Sunday, January 25, 2015

Baby X-ray and Runny Noses

On Tuesday we noticed that Grace was running a fever.  We tried to control it with baby Motrin and it seemed to help a bit.  The next morning we could tell our little girl was not feeling very good.  We pushed a lot of liquids and rest, but after her second nap we knew it was getting worse.  We checked her temp and it was 103.5!  We made a few calls.  I started the truck, we packed our bags and then it was off to the Emergency Room.  Gracie's very first time in the ER!  Well, we get there and the nurse wants to get her vitals.  Gracie was pretty scared and was not happy with the nurse!  We were showed to her room and got her comfy on the bed reading books!  She is such a trooper.  We waited there quite a while and finally the doctor came in to check her out.  He listened to her lungs and decided that he needed an x-ray to be sure of his diagnosis!  So, we waited some more for the x-ray tech to be ready.  Finally it was our turn to be checked.  We had to put grace in a special tool that kept her from
 squirming too much so that the tech could get a good photo of her lungs.  This little "tool" looked more like a torture chamber and Grace was not excited about it one bit.  I, (Matt) had to put her in this contraption with the help of the nurse.  Grace was screaming and crying, and saying, up, up, up in between sobs.  I got to stay with Grace, but the tech and mom had to leave the room to reduce radiation.  While it was just Grace and I, she looked in my eyes and I just saw huge crocodile tears and she said, "daddy, up, plsh"!  And that broke my heart.  I just had to encourage her and tell her to trust me.  I did a lot of talking, but I'm sure she didn't understand :(  We were finally done and I was able to "save" my little girl from the machine.  After about an hour of waiting we found out that Grace has Bronchitis!  It was a good thing we went in and got it checked out.  We got home kind of late that night.  Grace was tired but worked up.  It was a long night of rocking grace to sleep and tossing and turning in our beds.  Amanda and I both woke up the next morning feeling pretty crummy ourselves.  I was still able to get out and do some work, but my girls were not feeling very good at all.  While I was out, a couple that we met through Helimission dropped off a very sweet surprise!  It was all kinds of things that are
needed for a sick girl!  We feel very blessed by the generosity of people and the amazing way God provides even when we don't ask!  Thank you for blessing us!

After that exciting trip to the ER, Amanda got sick and then I got sick.  All three of us were out for the count.  We watched Little House on the Prairie and read a lot of books.  Grace started to feel better but Amanda and I were not.  I found it's really hard to pull grace down the hall in the laundry basket time after time when you can't breathe out your nose.  I got winded pretty quick, so had to improvise on how to entertain our busy little bee!  It is Sunday now and Grace is doing much better.  She still has cough attacks at night but we see a huge improvement in her.  Amanda is still pretty tired and has a sore throat!  I woke up with a burst of energy and a clear nose, so I went to church, but after the walk through the snow, my congestion showed up quickly.  I'm not better yet, even though I wish I was!  The Weber's stopped by last night and dropped off a meal for us, and Ben stopped by also to drop off ice cream!  We are very loved by the people of Helimission and we are on the mend!  We might even get out of the house today! 

Here are some photos of our little girl's first ER trip:

Getting Grace in the machine!

The first x-ray

The second x-ray.  I tried to hold her hands.

Waiting for the x-ray results

There is my little girl!  Pretty cool!

Gracie reading her book to Howard (the pig)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We Survived the First Week of School!

We were supposed to arrive in New York on January 5th, but due to unfortunate weather we struggled to arrive by the 6th.  Everything started out well! 

The lovely snow

Our alarm went off in Seattle at 6 am.  We had all the bags packed, weighed and in the van ready to go.  We left the house early enough to stop for a cup of coffee on the way and even made it to the airport with time to spare.  We got checked in and our bags were checked all the way to Rochester.  I usually fly standby, but this time I had confirmed seats so I packed like I had confirmed seats.  No overnight gear would be needed because we would be in Rochester by 10pm and so would our bags.  

