Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." -  Matthew 1:21

This time of year is full of memories, traditions, fun and family!  All the hustle and bustle of shopping, trying to find that one gift that will make pure joy for that special someone.  We guys spend countless hours thinking about what to buy, and once we figure it out we make our game plan.  Sit down, and minutes later the package is coming right to our doorstep!  Then it's off to the garage again to rotate the tires because our wives drive all over the universe to find that perfect gift!  It is fun trying to find something that you know creates joy and happiness.  We want to give good gifts to those we love!  We want the gift to be meaningful, precious and joyful!  We want to show love through our gifts!

This is a picture of the great love that God has for you and for us!  This whole season is wrapped around a gift that was given over 2000 years ago!  "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6  You see, God loves you so much!  He wants to give you good gifts because He wants you to be full of Joy...unending Joy!  God created us perfect and we had a perfect relationship with Him!  But we sinned and ruined our relationship with God, but even though we stopped pursuing God, He still pursued us!  He thought of a perfect gift that would fix the relationship that you and I destroyed!  He thought of a gift that will never disappoint or lose its joy, unlike the gifts we give that may give joy for the moment but always disappoint.  He thought of a gift that is so meaningful and precious that it will change your life!  He gave us the gift of His son, JESUS!!!  At first glance, we wonder what good is a baby?  But it is this baby that would fix the relationship between us and God!  Jesus, lived a life without sin, the life we fail to live every day!  He died a brutal death on the cross, a death that you and I deserve!  But the grave could not keep him!  He conquered Satan, sin and death and rose victorious!  This baby that came, this gift of life, bridged the gap that our sin created and Jesus willingly takes your sin and my sin to the cross and as a gift he places on us His sinless robe, so that when we meet God on our last day and stand there to be judged, Jesus will come and say, "Dad I died for this one!  He sinned, but he has My robe of righteousness because he believed in me"!  And, those that believe in Jesus, the Great gift, will be saved!  

God loves us!  He loves us so much that He gave us His son so that we can have a relationship with Him.  We give gifts because God is a gift giver!  We love because God loves us!  If you are living a life today that feels empty or like something is missing, or you are giving gifts to find joy, please look to Jesus!  It is only through Him that Joy will be unending!  

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." - Romans 5:13

Merry Christmas,
The Meeuwse's

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!  Its a day filled with traditions, family and food.  What is not to love about that?  This year was quite different for our family though.  I (Matt) spent Thanksgiving in Oregon flying christmas trees, while Amanda and Grace were with her brother in Kirkland!  It was hard to be away from them on Thanksgiving, but we got to FaceTime on the computer which made the distance a seem a bit less.  We have a lot to be thankful for this year!  During this tree season I have flown over 150 hours!  I have finally met all the requirements Helimission requires which is such a great blessing!  It has been 10 years working towards this goal, and to see it come into fruition is very exciting!  Also, in our last post we mentioned that we were 32% of the way to being fully funded and that our hope was to be at 100% by Thanksgiving.  We just got our November update and though we are not fully funded we are very excited to share that we are 52% of the way to being fully funded!  This is very encouraging and we want to thank all of you who have joined our support team and for those of you praying us through!  Our new goal is to be fully funded by Christmas!  We still need you to take action and join our support team!  We have great momentum, but still have quite a ways to go in order to be fully funded!  Please take the time and visit our support page!  We are currently packing up our home as we need to be out of our place on December 15!  I'll be driving up a very full load to Kent tomorrow and hope to have everything on that load minus a few suit cases of essentials!  It is weird not to have any of our Christmas decor up and our traditions are all packed up pretty much!  Please pray for us as we become nomadic for the next few months!  Pray also that we can be fully funded as my last paycheck comes on the 12th!  We hope that you all have a very amazing Christmas season and that Jesus is the center of your celebration because He is worth celebrating!!!  

