Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sun in Papua

Well, I mentioned my trip to town today and well, this afternoon, I realized
that I came away with more than I thought. I was in the sun for a total of
15 minutes (the time on the bike from home to the store and back and well
you can see what happened! Can anyone say EQUATOR???!!!


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8:20 PM

Below The Waterline

I've been reading a book lately called, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver.  A good missionary girl-friend of mine gave it to me just before we left to come here and said it was a must read!  So I have been reading it.  Let's just say this friend must know me very well!  I am a Martha. Hard-core Martha.  If I am not doing then I feel then I must not "be".  It's tough for me to sit still long. Anyone who knows me at all knows this is true.  As a matter of fact, I tend toward having my plate too full most of the time.  I have learned to say no at times but I just enjoy serving and being busy. 


So here I find myself.  In Papua, Indonesia.  Embarking on a ministry that is all about "doing".  Well, that's what I think anyway.  A guesthouse for tribal missionaries, who will be out for a rest or visa paperwork or enroute to and from their tribal location.  While it may be true; I will be doing a lot here, booking rooms, cleaning, cooking, making beds, being hospitable.  There is also the other end of the spectrum that is also necessary.  The ability to encourage those who pass through our doors.  How can I do that, I'm thinking now as I see how BIG this ministry is?  There will be so much to do just to keep the place running.  To be an encouragement to others requires that I, Bethany get out of the way. It means being still and letting God work through me.


So in comes this book I mentioned. I just read something today in it that really caught me.  I will quote it here as if I try to restate it, I won't do it justice. I hope the author doesn't mind.  She has just coming to the end of a section talking about balancing the teeter – totter of a life of worship and service.  How do we do that?  Here's her answer:


"The secret of balancing worship and work, devotion and service, love of God and love of people is maintaining our connection to Jesus Christ.  Our relationship with him is the fulcrum, the anchor, the steadying point that makes balance possible in the first place.  And the deeper that relationship goes, the more stable the balance will be.

"'It all begins at the water line.' That's how Jeanne Mayo puts it… 'It takes a ruthless commitment to first things first…I'm constantly having to ask the Lord to do the Psalm 139 thing on me: "Live in my heart. Search and examine me.  Know my heart."' Then Jeanne shared a story that has become a spiritual trigger point in her life.  God is faithful to bring it to mind when her life begins to slip off kilter and out of balance.

"In the autumn of 1992, a man named Michael Plant commenced a solo crossing of the North Atlantic.  An expert yachtsman, Plant had made this trip several times before.  His brand-new sailboat, the Coyote, was so technologically advanced there were few like it in the world.

"Plant set off alone leaving his support team to monitor his trip by satellite and radio.  Everything was going well.  Even when a storm disrupted communications, no one worried much.  After all, this guy was one of the best sailors and navigators to be found.  His boat was equipped with state-of-the-art navigational and emergency equipment.  Plant would resume radio contact when everything settled down.

"But Michael Plant was never heard from again.  After numerous attempts to reach him by radio, the Coast Guard sent helicopters out to look for him.  They found the Coyote floating upside down.  It's captain and sole passenger was never found.  Why?  How could this happen?  the experts wondered.  Everyone knows that sailboats are very hard to turn over.  Their deep keels and massive rudders right themselves.  But as the ship was examined, the cause of the tragedy became clear.  For all its technological advances and beauty, the Coyote didn't have enough weight beneath the water line.  There wasn't enough ballast below to outweigh the fancy gadgetry above.  And so it flipped over as it lost its ability to balance in the water.

"'Our lives will capsize as well,' Jeanne Mayo concludes, 'if what lies below the spiritual water line of our lives doesn't outweigh what lies above.' No matter how good we may look on the surface, no matter how balanced we may seem, it's what lies below that really counts."


So I read this and was so convicted.  I am a sailboat who often has lots of gadgetry on the top and very little weight below the waterline.  I get so busy, so often in what Weaver calls "Kitchen service" as a Martha, that finding time for the "Living Room worship" gets jipped.  The timing of this book coming into my hands couldn't have been better.  I am far from having it down pat, I don't think any of us ever do, but I am certainly going to keep my heart tuned to how much weight lies below my surface. 


