Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pianists in the making!


Jack and Owen love to play our piano and I captured a sweet duet in progress the other day. I think with Joel as their Daddy, they are destined to be musicians. Oh and a little known fact is that I too play several less useful instruments. Anyone know how leading worship with a basoon, baritone or flute works? :)
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Our little artist


Jack came upstairs the other day with his etchasketch in hand and proclaimed, "Mommy look, I drew a surfer"! I was amazed because this is the child who hates craft time, coloring or anything artistic. I didn't know he had it in him. But yet, he drew it all by himself without my even knowing he was doing it! Way to go Jack!
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Making a Snow Man 101


Today we woke up to a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The boys were itching to go out and play and Daddy needed to do some shoveling and well, you didn't have to twist their arms to make a snow man while they were at it! Funny enough, this morning on Playhouse Disney Agent OSO built a snow man and had the step by step process as his mission. Jack paid close attention and walked Daddy through exactly what to do. What fun!!
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

In Memory of My Dad

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The boys are growing up so fast and with that process is the fun of new, bigger toys. Jack got a skateboard and skater-guy clothes, including converse high tops! He looks so big now! Owen got a wiggle bike and is in heaven. Unfortunately, there's too much snow on the ground to ride but winter will come to and end soon or well, in May!
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A British Tradition


Bekah's Fiance, Steve is from Scotland and brought Chrismas Crackers with him for us all this year. What a fun tradition!
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Baby Kate



Well although none of us got to see her face, Kate was with us! She is an active little girl, more so than the boys ever were! Bekah's roommate Kim, John and Christine, Bekah and Mom and Dad all included her in the gift giving and blessed us with gifts for Kate.
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1st Christmas for the boys


No, not their first Christmas but the first one this year. We ended up doing half of it Thursday night and the rest on Friday morning. And then we'll have our family Christmas on Christmas. I think we're gonna hear a month from now, "Mommy can we have Christmas again this week?" What a shock when they realize that Christmas only comes once a year in a normal year!
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Food, Food, Food!


There wasn't a lack of food that weekend, even though i didn't cook everything i had planned.
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Relaxing with Family

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The Potter Family all came together this year for Thanksgiving at our house here in Michigan. We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday and had Christmas together on Friday. It even snowed on "Christmas" for us! We actually prayed for it!

We had a great time together cooking, eating, hanging out, eating, cooking, sleeping, hanging out, eating, eating, and eating!

Thanks M & D, J & C, and S & B - We love you! JBjok

6 1/2 years and still in love!

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We wish you a Merry Christmas

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Brothers and Best Friends

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The many faces of Jack


I remember when my nephew, McGwire went through this phase of not being able to produce a regular old smile. Everytime he tried, you got this crazy face instead. Well, our own Jack has hit the same age and as you can see from the pictures, getting a good smile is nigh unto impossible. Still it was fun trying and he certainly loved being in front of the camera. What a ham bone!!
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Is He Cute or What?!


We took our Christmas pictures today and I was once again reminded why we don't do them very often. Just to get a really good family shot, we had to reset the camera like a dozen times! The boys are just so full of energy and Owen is the leader of the crazy pack! He is adorable, if I do say so myself, but oh so ornery!! There is never a dull moment with this little guy around!
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NTBI Staff Christmas Party


I, Bethany, had the pleasure of co-planning this years Staff Christmas Party. We had a beautiful venue, yummy desserts and a great time just hanging out together for the evening. It was also the last hoorah for two staff families.

JP and Sue Marr are transitioning into fulltime ministry at their local church here in Jackson. I have known them since I arrived here at NTBI in 1995. We went through bootcamp together, and I must admit, they saved my life there! We ended up back here at NTBI, ministering together for 5 years and now have met up once again here in Jackson for the past year and a half. I will miss seeing them here but I am thankful they will be nearby. Thanks guys for your faithful service for so many years.

