Stuff I’m Reading

Nathan and I both have Kindle eReaders and we use them daily.  We actually only started out with one Kindle and then it quickly became apparent that for the sake of our marriage we needed two. : )

Since our initial purchase of Kindles about 5 years ago, we have gone through several kindle because they have either been broken or stolen.  But, Kindles are something we replace quickly though because WE LOVE TO READ and it is the quickest and easiest way for us to get English books over here!

Now, when I first got my Kindle, I was super stingy about spending money on Kindle books, so I would often read books off of Amazon’s free book list.  But let’s face it, the books on the free list are not great works of literature and I slowly started to feel like my brain was melting.

In an effort to prevent more brain melt, we added kindle books to our monthly budget.  Here’s what I’ve read this year so far (I average about two books a month):

Peace Child by Don Richardson
Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Night by Elie Wiesel
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Grant
The Color of Secrets by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh
The Grip of Lions and Veils by Audra Grace Shelby
Room by Emma Donoghue
Wild:From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I used to be a fiction-only reader, but I have recently tried reading more non-fiction and I’ve found myself really enjoying it :)

What are you all reading?  What should I add to my book wish list??

Flourish; Pt 2

Ladies Retreat 2015

If you follow me on Facebook, you have already seen this picture from the Ladies Retreat, but what you didn’t see is the story, the lives, the impact behind it.

The retreat included 17 missionary women from the western side of Papua.  These ladies hail from 5 continents and 6 countries; they work for 5 different mission organizations among 8 different villages and 7 distinct language groups.

Even though they all live near each other and do similar work, many of them had never met.  This retreat was amazing time of CONNECTION for each of them.  I hope that the connections forged at this retreat will CULTIVATE lasting friendships

We are all in this business of the Gospel together, ya know?  No matter where we come from, the body of Christ can come together and work for a common goal.


The Ladies Retreat is over and everyone has gone “back to reality” (except the ladies from the U.S. who are still traveling back to Prescott).  I can’t even begin to describe how wonderfully amazing the Retreat turned out to be.  God showed up in a big way and I think the whole weekend exceeded everyone’s expectations, including my own.

I don’t really know where to start in describing the weekend, so I will just jump in and start with the team of women that came from Heights Church in Prescott, AZ.

The Prescott 6

This is the best picture I have of the 6 of them together…too many cameras taking pictures at once :)  Joyce, Mikela, Robyn, Nancy, Tina Marie and Nancy.

Anyway, everyone of these 6 women came to serve.  They each leant their own particular skill, but I also saw them praying with people, listening to their stories, holding babies so the mamas could eat, holding doors, offering their chairs, and giving back rubs.  They gave and gave and gave of themselves for the missionaries who attended the retreat.  It was wonderful to watch.  I’m sure they will be good and exhausted when they get home! :)

Tina Marie Mikela Robyn Nancy Joyce 5

The theme of the retreat was Flourish, and the six ladies who came from the U.S. did just that.  I am extremely proud of them.


Can a take a little minute and brag on the amazing missionary women that we have the privilege to serve?? They are amazing and I admire them.  They are living in remote parts of the Papuan jungle, homeschooling their kids, learning tribal languages, and teaching the gospel to people who have never heard, all while dealing with heat, bugs, illness, and distance from friends and family and quality chocolate.  It’s a really hard job.  Like, really, really hard.

Who doesn’t deserve a little pampering more than these ladies??

RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT there is a team of 6 ladies who have travelled all the way from one of our sending churches in Prescott, Arizona to Papua to do just that: pamper these ladies.  This coming weekend, we will be having a 4 day retreat at the nicest hotel in Papua that I could find.  There will be rest, and teaching, and swimming, and eating and hair cuts and massages and manicures and quality chocolate.  AND, this amazing church has gone above and beyond by sponsoring each of these missionary ladies, covering the costs of their flights, their hotel room and all of their meals.

Heights Team Nabire Sign

Pray for the 6 ladies as they have travelled half way around the world and are getting over jet-lag.
Pray for all the ladies attending at the retreat, that it would truly be a relaxing and refreshing time for them.
Pray for all the of details that go into planning a retreat, that everything would go smoothly.

Manokwari Part 2

While Nathan worked long hard days in Manokwari, Elias and I got to play!

We met some new friends, who picked us up one morning and brought us to this beautiful beach.

Manokwari Beach Manokwari Beach Tide Pool Tide Poole

Sometimes I take a deep breath of the salty sea air and marvel that God has brought us to this gorgeous place.  It’s not without it’s difficulties for sure, but on mornings like this one, I am so grateful to be here.

Rock Climber

Elias is a water baby through and through.  He was actually body surfing as the waves came in to the little tide pools!  “Watch me, Mom!”  He has no fear when it comes to water.