I must add here that there is an element we believers have that a sailboat does not.  That is prayer.  I'm no theologian but I know that the prayers others offer to God for me act as an anchor that pulls me toward my source of strength.  I don't know why it works but it does.  You pray, God hears, His Spirit works in my heart and I am challenged, encouraged or whatever is needed that day or in that moment.  Thank you for standing with us in this voyage to unknown waters.  We, unlike the yachtsman mentioned in the story, are not alone on our trip.  God is with us, and you are with us and we are so thankful.


HyperMarket - our version of Walmart

Today I made my first treck out on a motorbike since returning to Indonesia.  Actually this bike is more like a scooter but none-the-less, I did it.  Another milestone toward feeling at home here.  I needed a few things from the store and there is a new store in town that claims to "have it all", so I hopped on the bike and braved my way into town.  Mind you I have to cross two very "makeshift" bridges to get there and try not to get sunk in the thousands of potholes along the way but I did it!  There and back, no problem.  The new store is very nice, airconditioned (a  rare thing here) and as soon as the imported items get released at customs in Jakarta, we'll have our very own version of the Indonesian Walmart.  One stop shopping all the way over here!  Who'd a thunk it?


Joel is again tackling the bathroom today.  He should be done with the demolition by this afternoon and then will begin to rebuild our shower area.  I covered several of the windows in the kitchen today to try and close it off so it will keep the airconditioned air in and the hot air out.  Right now the kitchen is it's own oven.  Great for rising bread but I don't like to stay in there too long.  Slowly but surely we're getting things done.  I know there will be an end in sight somewhere down the road!


Thursday, September 27, 2007


Today was a good day here at the Potter house. Actually we weren't at the Potter house in the morning and I think that's why it was a good day. We got out this morning for our orientation time and got to see a bit of the place we live in. My coworker Jodi, took me to the Pasar or the market where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables and meats and an assortment of other things. It was actually much nicer than the one where we lived in Java and so I was much less intimidated by shopping there. I have always had my house helper go for me because the crowds and mayhem really wasn't very enticing to me. But here, it was so orderly and clean that I thought, "I can do this!". What a boost today! Something I feel adequate to do!

Then we went up to the International school to get a tour. Hillcrest International School is amazing and is so geared toward serving missionaries. WE have full access to the grounds and they are beautifully situated high up above the town. Its cooler up there and clean and just a wonderfully relaxing place to go. There is a playground that Jack can use at any time, a gymnasium, tennis courts, soccer field, and also a library there that we now have access to with current magazines, books, videos and even a huge kids section that Jack will love. It was good to see where he and Owen will go to school one day and to know that even though that's ways off in our future, we can already begin to reap the benefits! God bless those who have sacrificed good jobs at home to come and teach our kids for no monetary reward!

Joel also has been accomplishing big things at our house. Yesterday, he finished up a project of cutting a hole in the concrete and brick wall in between our room and Jack's room so we can put a fan in to pull some of the cool air from our room into his. This will make naptime so much nicer for him! Today he began to tackle our bathroom to take out the "bak", a four foot high tub with four walls that holds water. The Indonesians fill it full with water and then stand in the middle of the bathroom floor and dip water out and over themselves with a ladle. Not our idea of a good shower or bath so he is knocking down the walls and extending it out so we can have a proper shower. Right now we have a shower head that is attached to the wall in the middle of the bathroom, soaking everything in reach, including the toilet. Again, not our idea of what a bathroom is. So… he's been chisling away at cement and brick once again. Johnny, you'd be proud! His hands now look like yours! (the photos are: #73 – the bathroom he is working on under construction, #81 – the current guest bathroom that is still completely Indonesian style. Want to have a toilet like this at your house?)

It's now 9 pm and like the carriage in the Cinderalla story, we are going to turn into pumpkins at any moment. When the sun goes down at 5:30 each night, 9pm feels like midnight! So with a good day behind us and hearts so incredibly grateful for all your prayers and notes of encouragement that truly lift our spirits, we bid you goodnight.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Today was our first day with Nona Ana.  She did really well and seems to be a diligent worker.  She is very friendly and a good talker.  This will be so helpful as I endeavor to strengthen my language ability.  Mopping was a new thing for her so I had to show her how to do it and then she apologized for being slow at it. I told her that she'd get the hang of it and in no time she'd be mopping quickly.  She was very pleasant to have around the house and seems to really love the kids!  Thanks for praying for us in this.  Keep praying that she'll work out long term. It's going to be a huge help!


