Sunday, December 31, 2017
As we finish this year and look forward to the New Year and all it's possibilities, we thought we would give you an update on how we ended and will begin this new year.
After Audrey was born on November 24, we praised God for such a healthy and easy baby. We had told the hospital we need her paperwork to be expedited as fast as possible as we are trying to get all our paperwork underway to be back in Indonesia by the end of January. Well, two weeks later I got a call from the county saying they see no record of Audrey's birth and would not be able to issue her birth certificate. That same day her Social Security Number arrived with the incorrect name. We have been frantically going through the process of getting her name corrected which has been a challenge with the holiday season and everything shutting down. We have gotten her name corrected, and have applied for a passport. We are now waiting for the passport before we can pursue an Indonesian visa for Audrey. This has delayed our wanted progress by about 3 weeks and we are praying that our passport will come faster then hoped. We also pray that we can have good favor with the Indonesian government and a speedy process of the visa. Please pray with us that all this paperwork will go miraculously fast and that we can get back to the field as expected!
We are bringing in this new year here in Montana where we are enjoying lots of snow, family and friends. We will head back to the Seattle area around the 8th and hope our passport will be waiting for us when we return. Matt will continue his studies to become a Certified Flight Instructor and we hope he will have it all completed before we leave. We will keep you all posted on the progress of paperwork and studies.
From our family to yours,
We sincerely want to wish you a Happy New Year! We hope this year is filled with God's love and that you all make a ton of great memories!
Love, The Meeuwse's
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
I hope you enjoy this Christmas season with Family and Friends!
|Matt Performing a 600 hr Inspection on the engine|
This year has been a big year for us with a lot of exciting stories! During the beginning of the year Matt was sent by Helimission to Texas for maintenance training that was required to obtain his Indonesian mechanics license. Amanda and Grace got to come back to the states also and enjoyed some time reconnecting with family while Matt did his courses. Matt passed all three courses and got to sign off his maintenance in Indonesia for the first time! Maintenance is a very important part of Matt's job. The terrain our pilots fly in is very unforgiving, so it is vital that our maintenance staff work precisely and safely so our helicopters stay in peak operation performance. Matt was able to do an entire 600 hr inspection on the helicopter he did the training on this year, which really helped him solidify what he learned and he got to dive into all the systems of the new helicopter. The helicopter is now flying missions again in Papua!
Matt also went to Jakarta this year to take his pilot written and medical test of which he passed both! He now has his Indonesian pilot's license and is in a holding pattern to get checked out by our Chief Pilot in Papua. It is about a 6 month process of learning the area, weather patterns, and high altitude flying. Our chief pilot has been on home assignment for 6 months and will be out of Papua again around February to adopt a child. So, Matt should be able to start flying the middle of 2018. This is a huge answer to prayer and Matt is really excited to start flying again. After 12 years of preparing it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow for him when he found out he wasn't able to fly for a while. But, by not flying and still serving where he could it seems to have created a strong trust in our local workers and opened a lot of other opportunities for Matt to serve locally in our town.
Every Wednesday Matt spends his lunch hour doing pilot ground school with one of our local workers, Abednego, who has a dream to serve his people as a pilot with Helimission. Matt has been training Abed for the last year and a half and has seen Abed grow in his knowledge of aviation, English and weather. We hope and pray that Abed's dream will come to fruition! As we have been in the states this time Matt is working diligently to become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). This would enable Matt to give flight training to Abed or other students in the future. Matt has passed both his writtens with high 90 scores and has done a flight stage check in which he got a good review from the instructor. Matt is now diligently making lesson plans and after the Holidays he will continue his training with hopes to be done before we leave for Papua.
|Oten roasting coffee|
We have two guys that work for us and we are their only source of income. One of these guys, Oten, has a dream of becoming a pastor and he is in the process of writing a book. This year he approached Matt to see if he could start pastor school. He was nervous because school happens every day and it would interfere with him working for us. Oten needs the income in order to pay for school, so he was nervous that he would lose his job. Amanda and I chose to keep him working without hesitation, as our goal is to see local people equipped and reaching out to their own people. We told him that he should start school and we can figure out what his job would look like after he did. He is so happy and has passed his first semester. Early in the year he caught TB and nearly died. We took him from clinic to clinic, testing blood and all sorts of things. He never came back positive for TB, but we decided to start the treatment for it because he had all the symptoms. He is finally putting weight back on and has color in his skin again, so we praise God for Oten's health.
|Oten, Otinus, and Abednego with their roasted coffee|
The discussion of Oten going to school got us thinking. We thought it would be good to start a business for our local friends that could supply a livable wage and help them fulfill their dreams. During that time, Matt was getting into roasting coffee. He decided to train Oten, Abed and Otinus (our other worker). We had a supporter donate some money so we could get them set up for makeshift roasting, so right now they are roasting coffee with a popcorn popper on an electric stove. The three guys picked the name Kopi Gunung which translates to "Mountain Coffee" and they are doing a great job roasting. We invested into the company to get them set up with supplies and beans and they have almost paid us back in full from their profits. After that all the profits will go into Kopi Gunung so they can get the necessary tools to roast, and can start taking home some profits. Matt is currently designing a drum roaster that can be used with local fuels which will enable the guys to roast more consistently and at higher quantities. It is really cool to watch these guys take control of their business and this will give them an opportunity to maintain an income even if we get sent to another base. We are really discipling these guys to be generous, so Kopi Gunung hopes to set aside money to help other people fulfill their dreams too.
