Tuesday, October 31, 2006

These are two very special women. They are women who have sacrificed much in their lives. They are women who love Christ more than anything else in this world and because of that have willingly sent their children out into the world, knowing God would take good care of them. We couldn't be here without these two women and we just wanted to share with all of you how special they are to us. Do us a favor, if you live nearby your mom, hug her today. And as a favor to us, if you see one of these two ladies in the near future, hug them for us too! We surely miss them! Posted by Picasa
A very special place for us is my parent's house in Missouri. This time of year, things are growing colder, leaves are falling and the house will be decorated for fall. This is our home away from home (wherever that is) and we just want those who live there to know WE LOVE YOU! Posted by Picasa
This was also taken on the same trip and gives you a good idea of what the farming landscape looks like here. Please don't aske me what they are growing. I haven't a clue! Posted by Picasa
Joel recently took a motorbike ride with several guys up a nearby mountain. This is a shot from the road! What a view we have! Posted by Picasa
I am sure we'll get some interesting comments on this one. I debated whether to show it or not but to be true to life here I thought you all might be interested to see how we get around here. This is Jack and I on my bike, heading home from church. He is strapped snuggly to me and holds on to the consol! He feels very big and loves riding the bike! It's very different than transportation at home but it is very normal here! Posted by Picasa
Today I was outside talking with a friend when out of our lemon tree, jumped this fun little guy! I don't know if you can tell how big he is but I must say, he was bigger than most I've seen. My Indonesian friend said he's a gecko. His tail goes on for another several inches! Posted by Picasa
This is Joel and Matt, who plays a mean piano! This was taken last Sunday. Posted by Picasa
Each month, all us NTM'ers gather together to have a time of worship - in English! Joel and I and two other couples are leading it and it has been a really encouraging time together. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 23, 2006

We finally finished building our closet in our bedroom. It still needs a curtain and well, it's no professional job but it beats what we had before! Watch out California Closets, here come your competitors! Posted by Picasa
Jack loves the rice that is wrapped up in the bambu. He ate a whole one all by himself! Posted by Picasa
Jack riding his own "bike"! He loves that helmet! Posted by Picasa
Food our neighbors brought us last night as they celebrated Ramadan! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jack eating his first donut - he loved it! Posted by Picasa


In the past few months, we have been trying to arrange for the birth of the baby, including where we will deliver and how to work out our visa situations, etc. In the process of all of this, we have become a bit more concerned with how things are going for my parents back in Missouri with my Dad’s health issues. Origianally we thought we would try to go to Australia to have the baby, being there a few months, coming back to Indonesia for 2 months of language study and then a possible 2 month trip home for a wedding. As we considered the pros and cons of this plan with the situation with my Dad, we (Joel and I, our field leadership and Pastor at our sending church) decided it would be better to just go home to the states for a 6 month medical furlough, deliver the baby there, be with my family for awhile and be able to be there for the wedding. It looks like our target date to leave Indonesia will be March 1 and we will need to be back in the country in late August.
There are many details involved in the whole process, but one that I will mention is this… Joel will need to return to Indonesia in early April to renew his visa. Now for those of you with good memories, my due date with the baby is April 25. Joel will likely be able to make it back by the 20th of April or so but whether the baby will be on time or not, we don’t know! We would love for you to pray with us that things would work out for him to be there for the baby’s birth. If not, I already have a great Mom and best friend who were also there with me for Jack’s birth and will be great coaches once again!
A few other items of prayer we would like to share with you are this:
When we return home, we will need a place to live for 6 months.
We will also need a vehicle for that time so that we aren’t dependant on others to drive us around.
My Dad’s health continues to baffle us. He has a great doctor who is working hard to figure out how to help Dad.
That we would continue to thrive in our language study over the next 4 ½ months.
For Joel’s sister Bekah as she has had some health issues as well over the last few weeks.
We are excited to be going home for awhile and look forward to seeing many of you again. But we also realize that this was not our original plan. God has gone before us in all of this and we believe this is the wisest thing to do at this point. When we return here to Indonesia, we will have 3 more months of language study before we can head to Papua to do our full time ministry.
Thank you for your prayers for us in all of this. And please keep keeping in touch! WE love hearing from you!

Bethany for us all!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just an average day!