We have other good news today as well.  We now have a phone AT OUR HOUSE!!!  Yippee.  That means you can all call us and we can chat. Ok, well that's not so likely but hey at least we can email from home and hopefully will be able to keep the updates coming more regularly. 


So today was a pretty good day at the Potter house.  How was it at your house?  you know we'd love to hear of the mundane things of life back home.  We kno we are not the only ones with things happening.  Will you share what is happening in your life too?




Today I interviewed a new house helper.  Her name is Ana and she is a single Papuan gal.  I’d guess she’s about 20 or so and is from a nearby town.  The head pembantu at the guest house also was with me as I interviewed her and Ibu Salche also felt like she’d be worth trying out.  She begins tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.  She doesn’t have tons of experience working as a house helper so I will likely have to train her in many things but I suppose that’s good as she’ll learn how I like to have things done.  Thanks for praying for this situation with us.  It’s daunting to do this in another culture as it’s hard to read other people when they are from such a different culture.  I will be trusting her with my children eventually and that is not an easy thing to do.


Our bathroom is being renovated today to put in a western toilet.  We are so excited to finally have a bathroom that is normal for us. It’s amazing how things like that can make the day feel so much more normal.  Joel is in a neighboring town getting  a bathroom sink and shower and so hopefully by sometime next week, we’ll be set with one regular bathroom. 


In a few weeks, our field leadership team will be here for meetings and this will be my first introduction into the guesthouse.  I will be buying food for breakfast and will be providing lunch and supper for the men and one of the wives.  We are still doing our orientation each afternoon and are learning about how things work here in Papua.  I think we’ll be taking some outings to see various places that are unique to our area.  It should be interesting.  I think we’ll also be picking up again on our language study but as to how that will all work out, we’re not sure yet.


Thank you for all the notes of encouragement to us these past weeks. It means so much to have folks praying and even just sympathyzing as we go through this transition.  We miss  you all!



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bird Flu

Well some of you may have heard in the news that the bird flu hit Indonesia and in the city we used to live in and did our language study in.  We too have just heard that a small number of chickens have died from Bird Flu in Salatiga.  Our Field Contingency Team is monitoring this situation closely.  Families living in Salatiga are taking steps to minimize their risk of getting this illness.  We will pass on additional information as we know more. 


Thanks for your concern for us and our teammates.   Lord Willing, this will not be a problem!




It has now been a monh since we left the states to come here to Indonesia and I'd have to say this has been a pretty tough month for us in many ways.  We are still adjusting to life here in Papua and feel so far away from being settled.  We know it takes time, but we are realizing that it will be a long time before this place feels like home. 

One thing that I think will help us in the adjustment is getting out of our house.  Other than getting groceries we hadn't really gotten out at all until this weekend.  On Friday, we went to a neighboring town where there are some decent stores to get supplies and things and another couple watched our kids for us.  It was nice to get away for the day and get a lot of the basic things we've needed here at the house.  Then that night, we got over to the international school to watch a volleyball game.  Since the town we are in has a very large expat community, these Friday night games are a big social event.  One of the high school classes cooks food, usually something western (sometimes they even have hotdogs brought all the way from the states!) to raise money for their class events and everyone turns out to see the games and catch up!  It was our first time to go and we had a really good time.  There has been so much to do at our house to get it set up that we really have become hermits.  You know us, we love to socialize and so we were starting to feel the effects of a lack of interaction with other human beings! 

Our house helper worked her last day last week on Thursday.  That has been hard but good too.  It was looking like perhaps she wasn't a good fit for us and I was feeling like perhaps we should be looking for someone else. that's a tough decision to make and I was having a hard time making it when she showed up on Friday morning and told us she got a call from her family on another island and she needed to return home.  God went before us in that and worked it out so I didn't have to let her go!  So now I am looking once again for someone who can help me here at the house so that I can focus on the ministry with my family and the guest house.  I will interview another gal on Monday so I'd appreciate your prayers for discernment in that. 

Some things I have begun to realize that I took advantage of at home are starting to really show! 

·           I made baby food for Jack cause it sounded good and was kind of fun to say I did it.  Now, it's my only option.  The baby cereal here comes with all kinds of interesting things in it like sugar, honey, coconut oil, and spices, you and I wouldn't even eat.  And there is no jarred baby food to speak of so every couple of days, my kitchen smells like veggies central.

