Monday, April 14, 2014

Life Pause

Life paused the morning of Wednesday, April 9. Josh called and said,"Bob Roberts has been in an accident. It sounds like he and another passenger did not survive."

Pause.

In that moment everything stopped, and a second later thoughts of his wife and family flooded my mind. What could I do? How could I help? How is Jan? Who is with Heidi?

Even though Josh and I were not close to Bob, we are still impacted by his death. I know I'm processing things because at random moments through my day something will happen that will cause me to think of Jan. Friday night Josh and I went to bed at different times, and I rolled over and saw his side of the bed empty, my heart broke for Jan. His side of the bed will be empty. His smell is still there in every inch of the house. Oh Lord, comfort her in a way only You can.

Pause.
 
Life continues on.  It must. Some experienced this accident in a more "real", physical way. They are battling in their dreams- replaying what they saw. A psychologist is arriving Tuesday morning to begin the long process of binding up wounds and healing broken hearts. My hope is that sleep will be restored and that the Lord will give His people rest.
 
Pause.
 
Bob's family flew in from all over the world- Africa, America, Thailand. It's amazing to me they were all able to arrive so quickly from the different parts of the world. His grandson had just finished taking his last final of the semester, had no plans for the Easter break, and had just received a wire transfer of funds from his parents that had been sent weeks before. God has done (and continues to do) many amazing things. 
 
During the service, Bob's youngest daughter, Stephanie, eulogized her father. She shared special stories and nicknames that he had given her. It touched my heart to hear her share in both English and Indonesian- the two languages that are closest to her heart. Stephanie gave a challenge- an emotional plea to those gathered at the service. 
The cry of her heart was:
Do not quit!
Keep working hard!
There is still SO much work to be done!  
 
The outpouring of what was inside her heart, overflowing from her mouth, splashing over the ears of those who were there was a challenge to keep going. In the midst of her beloved daddy's passing, she has the maturity to put the sudden loss aside, and with clarity remind us of what our purpose here is really all about. I'm still thinking about this challenge days later.
 
So, yes, we grieve but not as one who has no hope. We know that God has a good plan to reunite believers with Him to spend eternity with Him. We rest and cling to the promises that are found in the Word.
 
We will continue to process.
We will continue to work.
We will continue to trust.
 





Un-Pause.
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Washington Visit

The last part of our "baby-lough" (yes, I guess it's a furlough but really it was a baby-lough) was spent in Washington with Josh's family. It was wonderful how many times we were able to see his family this time home. A grandbaby opens up those kinds of doors ;) We were able to visit with Josh's parents, his sister and her husband, the crew from the flight school Josh trained at, some other family friends, and dedicate Kate to the Lord. It was a very busy eight days! (Get ready for a TON of photos!)
Kate and Granny Lu
 
Grandpa Norm bouncing Kate
 
Aunt Jenni
 
Aunt Jenni and Uncle Josh
 
Kate and Anna
 
Kate and Dary
 
Kate and Gary- Kung Fu Style
 
Kate and Gordon
 
Kate and Stacy
 
Kate and Piper (just 6 days apart)
 
New Mommas- Amber and Coree
 
New Friends- Kate and Piper
 
Kate and Pastor Steve
 
Kate and Ms. Kathy
 
Kate and Pastor Mich
 
Dedication, baby... I mean Baby Dedication
 
Dedication
 
Kate and Ms. Virginia with Don D. photobombing

Friday, March 28, 2014

On the Other Side

We made it safely to Indonesia on Saturday morning. To be totally honest with you I was COMPLETELY dreading the entire trip. I just had so many uncertainties that had taken up a rotating schedule through my mind. I just wanted to give you a report on the prayer items from the previous post.

- that Kate would sleep comfortably in the bassinet offered on the international flights and that while Kate sleeps, we would sleep!
The first and longest leg was the one I was most concerned about. The flight left Seattle at 2 AM (yes, you read that correctly), so she was already in a deep sleep when we had to go through security. Taking a baby through security (in America) means taking them out of the carseat, waking them up, making them mad, putting them back in their carseat, and spending the rest of the time until your flight getting them to calm down and go back to sleep! Once we were on the plane, she nestled right into her bassinet and slept comfortable for a while.

The second leg from Taipei to Jakarta was a different story. She screamed almost the whole flight. Looking back I'm quite proud of her persistence, but at the time I was on the verge of tears and secretly feeling the "can't you keep that kid quiet?" or the "oh no, not again!" thoughts coming from the passengers around us. I'll just go ahead and apologize to the first class cabin for the screaming baby and her momma that was spying on you behind the curtains.

