Saturday, June 12, 2021

Meeuwse Update

Hi All,

Flying over Wamena

A lot has changed here in Wamena in the last few months.  Our base manager and his family have had to leave Helimission due to his wife's health and they are now back in Switzerland.  Our replacement base manager is still in the UK trying to get a visa to come back to Wamena.  He left for a 4 month furlough and has been gone over 1 year because Indonesia isn't granting visas at this point due to Covid.  Our other teammate, a pilot and mechanic, has taken a furlough and won't return until mid-July.  That leaves Amanda and I as the only Helimission expat on base.  This has increased Matt's workload a lot as he is not only the only pilot/mechanic, but is now overseeing the whole base and it's operation.  Please pray for him during this time as he manages his time between so many positions.


Dr Mia checking a patient
Since January, Matt has flown over 70 hours and has landed in different locations over 200 times.  Most of our flights these days are for medical evacuations.  The most common calls are for women having complications during child birth.  Matt has connected with a local doctor, Dr. Mia, who is now on call for him.  When there is a medical call about a lady in labor, Dr Mia will accompany Matt and try to help deliver in the village instead of transporting them all the way to Wamena.  However, many times the condition is very serious and so they take the patient to Wamena where they can get the help they need.


Buzz praying for the local people
Matt was also able to do a flight to bring God's Word printed into local language to a handful of villages.  He brought in boxes of Bibles early in the week and by the end of the week they were begging for more Bibles as not everyone had gotten one.  Matt was able to bring another round of Bibles to these people so hungry for God's Word.  This type of flight is so encouraging and it's such a blessing to be able to bring God's Word translated into tribal language to these people.  It takes up to 10 years to learn the tribal language and translate the Bible into their language.  Also, you need to teach the people how to read as their language has never been written before.  Bringing these Bibles is the fruit of many years of work! 

Their Curch
Most of the missionaries we that we support by helicopter interior have been gone from their villages either due to Covid or to Visa issues, so we haven't done to many flights for missionaries this quarter.  But, we did just bring a missionary into the coastal area as he was in Papua extending his Visa.  He spent two weeks interior and then Matt flew him out again.  He and his family hope to return mid-August to continue serving in the coastal region.  Another family that serves in the highlands behind our house have just returned to Papua.  They are currently sorting out some visa problems and soon will move up to Wamena.  We will see flights for them also as they continue to translate God's word and to train up leaders.


Creator's Talk in Bina
Many times, Helimission will support missionaries in a village until they are able to build an airstrip.  Usually, an airstrip is built before the Bible is translated or before the gospel presentation happens.  One such village is Bina.  We supported them for many years, but once the airstrip was opened we only got hear what was happening in the village instead of seeing it first hand.  We have heard they presented the gospel to the Dem people and many gave their lives to following Jesus.  This is why we are here, and why we work hard to support missionaries interior!  The light of our savior is breaking through the darkness in Papua and people living without hope are, for the first time, hearing the hope that you and I have in a Savior that died for our sins!  How amazing to be a part of bringing such good news to the ends of the earth!


Amanda learning the trade
Amanda has been investing a lot of time into the people of Poga.  When she first moved to Papua she was fascinated by the hand-made baskets that some friends had but were so hard to find.  Through a friend she found out there were two guys left in Poga that still new how to make baskets.  After connecting with them, Amanda encouraged them to teach the younger generation how to make baskets.  If they would make them then Amanda would help them sell their baskets for a fair price.  This has turned into a very big thing and we get basket deliveries to our house almost every week.  We took a drive to Poga, about 2 hrs away, and got to see the basket making process first hand.  There are men, women and children making baskets.  One kiddo says he is making baskets so he can go to school!  It's amazing to see this, almost lost, craftsmanship being passed down to a new generation and our hope is that through this ministry God's love is shown but most of all that His kingdom advances.


Gracie jumping high
Grace has just finished 2nd grade and is on summer vacation.  It's
amazing to watch her grow and learn.  When she gets to accompany us into a village, she comes alive.  She loves playing with Papuan kids and she has learned the language so well!  We are very proud of Grace and love to see how she loves people here.  Grace is a very active kiddo and we can't believe how fast she is.  This girl loves animals and we are currently raising a massive grub that should turn into a rhinoceros beetle in a few months.  She also has a few cats and they keep having kittens, so that brings her a lot of joy.  Wamena has been short on expat kids lately, but now other families are arriving so there are more kids to play with. 


Audrey picked flowers
Audrey is growing up and talking a lot more.  She has such a sweet personality and makes us laugh often.  She has a big heart in a little body and compassion really shines through her.  She is not yet as comfortable with Papuans that she doesn't know as it takes Audrey some time to warm up to new people.  But, once you have broken through the ice, she will be a good friend.  She is our big helper and anytime someone is in the kitchen, Audrey is not far behind wanting to help.  She loves to do merry-mints (experiments) that involve mixing all kinds of things together in a bowl.  She too is an animal lover and her favorite thing right now is to come feed our eagle.  Sometimes she even finds and eagle leaf (eagle feather) on the ground and that makes her very happy.

We want to send you all our appreciation for supporting us both financially and with your prayers.  We really love being able to serve the people of Papua, and it's such an honor to be able to be a part of reaching people with the gospel who have lived generations in fear and without hope.  Thank you for being a part of advancing God's kingdom here in Papua by sending us.  If you want to join our financial support team just click the "support" tab above and see how you can support us.

Family Photo in the Famous May Grass of Papua

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