As we wrote last time, we will be going home for a 6 month medical furlough to have the baby and be with my family for awhile. We are planning to leave Indonesia somewhere around the 1st of March and will need to be back in Indonesia by the 1st of September. Joel will be returning to Indonesia for two weeks April 5-19 to renew his visa but Jack and I will be staying put, awaiting the arrival of baby number two (which we hope to know the gender of in 3 weeks!). The new part of the news is this. Because we will be away from language study for a time, our target arrival date for getting to the region of Papua, where we’ll be serving would be pushed back to January of 2008. The leadership in Papua talked about that and how it would affect the situation there and thus sent the following email to our leadership here in Central Java…
“We would like to request the Potters come directly to Papua upon their return to Indonesia. If they were to arrive in Papua in Spetember 2007, this would give them overlap time with the Voskamps (the family running the guest house) in Sentani before they (the Voskamps) must move to Wamena (another town more interior). This would also then allow overlap time with the Voskamps and Miles (the family currently serving there to help the missionaries in the tribes) in Wamena before the Miles go on furlough. We see that these overlap times are necessary for things to continue to run effectively. If the Potters did not come in September, this would leave the Olvers (the other family working in Sentani to do bookkeeping, supply buying, regional leadership things, and a pleathera of other ministries) in Sentani by themselves to do everything (including the guest house) and this is not possible. There are possibilities we could look into for further language study for the Potters as well (after the arrive in Papua).” (parenthesis added for clarification by the Potters)
Ok so that may be a bit confusing for you all, so let me summarize it for you. A family interior needs to go on furlough and thus needs someone to take over their ministry while they are gone. The family currently running the guest house in Sentani will be doing that, as they are the only ones available. Since we, the Potters, are going to take over the guesthouse ministry permanently in Sentani, they need us to go there in September instead of waiting till January the following year. Otherwise all the support ministries, including the guesthouse (which is a full time ministry all by itself) to help our missionaries serving in the tribal areas, will be left to one family, who are already overloaded! Clear as mud???
Ok so that is where things stand as of today. What does that mean for the Potters now? It means several things:
1. We will need to start researching how to ship our things to Papua before we leave in March, just four months from now.
2. We need to start packing up our things to ship them to Papua in January, while also packing to come home for 6 months.
3. We need to be looking into plane tickets for our trip home and back and Joel’s trip here alone to renew his visa in April.
4. We are setting up the details to deliver the baby in Missouri and finding out from my doctor what he needs to know from my appointments here, which are all in Indonesian.
5. We are still praying that God will provide direction for us as far as our housing while on furlough.
6. We have a few leads on vehicles but nothing decided yet.
7. We have 2 ½ more units of langauge study time before we leave for furlough. And now more than ever, we need motivation and the ability to be able to give our best to language study as we have many other things that can take our concentration away from language study at this time.
So you may be thinking, “wow that’s a lot of needs!” We find ourselves thinking the same thing at times! It could be very overwhelming to us too. God’s Word reassures us though in several passages:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 & 19
For us, as we read this passage, we see this…
nothing, means just that, worry about NOTHING! As God’s children, Joel and I can trust all the details into God’s hands. Whether we see resources He can use to provide or not, He needs no resources! Remember, He created the WHOLE world out of nothing!
with thanksgiving, how can we thank Him at the same time we make the request, before we know His answer? Because we have His promise that He will provide our needs.
Needs, first of all we have to remember that what we see as needs, God sees too and knows truly what our needs really are. If we really need it, He will provide it!
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, second, we cannot ever fathom just how much God has in His riches. But we can know that because Joel and I are His children, we have all that He placed in His Son, which is everything, available to us because we also have our life in The Son.
What an incredible thing we have in our relationship with Christ! It is like no other! He will never let us down and He loves us more than we can fully comprehend!
So we leave you with that! With lots of changes, comes lots of peace and we pray you are all experiencing that same peace!
All our love,
Joel and Bethany