Of course, a trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete with our own little band of paparazzi.  These sweet kiddos were waiting for school to start…I’m sure they had stories to tell about all the boules (whiteys) that they saw on the beach that day!



Several times a year, Nathan goes up to the town of Manokwari to do some flying for the surrounding villages.  For years and years, MAF had a full time family that lived in Manokwari, but now the needs there are not as great and don’t require a full-time pilot.

This time, Elias and I tagged along with Nathan.

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I love the MAF hangar in Manokawari.  It’s an old-school pull-through hangar that is actually too small for Nathan’s Kodiak.

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Similar to Nabire, the airport is right on the water.  It’s a gorgeous place.

Unlike Nabire, Manokwari has a KFC!!  Yes, folks.  It has come to pass in my life that I’m excited about KFC.

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One of the villages Nathan’s serves from Manokwari is Moyeba.  I love this place.  The people there are so HAPPY!  So many smiling faces.  Plus they speak Indonesian, so I can talk to them.  They seem genuinely grateful for the service that Nathan provides.

DSC_1632 resizeElias was unsure about this crowd of kids that followed us around.

Running to Daddy

But he warmed up to them after a few minutes.  The whole village laughed and erupted in applause when Elias ran from me to Nathan.  As we boarded the plane to leave Elias asked if he could stay with the kids.  Sorry, buddy…for now you have to stick with Mom and Dad.

I’m sure there will be many more trips to KFC, ahem, I mean Manokwari for us in the future!


Big God, Little Stories

Missionary work is not all made up of big stories.  It’s a lot of little stories, everyday stories.  But no matter the size of the story, one thing is always clear: we serve a BIG God.

On Thursday morning, I woke up…it was a normal day.  Elias and I went for our morning walk.  I did the dishes.  And I prayed that my time that day would be HIS time.  About mid-morning I received a phone call from one of the expat nurses in Sentani.  Our good friend, Ryan had an infection in his leg that was not responding to oral antibiotics and so he needed to get out to a bigger city to get an IV.  Nathan was already out flying, so I had no way to get ahold of him but he was due back in Nabire about 45 minutes later.  I knew he would turn around right away to get Ryan.

Meanwhile, the nurse was speaking to Steve, one of the Sentani pilots about how to get the drugs Ryan needed to Nabire.  He happened to be scheduled to come to Nabire that day to deliver some airplane parts and so he could easily bring the medicine along with him.  He also got ahold of Nathan on the radio before he returned to Nabire, so that Nathan could turn around mid-air to get Ryan rather than returning to Nabire first.

We happened to have a nurse (Mindy, our future teammate…yay!) visiting Nabire for a few weeks, so she could put in the IV and care for Ryan’s wound.

Within 20 minutes of the decision that Ryan needed to get out of his village, Nathan’s airplane was landing there to pick-him up; Steve was loading his airplane with the necessary medicines and Mindy was setting up my family room as a make-shift clinic.

An hour later, Ryan arrived and not long after that so did his medicine.

Checking the wound IV in Ryan and Elias

Less than 24 hours after Ryan arrived, it was decided that he needed to go to Sentani for further medical care.  And, after seeing a doctor in Sentani, it became clear that he most likely needs surgery to removed the affected tissue.

Last night, as Elias was going to bed he said, “I nervous about Ryan’s owie. We pray gether, Mommy?”  Sweet boy.  Will you pray too?  Ryan has a long road ahead of him, but we’ve already seen God arrange so many details for Ryan’s care, I have no doubt that He will continue to do the same as they move forward.

**UPDATE:  Ryan is out of the hospital now.  The super strong dose of anitbiotics worked and he should be returning home soon!

Quotable Elias

Sorry for my prolonged absence from the blog.  We have been busy with another awesome MAF family conference and then an inspection.  Now we are home, getting back into the swing of things!

Have I ever told you that Elias’ middle name, “Tate”, which, by the way, was chosen by his birth mom, means “he who talks a lot” or “cheerful”?  Oh man, it’s like she knew.  This kid is CHATTY and cheerful (well, usually) and I’m loving every minute of it.

Without further ado, here is my adorable and oh so quotable Elias Tate:

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Cupping his his hands as if he’s holding a tiny little whale shark:
“I go see whale shark and say, ‘You want come to my house?’  He say, ‘Yes!’  So cute.”

“Mom, you married my daddy.  I single.”

“We are family.  We are weird.”

First thing in the morning:
“The sun wake me up and hold me.  He has toys.  He has hairpanes and big jets and books.  I read ‘em”

9 Years!

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In the last nine years…

…we have live in 8 homes, in 8 cities, in 3 States, on two islands and in 2 countries.

…we have made the journey from America to Indonesia (and back!) 4.5 times.

…we have dealt with the pain of infertility for 8 years, but have also had the blessing of adopting our Elias.

Well, it hasn’t been boring!  :)  Here’s to the next 50 years of adventure!  I love you, Nathan.