Here is a short video of me flying a bundle of trees

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flying towards our goals

Every morning at 4:00 am my alarm rings.  I roll over, barely able to see the snooze button that I'm so tempted to hit, and turn it off.  I drag out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, and get dressed in all my winter layers.  By now its 4:05.......just joking.......its about 4:45.  I sit down and read my Bible, text my wife grab my lunch and head to the truck.  We hook up the helicopter most mornings and drive it to our new job sight for the day.  We open the trailer, preflight the helicopter just as it is getting light and make sure its safe for another long day of work.  I take the pilot door off and hop in. Run through the checklist and fire up the helicopter.  I spend the rest of the day flying to a guy in the christmas tree field that hooks up a bundle of christmas trees to a hook that is flying 25 feet below my helicopter.  I pick up my load and fly it back to an open area where I drop it off.  This goes on and on all day!  I have been logging about 8 hours of flight time a day and love this kind of work.  Trying to precisely swing a hook that is dangling below me 25 feet right to the hands of the "hooker" is a fun challenge.  
I needed to get 500 hours of flight time for Helimission and before tree season started I was at 360 hours.  That leaves me needing 140 hours by the end of this tree season!  Wow that seemed huge and almost impossible.  But, I am 62% of the way to meeting that goal!  Thats right in just 10 days I have flown 75 hours!  My body totally felt it!  I spend most of the day hanging out the door so I can get a good visual of what my load is doing.  I'm not used to wearing a helmet on my big melon, so have 9 hrs of holding that up, while hanging out the door left me with some very sore muscles.  Also, learning a new type of flying I found my self gripping the controls way to tight, so all my muscles were catty wampus and tense.  Thankfully, I am getting much more relaxed and my pilot muscles are building!

A week ago I put my toolbox on a pallet that I made and officially locked my box.  That was quite a moment.  I was ending a chapter of my life that has been 5 years long.  It is crazy to think that that toolbox will not be there when I get back to the shop at the end of tree season.  It is a good feeling knowing that our goals are being met and that God is leading us into a new chapter of life!

While I've been flying down here in Oregon, Amanda and I both got an email from Elim Bible Institute.  The good news is that we are accepted and will be joining their classes in early January!  It is finally official and very real that these plans are going forward!  We are trusting God to open doors and He is opening them for us!

We also got our October financial support update from Helimission.  We have been praying to be fully funded by Thanksgiving which is only days away now, but we are only 32% of the way to achieving that goal!  We need people like you to send us!  Our plans are coming together and the end of a paycheck for Matt is weeks away.  No matter what, on December 31 Matt will quit his job and trust God to provide for our family as we go where God is calling us!  That time is coming fast, and we begin living off of our support in January!  We still need to raise $2800 a month to reach full support!  That is 280 people giving $10 a month or 112 people giving $25 a month for example!  We need you to take action and join our support team!  Please take the time now to visit our support page!  There are instructions there on how to set up a monthly withdrawal if that is best for you.  That is the easiest way for us to keep track of how we are doing too, but if you would rather give a yearly gift, or send a check monthly those are both fine!  Whatever way you choose, please send your pledged amount to so we can track our progress and create our budget.  We really appreciate those of you that have joined our support team and have given generously and faithfully!

Please continue to pray for us as we have only 4 weeks until we need to be moved out of our duplex.  I'm flying out of town and that leaves Amanda to pack up the home until I can get back to help.  We really appreciate all the friends and family that are stepping in to lend a helping hand while I'm out of town!  We feel very loved!  Please pray for continued safety for Matt as I continue flying!  Also, pray for us to be fully funded!  

As this year ends and closes a chapter on our lives, we look forward to the new adventure God is taking us on!  It's exciting to see these long awaited goals coming to fruition!  This is an exciting season in our lives and it's such an encouragement to be able to share it with you!  

Love you All,
The Meeuwse's

Monday, November 10, 2014

I am loved!

