Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Well we have the sickies at our house.  Jack has what is called Giardia – a stomach type bacterial infection that gives him diaorrhea, which adds insult to injury with us still trying to figure out his milk allergy, which causes the same symptoms.  And now on top of both of those, he has pink eye!  It's been going around here and now it has hit our home. Hopefully we'll be able to keep the rest of us from getting it.  I'm washing everything he's touched in the last two days in hopes to rid the house of it. 


Owen has been sick for a few days and we are in the waiting period of seeing what we are dealing with.  We should have some blood work back this evening that tells us what is going on.  Please pray for us as we wait. The possibilites are a bit scary for us with him being so little but we know that we have direct access to the Great Physician and we can trust His care of our little guy.  We'll keep you posted but in the mean time, thanks for praying.



Now back by popular demand

Jack and Owen are just starting to enjoy one another as brothers. Jack loves to make Owen laugh and Owen loves to laugh at him.  Owen is now up on his knees doing the inch worm crawl across the floor and yes, today he turns 6  months – just 6 months!  Look out world.  He took a fall today while in his walker.  He's got a knot on his head and isn't the happiest he's ever been but I think he'll survive.  Jack is speaking in full sentences now and totaaly loves playing make-believe!  We found some tinker toys at a rumage sale at the int'l school this past weekend and he's really enjoying building things! 


Joel is finishing up the grout work in the bathroom today.  Maybe by week's end we'll actually be able to use it!  Wahoo!


Thanks for catching up with us! 

Monday, October 29, 2007

brown outs and rumbles

We've had an eventful evening here on our side of the world.  

We had dinner with frineds and then put the boys down and began to watch a movie when all the power in the house went out but the tv and dvd player.  It seems we were the only house in the neighborhood having a brown out this time.  We've had them before and they're not our favorite occurance.  We have to shut the power off to the whole house and the only way to know if the power has come back to full voltage is to keep going back out every few minutes to flip the breaker.  After about 30 minutes, our living room had become an oven and we were just about ready to get the boys up and go over to the guest house for the night where the power was just fine, but Joel checked one more time and wahlah! the power was back and better than ever! We actually had 200 of 220 volts coming into the house.  It's never that good on a normal day so we were thrilled!  It's the small things that make us smile!


We started up our movie again and about 10 minutes later, we heard a rumbling coming toward us from outside.  I don't remember earthquakes in California doing that when I was little.  It's like it's rolling up toward the house.  Well, because the structures of the houses here are less than "code" for an earthquake, we both bolted from the couch once we realized that what we were hearing/feeling was, in fact, an earthquake.  "Get the boys" was the unspoken word between us.  Just as we got to their doors, it stopped.  We glanced at each other, waited and realized it was done.  Just like that and our hearts were beating out of our chests.  Whew, so glad it wasn't a big one. 


I wonder, when will all this become normal?  I suppose one day we'll have the same thing happen again and we'll not even notice. 

Friday, October 26, 2007

Plugged - In

Today was by far, our busiest day yet here in Indonesia.  With 4 trips to and from the airport, one across town to our "bank", another to pick up food for dinner, 2 families leaving the guest house, one coming to stay for a week, and another just here for 5 hours, plus overseeing lunch preparations and Joel installing a voltage regulator in our living room, I'd say we had a full day.  It was a good day in most aspects but trying as well.  We were able to be an encouragement to one family going through a really tough time and that made it all worth it.  That's why we're here.  We didn't know this family 2 weeks ago and yet God brought them along our path so we could meet and encourage one another. 


I keep saying that living here is so different than what we expected.  In some ways it's better, we have access to more 'stuff' than I thought we would and we are connecting with more people than we thought we would but then on the flip side, we are realizing more every day how inadequate we are for this ministry.  So many folks told us how draining it can be – they were right.  But then, I have felt so satisfied too.  God is using us here and we are truly thankful that he counts us as "useful".  The trick I suppose is to stay connected to the Vine so we don't get used UP.  If I disconnect for just a second, I begin to feel the supply running dry.  He is still there mind you but I have unplugged from the source.  Never before in our lives has busyness been such a factor to take us away from what is truly important.  Finding the balance will be something we'll pursue every moment of every day.  When do you sit down and unplug from life and plug in to The Life?