The third and final leg (the "home stretch") was better. Less crying- mostly Momma cried less, but Kate did too- and more sleeping. Indonesians love babies and seemed to be more gracious about her crying, maybe because they felt the same way too. Babies are lucky because they can express themselves freely without fear of judgment, because Kate was just doing what all of us who travel internationally feel like doing at some point- screaming and crying our eyes out.

- Kate is being fed Momma's milk through a bottle, would you pray for Amber as she pumps on the airplane. Pray that the milk supply would not decrease while on the flight. Pray that Amber would push aside the feeling of being an inconvenience to other passengers (by occupying a bathroom for 30 minutes) so that she can do what's best for Kate.I owned that bathroom. I used the same one each time and brought a phone to use as a timer and to play music. At one point I think I was even playing Tiger Wood's golf on Josh's phone. The first time walking back to the bathroom with my bag full of pumping gear I was giving myself this pep talk "You can do this! Kate needs you to do this! You're a great mom!" So I shut myself in a incredibly small space and did it, because that's what mommas do. We set a timer on our phones so I could maintain a schedule. Kate ate everything that was pumped, so nothing went bad. She didn't need any formula that we brought as a back up. Only once did someone knock on the door. I later found out that someone had gotten sick and other had a nosebleed. Oops. Sorry you'll have to use another bathroom, this one is taken.

-for our transition in Jakarta. We have to get our luggage to a hotel for a shower and a nap and also to air cargo. Would you pray that things would go smoothly at the air cargo desk? This will be the first time we have sent things this way
Our transition in Jakarta was smooth (from my perspective) because we opted not to use the air cargo. This meant we all could go to the hotel together and crash for a few hours. Josh took our bags early to the airport to check in. Kate and I got some extra sleep and met up with him later at the airport.

- for energy, stamina, and peace. It's easy to get short tempered with each other or with strangers while traveling with little or no sleep. Pray that we would be pleasant and that all would go well with the flights
Overall we were pleasant to everyone we met and most of the time with each other. A baby crying for a hours on end will shorten even the longest of fuses. My grouchiness came out the last few hours of our journey.

-for our families. It's always been difficult letting us go, but now with Kate it's even more difficult. Pray for the Holy Spirit to wrap our families up and give them a deep peace that surpasses all understanding.
After considering all our good-byes I'm realizing that a way God may have helped our families cope with our leaving was preoccupation. In the weeks leading up to our trip we had four family members go to the hospital. Strokes, cancer, and colds may have helped in some way to distract our family from a difficult see ya later. They may say the good bye was still difficult in more ways than can ever be put into words (and that is SO true), but I'm going to thank God for distractions.

-for our home in Sentani. Please pray that any repairs or maintenance that needs to be done would be an easy fix. Pray that all the parts would be found and that the work would be completed soon after we arrive.
The house is in excellent shape! Josh completed many projects before we left, so it was nice to walk in and see some of the repairs that we haven't been able to enjoy yet. New paint, art hung on the walls, and Kate's room ready for her to move into. We're grateful for a stress free re-entry. 
Thank you for praying! More gratefulness to come in other posts, but I just wanted to update you on the specific ways you prayed for us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Would You Pray?

It feels as though our time in America has flown by! The first few months seem like a blur with the combination of an arrival of a new baby and the lack of sleep. It's hard to imagine that Wednesday night we will be boarding a plane with all our things and the newest addition of our family and begin the long journey back to Indonesia. When you wake up on Thursday morning we'll be over an ocean!

This is the first time we've made a trip like this one, so we really need your prayers!
Would you pray:
- that Kate would sleep comfortably in the bassinet offered on the international flights
- that while Kate sleeps, we would sleep!
- Kate is being fed Momma's milk through a bottle, would you pray for Amber as she pumps on the airplane. Pray that the milk supply would not decrease while on the flight. Pray that Amber would push aside the feeling of being an inconvenience to other passengers (by occupying a bathroom for 30 minutes) so that she can do what's best for Kate.
-for our transition in Jakarta. We have to get our luggage to a hotel for a shower and a nap and also to air cargo. Would you pray that things would go smoothly at the air cargo desk? This will be the first time we have sent things this way.
- for energy, stamina, and peace. It's easy to get short tempered with each other or with strangers while traveling with little or no sleep. Pray that we would be pleasant and that all would go well with the flights.
-for our families. It's always been difficult letting us go, but now with Kate it's even more difficult. Pray for the Holy Spirit to wrap our families up and give them a deep peace that surpasses all understanding.
-for our home in Sentani. Please pray that any repairs or maintenance that needs to be done would be an easy fix. Pray that all the parts would be found and that the work would be completed soon after we arrive.