|Ratilis and Amanda after a lesson.|
Amanda teaches English to Abed's sister once a week. This is growing into a good friendship and its a joy to see the progress of Ratilis as she studies English. Amanda also spends a lot of time with the ladies at the local market where she invests into their relationships. Amanda will frequently have these ladies over and teach them how to bake or just to enjoy time with them. We found out that these ladies start out their morning by getting together and praying for all the pilots serving the local people. They pray for safety and good weather. This is amazing to us to see that the local people see that what we are doing is making such a difference.
|Amanda visiting a young boy|
Amanda also spends time visiting and praying for the patients in the hospital that we fly in. It is up to the families to provide meals and amenities for the patient, so a couple on our team creates care packages for all the patients we fly in. Then Amanda and her friend go to the hospital to hand out these care packages, to pray for the patient and to just check in to make sure they are getting care. It can be difficult for the patient to communicate with the doctors because of the vast amount of languages in Papua. We are connected to groups that help translate information for our patients.
|This is our village church family|
Our family has joined a village church fairly close to our house. It is such an honor to worship with the local believers. We got connected to this church through our worker Otinus. The people are so genuine. The sermon is delivered mostly in Indonesian, but sometimes it switches to local language. We don't always know what the sermon is about but we are coming together with God's people and worshiping the same God just in different languages. We are so excited for Heaven, when every nation, tribe and tongue will get together and worship collectively. This is an amazing for-taste for us every Sunday where we long for that great party in Heaven!
|Matt, Grace, Audrey and Amanda|
Our family is currently in the states. We came back to have a baby, and Audrey Jean was born on Black Friday (Nov 24) and 12:01 am. We consider her the best black Friday deal we have ever gotten, and I'm tempted to ask insurance for a discount. Joking of course. We are so happy that she was born healthy and happy. She has been such a joy to us and has been a very easy baby. Gracie is doing a great job being a big sister and Mommy is recovering nicely. Daddy really enjoys the snuggles and the noises!
As we come into this Christmas season we are overwhelmed by all God is doing. He is such a generous God in sending us His son to live a life without sin, to die the death that we deserve and most importantly to pay our debt so that we can have a relationship with God! He is still generous today as He he has helped us adapt to Indonesia, to learn the language, to invest in the people and to keep us healthy. We are blown away every month to see the generosity of our supporters who give so sacrificially so we can live in Papua and make a difference there. We thank you so much for investing in us and helping all the things mentioned above to be possible. You are all investing in our local friends and in the mission God has us on!
Next year will be another year where we expect God to do big things. We hope to have two more helicopters operational and hope to reach, serve and save more people. If you are excited about what God is doing in Papua through us, please consider joining our support team as we are still not fully supported. It is a great way to invest and know that the impact is going to get the gospel out both locally and to the ends of the earth! If you can't join monthly, consider giving a One Time Gift to help us pay for the birth of Audrey and plane tickets to and from Indonesia. Just click our support tab at the top of this page and follow the instructions there for a tax deductible receipt. Or for non-tax deductible giving click the donate button to the right and that will donate via PayPal!
From our family to yours, we want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. We hope that this year is filled with love and a ton of great memories. We love you all and thank you for all your support, prayer and kindness!
Love the Meeuwse clan,
Matt, Amanda, Grace and Audrey
Friday, December 15, 2017
Real labor started thanksgiving day about 2 hours after we ate our meal! It was a fun commotion with all the people! I had a crowd around me helping with my contractions, and then we quickly took off to the hospital!
Labor and delivery went great. She made it all super easy on me. She was 6lbs 15oz 18.5inches.
|Ladies helping me through a contraction after Thanksgiving feast!|
I have to say I am really enjoying this time with her. The newborn stage comes and goes so quickly. And we are making the most of it.
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Grace is adapting to being a big sister like a champ. She was a great big sister from the time we told her there was a baby in my tummy, but she has taken to this big sister thing pretty awesome. Daddy has taken her on some special daddy daughter dates, and I have taken her on one mommy daughter date for ice-cream!
A prayer request. The hospital made a mistake on Audrey's paperwork. They gave her my middle name, and sent it to the social security office. So now we are dealing with trying to get this mistake quickly resolved. (ha!) Because we still plan to return to Papua the end of January. So be praying for this mistake to be fixed quickly, and all the paperwork to go through without delay!
We have done 6 speaking engagements, and some of them have been with new churches and people! We have raised a portion of what we are hoping to, and for that we are thankful! We are still needing to raise some more monthly support while here in order to get our support up to where it should be. So if you feel called to hop on board with us, and be a part of what God has us doing while we are in Indonesia, then let us know!
|Our little holiday baby! =)|
Merry Christmas from Amanda, Matt, Grace and Audrey!