It’s been almost 7 months since we moved our family half way around the world with the goal of spreading the good news amongst a people group that has yet to hear. What a privilege to share in this great task and what a blessing to be sent by a body that is so supportive of our needs.
We apologize for not keeping better contact. Please forgive us and know that we do appreciate and long for your prayers. We will work harder to keep better contact.
The Lord has also been good in giving us deeper friendships with our co-workers here, as well as enabling us to build friendships with many of our neighbors. We have been so encouraged these last couple months in that way.
Last week we finished two months of formal language study at a school here. It has been really encouraging to see our speaking level improve, but there are still moments of discouragement when we find ourselves not able to communicate as clearly as we would desire. Now we will be going back to studying how we were before – through experiencing culture events and then meeting with language helpers from the community.
We have gotten to experience many new things here, and are constantly learning new things about the culture. Just in our little neighborhood, we have attended a wedding, a funeral, two circumcision parties, a “syukuran” (or meeting to praise god for providing a blessing), an independence day party, a birthday party, numerous men’s meetings and women’s meetings, as well as visiting all of our neighbors on the Idul Fitri holy day. In the little villages we drive through on our motorcycle, we stop to chat with the local people. In one village, we were invited to a stranger’s house and have even been back a second time!
We will continue studying language here until at least April when our visas expire. At that time we will be figuring out our options for new visas and when we can move to a different region. After we have become fluent enough in the national language we will be able to move to a new region and there we will be figuring out which tribe will will live in long-term. We are guessing it will take another year-and-a-half before we are able to move into a tribe and start learning that language and begin the translation of the bible (a task that on average takes 20 years).
During our time here, we have faced many challenges in our marriage and with our children. The Lord has been faithful to show us our great need to depend on Him for the provision He so willingly gives. We have been greatly humbled and shown our inadequacy for this task. It’s with great amazement that we consider God is using our imperfect family to be the carriers of His perfect message.
For the Glory of His name, at whose feet we cast all our cares and concerns,
-Josh and Bethany Weeks
Marriage: our marriage has been really challenged these last several months. New stresses and an extremely busy schedule have made communication and time to enjoy each other quite difficult! Please pray for patience with each other, that we would seek the Lord daily as we desire to glorify the Lord and be a good example to our girls.
Pregnancy: I’m almost 3 months pregnant! (did we mention that already?) It was a surprise and not according to the timetable we had planned, but we am are overjoyed and so excited to meet this new little one God has added to our family! Please pray that I would have energy to meet each day’s demands. I tend to have little-to-no energy during my pregnancies- especially during the first trimester.
Stress: Please pray that we would be able to immediately recognize stress and give it to the Lord so that in all His name would be ever in our hearts and on our lips.
Pray for my neighbor Ibu Yuni (30 years old). She is my language helper and a good friend. She is a single mom of one boy, Nabil. We are forming a deep friendship and I care so much for her. Although she is of the predominate religion, she has many animistic beliefs. We are really finding that across the board that even though on the outside many people are “Musl1m” they live and practice animism. It is illegal to witness to a Mus1im and with this culture it may very well come across as extremely rude to suggest that a friend is wrong and so break a forming relationship. Yet we are praying that people will see Jesus in us and be drawn to the Lord.
Pray for our neighbor and Josh’s good friend Pak Budih. Recently Pak Budih shared with Josh his deep fear he has of demons and spirits that live in the forest across the street from us and under the bridges that are on either side of us. My prayer is that the spirit of Peace we have would be evident to Pak Budih and that he would come to the realization of his need for a relationship with the God of Peace. And overall that our house would be a peaceful place as our neighbors walk by and visit us.
Language learning– We really have been greatly encouraged by our understanding of Ind0nesian as well as being able to communicate on a wide variety of subjects! Conversation is becoming much deeper and we are really starting to know people on a more intimate level.
Girl’s friends– Nicole has been making many friends in our neighborhood as well as with our co-workers children. This is such an important thing to me as I see Nicole and Ella relaxing and enjoying it here. Also another blessing is that Nicole and Ella are playing better and better together every day!
Neighborhood friends– I thank God for the many moms I’m getting to know in our neighborhood and the deep friendships that our building! Many times, they wait outside our gate for me to come out and visit!
Wisdom with Ella– I had requested for prayer in how to disciplining Ella. (Disciplining young children is abnormal and even offensive in this culture). Recently, the odd has shown me ways to effectively correct Ella and I an now receiving the joys of having a better-behaved little girl. She is much more affectionate; giving me lots of hugs and kisses every day!
Back pain gone– I have had many problems with my back since I was young and recently I asked prayer because my back was really hindering the work I needed to do in my day. For the past few months I have had absolutely NO pain whatsoever! Praise God!
Adjusting to our new home– Although I cannot say that I am completely comfortable here and love it every day- looking back to when we first arrived, we are SO much more comfortable living here and have really learned to ENJOY it too!
Recently Josh was able to go on a hiking trip up an inactive volcano!
We were invited into the home of a charcoal-maker!
We are now able to (more) confidently shop at the market and barter (which is a common and expected thing to do)!
Our family was able to visit Borobudur, a 9th century Budhist temple. No one knows who built it or exactly when it was built, but lost for centuries, it was only rediscovered in 1814.