Thank you! It has been an ABSOLUTE joy to share our lives with you. Thank you for loving us, praying for us, and partnering with us. None of this would be possible without you!

-Josh, Amber, and Kate

P.S. We'll write again when we arrive safely, recover from jetlag, and catch our breath!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Visas. Visas. Visas.

If you mention visas to anyone who lives overseas I'm fairly certain you'll get a big sigh as a response. We don't *mean* to sigh, but seriously, a visa- a sticker in a page of your passport- can cause great anxiety!

Our visa adventure began two weeks after we arrived back in America. We were told there wasn't a visa slot for us. So we prepared for the fact that we might be delayed until the summer some time. A few months later we were told that our team really wanted us to come back in February or March even if it was on a temporary visa. (A temporary visa would mean we would have to leave Indonesia within 90 days to process a longer term visa.) We were still holding out that a long-term (5 year) visa would be given to us. That was not an option because the office that processes visas were moving buildings. So we are moving forward with a temporary visa.

Many emails were sent back and forth between us and our management team in Indonesia. We didn't know that we had to file paperwork on our side of things! We couldn't remember how we had done it the very first time we applied for a visa either. We were worrying about paperwork and timing. Did we fill it out correctly? Did we send in the right photos with the correct color background? Will the visas be processed before our departure ticket on March 20? Will we have to move our tickets?

Well. We sent in the paperwork with a return envelop on Monday. On Tuesday we waited. Wednesday Josh called and... drumroll... praise the Lord... our visas were put in our passports and mailed back to our address in Washington!! Yippee!!

Please pray that our long-term visas will be released to us soon. We are currently planning a trip to Singapore to fetch the new visas. Kate will visit one more country before her first birthday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Take It Like You Stole It!!

That's what it felt like. I felt like I stole it- ALL of it. I carefully planned out how I was going to execute my scheme. I arranged for a get away vehicle along with a driver. I had a lookout person who was disguised as an innocent bystander on their cell phone. It was pre-meditated.

While we were in Washington I was introduced to a group called "Just Between Friends". JBF is a group who resells gently used or new kids items at fractions of the original costs. The first day of the official sale first time moms can get dibs on all the items before the regular crowd comes in. We bought Kate a bathtub with toys and an infant hammock for $7. We bought her a bouncy chair that vibrates with a toy bar with butterflies dangling right in her face for $14, originally priced $40. On the day before the final day of the sale items can be marked 50% off, and on the final day of the sale some items are marked 75% off.

Babies grow SO fast. Kate (who turned 4 months on March 8) is 14 pounds and 9 ounces and 25 inches long. She's in the 75th percentile for height and weight. That means out of 100 babies her age, she is longer and bigger than 75 of them. We're so proud! Anyways, she is growing so fast that she sometimes only gets to wear an outfit one time before it's too small. She has slowed down, but at the beginning it felt like everything was too small right off the bat. She wore newborns for like a week. All clothes that were not given to us, be bought at JBF or another consignment sale called "Divine Consign".

This is when I felt like I stole it. We staked out the final sales of an event in Grapevine and one in Plano. We bought ALLLLLLLL of this for next to nothing. These sizes range from 6 months to 24 months. Most are brands like Carters, Old Navy, Gap, and Oshkosh.

The Loot

Evidence

Some items were marked 75% off of $1. Seriously?!? That's like cents. Who even has pennies anymore?? :) So it really FELT like we stole it. Josh was the getaway driver and the lookout guy who let me go crazy in this kind of place. Kate will be clothed for many, many months.

Look for a JBF or Divine Consign in your area. Save some money, because these babies grow up too fast.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our Local Office

The Farm doesn't have internet. It was a little strange coming back to America, a plentiful land, and being "internet-less" at your house. We didn't mind though. We just found free Wi-Fi at places around town, until we found the local library.

The Bridgeport Library was a cozy place with sweet ladies who work there. When we started going there I was very pregnant with Kate. Since we couldn't (or didn't feel like) go far from home we would spend a couple hours getting caught up on emails, blogging, and working at the "office". The ladies knew where we lived and would wonder if Kate was here if the van was gone and they hadn't seen us in a while!

After Kate arrived our visits to the office were more sporadic, but every time we went she was received with love. The ladies of the library didn't care if she cried (which she rarely did) or if she poo-ed all over a chair (which she didn't because I was in between Kate and the chair). They love her. They love to smile at her, to watch her, to hold her, and to snuggle with her. Once again this last visit to the library was planned by Someone who is GREAT at giving us our heart's desires. All the ladies were there at the same time! So Kate was able to give her "see ya later" drools and hugs, and we snagged some photos.





Who knew you could be so blessed by having your office at the local library?