Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Passed!

Hello All,
Almost two weeks ago, I went to Jakarta with a lot of unknowns ahead of me.  I went to take my medical to see if it would be possible for me to fly in Papua.  I was pretty nervous!  I left Wamena on the first flight out and landed in Sentani 30 minutes later.  I had a few hours there so I went to visit Amanda and Grace who were helping out at a partner mission group conference.  It was great to see them and pray together before I left.  As I was checking in, I saw my good friends the Wiley's checking in to the same flight to Jakarta!  So we got to travel all the way there together which was nice for both of us!  When I arrived in Jakarta I grabbed a taxi to the hotel and got settled in.  I ran out for some food and came back to the hotel.  The next morning I had to be ready to go at 5:45 am for the test the my future hinged on.  I spent some time praying and giving my future over to God! 

I got my medical!
The next morning I got up and ready to go.  Spent some time talking with Carter as we waited for Matt, our pilot in Palu.  We all headed to the place of the test.  It was nice having Matt there with me to keep my mind off of things.  We got signed in and went through all the stations on the lower floor.  The eye exams were upstairs, so as I climbed the stairs as my hear began to race a bit.  I walked right by the eye exams right to the place for blood pressure, which in hindsight probably wasn't the smartest because I was so nervous, but I passed that too!  I went into the vision test and when they pulled out the color vision book I was very nervous.  He opened up the book and at first I didn't see the number, but after what seemed like an eternity the number came into focus and I never hesitated again for the next 12 plates.  I passed all the vision tests without an issue.

I had so many people praying for me it was awesome.  After the test was over, relief flowed over me and I heard so many stories of people praying, I was so overwhelmed.  I almost started crying but I still had a few more stations to get through, so I had to keep it all under control.  By 11 am I had my medical in hand!  Praise God for being my vision once again!

The next day I took my Airlaws test and passed that too.  So now I am waiting for my Indonesian Validated license to show up.  Praise God I get to fly in Papua!

Thank you all for all of your prayers and support during this huge test for me!  I really felt loved from all the notes of encouragement before and the notes of excitement afterwards! 

I can't wait to be able to serve at my full capacity

here in Papua!

Love you all,

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lots of Officialness

Greetings everyone!

Astar Helicopter
13 years ago, I began my journey towards serving with Helimission.  That was a long time ago and many days I felt like I would never get to serve on the field.  We have been on the field serving now for a just over 1 year.  I was sent back to the US to do my maintenance courses on the Astar helicopter and the Arriel engine.  It was an amazing month getting to know the machines I'll be fixing, but what was even more amazing was getting to know the guys in class.  I got to meet a lot of strong Christian guys working in aviation and that to me is always really cool!  We all had a lot of fun together and learned a lot too! 
My First Sign-off
After I passed those courses, I was issued a validated license in country and am finally able to sign of my own work again!  Praise God!  After 13 years of preparation I finally got to perform what I've been working so hard towards.  Needless to say I am very excited to serve here keeping our helicopters safe!  I also want to say a big Thank-you to everyone over the years that has invested in me to get me to this place.  I'm officially a certified mechanic in country!!

The other big news is I'm officially going to Jakarta on Monday, June 5, to take my Pilots medical test.  Since I've came to Indonesia I haven't been able to become a pilot do to some medical regulation differences.  This is a BIG prayer request so that I am able to pass my medical and my written test.  On June 6 (June 5 USA time)  I'll be taking my medical exam and I ask that you all pray I can pass without any issues.  Unfortunately, I cannot explain the issues here but most of you know what to pray for!  On June 7, I'll take my written and my hope is that I'll officially be allowed to fly and serve the people here to my full potential.

  If God has other plans for me please pray that I stay content in His will for my life!  I find Psalm 139 very encouraging during this season as it shows just how intimate God is in directing my life.  It says He knows my every move, but also that he leads me by his hand and holds me with his right hand.  No matter the outcome of these tests God will be leading me towards the plans He has for me! Amen! 

This is a very exciting time for me!  I'm very nervous and excited so please pray for my nerves, clarity of mind and for overwhelming peace!

Thank you all for your love and support!  I'll keep you posted as I have news!

In Him,
     Matt Meeuwse

Saturday, May 27, 2017

3 months 13 airplanes!

That is right, 3 months and I rode on 13 airplanes!  It has been a busy three months! Let me tell you about it!