Hello! This last sunday I wrote a adrenaline filled Facebook post promising to write a blog about all about what I experienced.  As I wrote that post I was still shaking and full of adrenaline about what had just happened!  So here it is!  You are welcome! (it's a good one)

Some back story to help you understand how awesome this God story is:   =)

As you probably know, I am in Montana. My best friend of 25+ years got married and I was in the wedding! This is what brought me to Montana.  I decided to stay a few days after the wedding to visit with my mom and a few others.  My plans were to leave via train friday night. But I decided to stay a few extra days.  (I thought it was me, but really it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to stay...He had some cool things He didn't want me to miss)

Fast forward to Sunday morning... Gracie is a crying, screeching mess.  After failed attempts to get her to take a morning nap, and mommy about to pull her hair out I was about to throw the towel in and just watch a sermon online in the comfort of a home and where Gracie's pack n play was nearby.   But while I was trying to tame a frizzy curl..a thought hit me.   I marched my grumpy self out to the living room to ask my mom if she would be willing to stay home from church and watch Grace so I could go to church by myself.  She was more than happy to do so.

I really wanted to visit Canvas Church in Kalispell.  I had grown up in this church as a little girl.  Until recently it had been called Christian Center, but a new lead pastor named Kevin Geer changed things up, renamed it, remodeled it, rebranded it.   The funny thing about this is....Kevin Geer was a guest speaker at the church I went to with my parents after we had moved to Washington.  So I remember him from way back he is the pastor of the church I went to as a little girl in Monana.....  small world huh?... =)

When I got to Canvas church I ended up sitting in the front row....I never sit in the front row.  But today I did. I had no idea what the sermon was going to be on, or the sermon series....I was there to visit and check out the recent changes to the church.....or so I thought.  Jesus had other plans.

The video intro to the sermon started.  The sermon series was called "Project 24 Seven"  The video stated; "As you sleep tonight, someone on the other side of the world is sharing Jesus.  As they sleep are you going to share Jesus with someone?" And then showed the great commission.
 ....if you haven't figured it out yet IT WAS A SERMON SERIES ALL ON MISSIONS!

it gets better

So, Pastor Kevin had some missionaries from Madagascar come on stage (Nate and Tammy Lashway), and the whole service was hearing their story, hearing what God is doing on the other side of the world. Pastor Kevin emphasized the importance of mission work and spreading the good news of Jesus to people all over the world.

Tammy began to tell her story about how God called her to missions.  She felt called as a teenager. But when it came time to actually go she was a bit reluctant....because she was comfortable, she had an established life.  Um....hello?!  That has been me.  I felt like as she was talking she was quoting my story back to me.  I was in awe. Crying, laughing.  People probably thought I was nuts.
Nate and Tammy went on explaining how Madagascar was colonized by Indonesians, and has difficult terrain and remote villages who need Jesus and have never heard of Him.   Goosebumps.  I was literally saying "thank you Jesus, this is for me!"
Nate then told a story about how He went to a village way out in the bush and told the people how they would come back and how his heart was moved for that tribe....and he then attention people......


.................  tears.  I was literally about to jump out of my seat and grab the microphone and tell people what was going on here!   I felt the Holy Spirit all over,  and my heart was racing.

As soon as the sermon came to a close, Kevin, Nate and Tammy left the stage and I jumped up to find them.  I found a "I can help" person and asked them where I could find pastor Kevin.  One person went to find him and while they were gone I completely blabbed this woman's ear off about what had just happened.  HA! I am not sure I even took a breath! Poor lady. haha!

Pastor Kevin came to greet me and took me to where Nate and Tammy were.  I got to talk to them and tell them my story.  They were encouraging and excited by my story.  Service got out just then and people started flooding out.  I left them and was still trembling and in awe.  I went to my car and sat there taking it in.  I could not get ahold of Matt, so I called my mom and shared with her.  I was busting at the seams to tell someone...anyone really. =)

I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go back in.  Most people had cleared out by now. I asked them if I could take a picture with them. I explained that they may not know it, but I believe they will be a huge part of my story of God's faithfulness and goodness in our move to Indonesia.