Pray for us to know this balance and to live it out each day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Owen in October

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good morning from a sprinkling Papua.  We like it when it rains here as it takes the humidity out of the air and cools things off a bit.  That aspect of life is one of the many things that is different here than in Java.  There doesn't seem to be set dry and rainy seasons per sey.  It just rains every couple of days or so.  They say here when it starts to get so hot you can't stand it, "it wants to rain".  I suppose that is the silver lining on the cloud of "wow, it's hot"!


The past week has been a busy one for us here and we're happy to say, it's because we are actually doing some things in the rhelm of our ministry.  Joel ran back and forth to the ariport about a gagillion times last week, picking folks up that were coming in and taking them back as they leave.   It's not very far to the airport, as a matter of fact, we can usually hear the jet engines starting up all throughout the day, we are so close.  He has really enjoyed being able to do this as he is meeting many new people and getting to spend some time with each of them as they pass through.  Our guest house services missionaries from another mission that flies the helicopters for our folks in the tribes.  Many of the works we are in are heli-only access and so this mission is a  huge blessing to us.  Lately we have had the privilege of hosting several of this missions's folks and we are  so blessed to be getting to know them. 


This week the guest house is almost full of people.  One family is here for a week with their three kids – enroute to Australia (their home country) for furlough.  Another young couple with a  baby is here for just a few days on their way to language study in Java, another gal is here for a month on her way to the states for furlough and one more family is here for 2 weeks on their way to the states for furlough.  In all, there are 6 kids and 7 adults here now and we are enjoying having each one of them. 


I, Bethany, get the chance to "get outa Dodge" for a day this week.  I'll be heading to our nearby "big city" to do some shopping with a couple of other ladies.  There are many more things available there than we can get here in town but I don't yet know where all the places are to find things.  So Sherry, our co-worker is taking Emily and I there Tuesday to show us around.  It will be a nice day, without kids, to spend together as ladies.


As the days go by faster and faster, we realize that we are slowly settling in here to our new life.  We still have a bit of orientation yet to go through and then at some time in the near future we will pick back up our language study again.  We are anxious to begin that soon as it means getting closer to actually being full-time in to our minsitry here.  Thanks for all the prayers you have offered for us and for the encouraging notes you send our way.  We are encouraged!



Saturday, October 13, 2007


 yep, we felt it last night.  actually there was one last Thursday too but we didn't actually feel it!  Last night however,  we couldn't have missed it!  We are all fine and no damage done here that we know of. We hear this is quite common so as they happen, we'll keep you posted.



Friday, October 12, 2007


It's that time of year again when all night parties take place here in Indonesia. The countries largest religion has it's feast after a month of fasting, today.  this means last night the sound of men "singing" was heard all around the town. It began at like 6pm last night and stopped at 7am this morning.  It was a long, long night and when you add to it the power going off twice, well, let's just say we will all be taking a nap today~! 

When we lived in Java, this holiday was a much bigger deal, with parades and firworks and the whole shabang!  Because Papua is a much more Christianized province of Indonesia, it's not nearly as ramai (party like or busy).  Christmas time however, we have been told, is much like Christmas with the Griswolds so we will have to see. Maybe we can get in on the action and deck our house out this year with lights and the whole shabang!  Joel will be thrilled. He is the king of Christmas lights.


It's weird to even think that the "holidays" have already begun there at home.  I'm sure Wal-Mart is full of Christmas deco and displays of Christmas trees.  Here, when you wake up and it's already 90 degrees, it's really hard to remember it's  the "fall" season back home.  We have put up pictures of fall trees and I have some dried leaves that mom sent last year that I can use to decorate.  We'll do our best to make it feel "fall-ish".  Hey why don't you take some pictures for us of the beauty you see there?  We'd love a glimpse of a red maple or yellow oak.  I can just see it now, if I close my eyes!  Meanwhile, we'll enjoy our fresh-off-the-tree fruit salads, avocados, and all night singing parties!




As a kid, did you ever sneak food under the table to the family dog?  We only had a dog when I was very young and too na├»ve to know I could do that so I never tried it but I envied those friends who knew, “if I don’t like what we’re having for supper, Fido does!”.  Here in Indonesia, I doubt we’ll ever have a dog that lives inside with us, so Jack won’t be tempted to sneak him food, but we have something else just as efficient, I’m going to have to keep my eyes open!


