Saturday, June 23, 2007
As we prepare to return to Indonesia, we are reminded once again why we go. Please read this article we received a few weeks ago from some of our future co-workers in Indonesia, Scott and Jennie Phillips. They have been working on translating Bible lessons into the language of the tribal people where they live, the Dao. The two men that have been helping them with the translation process, have now heard the complete Truth, the Gospel, start to finish. From creation to Christ's resurrection. Read on to see what can happen in the lives of those who hear for the first time…
As our two translation helpers Daapoi and Wikipai were hearing about the torture and death of Jesus Christ this last week they were astounded at what Christ went through. "The words that you are telling me make my heart hurt, this is a talk that would make us cry. Jesus could have easily fled from those men or killed them all by merely speaking, but he did not." - Daapoi responded as he was hearing that Jesus had been beaten, whipped and then nailed to a cross. As the lesson went on and they heard up through the death and then burial of Jesus Christ and why he had refused to fight back but instead died a willing death on the cross for our wrong doings, they were both very quiet and I could tell that they were thinking hard over what they were hearing. They were realizing that Jesus had died on our behalf just as the lambs had been sacrificed over and over again throughout all the stories they had heard from the Old Testament.
As we came to the part of the story after Jesus had died where three days later the tomb was found empty and the angel announced that just as Jesus had promised, He had risen again from death, Wikipai could not help but laugh with joy at what he was hearing! "Only the Son of God could do something like that! Only Jesus could come back from death! Is there anything at all that He is unable to do?! I don't think so!" . We continued on hearing through how Jesus appeared again to his disciples and walked the earth another 40 days to prove he had conquered sin and death itself. These two Dao men were soaking it all in with smiles on their faces as they were hearing that Jesus had come out victorious! I began to question them to make sure that they understood what they were hearing. Daapoi was the first to respond.
"If it were not for Jesus, our sins would have never been cleared away, if Jesus had not become the Lamb of God, sacrificed for us, we would have faced eternal punishment! I believe that this message is true, I believe that He died for me!" . You could see the joy on Daapoi's face as he was realizing for the first time that his past had been forgiven and that because of what Christ had done, he was now part of God's family and would spend eternity with Him some day.
At this point Wikipai chimed in "If His sacrifice would not have been enough, God would have never raised him from the dead, if Jesus sacrifice had not been enough then the curtain in God's temple would have never been ripped in half to show us that we could now come into God's presence. I also believe that Jesus death on the cross was for my sins and that His sacrifice was sufficient!"
As we closed the teaching that day by hearing that Jesus had given one last command to "Go into all the world and share God's message with all the others that had not yet heard" and that He then ascended back to heaven to be with His father they got that much more excited and kept on getting up and trying to act out what they were hearing about Jesus ascending back into the heavens. The last verse that we covered was Acts 1:10-11 where the angels asked the disciples "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus, whom you saw taken up into heaven will come back in the same way you saw Him go!" At the moment they heard these verses they immediately began asking me "When will he come back? Will he come back today? Tomorrow? Will he come back quickly?" to which I responded that He will come back when there has been people that have believed from every language and group of people and every body that He has called to believe has heard His message. They then said, "Well then we have to tell the others! We have to tell our families! We have to tell the Kupekuye clans and the Mokotaka clans! We have to tell the Taomi clans too so that Christ will come back! We have to tell them His message!"
…the Bible lessons and scriptures needed to teach have at this point all been completed, and on June 11th, they began together with Wikipai and Daapoi begin teaching their first Dao village so that their wives and families can also have the opportunity to place their trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Please pray for these two men and their families and the other Dao people so that they can also come to repentance as they hear His Word, just as Wikipai & Daapoi have done.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Yesterday was Father's Day and what a lovely day it was. The boys gave Daddy his Father's Day gift and each gave him a card. The gift I "helped" them pick out was kind of in honor of my Dad. For as long as I can remember, my dad has shaved using shaving soap and a brush rather than shaving cream. He had this fun little nubby brush that he would lather up with a special soap and he always got new soap in his stocking for Christmas. Well, as I was shopping for Joel's gift the other day, I stumbled upon the same kind of shaving set that my Dad used. Joel is very into Gentlemanly type things like handkerchiefs, dresser valets, cuff links and such and so when I saw this set, I knew it was just the thing. He is very excited to use it, so thanks Dad for the inspiration!