They told me that this is worth it.  They told me that it is going to be okay.  That God will be with us and Indonesia will feel like home eventually.  Not to be afraid, and that everything we are sacrificing today will be worth it....that what we are sacrificing to leave here will change lives in Indonesia.

They said they totally understand what it is like to not have all your support raised and be pushing forward.

Nate told me that without Helimission many people would not know about Jesus. That much of his own work would not be possible.  That it is an invaluable tool.  He laughed and said that the Helimission story was not even going to be in his talk initially....again, Jesus had other plans.

I hugged them and left.  I can't really put in words what this meant to me.  I felt so LOVED.  All I can say is THANK YOU JESUS.

Some might think this is a neat coincidence.   But for me, this changed my heart, my life.  Jesus set this up to show me how BIG He is, and how much He CARES. And how He is WITH US in this!

What are the chances!?
I was already suppose to be home in Washington.  I almost didn't go due to Gracie being grumpy.
They just happened to be starting a MISSIONARY sermon series.  They happened to have missionaries there to speak to everyone.  These missionaries just happen to work with HELIMISSION.      
               This was not something that just happened.  This was God...again...speaking to my heart. Encouraging me.

And came at just the right time.  Right before I head home to an empty house to pack it all up.  I have to finish it while Matt is away flying and gaining much needed flight hours.  Right before Matt's job ends and we are taking a leap of faith because we are not fully funded yet.  Right before life gets crazy.  He know! Jesus knows, and He arranged all of that to let me know a few things.

He is with us.
He knows.
He cares.
We are right where He wants us.
We are not alone.

I have never felt the Holy Spirit so much, I have never felt so loved.  
And Jesus doesn't just love me like this...He loves you like this too. Wherever you are in life. Whatever trial you are going through,...cry out to Jesus. It's never too big for Him, you have never gone too far for His mercy and grace. He loves you, He knows you, He is with you too.  We are not alone.

Thank you Jesus.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Abnormal is the New Normal

Over the past month or so, we have begun the process of packing up our home.  Our table is now a folding plastic table surrounded by folding chairs.  Our cupboards are beginning to thin out or may be even empty.  Our mattress has no frame, but instead is lying on the floor.  All of this might be abnormal, but we were all together, so its easy to pretend its all normal.  

This last Thursday was the last day our family would be in the same house together for about a month.  We brought in the pumpkins I grew this year to carve as a family and to take our mind off of the imminent good-bye.  It was a fun night and Gracie loved the pumpkin guts!  We took a lot of photos and had a few good laughs too! 

The night before, Amanda and I had a date night.  We ended up on the Chehalis riverbank where we walked down memory lane.  All the people we are going to miss, all the places we loved to explore, and all the memories we will never forget!  We were together and so everything was "normal"!

Friday morning came and as I got ready for work the girls were busy packing the last minute things before they left for Montana!  Among those things was our very first pet, Samba the cat.  Even though I'm not a cat lover this little punk grew on me over the 3 years we had him.  And yes, I miss him!  He was a great little buddy, and was amazing with Grace.  She tortured that poor cat, but he always came back to her!  I'm sure Grace will miss her little buddy too.  Every time Samba would Meow, Grace would shoot out her little pointer finger and yell, CAT!!! over and over.  

It was time for me to say good-bye.  Amanda and Grace walked me to the door, and we prayed as a family.  I turned to go and Grace said, Dad!  I turned around and she was blowing me a kiss!  She melted my heart....again!  That would be the last time I would see my girls face to face for quite some time.  They left for Montana, and by the time they get back, I should be in Oregon flying a season of Christmas trees.  I most likely won't be home until December.  Now we have what is called "Face Time" and though it's very nice and brings them close, I still can't hold my girls.  I can't hug my wife on days she is having a hard time with the Abnormals of our life.  I can't feed my daughter to allow my wife some down time.  We get to blow kisses over the internet, and for now that is ok.  Our life will be a series of Abnormals for the next year or so, but this one seems a bit harder then the rest.