The other couple moving on to other ministries is Mike and Jenny Sullivan. The Sullivans have been here at NTBI for 27 years. Mike has been teaching all that time and is a student favorite! Jenny has done many ministries and they will sorely be missed. Mike has the amazing opportunity to serve on the US Executive Board at our NTM Headquarters in Florida. I know they will be a blessing there and to all the US missionaries serving with NTM. On a personal note, Mike gave me the kick in the pants I needed to make the tough decision to leave college and pursue my training with NTM back in 1995. I am so thankful he stepped out of his comfort zone and followed God's leading when he told me to stop putting it off with excuses and just take the jump. He has also been my boss for 5 1/2 of the 6 1/2 years I have served here at NTBI. I am honored to have ministered along side him and will miss them!
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Worship Team Dinner Out


Joel and I had the pleasure of taking out the worship team for a dinner before the semester ended. Cody wasn't able to join us and for some reason, Casie eluded the photos but it was a fun night together and Ann Arbor looked beautiful all decked out for Christmas. Now, I know Grace looks less than enthused but in reality she had me in stiches as usual. Thanks guys for a great semester!
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Like Father Like Sons





As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and for Jack and Owen that is so true. Daddy is very comfortable in an apron in the kitchen,especially if it has to do with making Italian Food and Coffee. Jack and Owen are learning from the best. Yes, Jack has his very own coffee pot. You pump the water from the reservoire by pushing a botton quickly and voilah! Coffee or well, water that you pretend is coffee!!!
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I love my Auntie Christine!!!


Jack is a sucker for anyone who will play with him and Auntie Christine has got to have the award for the best play date friend!! We love our visits with J & C and are so thankful they are close by!
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the life of a 2 1/2 year old

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Peace in my heart

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement the past few months.  Life has been interesting, difficult, encouraging, busy, unexpected and yet God remains true and faithful and my comfort and strength.  It’s been a long time in coming for me to be able to face tough situations and still be able to say that!!! 
My Dad’s passing, although a shock at the moment I found out has been a blessing too. He is whole again for the first time in soooo long and we are all thankful that God spared him from further suffering and frustration and took him home to Himself. He gave him a new body and mind and he is now complete in God’s presence.  I couldn’t ask for more.  I am so thankful that I was able to be home just 2 weeks before he went HOME and was able to tell him I loved him, he felt the baby kicking and I was able to just be there with mom with so many decisions to make. It’s amazing to me how looking back I can see that God knew all along that Dad wouldn’t be with us long.  What was frustrating then (not being able to figure out the best placement for Dad after leaving the hospital) proved to not be an issue as God knew exactly what Home Dad would be going to and it wasn’t any that we looked at. It was an eternal home, far better than any nursing home or care facility in this world.  Mom even had the instinct to make all the necessary ‘funeral’ arrangements before she left for California the week before Dad died.  She didn’t do it because she thought he would be dying soon, she just felt like she needed to do it then to be prepared for whatever might come.  This was so God, because Dad passed away while she was gone to Cali and when she returned, all the details were done.  No stress, just the time to process what had happened. That’s Grace!
God again provided amazingly for us, my immediate family, to all go home together.  The flights were great, the boys traveled well and we had a good week together with my extended family.  Dad’s service was perfect and I think it truly honored God and was a celebration of my Dad’s life rather than mourning his death. 
We have felt so much encouragement from friends and family and have truly seen the Body of Christ function as God intended!  His grace in our lives is so evident and I can say He has been my rock and I’ve leaned hard on Him.  Something else hit me a while back.  If God hadn’t allowed all of the circumstances of our lives in the past few years, including the incredibly hard ones like leaving Papua, leaving Indonesia, sick kids, my journey to relearn what Faith is, etc. we would have likely been out of the country when Dad passed away and I would have melted down and certainly not been able to face it all.  I would have crumbled.  BUT, in His grace, He brought us through some amazingly difficult things all preparing us so that we could trust Him during this time.  He allowed us to be home now and not have to face this from a far-away place.  I am just amazed at HIM and His grace to me. 
Sooo, Thank you!  Thank you for feeling this with us, for praying us through the past few years, months and days.
We are home now and just had a great time with Joel’s family for Thanksgiving and an early Christmas together. My mom will be here in just a few weeks for Christmas and then not too long after that, Kate will make her arrival.  I have given up on a quiet life of “normal” and resolved that God just doesn’t have that in His plans for us.  I’ll take this life though and all that comes with it as I know He is molding us into His image with every circumstance that comes our way!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tough News (Updated)

Hello Everyone,

We just got word last night from Bethany’s mom (Lynn Stroud) that her dad (Steve Stroud) passed away that evening at, we think, appx 8ish central time (Thursday). We’re not exactly sure yet what happened, but at some point this evening when a nurse checked on him (he was still at the hospital waiting to be discharged), he was unconscious and unresponsive. They tried resuscitation for over 20 minutes but to no avail.

