Thursday, August 30, 2007

tononno, tononno, i wuv ya, tononno

That's Jack's version of the theme song from the movie Annie.  And tonight it's our theme song!  Our final visa paperwork here is done and we leave bright and early for the airport at 3:45am (our time).  We should arrive to our new home sometime in the early afternoon tomorrow (again, our time).  The flight we are on has 2 or 3 stops and I'm sure by the time we get there we'll feel as far away from home as we truly will be.  As soon as this blog is written, I'm off to bed to try and catch as much sleep as possible before the buzzer on the phone goes off to wake us up at 3am.  Don't you just want to be us today?  Yeah, I thought not!

Our time here in Sulawesi has been relaxing  for sure and we are almost out of the effects of jet lag.  Some how, by God's grace we reset our body clocks by 13 hours in just days.  An amazing feat!  Jack keeps asking each day, "I fly airplane today, Mommy?"  Another amazing work of God, our kids like to fly.  Can you imagine if they didn't? 

Thanks for praying us here and we'll count on you to pray us through to our final destination tomorrow. 

Till then,


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

words to a true song

Great is Thy Faithfulness, Oh God my Father

There is no shadow of turning with Thee

Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not

As Thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.


Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Morning by morning new mercies I see,

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided,

Great is Thy Faithfullness, Lord unto me.


Summer and Winter, Springtime and Harvest

Sun, Moon and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy Great Faithfullness, Mercy and Love


Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Morning by morning new mercies I see,

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided,

Great is Thy Faithfullness, Lord unto me.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide

Strength for today and Bright hope for tomorrow

Blessings all mine and ten thousand beside.


Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Morning by morning new mercies I see,

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided,

Great is Thy Faithfullness, Lord unto me.



The person who penned those words, was able to confidently sit still in the place of rest that is always provided by our Father. To be able to always be that confident would be a dream come true, but it really is possible. It should be my default, but it's so often the 'Oh Yeah, I forgot about that…'

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Well we just talked with our regional administrator in Sentani and are just a bit shocked.  Our house is there and ready for us but with no furniture (except there is a stove).  We didn't know either way but I suppose we hoped for some loaner things.  The situation is that b/c of the influx of new missionaries to Papua, they are swamped, which is why we are going there.  We do have living room furniture and beds for the boys but no bed for us or a fridge sooo…  Many of you know that we got hit with a pretty big tax bill this year b/c of the whole not qualifying for overseas exemption like we thought we would.  That added to medical bills from having a baby and well, as Joel put it tonight, we are truly seeking God as our shepherd to lead us to his wellspring of provision.   


Your prayers for us as we transition in the next week are so important to us.  We want to go in and not be the squeeky wheel.  We want to be a blessing to those we have come to serve and not expect too much.  But we are human.  It's so easy to see the first glance at soemthing and feel stranded.  Our God though is bigger than a refridgerator and it's cost.  He, as my mom says, only needs to sell a few hundred of his cattle on a thousand hills and we'll be all set!  Wow, this trusting God thing is harder done than said!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A long, newsy update - get some coffee and relax!

I'm awake at 5am today but we slept through the night without having to get up in the night with the boys as we have before. The last two nights it was12:30 or 1am and they were both up for at least an hour. Last night, now that we have a place to ourselves and Jack has his own room, he woke but we didn't have to get up with him. He cried out a bit but then went right back to sleep. He did wake at 4 am today here, in Sulawesi (where we will be for just a week doing paperwork) but in Papua that will only be 5 so… I let him wake alone and play in his room rather than having to get up too. Owen just woke, ate, and went back to sleep with no problem at 2am. I feel much more rested today.

So… going back. We had a pretty easy day the first day in Jakarta. The morning was just Jack playing and us keeping the boys happy.We all napped and then had dinner and went to bed. Saturday, we got up and got Jack going and after Owen's nap, we all went out to run some errands. Photos for the gov't, diapers, bug repellant, some snacks, and to let Jack play at an A&W in the mall, where there is a play land type thing. He ran around in circles for an hour – happy as can be!! It was good for him to get the energy out, scream if he wanted, whatever. No shushing him, just let him be 2! We put the boys down for naps and then watched a movie for the afternoon. It was nice and we tried not to nap that day so as to sleep better at ngiht.

Then yesterday we woke at 5am, or at least I did b/c the boys did. We all got going early though as we had to leave for the airport at 7. No problems on our flights and no overweight either as they allowed some baggage for Owen. Go figure that Indonesians understand that a baby requires some luggage but American's cannot. They don't really even use much here but we still got more allowance for him here than in the US!

Our flight got in just after 1pm. The boys slept great on the flight so they were pretty happy when we arrived. Another missionary family had lunch, sandwiches, waiting at "our house" for us to eat all by ourselves – a huge blessing to not have to socialize right away – note to self, do that for newly arriving families in Papua at the guest house. The boys went down for naps and I unpacked. Joel set up the computer stuff and then we had dinner with another family. Again, very sensitive folks. They fed us and sent us home to sleep. Joel was falling asleep on their couch after dinner, maybe that was their cue! BTW we have been going to bed at around 8:30 each night, completely exhausted.

