming at your house. We envisioned everyone over at your place for one last summer fling, grilling out by the pool, wearing shorts and sweatshirts, cause it's that kind of weather there and enjoying your fellowship. Thanks for the great memories there!

We love you all!

Joel and Bethany

Monday, September 18, 2006

A very sick computer

Dear friends,
It is with sad hearts we write to you tonight.  Our computer decided to give up on life this past week and with it, all our pictures, address book, copies of all our important documents, etc died.  We are now feeling very disconnected from life outside of our home.  A friend here is trying to recover the hard drive but tonight he was not too hopeful there would be anything left of it.  So we are hoping that many of you from our email list read our blog and can write to us so that we can update our address files once more.  If you don't mind, we'd love the full info on your family, such as...
Names of all members of your family
Address for mail
Email addresses
web or blog address
phone numbers
and for those of you whom we might not know well (i.e. we met you at a church last summer), please include where we met you, so that we can help our not so trusty minds recall the name and the face.
Aslo, if you would include birthdays, we would love that too!

I kept this all in outlook before and am lost without it. 

Please pray for DJ as he works with our computer that God would supernaturally "heal" our hard drive.  I know that there are many worse things that could happen to us, but being so far away without the connections to the people we love and who are praying for us makes the distance seem so much farther.

A quick update on us.  We just returned from a few days at the beach about five hours away and are very rested from the time there.  We needed that time to unwind our minds and bodies and were excited to begin class again today.  We are now  in unit 4 and with this unit, the structure of our class time and study time at home has changed.  We are now in class from 1pm till 3 pm each day and then have 4 or 6 more hours of study at home, analyzing language.  It is a welcome change from the first three units.  And we are now able to see Jack much more of the day.  Pray for us to balance our time well and to get the most out of this unit. 

We are all fairly healthy and for that we are thankful.  Joel is getting over a cold but seems to be on the mend.  Jack's vocabulary is expanding each day and he is growing like crazy!  I am also growing and have entered the "oh, why can't I get my pants buttoned anymore?" stage of pregnancy.  We will go for the first checkup later this week and get a preliminary ultrasound. 

Ok so that's all for now.  Thanks for getting back to us at our email address: with your contanct information.  We miss you all!

Bethany for Joel and Jack too!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An Update

It’s been a bit since I updated the blog so I thought I’d do that tonight since I’m done studying and not feeling like puking~


Joel-  he is continuing to amaze me at his ability to learn this language.  He has zoomed past me in so many areas and is so diligent in his studying. He is out at every opportunity, speaking with our neighbors and the men that work for us a few times a week at our house.  Every week at school, on Monday morning, we have a chapel session with singing and testimonies and reading of the Word and then a message, given in Indonesian by one of the students in the later units.  Joel, the brave soul he is volunteered to give his testimony for this week’s chapel. Mind you he has had 10 ½ weeks of formal language study and has only lived here 4 ½ months but he did so well. He spent days preparing it.  He could give it in his sleep if it were in English but translating it into Indonesian isn’t so easy.  The teachers received a copy of it and critiqued it and the mistakes were consistent and easily remidied.  I was so proud of him.  Our local Warung – corner store, has started selling Nasi Goreng (fried rice) in the evenings and has become a favorite gathering spot of the men in our Kampung (neighborhood) so Joel has gone over a few times to visit with them.  He is even trying to learn Javanese!!!  2 new languages at once, what’s with the men in my life being overachievers? 


Speaking of the men in my life…


Jack – he is quickly learning new words and sounds each day.  3 languages at once and he knows when to use which one with what person!  Crazy!  His latest sound is that of a vehicle and no one taught him that. I found a place that sells real matchbox cars – Hot Wheels and brought 2 home to him yesterday.  I gave them to him this morning and immediately he was on the floor saying “brrrrrrrrrrooooooommmmm,,, brrrrrrrrooooooommmmmmm!”.  How do boys instinctively know that sound?  Also, he walked to his bed the other day and said “Bobok” – Nap in Indonesian.  Smarty!!!  He loves singing and his favorite song remains the Chichak song. It’s about the little lizards that reside in our home and eat all the bugs and spiders.  We don’t particularly like them (as they poop on the walls which grosses us out!)  but they do get rid of much worse creatures.  So anyway, the song goes like this… in English first for you…  “Chichak, Chichack on the wall, quietly quietly creeaping.  Here comes the mosquito, hap (an expression of grabbing something) then he catches it.” Now the indonesian version… “Cicak, Cicak di dinding, diam diam merayap. Datang seekor nyamuk, hap lalu ditangkap!”  At every finish of every song, he always claps and says, “more”! 


Bethany – well I had a good first 6 ½ weeks of pregnancy but the “oh, I’m gonna loose my lunch” feeling has decided to make a presence.  So far just one day kept me home but I’ve made it through the other 2 by eating lots of crackers and sucking on lots of fruit flavored candy – Praise God they have that here!  I’m growing already – good sign or not, I’m not sure but thanks to another missionary friend who had to go home for a month, my maternity clothes are here and waiting.  Many of you have asked what the plan is for a place to deliver.  At this point we are looking at delivering in Australia.  There are many factors in the decision.  I will just share a few…  I would like to have an epidural again as I am not brave when it comes to pain.  If there were complications, Indonesia is not really equipped with good NICU’s for the baby.  We will be going home probably in August for a family gathering that has yet to be, um, “announced”. So with my due date being in April, if we wanted to go home for the baby, we’d have to leave here a few months before that and stay till after the “event” and it would keep us out of language study for far too long. Australia is much closer and they have all the modern technology needed for safe delivery.  I will see a doctor here about an hour away and then will transfer care to a doctor in Australia about 5 weeks before I’m due.  There are so many details to work out so please pray for us to have wisdom and discerment with it all.  As for language, I am still learning new things each day but sometimes not as much as I’d like.  Studying is a difficult thing for me to do because I get distracted by so many other things.  I’d love prayer for diligence!  I will have a tutor finally beginning in a few weeks so hopefully that will help.


One last thing to ask you all to pray for… this morining our Pembantu that watches Jack while we are at school came rushing into the house in tears.  She came to tell us that she couldn’t work today because her aunt’s house burned down (she lives 2 houses down from Ibu Nur).  There were actually 2 families living in something like a duplex – 4 adults and 5 little children all under the age of about 10.  Every one was able to leave the house but all of their earthly belongings (which wasn’t much to start with) were burnt and unretreavable.  It was devastating to Ibu Nur and all her family.  The families who lived there will stay with other family members until the house can be rebuilt but in total they lost more than they could replace, and help from the government is hard to come by.  Many people, neighbors and passersby brought clothing to them today and several of us westerners who know them have given gifts as well to help.  Seeing the look in the eyes of one of the men who lived there brought tears to my eyes.  They live simple lives here and are content with what they have.  He has lost everything and what he knows of God is not what we know of God.  Their understanding of Him is that He is impersonal and doesn’t really care about them personally.  We pray that we can share the love of God with him as we go back to help rebuild the house.  Maybe we can show him that God does love him and cares about his life.  Pray for this family as they grieve this loss.  Pray for us as we do what we can to help and comfort.


We love you all and miss you so much!