The Good news is, that no matter where we go, whether together or apart, God himself is there to comfort!  He promised us that and I believe it.  I trust that God will hug my wife when she comes home to an empty home, when she feels overwhelmed, or when she is anxious.  The God that holds this universe together cares about you!  That is a great comfort!  He has opened the doors for us to serve him in Indonesia, and He has all ready gone before us to prepare our way!  He knows its hard to say good-bye! 

This morning I got to wake up at my parents home.  Over breakfast with Mom, Dad, and Grandma Meeuwse we got to tell stories.  At the end my dad read a devotion that I'd like to share.  It is about good-byes.  It's not easy for Amanda and I, but we also know it is not easy for you we are leaving behind either.  

This devotional is called Parental Math by Bob Benson (from see you at the house) out of the book "The Embrace of a Father"

Nearly a week ago Peg and I had a very hard week.
Wednesday night-- Mike slept downstairs in his room where children belong and we slept upstairs in ours where moms and dads belong.

Thursday night-- We were 350 miles away and he was in Ramada 325 and we were in 323 in connecting rooms and we left the door open and talked and laughed together

Friday night-- 700 miles from home and he was in 247 and we were in 239 but it was just down the balcony and somehow we seemed together.

Saturday night-- He was in the freshman dorm and we were still in 239

Sunday night-- We were home and he was 700 miles away in Chapman 309

Now we have been through this before.  Robert had gone away to college and we had gathered ourselves together until we had gotten over it-mainly because he is married now and he only lives the miles away and comes to visit often.  So we thought we knew how to handle separation pretty well, but we came away so lonely and blue.

Oh, our hearts are filled with pride at a fine young man and our minds are filled with memories from tricycles to commencements, but deep down inside somewhere we just ached with loneliness and pain.

Somebody said you still have three at home.  Three fine kids and there is still plenty of noise-plenty of ball games to go to-plenty of responsibilities-plenty of laughter-plenty of everything except Mike.  And in parental math five minus one just doesn't equal plenty.
And I was thinking about God.  He sure has plenty of children- plenty of artists- plenty of singers- and carpenters- and candle stick makers- and preachers- plenty of everybody except you.  And all of them together can never take your place.  And there will always be an empty spot in his heart and a vacant chair at his table when you're not home
And if once in a while it seems as if he's crowding you a bit- try to forgive him.  It may be on of those nights when he misses you so much he can hardly stand it

 So, as our lives become abnormal, we rest in the Normal of Jesus Christ and the call He has on our lives, and the amazing gifts He has given us!  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Speaking and Being Blessed

Growing up we watched missionaries speak and now, we are those missionaries.  That is why it felt a bit surreal when we were asked to speak at the church Matt grew up in, and that his parents currently attend.  EOPC invited us to be the missionary speakers at their Missions Night.
All we can say is WOW, what an incredible honor and opportunity they gave us!  It was a beautiful event that knocked our socks off with the amount of work and love that they poured into it.

Playing a game! 
Matt's parents, Mike and Carol and grandparents, Albert and Wilma contributed several items from Indonesia. (as you will see in the pictures)  They had Indonesian snacks, music, and a dessert bar after the presentation.  They planned a "Family Feud" style game so that everyone could learn more about us, Helimission, and Indonesia.  It was so much fun!

Prayer card, support table and awesome painting.
This was an honor, a blessing, and it encouraged us so much.  It was our first time presenting! We had a powerpoint, a video, a question and answers session...the whole thing. When we were first being introduced and prayed for we got a bit choked up.  This is it, WE are going, we are being sent, and these people, this church are showing us such love and are being the hands and feet of Jesus to us.  