Yesterday afternoon, we met my brother and his 2 boys at Phelps Grove park for a dinnertime picnic with Dad. It was such a nice afternoon, warm but not too hot and a nice breeze was blowing. Dad was in good spirits and enjoyed getting out to play with his boys. He even threw the frisbee with me – he still can throw it better than me! In all, there were 7 men and me, the only girl in the bunch (mom was still home recovering from her surgery). We took a great picture of all the boys together with Dad, what a group they are!
Thanks to all you Dad's out there who do so much to provide for and love and guide your families. Thanks Dad for your love for me and thanks Joel for all you do to lead our family! I love you both!
Today some friends are returning home from their field of ministry due to some health problems. My heart is heavy for them as I know they are battling discouragement right now. But I was also encouraged from the Word this morning that as we wait on God and trust in Him and His ability to strengthen us, we will find we have strength when we thought we had none. We have direction when the road ahead seemed dark. We can have hope because He is our rock. I am challenged again that I need to be redirecting my own thinking at times. I should be thinking on things that are true and not just how I feel. I need to think about honorable things, righteous things, pure things, things that are lovely, of a good reputation, things that are excellent, and praiseworthy. This is how I can see my feelings change and follow truth. How often do we just look at our circumstances and then let them be our guide to how we feel. It's so easy to do. J & B, we are praying fervently for you. Set your minds on things above – God's grace and peace be with you.
Today we will get to see some friends that we haven't seen in several years. While we were at the Bible School in Jackson, Joel was in the same class with a couple from Malaysia. Little did we know back then that we would be living and working in their "backyard". They have since returned to Malaysia to be tribal church planters there but low and behold, their daughter is going to school here in Missouri at my alma mater. They are right here in our neck of the woods and we get to have lunch with them today. The fun thing is, we can now not only communicate with them in English, their 4th or 5th language, but also in Bahasa Indonesia, our 2nd language and the sister language to what they speak in Malaysia!! How fun is that! Welcome Doug and Ruby!
Friday, June 08, 2007
Words can't begin to expess my thanks to each of you who have upheld me, and my husband, Steve, in prayer these past several months. I am so very blessed because God has his very best for us, no matter what the answer would be. I know it's not about my faith, but all about His grace towards us.
Even if God's answer regarding the medicaid had been no or wait longer, God still has answered an even more urgent prayer, that being Steve is doing so incredibly well. The difference between December, when I had to put him in the nursing home, and today is amazing. Just to know that people around the world, who have never met us, yet are praying for us, is so humbling. I know that God truly hears the prayers of His people.
With a grateful heart,
Aka Bethany's mom
It is with a heart full of joy and overwhelmed by God and His grace that I write this. I can't get the smile off my face! I walked in the door just a few minutes ago and was opening the mail when I ran across an envelope from DFS. AAAkkk, this could be good news or bad news… I braced myself. I read the statement on the front page and it said Mom and Dad qualified for Medicaid as of February 1. This is a miracle. We got a call a week ago saying that it looked like they would not qualify that far back and because several months have passed since we applied, we would likely only qualify for May and beyond. This was a huge let down as it meant Mom would have to come up with the money out of pocket to pay the nursing home for Feb – April. That's a lot of money to pull out of thin air, but we Prayed… you prayed… AND GOD SAID – YES!
Thank you so much for your prayers for us. We are so in shock right now. No matter what the outcome, we knew God had a plan but this just blew our socks off!
