The other day I got a call for a guy that got cut by a boat propeller. Dyro and I flew down to the lowlands to get him and brought him to the hospital in Dekai. Click here or watch below. Hope you enjoy!
|Flying over Wamena|
A lot has changed here in Wamena in the last few months. Our base manager and his family have had to leave Helimission due to his wife's health and they are now back in Switzerland. Our replacement base manager is still in the UK trying to get a visa to come back to Wamena. He left for a 4 month furlough and has been gone over 1 year because Indonesia isn't granting visas at this point due to Covid. Our other teammate, a pilot and mechanic, has taken a furlough and won't return until mid-July. That leaves Amanda and I as the only Helimission expat on base. This has increased Matt's workload a lot as he is not only the only pilot/mechanic, but is now overseeing the whole base and it's operation. Please pray for him during this time as he manages his time between so many positions.
|Dr Mia checking a patient|
|Buzz praying for the local people|
Many times, Helimission will support missionaries in a village until they are able to build an airstrip. Usually, an airstrip is built before the Bible is translated or before the gospel presentation happens. One such village is Bina. We supported them for many years, but once the airstrip was opened we only got hear what was happening in the village instead of seeing it first hand. We have heard they presented the gospel to the Dem people and many gave their lives to following Jesus. This is why we are here, and why we work hard to support missionaries interior! The light of our savior is breaking through the darkness in Papua and people living without hope are, for the first time, hearing the hope that you and I have in a Savior that died for our sins! How amazing to be a part of bringing such good news to the ends of the earth!
Creator's Talk in Bina
|Amanda learning the trade|
|Gracie jumping high|
|Audrey picked flowers|
We want to send you all our appreciation for supporting us both financially and with your prayers. We really love being able to serve the people of Papua, and it's such an honor to be able to be a part of reaching people with the gospel who have lived generations in fear and without hope. Thank you for being a part of advancing God's kingdom here in Papua by sending us. If you want to join our financial support team just click the "support" tab above and see how you can support us.
|Family Photo in the Famous May Grass of Papua|
Happy Belated New Year from Matt, Amanda, Grace and Audrey!
I had started this update before Christmas but life got very busy quickly and I didn't have the time to finish. So, now I am sitting in Jakarta doing a 5 day quarantine, waiting to be reunited with my family. This last year was unusual to say the least. There were many stressors added on top of normal stressors and as we start 2021, we are tired, as I imagine many of you are too. Trying to adapt to all these new situations and ever-changing regulations is exhausting. But, the good news is we are not defeated! I love this passage in 2 Corinthians 4 -
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.......knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to things that are seen but to the things that are unseen for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
What an encouragement to keep running the race. We do this for "you" so that lives are saved and thanksgiving will increase. It's easy to think a new year will fix everything, but looking in to 2021 we are looking at many giants to conquer. And we could sit here and talk about how big these giants are and why it looks so grim, but that isn't what David did. He saw the giant and only talked about how big God is and Goliath doesn't seem so big after that! Another thing that helps keep our perspective is looking back and seeing the power of God at work in history and specifically in our lives. God does not change and he still does miracles today. He still takes down our Giants today! Here is a recap of our year 2020, I hope as you read this you see God working and that you get to receive the blessing of being a part of what God is doing through us here in Papua!
|Removing the blades for inspection|
Before we left the US after furlough our pastor prayed that this term would be a term of seeing fruit from our labors. We had to laugh a bit as upon arrival to Wamena, we had so many local friend come literally bearing fruit for us to eat. We had so much, we couldn't eat it all. We chuckled and said to each other that the prayer was answered so quickly. But, God really did answer that prayer already.
|Abed's first time flying solo|
|This is Oten!|
|Amanda doing some science!|
|Grace with Fina|
|Audrey and Grace|
This year has been a year of so many challenges, but through all these challenges God continues to prove that He is in control. He continues to bless his work and it's so fun to be a part of. We write this letter a bit tired from the challenges of this year, but we also are filled with joy at what God is doing. We are looking forward to this next year even though our team again will become smaller as our base manager has decided it's time to head back to their home country to focus on his wife's health. We will be down to only 3 expat families which means our workload will increase a bit next year. We have a few people in the pipeline to show up, but the earliest they could be on base would be 2022. So, please pray for us to continue serving with joy and stamina during this next year. We are so thankful for all the flights we were able to do without any incident or accident. Please pray for Oten and for Abed as they get to begin living out their dreams and that we can continue to invest into the people God places in our lives!
We love you all and really appreciate all your prayers and support that keep us out here. If you want to join our financial support team, click the tab for support to learn how you can become a donor. For all of you that give faithfully, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Because of your faithful giving you get to be a part of what God is doing here in Papua. So thanks for blessing us, thanks for blessing Abed, and thanks for blessing Oten. There are so many more stories of lives being touched through what we are doing here that I wish I could share with you. Thanks for being a part of this story,
God bless you all,
The Meeuwse Family
"I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."
|My dear friend came over immediately and spent the night|
|The honai where they found Albert's remains...picture taken from my deck.|
|The Bible and Coffee Gift|
|It says "greetings to the people who are always drunk here. You can read the Bible, it is a gift for you, and you can read Efesis 5:18."|
|We landed in the village, and everyone comes to check out the help while we wait for the patient|
|Here comes the first patient being helped to the heli|
|Took some pictures as we waited for the patients to arrive|
|Waiving goodbye to their friends and family in their remote village|
|Loading up their very sick friend|
|This picture is emotional. The look on his face, as he looks at his friend, never knowing if he will see him again.|
|The two patients|
|Unloading at the hospital|
|Unloading at the hospital|