Friday, September 18, 2015


What a trip!  

We spent 7 days in Trogen, Switzerland with Helimission Headquarters which was very nice.  It gave us time to recollect our emotions of saying goodbye before we experienced a 3rd world country!  We had 2 of our bags not show up with us on the plane, so we had to wait for them a couple days, but they did show up! We were supposed to leave Switzerland on the 9th but, since Lufthansa was on strike our plane got cancelled.  We were delayed until the 10th.  We checked our bags to Jakarta, and got on the airplane to Germany where we had to change planes.  Our flight out of Switzerland was delayed, and when we landed we had to sit on the taxi way 30 minutes waiting for a spot to park.  By the time we got off the plane our other plane had been boarding for over 15 minutes and it was in a different terminal.  We had to run, with a 2 year old and all our hand carries!  We had to wait in the German passport checkpoint, which was a slow go, so my stress was going through the roof and we were praying that we would make the flight.  We came running up to our gate and they were holding the plane for us!  We were the last ones to board!  We got our seats and settled in!  We had a row of 4 for all 3 of us which was nice.  We landed in Kuala Lumpur 12 hours later for fuel and had to deplane there! Grace did so good and we even got some rest ourselves! 

We landed in Jakarta, and praise the Lord all our bags showed up!  We grabbed our bags and instantly an Indonesian porter wanted to help, so I allowed him as we had quite a few bags!  We cleared customs and immigration no problem and Carter was there to pick us up!  It was dark out when we got there, but still 75 degrees and humid.  Carter drove us to the apartment we would stay in for the night which was on the north side of Jakarta, and 29 floors up!  We had an amazing view of North Jakarta!  We did our first shopping trip in Indonesia right away to get some food and other items for that night and next day!  It was amazing, all the new smells, all the sounds, the people, (which love Amanda and Grace and always want photos/to touch Grace).  That night we got some rest and then had lunch with Simon and the Helimission team in Jakarta!  It was nice to get to know them and finally see faces we have only heard about or prayed for!  We found out that we were only allowed 20 kilos of luggage per person from Jakarta to Sentani, which meant we would have to leave behind at least 10 kilos worth of stuff that we wouldn’t see for over a week!   So we unpacked, (AGAIN), and repacked the essentials and left the rest to come on a cargo plane. 

We flew that day from Jakarta to Sentani and Simon (the head of Helimission) was on that flight with us!  When we got to the gate Amanda got to see her very first Papuan and she got so excited!  We got some sleep on that 6 hour flight and when we woke up it was light out!  We looked outside and there it was! The land we hae been preparing to get to for the past 10 years!  My heart was racing, my excitement was bubbling!  We were finally here!  We got off the plane and we smelled Papua air for the first time, Indescribable!  We found our bags and went out the door.  We were greeted by the Weber’s, Stephens’, and the Wiley’s!  We threw our bags in the truck and they drove us to our “New Home” just minutes away!  We took in the sights of this 3rd world country, the smells, the sounds and the feel for the place!  We unpacked and fell asleep pretty quick, but more visitors were on the way!  Our brains felt like mush, but it was great to  see people we knew! 

The first night was terrible!  Grace was up from midnight to 5 am.  Our water tank was overflowing and I couldn’t find an off switch, so I found a circuit breaker!  Unfortunately, it was connected to our air-conditioning!  So we were tired, frustrated, grumpy, hot sweaty and did I mention grumpy?  The next morning I found the pump switch!  It was outside our door the whole time!  Oh well, I’ll never forget where that one is J  That day was  a big day for us as we had to get our phones transferred, internet set up, and our big shopping trip to Jayapura for our appliances and food!  We were so tired, and we bought duplicates of some things, but not enough of others and we can’t find an entire bag of stuff which somehow got misplaced!  We blame a lot on jetlag right now! 

The next day we bought fabric for curtains, and got a couch to sit on!  We tried out our stove which is a glorified coleman camping stove!  No oven, so we won’t do much baking here.  Our rooms are air-conditioned but the house is not.  We have tile floors, bars on the windows and screens on the outside to keep mosquitos out.  We thought we had to hand wash all our clothes, but a good friend showed us that our washing machine is outside!  That was a huge relief to see that!  But, if we run the washing machine we have to turn off all the power to the rest of the house or it trips the circuit breaker!  We have to be selective on what we run!  Our water is not drinkable, so we filter 10 liters every night and put 10 liters in the fridge at night to cool for the next day!  We get running water from the elevated water tank behind our house so the pressure is not much!  Our electricity randomly shuts off for sometimes hours sometimes minutes, so we never know what to expect.  After all the shopping this place actually feels like a home!

The people here are so nice and love to talk.  Our neighborhood is full of kids and Grace loves it!  It is a busy town and the roads are crazy.  They have lines on the road, but I think they are just decoration because no one really obeys them!

