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.