Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Praise update on language helper

Today is a good day!  Want to know why?  Well yesterday afternoon, Joel was able to do some calling to the various universities here in Springfield in search of an Indonesian student that might be interested in helping us with our language while we are here.  (Remember that the first one we had lined up never came through).  Well, just a few hours later we received an email from a gal studying at MSU getting her MBA from Jakarta!!!  We were thrilled to hear back so fast and to know that she was very interested in helping us.  Not only that, but just now we received another email from her confirming our first "appointment" with her for tomorrow night.  Praise God with us that he has provided someone!  We will meet her at Panera tomorrow evening to get to know each other and set a "schedule" for meeting each week.  An ironic thing about her is that she and her father both went to College of the Ozarks – the college Bethany went to back in the early 90's!!  Small world, eh? 


So thanks for praying – we are thrilled with God's response!


Monday, March 12, 2007

A Long Overdue Update

We have been home now for quite some time and folks keep reminding me that I haven't updated our blog in way too long. Thanks to those who kept reminding me. We have had a lot going on in the last month or so. I will copy some snipits from a few emails I sent out recently that will bring you all up to speed.

We left Salatiga on Monday the 29th in the morning taking a van the 1 ½ hours to the airport. Joel wasn’t feeling well but we all were tired and so we didn’t pay too much notice to it. UNTIL… 30 minutes into our flight when he began to get really sick and then passed out! It was the scariest moment of my life, much more so than even bungee jumping as I did in college, but after a few minutes he came to, very sick and very out of it! We landed about 30 minutes later and after resting a bit, decided it was best to take the next flight out of Indonesia which would put us in better standing medically, because we would then be in Singapore, a very advanced country medically. Joel was sick again on the next flight but made it without passing out and after several hours, we were at our hotel room being visited by a doctor friend of other missionaries who serve there with NTM. He diagnosed Joel with a stomach virus, exhaustion and dehydration and said he felt we should take several days there to rest up before trying to go any further. The NTM missionaries there took us into their home for the next three days and by Feb. 2 we were ready once again to resume our travels back to the states. Praise God the next 3 flights were uneventful for Joel!! Jack and I both got hit with motion sickness due to turbulence but we handled it fine and made it home!! Mom and several other friends met us at the airport and we were greeted with a blast of cold air!!! The temps here were unbeleivable and our bodies felt like they were going into shock too! But even so, we were thankful to finally be here!

It’s been over a month now and what a month it’s been! Our first week was full of doctors appointments, tidying up Mom’s house after she’d been out of it for 17 days due to the ice storm, moving my brother out of Mom’s house and into his own and moving ourselves in!! Jack was a trooper through it all and we were so thankful! Another milestone for me was going to visit my Dad in the care facility he is now living in. He is now adjusting to life there and we go to see him as much as possible.

The 3 weeks ago, we found ourselves up to our eyeballs in legal documents, new car paperwork, birthday cake and medicade applications. Mom finally agreed to go see a lawyer to help with the process of getting their finances in order for Dad to be in the nursing home. We had our first appointment that week and while there I think it clicked that this whole process was much bigger than any of us expected. Mom told me to write this in here by the way! Less than a week later and after about 30 hours of paperwork for me (I feel like an administrative assistant again), a day of car shopping for Joel (not that he minded), another day of window and fence shopping for Joel and Mom, mom now has a reliable car that will last her many years with hopefully little hassle, new windows ordered for her very old home, a privacy/security fence ordered so the neighbor kids won’t keep jumping in her pool and loitering in her yard in the wee hours of the morning, and an application in for help with the nursing home finances. And, Jack and Dad celebrated their 2nd and 63rd birthdays in there somewhere!

God has been so faithful to give us the energy we needed to hit the ground running and we have all been very thankful God allowed us to come back to help her with all of this. It will be another 3 years until we can come home again (after we return to Indonesia in August) and I don’t know what state my Dad will be in mentally then. It is so comforting to me to know he is being well taken care of and that I have this time with him now. Jack and Owen will get to know their Poppi, Mom is not facing these beginning days of transition alone and Joel and I feel God has allowed us to be very useful for my Mom.

That brings us to last week. Joel left on Thursday morning to head back to Indonesia for 2-3 weeks so that he can renew his visa. The process is in motion and it seems to be going well so far. It's really one of those, hurry up and then wait some more situations but we're getting used to that being the way things are done there.

Jack and I are here with Mom and the three of us are settling into a routine together while Joel is gone. We miss him desperately but so many from our church have offered to help in any way they can while he is gone. It's wonderful to be a part of such a great church!

Sooo,,, thank you for your prayers for us these past months. I look back now to when we left for Indonesia almost a year ago and never would have dreamed we would be where we are now, but I know that by God’s strength and your prayers, He has sustained us, given us grace to handle each situation and will go with us each day.

What lies ahead in the next months?
Owen is due to be born around April 25 (earlier would be fine, of course)!
May will find me in Pennsylvania for an old friend’s wedding
On August 11th Joel’s brother will be getting married in New York and then
At the end of August, we will return to Indonesia, this time to the Island of Papua to begin our ministry there!

There are many things to keep us busy here in between those events and we’ll keep you posted once a month or so as time goes by.

We value each one of you reading this email and thank God for your roles in our lives.