Grace did her first prayer without being asked to on the flight over here!  She said, Jesus, Thankyou…….Amen!  I couldn’t understand what she was thankful for, but it melted my heart and gave me hope that she is loving her savior!  Amanda is being a trooper and is actually even enjoying being here so far!  Its much different than home, but she is making it feel homey!  She tries all the time to talk with the locals and even got a number form a local Indonesian girl!  We will probably have here over and Amanda can learn Indonesian and she can learn better English!  Amanda is the perfect teammate for this and I thank God for her often!  We are excited to learn the language and also nervous at the same time! 

Please pray that we settle in well and get our routines down, Pray for health!  Pray for lots of Indonesian friends and that we can learn the language quickly! 

Praise God for safe arrival and travels!  Praise Him for the opportunity we have to be here and serve in Papua!  

Thank you all for your support!  We really love you and appreciate you all sending us here to serve how God has called us!

Internet is really slow, so we will post photos of our place when it gets a bit better!

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Right before we left the USA, finishing touches. 
We made it to Switzerland!   We are here in this picturesque country and enjoying our time at Helimission headquarters before we launch off to Indonesia on September 9th.  

Helimission headquarters is located in Trogan Switzerland.

We are doing well, and recovering from jet lag.   Jet lag mixed with strong emotions of goodbyes can sure wipe one out!   Grace is doing well.  A bit more fussy, but that is to be expected.  The first night she woke at 3:40am and was ready to party and have breakfast!  Every morning since she has woken 20 min later.  This morning we almost made it to 4:30!!!  =)  It has been good though, we have been able to get many things done in the morning.  

Helimission this way! =)
Each morning we have devotions with the Helimission staff at 7:30.  What a wonderful time.  God has shown up each morning!  It is so good to spend some time with the heart of Helimission and be prayed for and loved on right before we take off.  Helimission is a team of people on fire for Jesus.  They take time out each morning to pray for the people out on the field in Indonesia, Madagascar and Africa.  It is an honor to work with such a mission and with people who have such a genuine love for Jesus.

Grace has taken to the cats that they have here.....I am not sure that the cats share the same love for Grace as she has for them =)  But nonetheless they keep Grace entertained and happy looking for them!  There is a pond of fish here that keep her happy as well!  Although Grace always asks to hold them in her hand....=)  Grace loves the Swiss cows, rightfully so.  They are adorable.  And they all have bells on their neck, so it makes a lovely and quaint sound across the countryside.
Headed to devotions in the morning! 

We have had the privilege of meeting a couple that we will be with in Wamena Indonesia.  They are on "home assignment" right now and are from Germany, so they have been here at Helimission headquarters the past two nights.  We have gotten to spend some time with them and we love them already!  What a neat couple.  Just another way God encourages us and loves on us.

We are so thankful for your prayers and we miss you already!

Let us remind you, the work to do in the USA is just as much as here.  As you read our updates let it excite you to be a missionary in the United States.  What a need there is!

We love you!  Much love,
the Meeuwse's
Gunter and Birgit are part of the Helimission team in Wamena Papua. Same town as we will be in.  It was so nice to meet them! We love them already.

Our apartment for the week, and Gracie's buddy that she chases around.  Zina the cat. =) 
Helimission Headquarters, Trogan Switzerland.  Beautiful
Helimission Headquarters from the back. 
The friendly fish that keep Grace entertained. 

Grace's BFF  Brikena Tanner.  Grace LOVES her. Instant friends. 

Thumbs up for Switzerland!

Swiss Cows checking us out. They are so cute! 
As Grace says "HI COW!!"
Four Wheel Drive cows
Grace having fun. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Leaving on a Jet Plane....

Well Friends,

The day we have been talking about and preparing for is here!  We are headed to the airport to catch our plane overseas!  This last week has been chaotic, amazing, stressful and fun!  Thank you all that made it to my parents house to say good bye at our going away party!  It was a packed house, but we felt very loved!  On Monday, we brought our last bit of stuff to the shipping yard to be shipped to Indonesia.  We will most likely not see those boxes for another 6 months!!  After that we packed our suitcases and had to figure out how to get everything we need for the next 9 months down to 3 50 lb bags!!  I think we did it!  Hopefully our scales are calibrated and we don't have to frantically unpack at the airport!!  

Our goodbyes are getting really hard and it has been a very emotional week for us and a lot of others!  We are about to say good bye to family and that isn't one that is going to be easy.  We are torn between excitement and sadness which is very hard to explain, and is a weird place to be in.  

Thank you all who are praying for us, supporting us and sending us!  We are so excited to share this adventure with you all and hope you are as excited as we are to see what God is going to do!  Please pray for good connections without delays, for our luggage to make it with no complications, and for us as we say our final goodbyes.  We will write a post once we get to Switzerland!  

Until then, 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

The Meeuwse Fam