At this point, our plan is to fly, as a family, down to Springfield MO (by way of Branson) and we’ll be in Springfield till next Friday. As of today, Steve’s memorial service is planned for Thursday evening at 7pm at High Street Baptist Church (900 N. Eastgate Rd, Springfield). We would love to see anyone who can make it to that. We then plan to return to MI next Friday, the 20th.

Please be praying for us as family. The Lord has enabled us to make quick plans and cover the obligations that we have here in Michigan and we’re trusting Him to provide the resources needed for this unexpected trip that’s following so closely to the last trip that Bethany made two weeks ago.

Even with this being as tough as it is and will be, we’re joyfully aware that he is whole in body, mind and spirit with his Creator! That is so infinitely better than his existence here. God’s physical presence is Steve’s reality as I write this!

We’ll communicate more as we know.

Joel for the Us

Cards can be sent to:
Lynn Stroud
1100 W. Lynn St.
Springfield, MO. 56802

Joel and Bethany Potter
Missionaries with New Tribes Mission
Serving at New Tribes Bible Institute, Jackson MI

Tough News

We just got word late last night from Bethany’s mom that her dad passed away that evening at, we think, appx 8ish central time (Thursday). We’re not exactly sure yet what happened, but at some point this evening when a nurse checked on him (he was still at the hospital waiting to be discharged), he was unconscious and unresponsive. They tried resuscitation for over 20 minutes but to no avail.

We’re not sure what happens next, but I know it will involve us all getting down to Springfield at some point in the next few days. We so need your prayers in this time.

Even with this being as tough as it is and will be, we’re joyful knowing that he is whole in body, mind and spirit with his Creator! That is so infinitely better than his existence here.

We’ll communicate more as we know.

Joel for the Us

Monday, November 09, 2009

Another Prayer Request from Potters

I know you all have many of your own situations that you are praying about and that you have been praying for me and my family but I would like to ask once again that you pray for us. 


Last night my dad was admitted to the hospital again (a different hospital this time). He had a fall yesterday at his regular care facility and they took him to the ER to check him out from that and in the process, discovered he has pneumonia, so they admitted him.  The last hospital he was at (right before my trip home) didn’t bother to check with his PCP to find out his story and just looked at his age (65) and his med list and decided he was overmedicated. They proceeded to take him off his major medications without consulting us or anyone. 


My heart is very heavy this morning as I am concerned that this hospital may do the same thing.  My mom flew to California a few days ago for a previously scheduled trip so she is not there to communicate with the hospital in person. My brother is there and has done what he can and I am trying to communicate with the social worker at the hospital from here in Michigan, hoping she can relate the needed information to the doctor treating Dad. 


Please pray:

o   That the doctor there will be wise and sensitive to Dad’s various needs

o   For my brother as this is hard for him too

o   That Mom won’t worry but will enjoy her visit in California

o   That I will completely trust our Big God and not fret that I’m not there to help control the situation

o   For peace for my Dad. He is a believer and we are resting in the truth that the Holy Spirit still indwells him and can work a miracle in his mind and heart to bring him peace through all this.


Thank you for your constant encouragement and prayers through all of this.  It is so encouraging to know there are so many people praying for all of us right now.


Bethany for the Strouds and Potters


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Prayer Support Needed!


Most of you know that Bethany and Owen will be flying (thanks to God’s overly-abounding provision) down to MO this week to spend some time with her parents. We’re leaving for the airport this afternoon at 3. Over the weekend, we realized that Jack was again sick with what seemed like asthma conditions. He’s using an inhaler which is working great, but he just this morning had some other ‘bug’ symptoms. His health over the past few weeks has weighed heavy on us. This very afternoon, we received word that Bethany’s dad (in a brand new care facility, dealing with Dementia like symptoms) was admitted to the ER with some breathing trouble.

You can easily imagine the weight we’re feeling right now. Would you be lifting us up before the Father the next couple of days? We need that support and encouragement to look to Him in all of this. The prospect of what Bethany will be dealing with along with the stress of me possibly nursing a sick little boy by myself is not pleasant, yet we’re resting in the fact that God sees us in all of this and He loves us! If He would we’re asking Him to stabilize our family’s health this week.

Thanks everyone!

Joel, Beth(kate)any, jack & owen

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Need has Been Met!

Good Morning!

Bethany and I wanted to express how grateful we are for how you as a part of our team have rallied around us when we communicated about the need for Bethany to travel to Missouri. We can excitedly tell you that God has over-abundantly provided for this trip and along the way, amazed us with how people have responded. This need has been met and we want to Thank you for praying with us about this!