·           Electricity at home is so dependable.  It's rare when it goes out and usually for a really good reason like a tree falling on a line or ice storms.  Here it's a daily part of life and usually for a reason like, well, there's not enough for everyone, so we all get to have periods of the day without it!

·           Our phone companies at home are amazing!  While we were at my mom's house, we had a problem with a phone line.  That afternoon, a guy came over and fixed the problem.  Even gave us his cell number should something else go wrong.  Here, well, there was a big land slide this past spring and the bridges all got demolished so with them, somehow, the phone lines went down too!  So amazingly enough, although the guesthouse next door has a working phone, ours is completely gone.  No nothin.  We are on the same property and are literally feet away but our phone line got knocked out at theirs didn't.  It's no use to report it to the phone company,  it'll be months before the bridges are up and thus, our phone line!

·           Tap water.  you know many of us are pretty picky about our tap water.  If it has any sort of taste to it, well, yuck, can't drink it. It's clean mind you but it has a bit of a weird taste and we throw it out with the bath water.  Oh, what I'd give for tap water that is clean. It could taste like the Mississippi for all I care.  I can't even rinse my dishes in it here. I have to add bleach to the water and wash everything in that!  No, the taste isn't the issue, typhoid is!

·           Have you ever noticed that when you go to the store, say Walmart or Target or Dillons that everything is so clean?  You don't usually say at the end of a trip to the store, "well, I'd better go shower – and use antibacterial soap".  Here before you get two feet out the door, the antibacterial hand wipes come out and you attempt to wipe the grime off your hands before you touch anything else.  Each carton of milk (ours comes in little cardboard boxes that sit on the shelf till you open them) has to be washed before you use it.  Everything that gets stored in the fridge gets a good wiping down when you get home and yes, we take a shower to wipe off all the grime.  Maybe that's why we do as much shopping for the month in one trip so we don't have to take our weekly, "I went to the store" shower!

Well those are just a few things that we are realizing we took for granted at home and let me just say it for those of you who are thinking it!  YES, we know we are in major culture shock!  No use denying it.  It's like a thick soup around us right now.  The thing is, time is the only thing that helps it go away.  Well, no I'm wrong there.  The Lord enables us each day to handle all the little shocks that come our way.  Some days it's harder than others.  Some days, getting up in the morning is hard and some days I hop out of bed eager to face the day.  We know for sure that Satan doesn't want us here and he knows the areas where we are easily discouraged.  Not a day goes by for each of us right now that we aren't faced with the thought of going home.  Thankfully our God is bigger, stronger and more reliable than Satan, us or our weaknesses.  He is our strength when we are weak, He is the treasure that we seek, He is our All in All!

In His Hands,




I'm sending off some photos finally. We just now downloaded the ones from our trip here, if that tells you how crazy life has been lately.  Enjoy!



Flying Potters

These photos were taken on the last leg of our flights here. My mom made
Jack a train track/race track out of a plain placemat before we left and it
provided hours of entertainment for Jack. Just perfect for the fold down
trays on the airplane. I'd say we all looked pretty good for having gone so

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2:02 PM

A view of our town

We drove up one of the nearby mountains the other day to get a view of where
we live. This place we are at is actually a military base and a famous one
at that. It is where General McArthur set up camp while he was here in
WWII. It's a beautiful place, cool and high above our town. We live right
off of the airstrip that you can see in the photo. The lake is also very
close and a beautiful scene from above. Don't get too close though. It's
not the kind of place you'd necessarily go to for a vacation. See the red
dirt? It reminds me of home!

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2:02 PM

Jack napping

Just to give you an idea of how hot it is here. We found Jack like this one
day at naptime. Poor guy. I think he was literally melting!

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Can you believe this little guy isn't even 5 months old yet? He was given
this walker last week by some friends here and hasn't stopped cruising
around the house since he got it. He's getting so big!

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2:02 PM

What a view

This was the view from the airplane window as we landed, yes, landed, on one
of the islands we stopped at on our way to Papua. It was quite the
experience! Water under us, volcanos around us! WOW!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Hey all just wanted to let you know we were not affected by the earthquake here in Papua, nor were any of our co-workers harmed by it.  Some things were broken in one families house that lives in a tribe closeby to the epicenter but no injuries.  Sorry to make you all worry if you did by not hearing from us.  The next post will explain why…



What on earth was that???