 But FIRST, how are you friend?  I hope this blog finds you happy and healthy.  =)

Okay, for starters.  Three months ago we took off to the USA! Our whole family!  It started off that Matt had to go to Texas for one month of helicopter school.  Grace and I were planning on staying in Wamena while he was gone.  BUT some angels bought tickets for Grace and I as a gift!  Grace and I were able to go back to America and spend one month in Washington, and one month in Montana.  It was unexpected and so nice!  We loved our time!  We got to reconnect with family, and meet some sweet, babies that had been born while we were away, which was super special.
Matt joined up with Grace and I when he completed his school. (Which he passed with flying colours)  ;)   Since this was such a short, and condensed visit we were not able to see everyone that we would have liked to, or as much of them as we would have liked to, but next time!
Let me tell you,  western food has never tasted so good.
But the funny thing is, I could not decide what to eat when I got to America.  HA!  Food I have dreamt of for over a year and a half, and I just couldn't decide......maybe because I wanted to shove it all in my face at the same time.  =)
When it came time to go, we were so thankful that we had that time!

And to make even more excitement, my mom, Stephani, traveled back to Wamena with us and stayed for a month!   It was so great to have her come and see where we live and what we do in person.
She got to stay long enough to let the jet lag and some culture shock wear off, and really get to know some people!  Before she left she could say several phrases and words in the Indonesian language!   Way to go mom!   I asked her what her favourite thing was that she did while she was here, and she just couldn't quite decide.....I love that.  =)

While mom was here we had more friends come and visit from the states!  Our friends and Matt's long time buddy, Matt and Amanda.  You heard me right.  They have the same names as us..... it must be fate that Matt's and Amanda's are destined to be together.  Matt and Amanda came to stay with us for 5 days.  It was so fun to show them our life.  We say it often, but it is so true.  We feel SO loved when someone comes aaaaall the way to our tiny little mountain town.

So now we are at the end of those three months.  We have been back in Wamena just over one month, and mom left not too long ago.   :(  Goodbyes are hard.

My Matt has been a part of several medical evacuations lately with the helicopter, I will post a blog about those in the next few days.

So, to leave you with a funny cultural story at my expense.  Obviously I ate lots of food in the states.  I wasn't too worried about an extra pound or two, assuming I would get to indonesia again and it would come off fast!   So I arrive back to Indonesia, thinking I didn't gain that much weight, and I start back to my normal routines here.  One of these being a pre-school club that Grace goes to each Wednesday morning.  I arrived and my friends were glad to see me, which made me happy.  Then my local friend says to me "welcome back! Wow, you look so healthy and your body is so big!"   In my head I was like....."WHAT did she just say? I could NOT have heard that right...."  but she continued, and explained again how my body was bigger now.........  I choked down my mortified face I was trying not to sport, I smiled and said sweetly "oh thank you"  Well, THAT was fun.  I mean, I didn't gain THAT much weight, I know I didn't really do my hair or make-up today, but come on!!!! Now i'm frazzled.  Then (not 3 minutes later) I went and said hello to another local friend of mine,  and the very first thing she said to me,  no joke. "Welcome back! You are fat now!"  And to add insult to my very big injury, she used her hands to gesture fat, and filled her cheeks with air to show me how my face is now so very....fat!!!!!.................................. I (again) smiled and said thank you, but this time it wasn't mortified that washed over me, it was a feeling of defeat and grumpiness!!!  I wanted to hide in a hole, I didn't want anyone else to see me!  Needless to say I was grumpy the rest of the time in kids club that day, eating two helpings of humble pie.  I was trying not to be offended at those women who were just TRYING to compliment me in their culture.  Because believe it or not, that is culturally appropriate, and a compliment in this culture.  But NOT IN MINE!  Holy smokes!  Caught me off guard!  HAHA!  And trust me friend.  I wasn't even going to write you about this, because my sensitive little nerves were all frayed and irritated over this.....but then I's actually kinda funny.   How different that cultures can be.  And it made me wonder if I have ever done that to someone here....try to be kind to them in my culture's way, and totally offend and shock them without even knowing.  haha!    Anyway, there you go....told you it was a story at my expense......real life in a different culture. Real life friend.  You're welcome.  =)

Love you!
Kruz and Kaylea getting a dose of Papuan culture!
I was there for my grandma Jo's 80th surprise party!
Grace playing in the snow in America!
Grace loved taking care of her baby cousins! <3 td="">
Spending time with my best friends!
I was in America for my birthday, and spent the evening with family.
Love these girls.  It was so nice to connect with family again
Time with mom in Glacier National Park
It is tradition EVERY time I go to Flathead Lake, I MUST get in! There was still ice on the lake! Brr. Tradition holds
Grace meets a buffalo. =)

Friday, March 17, 2017

1 year in Wamena

Dear Family and Friends,

We are fast approaching our 1 year mark of living in Wamena!  It has been a year of a lot of ups and downs but mostly ups! 