Today is Saturday here.  Joel and I were finally able to “check out” on driving the mission van here this morning.  Because they drive on the opposite side of the road and on the opposite side of the vehicle, our mission leadership wants us to drive with a more experienced driver the first time so they can see how we do. Because we have motorbikes that we have been driving for several months, we have gotten used to the traffic patterns and feel really comfortable now.  We both “passed” and can now get around town with the van if we need it for bigger shopping trips or to take friends who can’t yet drive yet to dinner or swimming at the hotel.  We couldn’t drive our own bikes until we’d been in country for 3 months and now we’ve been here 6 months and we feel like this will give us a bit more freedom. 


I can hardly believe it’s been 6 months already!  Time is flying by so fast.  We just passed our evaluations for Unit 4 of langauge study and I was so encouraged by my evaluation.  I have struggled getting the vocabulary to stick, and in each previous evaluation they have noted this as a weak point for me.  So I got a tutor to come 2 times a week and it has helped so much that yesterday at the evaluation, they said I had no trouble with the vocabulary!  Yippee!!  That was such a wonderful thing to hear!  I praise God for that and for giving me the tutor I have. 


Today will just be a normal Saturday.  I might go in to town to get some maternity kapris as I have only 2 pair and that’s what I wear every day here.  Other than that, we’re laying low today and just being a family!  Enjoy this weekend with your families or whatever you are doing!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Best Friends

Do you have a best friend? I mean someone other than your spouse or siblings.  Someone you share everything with. The kind of person you can call up at anytime and chat about anything or nothing.  Someone who, when you need to get out of the house, will at the last minute arrange to meet you at Walmart so you can shop together.

I have one of those friends.  Her name is Jolene and we have been best friends for more than 20 years.  She knows me inside and out and no matter where I’ve lived over the years (and that’s a lot of places – 4 states and 2 countries- short term) she always came to see me when she could and kept in touch, never writing me off because I left the world we both knew together.  She is a one of a kind friend and I’m missing her a lot these days.  Just before we left to come here, we did our very best to get together as much as possible and our wonderful husbands helped make that possible by taking care of the kids for us.  For all that we got together though, it just wasn’t enough.  I’ve never been this far away from her before for this long and now that I look back, I should have just had her family move in with us while we were preparing to come here.  If she didn’t have 3 kids and a husband, I’d have packed her in my suitcase and brought her with me. 

I guess this is a sappy kind of blog but I am writing it for 2 reasons.  #1 – I want her to know just how much I miss her and love her and #2 – I want to encourage you. If you have a best friend or even just several close friends, take advantage of every opportunity you have with them.  You never know when you will live worlds apart. God has given us each other – the body of Christ – people, because he knows we need other people.  If He has blessed you with a 1 of a kind friend then count yourself extra blessed.  Don’t take it for granted that you’ll always have them close by.  Love your family and friends like they might not be here tomorrow!  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

By the way, when was the last time you talked with your best friend and told them you love them?   Bethany

open doors

Just wanted to add a quick update about something that happened today. 

Just as we were leaving for school this afternoon, Jack decided he would begin tearing the paper coverings on one of his books!  Aahhh frustration.  So our house helper and I decided, as he loves his books, it would be better just to remove the papers from all of them and save them for when he’s bigger and can appreciate their value.  As we were doing this, Jack reached up and took a book from the shelf called “The Lamb”. It is a children’s book written by an NTM Missionary telling the chronological story of the gospel from creation to Christ.  Our pembantu can speak a bit of English so she sat down with Jack, not knowing what book she had and began to look at it with him. I stood there amazed at what I was seeing!  She is Mus. in religion and I’ve been praying for opportunities to talk with her.  She has to broach the subject though if we talk about anything spiritual or we can get in trouble with the government (and everyone else in our group) so I have to be very careful.  I just said, “That book is about when the world began”, so she’d know the subject.  She looked up and said yes, I can see that from the photos.  Then she asked, “is the story in the Bible the same as in our “book”?’  My heart jumped!  There’s my door!  Unfortunately we had to leave at that moment but I said, “I don’t know what your book says but maybe we could talk about it sometime.” 

I can’t tell you how excited I am that this happened today.  Jack could rip up all the book jackets for all I care if an opportunity like that comes from it!  Pray for me to have wisdom with this but to not let the opportunity go by me.  Pray pray pray!!!