That's what we've been asking the past week as I, Bethany was down, flat on my back (or side or however I could finally get comfortable), with some sort of stomach bacteria.  WELCOME to Papua. 

It hit me sometime Monday night and gradually got worse and worse until Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning, I made it to the bathroom but couldn't get back to bed, and ended up yelling for Joel from the kitchen floor.  Sorry, for those of you who don't need details, but things were going right through me and I hadn't been able to keep anything in me for several days so by 4am when I had to go again, I began to pass out, right there in the bathroom, alone on the other side of the house.  Joel finally heard my weak calls for help and came running to find me pale and very very weak.  We called one of our co-workers who was over at the guest house to come and she thought maybe I had gotten some kind of bacteria.  Thankfully, although we may feel as far from civilization as we have ever gone, there are wonderful medical professionals here in our town and so one was called the next morning and she told us which antibiotic to get started on.  The whole day was a wash as far as getting much done around the house. Joel became Mr. Mom and my bedside nurse.  The co-worker who rescued us in the night also took Jack for a few hours sparing him from going insane here at the house for the next few days and I basically laid in and out of sleep all day Thursday and part of the day on Frida, running to the bathroom every half hour or so.  Finally on Friday afternoon, I was beginning to feel human again and now, on Sunday am back to normal.  Relatively speaking, it was a mild thing really but it sure felt like death was knocking on my door. 

We have struggled a bit more here with some weird version of culture shock.  Papua is very different than Java in so many ways.  It kind of feels like we left civilization a bit and were dropped on some remote island somewhere.  I think we had in mind that this would be an easier transition in that we'd already been to Indonesia and then would just have minor adjustments here.  That is not the case.  we need your prayers now more than ever as we trust God for every moment here.  We have been praying more together than ever before in our marriage and are simply asking God to get us through today.  One day at a time. 

I'm being pretty candid here with you all and so I hope you know that we are not giving up.  At times that seems the thing to do but we know that God has led us here and we are trusting Him to keep us here!  What's that phrase again, "God's will will not lead you where His grace cannot keep you!".  We're clinging to that. 

Thanks for standing with us. 

In His hands,

Bethany for us all 

Bethany's Current State

In case anyone had heard of Bethany's recent illness, she had something similar to Giardia, a nasty gastro bug that is prevalent in tropical areas. She was pretty ill, and I pretty scared for her from this past Monday evening till really yesterday morning. She has really turned a corner and thanks to the Lord working through great co-workers, a great nurse, some good meds, and rest (and maybe a husband/male nurse) she's doing way better. Thanks to everyone who prayed for her. It was scary and at the same time a really faith-expanding time for us.

Please, Please, keep praying for us here. We're so succeptible to so many types of tropical illnesses and infections here. We truly have to trust the Lord here!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday - the end of a very long week

Tomorrow is Saturday and hopefully we'll get to relax a bit.  The power has been off about 1/3 of each day, tonight so far we are going on 4 hours.  It did rain tonight so we've gotten a bit of a reprieve from the heat. It's still probably in the 90's but that's nice to us!  I'm praying the power comes back on before we head to bed. We can sleep over at the guest house tonight if we need to as there are a few open rooms right now and there is a generator there, but I'd rather sleep at my own house.  The boys are down in an airconditined room – they're probably wondering how it could get so cold. They may be in shock!   I'm tempted to join them for awhile while the generator is on but instead I'm writing this blog. 

Tomorrow morning we are going shopping without the boys. Our partners, the Duncan's have two girls that love to babysit so we've asked them to come in the morning so we can get groceries and supplies for the house.  I also want to make yogurt but I have to start from scratch with a powder starter. Never done that before so we'll see if it works out! I'll let you know!

I did make bread today but the morning went nuts on me and it rose 3 times before I got to make it into loaves.  They are huge!!  Hopefully they look as good as they taste or visa versa. I'm tired, can you tell! 

Something you could pray for me about is with my house helper.  She is incredibly shy and for those of you who know me, I'm not!  It's hard to have her walking around the house like she's afraid of us. I really want a relationship with her and have told her that very thing.  I know my actions will speak louder than my words.  Please pray for me as I try to build a relationship.  She is from the prominent religion here in Indo so it's an opportunity for me to share Christ with her but first I have to get her to converse with me.  J

Joel installed two new outlets in the house today. I am so proud of him for taking that on after our bogus quote from an electrician.  He'd rather be chef-ing up some amazing food for everyone but instead he was sweating so much his clothes had to be wrung out and soaked to get them clean.