On another good news note, we also received Owen's passport in the mail today, several weeks earlier than expected so now we gather all the necessary documents and begin the application process for our Visas to enter Indonesia again. Keep praying! And don't ever believe God can't still do miracles! HE CAN!
In His Grip!
Bethany for us all
Monday, June 04, 2007
Today is the first day of June and I find myself realizing that our time here in Missouri is quickly coming to an end.
A Look Back·
· We arrived home in February with so much before us and we hit the ground running (you all praying us through each step of the way). Most of the things we came home to do, are done or are being finished now and our time with my Mom and Dad has been very encouraging and profitable.
· We still are waiting to hear from Medicade as to whether or not Mom will qualify. This has been an area that we have felt like our hands are tied and we truly can only pray. Mom’s lawyer has been wonderful and a huge encouragement to us through this whole process and we are so thankful for her.
· Owen was born on April 30th, making us a family of Four!
· Joel’s brother and sister came for an unexpected weekend in mid May. Owen got to meet his Auntie and Uncle!
· Our 4th anniversary was May 23. It has been a whirlwind 4 years but we can say with joy that it is better now than ever before!
· This past weekend I was able to go to a dear friend’s wedding in Pennsylvania. It was a truly special weekend with her and old friends from my time in Michigan.
· Next weekend, Joel will be making a 4 day trip to see his brother in Indiana. Jon will be getting married in August, just a week before we leave to return to Indonesia, so this will be a very special weekend for them.
· Owen’s passport has been applied for and we hope to receive it in the mail in about 4 ½ weeks. Once we have it in hand, we will then begin the process of applying for visas. Bethany, Jack and Owen will all need new visas but because Joel (the head of the household) already has one, we hope the approval process for the other three will go quickly and smoothly.
· Bethany’s Mom will be having surgery on June 13 and will be off of work for 3 weeks. This was an unexpected surgery and so we are so thankful that we will be here to help her in her recovery. Isn’t God amazing that he knew this would need to be done and he allowed it to happen while we are home and able to help her?
· Bethany’s Aunt and cousin will be coming for a week-long visit in early July from Minnesota.
· We will be celebrating our 4th anniversary with an overnight trip, just the two of us, sometime this month!
· On July 29th, Joel’s parents will arrive and stay till August 4th. This will be their first time to see Owen and the first time in over a year and a half since they have seen Jack!
· On August 4th Joel will be flying with his parents to New Jersey to see his sister and help with wedding preparations.
· On August 9th, Bethany and her Mom will fly with the boys to New York where the wedding will be held.
· August 11th is the Big Day for Jon and Christine.
· August 12th, we will celebrate Joel’s 29th birthday in New York City returning home the next day to pack for Indonesia!
· August 19th is our target date for returning to Indonesia. This is pending the visa process going smoothly.
Whew!! Are you as tired as I am after reading all that? It’s going to be a busy few months, which means it will go by quickly, too quickly in some ways and not fast enough in others. We are excited to return to Indonesia, this time to a totally different island. We will now be living in Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), a province of Indonesia (not the country of Papua New Guinea). Upon arriving there, we will continue our language study with a tutor and begin learning our new ministry (running our regional Missionary Guest House
· That our visas will be approved quickly and without any problems
· That God would give us peace as we prepare to leave once again. We know He can and will take care of Mom without us here but it will be difficult to say goodbye to our family once again.
· An increase in our financial support. For the past year or so, we have leveled out in our support at about 80%. We have been able to live at this level without a problem up until now and we are so thankful for that. Our recommended support level has now increased due to Owen joining our family and so we are asking God to bring along new supporters to join our team. We will also have some set-up expenses, such as visa costs, flight costs, purchasing a vehicle, and expenses for setting up our new home in Papua
As always, we covet your prayers for us and appreciate the various ways you support us! It’s an exciting ride, and one we wouldn’t trade for all the world!
In His Care,
Joel and Bethany Potter