Our first flight left on time.  Grace was a bit wiggly but she did pretty good for her age.  We always get a bit nervous because most people don't like kids on a plane, and something always happens!  Let me tell you one story: We were trying to wrangle Grace who was squirming around.  We tried to offer all kinds of things; crackers, snacks, toys, etc.  We had a water bottle that she loves and had filled it before we got on the plane.  Well all Grace needs to do is  push a button and the "straw" flips up and she can take a drink.  Well she gets her bottle, pushes the button and the straw flips open as normal.  What wasn't normal was the pressure inside the bottle which forced a steady stream of water right between Amanda and I, between the seats, and right onto the lady sleeping behind us.  I am frantically trying to catch water that is flying through the air with not so much luck.  All we could do was laugh and the lady was very kind to us.  Haha what a surprise that would be! 

 Well we got to Chicago early and decided to get some much needed food.  While in line we saw a fight almost break out.  We ate and headed to the gate to wait where a disgruntled, drunk passenger was making a scene.  Gotta love Chicago!  It was snowing pretty heavy outside and our flight was delayed 15 minutes.  Well 15 minutes turned into hours of waiting, but finally we got on the airplane.  

We had to wait an hour for the de-ice unit to show up before we could even leave.  So, since we were near the back of the plane Grace was able to just run and play with the other kids!  After waiting one and a half hours on the plane our flight got canceled and we were deplaned.  Then we had to wait in line at customer service, but by God's grace, we were taken from the back of the line and brought to the executive customer service!  The last shall be first!  So, our flight got changed to early the next morning, so that meant a night in the airport.  We walked to the other end of the airport and found a place to rest.  The girls were able to lay down and rest, but I stayed and watched over them and the stuff!  Early the next morning we got on our plane and it actually took off!  We arrived in Rochester, but unfortunately, our bags did not.  It wasn't until 10 pm that night that our bags finally showed up, but we were in Lima and we were together!
This is our new place! (the lower half)

We started college classes last week and are excited to learn, but not so excited about the home work :)  I, Matt, am taking 4 classes: Basic Christian Counseling, Management for Christian Leaders, Cultures and Customs, and Missionary Life.  All of these classes are very interesting and in one week I have learned so much.  I am looking forward to this semester and the time I get to be with my family, learn from great teachers, and to study God's word!

This is one of the college buildings

It is so cool to see how God can use anyone to speak encouragement to us!  I have been trying to sell my truck now for a couple weeks and have had a lot of activity, but no buyers yet.  Well today I had a call on it while I was in chapel.  I called the man back and talked about the truck a bit.  He asked how the transition was to New York and we started talking about life and got on the subject of Helimission.  I told him we are using Helicopters to get the Gospel of Jesus to the most remote people on earth!  This guy ended up being a pastor at Calvary Chapel and just started encouraging me!  I'm here in New York, he is in Renton, and he was praying for me and my family right over the phone all because of Craigslist!  God is so good to us!  I haven't sold the truck and that's ok!  God is so amazing and nothing can hold him back!  He has shown us that He is in control of everything and He can even use Craigslist to bring a blessing!

We received our December financial update recently and are encouraged again to see the generosity of people!  Thank you all so much for faithfully giving!  We are not fully funded yet but every month we have seen more people partner with us!  We are currently 61% of the way to being fully funded!  That is so awesome and encouraging!  We have also got our Canadian account set up for those in Canada that would like to give.  Please click HERE, or click on our "Support" tab  and it explains how to give through that avenue.  Right now we are still in a state of preparation for the field and  it is hard to see the results of what you are giving too! We recommend clicking HERE and signing up for Helimission's newsletter.  This pamphlet is a collection of stories about what God is doing through Helimission!  It is very encouraging and helps you to see the usefulness of a helicopter in getting the gospel out!  It has been 10 years of preparation of which God has faithfully supplied all our needs through working and generous people, but now is a time where we are trusting fully in God to supply through people like you!  Thank you for your generosity and for being a part of getting the gospel to the ends of the earth!  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New York! New York!