The night was a huge success!  We want to take a moment to say thank you.
Thank you Pastor Randy, the missions committee, EOPC,  mom and dad,  grandma and grandpa VanBeek, everyone who worked so hard, and everyone who came.  We love you, and we are so thankful to you for giving us such an opportunity and for loving us.
Indonesian snack!
After our presentation, everyone is headed out to eat pie! 
Thank you to everyone who came! 
Everyone could see what the Indonesian Rupiah looks like. 
Mini size Papuan houses and buildings. SO COOL!

Indonesian knives, axe, hammer, weapons, headdress. (I told you it was a beautiful event!)
Carol, Christie and Lynn...just some of the wonderful people who worked SO hard on this event. 
Josh Brown holding the wands for the "Family Feud" game.   =) 
Grace had a blast playing with everyone!

Not quite how a 

That's it baby girl! You got the hang of it! 

Mars Hill
Our church, Mars Hill Olympia, presented us and told the congregation about what we will be doing in Indonesia.  We were at both sunday morning services and went on stage as pastor Seth presented us and prayed for us! It was so exciting, and encouraging.  We had a table set up in the commons area, and many people came to talk to us and were interested in what we are doing.
It was such a neat thing, to be up in front of all the people of our church that we love, and that we have done life with.  It also felt like this chapter beginning to close. Bittersweet. We love these people, this place, we love pastor Seth. Although we will still be around off and on for a few months
as we move to and from Bible college and make our final plans, it felt so real.  Thank you Pastor Seth for presenting us, for praying for us and for encouraging us.  We love and respect you.  Thankful that God put you and this church in our lives.
Pastor Seth presenting and sending us off. 
Praying for us

Our table in the commons. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Well, this makes it feel real!

That's right! We had a garage sale last weekend! We are lightening our load and clearing stuff out! Our sale went really well, we sold most everything. 
A few people "over paid" for their items when they found out that we are moving to Indonesia.  That was a blessing.  
It feels good to have this step done, and all this stuff GONE.  

We have a busy BUSY few weeks ahead. Please pray for us as we have lots going on.  This is getting real folks.  We will be in New York for one semester of training at Elim Bible College THIS January. Matt officially quits his job and we will be living off of support. Wow. Big step. God is big enough!

Clearing out!
No, the baby is not for sale. ;) 
Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful Monday!
Matt, Amanda & Grace

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Hello friends, this is Amanda here. This is a real, raw, honest and vulnerable post. Bear with with me here.

A few days ago Matt and I were driving home.  I was having a particularly hard time thinking about leaving our home, moving to New York, moving to Indonesia, taking Grace to a third world country.  As we were driving, tears started filling my eyes I felt that tight ball of anxiousness build in my chest as I spoke.  "Matt what are we doing? These people love us, this is our home. This is just crazy!" As I continued to speak the tightness got worse, and my words got more fearful, they just poured out. "Everything in Indonesia is poisonous, I don't even KNOW the dangers there, here I know what bugs are dangerous, what plants will leave a rash, here I know what to eat and not to eat.  I don't know ANY of the dangers there!  I won't have any friends over there! It is going to take forever to make one meal with food that might make us sick!  What if we get malaria? What if GRACE gets malaria, or something even WORSE! It seems so irresponsible to leave people who love us and invest in our lives! Our parents, Gracie needs to grow up with them near!"   Matt has a way of staying calm in the midst of a storm or under pressure. He sat there listening, and would interject truth in where he could. But I was not listening. I was scared, frustrated, and I didn't want to be told it was okay.  I was letting myself go there. To a place where I didn't see how God could take care of us, where I wasn't trusting Him.  That is a dark place to go.
We got home, it was late at night. Grace was asleep in her car seat, so we sat there talking (or bawling) in the driveway. I continued stating all my fears, crying, breathing fast and feeling completely fearful and out of control of my life.

In the background we had the local Christian station playing.  I wasn't even listening.  Matt heard the first few lines of a song he had never heard before. He told me "I think this song is  going to be good for you. Let's listen to it."   I sat there quietly with a hard heart for the first few lines, still thinking about all my fears.... but then the words gripped me and I started to cry all over. But not from fear. Cleansing tears. This song was for me, from Jesus, and He knew I needed it right NOW in this moment.