Well that's all for today.  Oh and by the way, we hook up to the internet over at the guest house where they have an active phone line, for those wondering how we did this without a phone.

You all have a great day while we have a great sleep!




Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Today is "Malaria Medicine Day" for us.  The region of Indonesia we are in has lots of malaria carrying mosquitos so that means that each week, we get to take our dose of medicine as a family.  This is an area I am a bit scaredy cat of.  I have seen what malaria can do to someone and I just want to avoid it at all costs.  Please pray for us regarding this.  We need to be wise about when we are outside and to have "Thursday Malaria Med Day" be an unforgettable part of our routine!


Today is also a new day, I keep reminding myself.  The last several days here have been hard as the power has not been on for very much of the day.  Yesterday it was out from before 11am till about 8pm.  It's very hot here and our house doesn't have screens yet so we can't open the windows at all.  It makes the house feel like a sauna and then some.  We came over to the guest house where there is a generator but that means that we don't get much unpacking done at our own house!  We are trying to get a generator this week.


Our house is coming along slowly.  Much more slowly than I'd like but with the heat here and tow little boys, I suppose we're doing  well.  We also got our fridge two days ago and so that means we now can eat at our own house.  It was good exercise to go back and forth to the guest house but not very convenient.  We also have gas for our stove and drinking water so that we are now, minus a phone line, pretty much self sufficient at our house.  The house still needs quite a bit of work done on it but in time, we'll get there. 


We will begin our orientation for this region probably next week some time.  We are excited to get into our ministry here full time but we realize that being settled first at our house is important.  We will also be having our first team meeting with the other two families that will make up this "town support team" in the next few weeks.  They are great families and we are so looking forward to working with them. 


Ok, that's all from this side of the world for now.  We'll chat again soon!



Sunday, September 02, 2007


Today was a good productive day for us.  Our kitchen is now useable except that we don't have our fridge just yet.  That will come on Wednesday.  Also, we need to get LPG gas for our stove and drinking water.  So that means we have two rooms liveable and well, let's not count how many more are yet to be finished, ok!?  We had a chance too today to have some fellowship with the various NTM families that are here in town.  Right now, that's quite a few!  There are several families living in town enrout to working in new tribal groups and two are here b/c of visa paperwork, another two are heading out to the states for various reasons, one guy is here to travel with a few others into some tribal areas to do surveys, and us and another family are getting settled in town to become a part of our town support team. Oh and I can't forget the other family who is here and has been here for 5 years, plugging away alone keeping everything going.  Soooo, it was a full house for us and a very encouraging time, hearing what God is doing here in Papua in various people's lives.  It also gave us a taste of what it will be like when we finally get into our ministry at the guesthouse.  We are so excited to finally be here!


A scary thing happened in the middle of the meeting today.  The boys were down for their naps while we were having the meeting and I went in to check on Owen and found him on the floor with a pillow next to him.  My heart stopped beating I'm sure and I was terrified.  I picked him up immediately and he stopped crying.  I was so scared.  I ran to the door and asked one of the guys outside to get Joel. He came running in and said," why is Jack's room open?  Where is he and wait, what happened here?"  I was in tears and could only say, "Owen was on the floor".  Joel found Jack in the kitchen and all we could figure was that somehow Jack got out of his room and into Owen's, where Owen was sleeping on a queen sized bed surrounded by pillows.  (Owen wasn't in his pack-n-play cause it's just so hot here and he wasn't able to fall asleep in it, so I moved him onto the bed where the air from the fan could get to him.)  So we think Jack tried to pick him up and must have dropped him. He has a bruise on his forhead but after checking him out and watching him carefully the rest of the day, he seems to be fine, even smiled a little while later.  As a mom, that's the kind of the thing that you hope never will happen while you are not looking.  I know things like that happen all the time but it sure doesn't make it easier to experience.  Poor Jack must have run out of the room scared to death.  We won't tell him what happened till he's much older so as not to scar him for life.