We live in a village! =) 

WE ARE HERE! And settled! We unpacked our last bag.  It was a bit of a go getting here. We slept in the airport after a cancelled flight. But it was a little bit exciting. =)
Mom and Grace trying to catch some zzz's in the airport
Lunch after the airport with Helimission folks. 
WE MADE IT! But guess what?.....they lost our bags!...HA!  But we got them at 10 o'clock that night.   Right from the airport we went to lunch with a bunch of folks from Helimission.  We said goodbye (for now) to our friends Fawn and Michael Stevens, but we said hello to Matt and Vee Weber.  We will go through all of our training from here on out with the Weber family.  Our families will be stationed at the same base in Indonesia.  They are great, and we are looking forward to spending lots of time with them.  They have three kids who are great with Grace, she loves them. God provided friends. =)

Our apartment is cozy and really homey. We are living in the downstairs apartment of the Helimission USA headquarters.  It is a quick trip to go upstairs for meetings.  =)
Getting set up! 
Grace exploring the new place.

The last helimission family decorated for Grace. It touched our hearts! 

We are excited to be here.  Matt and I feel like this time is going to be awesome.  Matt will take full load with 4 classes.  I will audit 2 classes and take 1 class as a normal student.  We had orientation for college today! Haha! Blast to the past.

Here are pictures of some of the fun things we have done since we got to New York!

Check out our awesome ride for the next four months.
Helimission cutie. 

We have a quad parked in our garage that we can use to have some fun in these long winter months.  This is our kind of fun!

Here are some pictures of our college.  For those of you who are confused as to what we are doing in New York going to college.
Helimission requires all candidates to attend one semester (four months) at Elim Bible Institute in Lima New York prior to language school.  Once we are done with Elim (in May) we will spend a few months wrapping things up in the states, saying goodbye to friends and family, and then moving to Sentani Indonesia for 6-9 months of language school.  After that we will be at our final destination. Wamena Indonesia.

Okay, so for those pictures of Elim....some are taken in summertime....don't be fooled it is a frozen tundra right now. =)

Classes officially start tomorrow, however we don't have class until Tuesday.

Thanks for being on this adventure with us friend.  We love you!  Will keep you posted!    Our e-mail (we check everyday) for both Matt and I is:   E-mail us for anything. Questions, just to chat.  We love hearing from you!

Love, Amanda, Matt and Gracie.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This is the beginning of our adventure

Enough talk. Time to DO something...
And here we go!

Earlier this evening and earlier this week, we said goodbye to family and friends. It was hard.

But let me just tell you where we are at right this second....

It is 11:04pm. We just packed and weighed all our suitcases to make sure they did not go over 50lbs.....(I'm pretty sure each one is exactly 50lbs!)

We just sent out our quarterly newsletter, and now I am writing you.
I am in my pajamas with my hair in a messy bun.  My make up is slightly smudged because quite a few tears have leaked out today.  Grace has been asleep for a few hours.  Matt and his cousin Beth are chatting in the kitchen.  Mom Meeuwse just went to bed.....  our night is wrapping up.  And in reality it was a good day.  We made some good memories.  But saying goodbye is always a little hard.

In the morning our world will change again.  (good thing we like adventures) =)
Our flight leaves at 11:20 tomorrow morning.  By tomorrow night we will be living in New York!
WHAT? Crazy.....maybe it will hit me once we finally land, or when my feet hit the ground, or when the icy cold weather hits my face....or maybe it will hit me sometime next week. HA!

Friend, guess what?...We are excited.  It is bittersweet.  But if you read our past blogs you will see how God has prepared us for this, and how He has been so FAITHFUL and loving.  We look back to those times when we are feeling sad and we are so encouraged!

This adventure is just beginning.  It has been a long time in the making.....lots of prep, lots of work. But here we are.  This is the beginning.  Let's do this thing together.

We have lots more to share with you! Lots of fun pictures and stories....But our internet is slow and so are our brains tonight.  We need some sleep and so we will leave you with that anticipation. =)

Thanks for investing in us, and thank YOU, yes you who are reading this right now.

Off we go!
Amanda, Matt and Grace