ANTS!  Yes, I know, big deal, they have those everywhere but the ants at home usually can be traced outside and then cut off at the pass. Here, I am convinced they hide out in our furniture, especially under the dinner table, ready and waiting for the first morsel to fall to the ground.  They are truly efficient little suckers.  They can move a piece of food faster than you can blink your eyes. And they are so tiny that until you are right up on them, you’ll never know they’re there.  Until you feel this tingle on your arm, like when you have a stray hair that clings to your skin and you can’t see it but you feel it there. That’s what they are like.  Little tiny hungry ants.  Oh, but don’t misunderstand, they are picky little things too!


I can leave a whole bowl full of sugar out on the counter and never see a single ant, but as soon as marinara sauce comes out of the fridge, they are lying in wait, eager for a feast!  So I am never sure, should I rinse that dish off until I can wash it, or will it be left alone all together?  More times than I can count, I’ve picked up a bowl or plate or morsel of food and suddenly, and shockingly, I feel that “hair” tickling my arm, but oh, wait that’s not a hair that’s ANTS!  The frantic brushing action begins to rid my skin of the thousands of little invisible pesky things and anyone looking on will think I’ve been hit by the crazies bug!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

An Unexpected Luxury

Here's what I discovered while waiting for passengers to arrive here in Sentani!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

All in a Day's Work

That phrase has taken on new meaning for us here. I think we may have to change it to, "All in a few days work". Something we are learning is that nothing happens quickly and so don't have your expectations set too high. As you know by now, we are renovating a bathroom to make it a bit more like what we're used to, with a shower, toilet and sink. A project that, if at home we could hire someone to do it and would be easy, but is not so easy here. So yesterday, I Bethany, found myself up to my elbows in cement! Yes, that's right me, mixing cement and pouring it into what will be our shower. It went well, so I thought, until last night, when our more experienced friend, Tim came over and said, hmmm, your shower floor is cracking… that means you used too much cement in the mixture of sand. Turns out I had the mixture backwards! Oops! So today we will try to fix it by whatever means possible, short of taking it apart and doing it again. Live and learn, right? Oh I must say it's pretty frustrating, but I'm taking it in stride! Where's Matt B. (a contractor/friend from back home) when you need him?

We did have one thing go well and without a hitch yesterday. We installed another air conditioner in our guest room (at our house) so Tim has a place to sleep while he is here from Java. He was our neighbor there and is also our field chairman. He and his wife are dear friends and we're thrilled he can stay with us and now in an airconditioned room. It has helped cool the house a bit more and with the power more consistent the past week or so, we are actually not sweating our way through each day. I'm down to 2 showers a day instead of three!

Nona Ana, our house helper is working out well. she is almost done her second week with us and so far so good! I taught her how to make bread today and 2 days ago, the guest house – house helper Ibu Salche taught her how to make a traditional Indonesian dish. Next week I'll have her try both recipes herself and see how she does at them.

Slowly but surely we are settling in here in Papua. God is teaching us each day that He is our sufficiency and not to set our eyes on human, earthly things to find our strength. I am going to begin reading a new book today called, Calm My Anxious Heart. Another missionary lady here gave it to me and I've heard it's a great book. I'll let you know as I get into it.

Hey, a few prayer requests to share with you all are:

#1, Joel's great aunt Anna, like his grandma, passed away last night. We still don't know if it was a heart attack or what happened but it has hit him hard. Please pray for his family at this time. We will miss her. She was a huge encourager to us!

#2, the International school here is in great need of a 2nd grade teacher in January. The current teacher has to go home to have a baby and so they will be without a teacher come next semester. Please pray with us that God will provide for this need soon! If you know anyone who would like to teach short term in Indonesia, please let me know!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Day 1

Well tomorrow brings us to a new phase at the guest house.  Our area leadership team will be meeting for three days to discuss well, our area or region, and to do some planning and so we will be taking a step toward ministry in the guest house.  We have bought all the supplies and groceries for the next week or so and will begin cooking for the guys at the guest house tomorrow, with the guest house –house helper, of course.  I'll be up and over there at 6 am to get things set out for breakfast and then back again to help with lunch too later on in the morning. 

Joel is finishing up more remodeling here at the house as best he can. He ran in to a snafoo tonight while trying to fix the toilet but hopefully tomorrow it will be running again.  We will be getting our bed tomorrow too finally!  Can't wait to sleep on a real mattress again!  Joel will hopefully finish the shower tomorrow and tile it (thanks for the experience Johnny!  It's paying off!) and before the Indonesian leadership team arrives on Thursday (one of them is staying at our house), we'll have 2 functioning showers, that is if all goes as planned.  We won't count our chickens before they hatch but we'll pray! 

That's all tonight!