So as you can see, your prayers for us are truly important.  My theory is that God reached down and put his hand under Owen to break his fall!  I can't explain it any other way that he wasn't hurt.  Keep praying will you?!



Saturday, September 01, 2007


Home sweet home, at last.  We made it to Papua on Sunday afternoon, after 3 layovers in between Sulawesi and Papua.  The flights were fine, and actually we saw some amazing views on landing, takeoff and just about the whole time in between.  If we ever begin to doubt how amazing our God is, we just need to get up in the air again to see how beautiful his creation is, especially on this side of the world. 

Just a bit about what we saw before I go on.  As we landed at our first stop along the way home, we were coming in over the water.  Water on both sides was all we could see for a few minutes but yet we were getting closer and closer, farther and farther down, then all of a sudden out of the right side of the plane we see this gigantic Volcano and it even had smoke coming out the top!  Not errupting, but definitely active!  Wow, was that beautiful!  So here we are, so close you think you should be able to touch it but so glad you can’t and then WAMO, runway!  Bump bump bump bounce bump bump and feet to the floor in some attempt to slow the plane down.  That had to have been the shortest runway, I’ve ever landed on!  They had us get off the plane momentarily and as we stood on the ground next to the plane, we looked up to see mountains all around and the ocean just behind us!  Wow!! That’s all I can say!

Ok, so we repeated that senario in similar ways two more times before arriving in our “Home Town”.  That was Sunday.  We were greeted by a friend at the airport and he brought us home (with all our stuff – yes, every thing made it!) to our new house.  We certainly will not lack for space here and as a matter of fact, we’re not sure yet how we will fill all the space.  We have spent the last two days unpacking box after box and last night we got to set up our living room.  What a relief to have one room seem normal.  We have the ability to run 1 air conditioner at a time at this point, so this room is our “cool room” and we will visit it often.  It’s hot here for sure and I’m not sure in the last two days if we stopped sweating all day long.  The evenings aren’t too bad and we’ve slept comfortably each night, for which we are very thankful.

We were welcomed to the guesthouse and our house (which are next to one another on the same property) by cards from friends here, there and everywhere, three packages that somehow got lost in the mail while we were in Java, and the greetings of some old friends and some new –all our new co-workers.  I, Bethany got to a store yesterday to get some staples and I must say, when it comes to shopping in Indonesia, I much prefer Papua to Java.  I could hear myself think in the store and there was actually enough room to move along the isles comfortably.

Before I go, I just want to share some neat things God has done for us these past weeks.  This is not an attempt at bragging on ourselves but is absolutely our desire to brag on our BIG, BIG God!

Several weeks before we left we were blessed by a several thousand dollar donation by an anonymous person at our church to help cover the cost of shipping.  Then when we got to Sulawesi, we began to write out all the things we would need still to set up a new home; places for the boys clothes, a kitchen table, a bed for us, a refrigerator, stove, vehicle, etc. and we began to feel overwhelmed,wondering where it would all come from.  The only and best thing we could do was pray.  And pray we did, asking God to provide for our needs, trusting He would, in His time.  Each day, no word on how we would pay for these things, then the morning that we left to come here to Papua, I checked email one more time (at 3am) just 15 minutes before we would leave and low and behold a gift had been given back home which would cover some of the expenses of the things we would need.  THEN!!!  Within 10 minutes of our being here, our new partners informed us that someone here on our regional team, donated enough money for us to pick out a refirigerator!  Now you must understand, we are literaly at the end of the road here, well, I guess if you went out to the tribal locations that would technically be the end, but we are pretty close!  Getting a refrigerator here is no cheap buy and this family gave enough for us to get one that would more than suit our needs!  Oh, and our field also gave another gift out of a fund that is set up for folks like us with a special need! 

Are you as blessed as I am by this?  I mean, wow God!  Humbled and so aware of the blessing of being in the Body of Christ.  God provided, maybe at the last minute but He provided!  We CAN trust Him, He IS Faithful, and we ARE blessed to be His children.  A song keeps running through my head these days and I can just hear my friend Teri singing it. It goes,

“God will make a way,

where there seems to be no way.

He works in ways we cannot see.

He will make a way for me.

He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side.

With love and strength for each new day,

He will make a way. God will make a way!”


Let us encourage you with something. If you are waiting on God with something, wondering, waiting, worrying, eliminate the wonder and the worry, just trust Him. He will make a way!