Matt has settled into the maintenance team and he feels like he has a fairly good handle on how things operate in the shop but even more so in the office doing the required paperwork.  He has worked extensively on implementing the new system for logbook sign off.  Matt is currently not able to sign off any maintenance he performs on the aircraft because he is not yet validated by the Indonesian government.  Right now Matt is in Texas at the Airbus Helicopters (airframe) facility doing factory maintenance school and will then go to Turbomeca (engine) facility for another 2 weeks of training.  After he completes these courses, the certificates he will receive should meet the requirements needed for becoming validated in Indonesia!

Matt helping with a medical evacuation
As a pilot, Matt has been having difficulty getting validated with the Indonesian government due to reasons we cannot express here.  It is our hope that this year Matt will become validated as a pilot and be able to serve at his full potential.  It has been a bit of a bumpy road for Matt coming in as a pilot mechanic and then not being able to fly, as he really loves that part of aviation.  About once a month he gets to go up with another pilot and do a medical evacuation which really encourages him.  It has been amazing though to see that God opens doors for Matt to invest into people even without flying!  We hope that this year the validation process can be completed but even if that door doesn't open, God still is using Matt to reach the local community!  We praise God for that!

Amanda has adjusted to life very well in Wamena.  She spends a lot of time investing into relationships with the local ladies at the local market.  This has blossomed into many very sweet relationships!  Amanda has also started a bible study to the local missionary teenage ladies.  It is very neat to see her invest into the young ladies and to disciple them to be Godly women!  Also, Amanda teaches dance to the local missionary community also which is a good time of fellowship and exercise!  Amanda also teaches English to one of our local worker's sisters which has blossomed into a sweet relationship also!  I'm very proud of my wife for all the amazing ways she invests into this community and how she dives all in to make this home!  On top of all that she is a mother to Grace who is a 3 year old....needless to say that right there would be a full time job!  Thank you Amanda for all the love you show to our family and to the local community!
Amanda's Bible study group

One of the biggest adjustments has been the team/family lifestyle.  It is a challenge balancing team life with personal life and feeling like we don't meet expectations (maybe false or self imposed expectations).  But we are adjusting and learning to prioritize what's important for our family in order for us to be able to stay on the field for the long haul!  This is a good area to pray for us in as we learn to balance family, serving and team time.

Gracie and Sabrina
Grace is adjusting very well here and she loves our little "farm".  We currently have around 35 chickens (not all ours but that is a lot), a dog, a cat that keeps getting pregnant, and we had a cuscus but he passed away unfortunately.  Gracie's best friends are Sabrina, and Amelie.  Sabrina (a local Papuan) and Grace are together almost every day and Sabrina has become like a second child to us.  She basically has a room in our house where she sleeps and is usually over for almost every dinner.  If we do an outing she usually joins, and her and Grace just have a blast together.  It has been great to see Gracie learn some local language and to see Sabrina learn English too is a delight.  Amelie is a little Swiss girl that has become Gracie's best friend and worst enemy :) (in a good way)  It's fun watching them play and

This coming year is going to be a very busy year!  For starters, Matt is already in Texas for a 1 month course.  After returning from Texas Matt will spend a few days in Jakarta to try to complete his pilot's validation process.  Helimission is going to import 2 helicopters, Lord willing, this year and Matt is scheduled to be a part of this "ferry flight" from Malaysia to Papua. It will take approximately 1 week to fly from Malaysia to Papua.  Our Wamena staff has dwindled already and will continue to dwindle towards the middle of the year due to families having babies or going on furlough!  So that means more work for us left in the field. 

Please pray for a good year full of safety, fun and the advancement of God's kingdom!  Thank you so much for all your prayer, support, gifts and for letting our family love and serve these amazing people!

         The Meeuwse Family

The Meeuwse's and Oten's family
Please enjoy a few more photos of our first year in Wamena!

Gracie playing hangar pilot

This girl loves packages

Matt on a medevac

Amanda's amazing photo skills

Another Amanda shot

This man is from the Wamena tribe

Our dog Peeve

Otinus and Oten (Matt's good friends)

Amelie and Grace....too funny.....too cute

Gracie loves our chickens and tends to bring them in

Matt helping again on a Medevac

Amanda with her close friend

These local ladies we call the "Pasar Prayer Warriors"
(Market prayer warriors)

Grace and Sabrina eating frozen goodness

Amanda loving people

Fun on our vision trip

Fresh of the plane in Wamena we are greeted by the team

Gracie makes friends everywhere she goes

Amanda conquering the local infrastructure

Matt and Grace on a local bridge

Amanda holding dinner :)

Gracie holding a pine cone that looks like
a flower

Gracie often comes to the shop and has a coffee

She got into the stamp ink.....

Lots of adventures....this is the cave

Local traditional feast, a Bakar Batu.