"I stand before you now.
The greatness of your renown.
I have heard of the majesty and wonder of you. 
King of Heaven, in humility, I bow

As your love, wave after wave crashes over me. 
For you are FOR us, you are not against us. 
Champion of Heaven, You made a way for all to enter in. 

I have heard you calling my name.
I have heard the song of love that you sing.
So I will let you draw me out beyond the shore into your grace!


You make me BRAVE! 

As we sat there listening tears were streaming down my face. Lots of them. But more than that, as I listened to these words of truth something happened in my soul, in my heart.  It was cleansing. I felt that tight ball of fear and anxiousness deflate.  Jesus was using this song, these words, breaking through my crowded, fearful heart to tell me the TRUTH!  I sat crying, in wonder with each new verse of the song because I KNEW that this song was for ME.

I was believing lies, I was wanting to be in control of my life, I was clinging to control because I was scared to give it to God. I was screaming in my heart "God follow MY plan, keep ME comfortable, don't rock MY boat, I don't trust you with my daughter, her heath, her life, I don't trust! I don't trust, I don't trust!"

But as these words penetrated my soul, and the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit rocked my world, my life came into clearer focus.

And you know what? Even if my worst fear becomes reality... it's okay.  God is in control.  He made me, He made Grace. He is in America, He is in Indonesia. He is MUCH bigger than the box I put Him in.  The truth is I am not in control. Not at all. And I am learning to unclench my hands, stop trying to make God stick to MY plan.  Because my plan is weak, and pathetic, and all about ME.  God has BIG plans, plans to grow me, plans to make me more like Him, plans that will call me BEYOND the shore and into the WAVES. Beyond the shore and into His GRACE.  Is there really any place better than that?

And I am not brave.... but He wanted to tell me,
HE makes me brave.
No fear can hinder the promises He makes.


I believe. I trust.
Thank you Jesus for your grace.


Listen here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Life!

On August 10, 2014 Calvin Gregory Barnes (our newest nephew) came to meet us!  He was born in Bellevue WA and is super cute!  Mommy is doing good and so is Calvin!  This is Gabe and Cristina's first child and what a blessing children are!  We are excited to see Calvin grow and pray that Calvin is used mightily for God's kingdom!  Enjoy the photos!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grace got to meet Grandpa and Grandma Jones

Back in May we were able to take a week and visit Grandpa and Grandma Jones in Hawaii!  This was the first time they got to meet Grace! We were a bit nervous about flying for 5 hours with an infant, but it was good practice before our big plane ride to Indonesia!  She did really good!  We actually knew the pilot, so when we landed Gracie got special treatment on the way out.  She really liked all the cockpit lights.  Once we were on the ground Grandpa was there and very excited to meet his little grandchild!  It is amazing the amount of power God gives to children!  They can melt peoples hearts very quickly!  We all got in the car and drove to the opposite side of the island where we would spend the rest of our time.  In the mornings we would all hang out and swap stories, drink coffee, and just be together which was very nice.  Most days we would end up at a beach somewhere and snorkel around to see what God made underwater!  We got great videos of sea turtles, crabs, and even an octopus!  Grandpa loved babysitting while Amanda and I got to swim.  He enjoyed praying over her and just being able to bond!  