We still covet your prayers for the travelling that will take place next Tuesday through Saturday for Bethany and Owen. Bethany is 26 weeks pregnant and Owen is 2 and half, so those ‘numbers’ can sometimes make travel a bit uncomfortable, but we’re praying for a smooth journey from here to there as well as a meaningful time for Bethany to visit her dad (whose symptoms continue to worsen), talk face to face with the Dr’s involved to try and get a grasp on what they’re suggesting, as well as to see some of the new facilities they may be transferring her dad to. And along the way, we know it’ll be a big encouragement to her Mom, who mostly bears the weight of this situation. Would you also be praying for good health amongst our family these next two weeks!

Your prayers and support are God-ordained!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Urgent Prayer Need

Good Morning,

In the past few years Bethany and I have communicated about the condition of her dad’s heath. He’s struggled with dementia and Alzheimer’s like symptoms and has been living in a nursing home environment since December of 2006. During the last two months in particular, his struggle with this has greatly increased and his symptoms have been increased and more severe, so that during the last 2 weeks, he’s needed to be temporarily moved to a facility better equipped to deal with his condition as well as to be able to significantly adjust his current medications. In the mean time, as his current diagnosis has been evaluated and then re-evaluated and new diagnosis’ have been suggested, running from something called ‘Pick’s Disease’ to Alzheimer’s with Schizophrenia. This is all resulting in Dad’s current nursing home communicating that they’re not setup to handle and care for a patient with Dad’s symptoms and he’ll need to be moved, which will be a big task.

Bethany, especially seeing this happen so quickly is sensing a personal need to go down and spend some time with her mom and dad. Not because she expects to be any big help, but for her own personal well-being, she needs to see her dad and be able to also see her mom and at the least, be able to see some of the potential places that her dad may be moved too. The emotional weight of this situation on her, being as removed from the situation is much heavier than we anticipated it would be.

The challenge we face is that with Bethany’s progressing pregnancy, if she didn’t go down in the next two weeks or so and due to other non-movable plans, she wouldn’t be able to get down and see her Dad until late February of 2010 at the earliest. As we’ve prayed and sought the Lord’s guidance in this, we sense that this would be a good thing.

Another challenge we face is the cost of a ‘semi-last minute’ flight to Springfield, MO for her and Owen (Jack would stay here with me, and I would continue to minister here at New Tribes). Because of the instability in our financial support we haven’t been able to save for these kinds of travel expenses. Bethany is pricing tickets for a departure next week and we don’t yet have a final cost, but we anticipate it to be around $600-800 for the two of them. We have the ability to comfortably use some savings for roughly $300 of this, but not the entire amount.

We covet your support in this issue that we face; for confirmation of this being a wise course of action to pursue and if so, for the provision for this trip. Would you take this need before the Lord for us? Thank you for faithfully standing with us in this journey of partnering with our God!


Monday, October 05, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today I began to get Kate’s room ready for her arrival.
Up till now, it has served other purposes: storage, my craft room and most recently, Jack’s nap room. It is once again empty and will soon be painted! I took down one of two shelves today and will move it to another wall but before it’s put back up, I’ll take the other one down and paint the walls a nice tan color (the same shade as our downstairs area). Then we are going to paint a big diamond pattern in alternating pink and green at eye level around the room and make it to look like an argyle pattern with dark brown stitching. It will be simple, yet very feminine!
I can’t move the crib in till after Thanksgiving because I’m pretty sure Steve, Bekah’s fiancĂ©, won’t fit in the crib when he comes for Thanksgiving J.
Kate’s afghan is coming along nicely (about ¾ done) and Mom and I talked last night about the quilt she’ll be making for her. Our guest room closet is quickly filling up with girlie looking things and I am realizing that they’ll be put to use sooner than I can imagine. This pregnancy is flying by with only 18 weeks to go. I have been contemplating asking the doctor if we can possibly induce a bit earlier than my due date so that she can be born before school starts up again next semester. It would sure make life easier if Joel isn’t back and in the full swing of things at work and could stay home a few days. This will be the first time we’ve had a baby born when he isn’t home with me and that my mom won’t be around to help me transition into things again. I’ve been learning lots about depending on God alone so I suppose that time will be a great opportunity to learn first-hand that lesson.
Thanks for being excited with us!
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Just wanted to add a picture that we took the other day, just for fun! Owen likes to show his muscles and so we all decided to do it together. What a silly family!
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Wednesday, September 09, 2009


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