Ok so here I am today, Monday morning. Coffee in hand, quiet house. Jack is playing on the other side of the wall, Owen and Joel are still asleep and I'm a happy woman with no responsibilities for the moment. Happy? No, joyful! Emotional. Missing you all! Thanks for all the emails, comments on the blog and prayers!

Mom has been sending me photos of all she is doing around the house to get it back to normal after 2 small kids took up residence. So fun to see that she is doing so well. Great to see she doesn't "need" me anymore. You know what I mean. I needed her to need me for awhile and now she is a big girl all on her own. I feel like the parent sending her off to school for the first time. Funny how life reverses sometimes.

On another note re: Jack. He got bitten by something and reacted like he is allergic on Saturday. Huge welts on his arms and legs and face and neck. Maybe 20 bites. They are hard as can be and red and have a tiny opening in the middle. One under his right eye swelled so badly he looks like he has a black eye. They all swelled but that one looks the worst. He is itching them like crazy and looks as though he got beaten up on his face. All the Indonesian's at the airport asked what happened. Which tells me they don't recognize the bites. Usually they'll say soemthing like, "Oh, he got bit by mosquitoes, or ants", or whatever they think it is but no one said that, which means I'm stuck guessing what got him. We've been washing them and using Caladryl on them, which seems to help. Joel got antibacterial soap for him to use in his bath yesterday so they don't get infected by the water. A smart husband I have!

The house helper here is Mini – funny that's what my best friend's daughter, Kallie calls her minnie mouse doll she carries everywhere! Sounds like Meenie. Jack is a bit confused as this Mini isn't a small pink mouse! She is sweet and helpful. She'll cook lunch for us each day and do laundry but I told her she doesn't have to come into the house till 10am. We like our mornings alone. She has an apt. at the back of the house. Being so tired, it's nice to have someone who knows how to cook here! We will have dinner tonight with the Palmers. The family from the Taliabo tribe who many of you have seen in the NTM video we often show. Nice to meet them finally and to be co-workers with them now! Kaila Palmer came over yesterday after Joel had been with Owen at another families house. She had Owen in her arms and was loving it! So was he! So was I. Funny thing, I have felt very trapped with him lately. He's not letting Joel comfort him, only me which means I'm tied to him all day long. I am ready for someone else to have a turn. Jack too has not left our sides. He won't let me literally take a step away from him in this new house. He has to say, "I comin too Mommy!' A little closterphobic for me. I know he'll adjust but … Don't get me wrong, I love my boys but when they are super clingy, I can tend to go crazy! Next week when we get to Papua and to our own house, hopefully it won't take long for him to feel at home.

Another funny thing. Some of you may remember how Jack was when we first came home. Wouldn't look at Americans or go to them? Well not here with the Indonesians. He actually ran up to the security lady at the airport yesterday, wrapped his arms around her legs, looked up and with the cheeziest grin, and smiled at her, jabbering away. As we walked down the isles of the planes, he said hi to every single person. But when we meet a white person, he freezes. I guess we could say, he feels at home here! Hmmm, funny how God does that with our kids so we don't' worry about them. Maybe I can learn to be that way too!

Thanks for praying about my language adjustment. It seems I'm getting it back! No problems of major significance so far. I've actually surprised myself at how much I remember. Joel, of course is having no problems there. He's a sponge when it comes to language. Funny though, because when we were tested for language ability in language school, neither of us scored too high. I guess, tests can't tell you everything!

Jack is in the other room screeming, my turn, my turn!! Who he's saying it too? Maybe his Dr. Suess sneeches doll!! He's big into "sharing" right now. Funny kid.

Ok, so that's a glimpse into our lives the past few days. I hope you enjoyed reading my little journal! Ok, I don't write little journals and we all know it, so let's just call it what it is, my long, drawn out, wordy update. Sorry Dave M. I just can't write short updates! I hope that's ok! Another one will surely be coming after we get to Papua next week but in the meantime, I'll post some small updates as the days go by.


Friday, August 24, 2007

We're here!

We arrived here in Jakarta this morning at 8:30 am local time Friday. That would be 8:30 pm back home on Thursday evening. All of our flights went fine, no problems just a few small delays but the connections were all great! We didn’t sleep much on the flights, maybe an hour for each of us in 22 hours and then once we got to Singapore we had a transit hotel room for 4 hours and got to sleep for about an hour and a half. Owen did great – slept and slept and slept but Jack on the other hand decided to fight sleep tooth and nail on the long flight. He did finally succumb after a dose of Benadryll; thank you God for those brilliant doctors out there who invent that stuff!

We were only missing 2 pieces of luggage when we got to Indo and that was actually a blessing because they were on the next flight and the airline will actually ship them on to Papua for free!! That saved us a chunk of money and since we don’t need those particular totes till then anyway, it was no skin off our backs! thanks for praying us through the trip – we certainly had moments where we were aware that you were praying.