It was fun having him show us around the island, and seeing all the things they have to adjust too!  They moved from Alaska to Hawaii, so we got to see all the fun fruits and sites that they love.  One of our favorites was getting young coconuts to drink and eat!  Sure is tasty after a long day of swimming!  We are looking forward to having those in Indonesia when we get there!  I think Matt will be living off of coconuts and passion fruit!  Amanda fell in love with the most gigantic avocado she had ever seen!  It was a very exciting moment for her knowing that avocados could get so large!  Our other mission was to spear some fish!  Dad and Matt went out first and speared a few small fish.  Amanda was determined to spear a fish before she left Hawaii, and after a few days of trying, she emerged with a victory!  Unfortunately there was only enough for Grace on this fish :)
Our trip was very relaxing!  We had a great time of fellowship with family and got to know some local people!  Life is always an adventure and we had lots of those on this trip!  It was nice to get away from the daily grind and just rest and reconnect!  We loved the scenery in Hawaii and it was so fun to see God's creation especially underwater!  The sunsets He painted most nights were amazing!  On our way back home dad took us to the YWAM university of nations campus.  While we were walking around we came to a fountain that was surrounded by the flags of the nations!  Also around the flags were rock pillars holding up Bible verses.  Matt began to look for the Indonesian flag, but a pillar caught his eye first.  The verse was the verse God used to call him into missions!  After he was done he looked up and directly above the pillar was the Indonesian flag!  This was a "goosebumps" moment for us!  God met us at YWAM and was confirming to us that this is His path for us!  We left YWAM very encouraged and blessed!  It is very cool to see how God can speak to us!  What an amazing God we serve!     
                    Matt, Amanda and Grace
Indonesian Flag!

Grandpa Mike, Grandma Susan, Amanda and Grace

Sunday, June 29, 2014


A lake I found exploring!

Hello All!

The month of June has been a very exciting, busy, and crazy month!  My company gave me the opportunity to build my flight hours through a cherry drying season!  That's right!  We use the helicopter's rotor wash to dry off the cherries after it rains.  If the water is left on the cherry then the cherry will split, and the farmer cannot sell it.  So, they hire us to sit around waiting for rain!  Well, back in May I took a week off for vacation, and then I got an extra week off to get my overtime down to zero, but was asked to get my CDL (commercial drivers license) with a Hazmat endorsement.  I was frantically trying to get that done so I could trailer the helicopter to the farm and drive our fuel truck.  I passed all my writtens no problem, but failed my first drive test (the pre trip portion).  I was all ready in Eastern Washington when I took that test and had to drive back to Chehalis to test again and passed no problem on the second try!  I'm glad to have that done!

I headed straight back to Eastern Washington to get my training on power line avoidance and on how to dry the cherries.  After a couple days of of training I was on my own and eager to start drying.  One week went by with nothing but sun, then another week, and another week.  For three weeks me and another pilot were waiting for rain.  During that time of waiting Amanda was able to come out and visit for a week with Grace.  It was great to see them after being away for a while.  Amanda brought the rain with her so I had to work a little while she was here.  On Father's Day, we went out for breakfast and showed Grace the helicopter.  She loved touching all the buttons on the cyclic and tried to figure out what kind of awesome toy we got her.  Then my dad was flying and EC130 from Montana to Washington, and decided to stop by for a little bit.  It was good to see him on Father's Day and it was fun checking out the helicopter he gets to fly!  I fueled him up and away he flew.  The next day Amanda and Grace drove to Montana to visit Grammy.  

Over the past three weeks I have logged about 20 hours of flight time!  This has been a good help of building my required 500 hours for Helimission.  Lots of exciting things are getting accomplished.  Because of this cherry drying season, I have obtained my 100 hours of turbine time in a Bell 206!  It also rolled my Total flight hours over the 350 hour mark!  I was so excited to see these accomplished and thank God for all His generosity toward us!  I still need to fly 150 more hours to fulfill the 500 hour requirement, but we are well on our way to getting that done by the end of the year!  I still have one more week here in Eastern Washington and Amanda is going to join me for the 4th of July weekend here!  

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and support!  We are excited to see how the rest of this year unfolds and please pray for more opportunities to fly!  I attached below a few photos of my time here in Eastern Washington.  Hope you enjoy them!

This was the landing at Paterson

Both of our helicopters waiting on rain.

We mark our landing with bright orange

Got to watch the sunset after flying

It gets to be long days waiting,
so a hammock is nice!

The ground is nice too!

Found this baby robin hiding
in a cherry tree

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13