This afternoon, we slept with the boys for 2 hours and had to peel ourselves out of the bed so as not to sleep too long in the day time. No one wanted to get up but we all knew we’d sleep better tonight if we did. Well, maybe Jack didn’t understand that but the first mention of Thomas the Train videos enticed him enough to leave the bed. We are now trying to keep the boys up one more hour and ourselves till 8. If we can do that we’ll not wake at 3 am!

The plan is that on Sunday at 8 am, we fly on to our next destination, where we will be for about a week, registering our visas. That city is actually a bit of a vacation destination here in Indo so we’ll be able to relax a bit before heading on to Papua. We don’t yet know what awaits us there except that we’ll move in to our house, have an orientation, and begin our final months of language study. We may also be doing some guest house hosting but we’re not sure yet when that will actually begin.

We’ll keep you all posted, so stay tuned to our blog for further updates.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A delay (good thing)

Our first flight this morning is delayed due to required crew rest. This means we'll be taking off around 10am instead of earlier. But this is good. More sleep for the boys, more rest for us, Pancakes, and a very managable layover in MSP of about 2 hours before we need to board, instead of 4. It'll be good for Jack, as he would probably be pretty rambunctious in the airport after 4+ hours. Please be praying for the rest of our journey home to Indonesia. We need that prayer support!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

prayer card 2007

24 hours and counting

Nani with Owen and Jack

Owen at 3 months

In less than 24 hours, we will be on our first of 6 flights "home". We take off tomorrow am bright and early. Today, we are all packed, the last load of laundry is being done, we are taking our leftover belongings to our storage unit, we have an apt. with a lawyer to do our will, we will go see my Dad and say goodbye, we will clean the house up so Mom is off to a good start, and Joel will grill steaks tonight, our last probably for 3 years! It's a full day, but hopefully not stressful.

Last year when we left, my emotions were well in check. I think it hit me several days later, what we had just done. This year, the tears are right at the surface, ready to fall at the thought of leaving my family and friends once again. Last night we had dinner with my best friend and her family. I found myself joking and trying to be light hearted but my heart was anything but light.

Mom, I think is also feeling it more this year. She has a bright future ahead but our leaving, this time, I think is going to be harder for her than we all thought. Dad's mental state declined a bit over the last few weeks but they have reinstated a medicine that will help that, so we are hopeful he and Mom will have great times ahead. She even bought him a model airplane kit that she'll keep here at the house so when he comes over, he'll have a fun "project" to work on. He is so excited – Saturday can't come soon enough!

So many of you have shared via phone calls, emails or in person that you have been praying for us daily. We cannot express with words how much that means to us. Knowing that you all – all over the world – are uphoding us in prayer is so humbling. We are truly blessed with the best partners in the world – all of you!!!!

I'll do my best to keep the blog going once we arrive in Indonesia. Those 4am risings once we arrive and I can't sleep due to jet lag are a great time to catch up on blogging. And I'm known for writing some pretty zany things at 4 am!! Keep a watch out and thanks for reading along with us. Mark H., thanks for being the link for so many of us; keeping us connected to our friends. You may not see it this way, but for those of us living so far away, you have an awesome communications ministry. See, anyone can be in ministry!!

See you on the other side!


Saturday, August 04, 2007

He's finally on his way

Well after waiting and flying, and waiting and flying, and waiting some more, Joel is finally on his last flight to New York. His flight to Chicago earlier on the 2nd airline was fine but once he got there, the 3rd airline notified him that he was not confirmed on that flight and they actually were all full. So he was placed on standby and just called to let us know he was on the flight. It would be 40 mintes late and he would get in 4 hours after he was originally supposed to!

PTL he didn't have to stay the night in Chicago. Now we are just praying his luggage arrives! Thanks for your prayers today. Let's all pray this doesn't happen next Thursday to Mom and I and the boys J!



I dropped Joel and his folks off at the airport this am. They are both heading to the same place but are on different airlines and Joel just called to let me know his flight had issues and now he is being rerouted on another flight.  This will put a kink in the whole meeting up on the other side with his folks but hopefully it will all work out. 


I have lots to do while he is gone before we leave to go to NY too.  It will be a nice quiet week but busy!


I'll keep posting with Joel's status as I know.  Please pray they can get him there today or his sister will have lots of driving to do!




P.S.  the photos are… Jack playing with his Gram and Joel and his dad drinking coffee

Friday, August 03, 2007


Have you ever been in a place where you are forced to trust the Lord?  A time when you couldn't "fix" the problem if you tried?  We found ourselves there this week with a financial need.  It was one of the toughest times in our marriage to truly rest and trust that God would provide.  We literally were out of options on suggestions to give God on how He could provide.  You know, "Well,God you could do this or this, or hey maybe you could sell this to provide for us".  We were stumped. How was He going to come through this time? 


Well, He doesn't always tell us how but He does always come through.  Tonight we got an email from our church telling us that "someone" had given a very large sum of money toward our outgoing expenses – which will completely cover them.  We are speechless and humbled.  God, through one of His messengers has blessed us once again.  We are undeserving of His grace but He gives it freely! 


Whomever you are out there whom God used to meet our need, THANK YOU!  You are having a part in reaching Indonesia with the good news!  Your investment is eternal!


We are so thankful!


Joel and Bethany, Jack and Owen