Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're ready, We're ready, We're ready....

So it is almost Christmas time and we will be celebrating our first Indonesian Christmas together! We have a tree..

We had a Christmas concert and the family casual photo I do each year....

I love these photos - a family in the mission field. When I was a kid I always thought it would be so neat to be a missionary. Now to see my grown-up life evolving into having kids that are now "MK's" is kinda cool. What is even cooler is that they did not follow their parents but with as much as they could understand at each of their ages - felt a calling of their own. We are not a family of parents who were called to the mission's field but six people who were called who just happen to come together as one pretty neat family. I am so proud of my children and I guess it is natural to reflect on the blessings in your life at this time of year - Steve and I were talking about our best Christmas memory and it was cool that our first Christmas together was both of our favorite memories!
We had taken leave from the Army. He came to Georgia to meet my family and we stayed with my dear, wonderful grandmother & grandfather. She made us food that should be served to angels and we laughed and talked for what seemed hours. They LOVED Steve! My mom and dad were "pre-cancer" - it was different then. My dad did not have the withered look from chemo and my mom still had a joy in her that cancer seemed to rob from her. We sat Christmas Eve with family and friends and sang gospel songs and old carols with some of the sweetest people - many of them gone now. Then Christmas came and Steve gave me a Boston Terrier puppy - who remained in our lives for the next 15 years. We traveled to Pennsylvania to meet Steve's family and had to smuggle our new puppy into his mom's home - dogs are not allowed there. I met the most wonderful little boy for the first time. A two year old Andrew - who is graduating this year. I cannot believe it. I am so proud of the godly young man he has grown into. I cannot wait to see God work in him throughout his adult life. I have no doubt that he will be a willing tool for the Kingdom of God for many years. I saw my first real snowstorm and thought we were going to die as Steve laughed at me. Our puppy hated the snow and refused to go out in it. He was a true Georgian - like me. :)
Since then God has blessed with us three other children and a life full of other blessings. As we sit here missing family and friends in the states it is wonderful to remember the memories from the past. Although I miss my dad and grandfather and Steve misses his grandparents that are gone now we are thankful for their influence in our lives and the memories we have of them to cherish anytime we want.
It is funny - we met in October and had our first date on October 14th- from there we spent the holidays meeting each others parents. I guess people thought we were crazy at the time. But God knew - He always does.
Merry Christmas dear friends and family - both old and new. We are so grateful for the journey we have been blessed to go on and the people God has brought into our lives.
As well, I am so incredibly grateful for the wonderful husband I have married. He has become more than I can imagine. He loves the Lord and our family and leads us with a desperate desire to know and follow God's word. He seeks God's face in the morning and loves us with that love throughout each day! This Christmas as I spend it 11,000 miles away from so many that I love it is wonderful to cuddle up and celebrate with a man who knows me inside and out and loves me with a heart committed to God.

As we sit and watch our children this year - sing carols and watch Christmas movies I am constantly reminded of the love of Christ. He gave everything so that I could have these moments in my life. He gave everything so I could have everything.
As you celebrate this holiday season remember the gift of Christmas - the gift of a Savior. A Savior who loved you so much he came here to live among us, to offer the greatest sacrifice so we can have fellowship with our Father - the living God. If you remember nothing else this holiday season - remember His love for you.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


It has been now four weeks since we arrived here in Indonesia. Our hopes had been to update our blog sooner, but that has not been as easy as we thought it would have been. As we sit here and try to think of what things we would share we were overwhelmed. There is so much to share and we could possibly write a book. So we will start at the beginning and abbreviate along the way ...
The drive to New York was long, but fun to travel with Grandma Barbie and Pappy Jack. New York traffic was, well.. New York traffic. We were all a little anxious until we actually got to the airport. Grandma and Pappy rented a car one way so they could drive our van back - we were later than we thought getting to the airport so they were charged extra - please pray God blesses that situation. It was a unexpected charge that they did not have budgeted - they have done so much to help us and we ask you all pray over their finances so that God will bless them in all they have done. We were first in line at check-in with a LOT of Rubbermaid bins to check-in. We had weighed them all at the house and thought we were ok, but as we waited we thought we would throw them on the airport scale and they were ALL overweight! Dollar signs started filling our heads and we were concerned we may have to leave things behind. Then we realized that there was a weight limit for carry-ons and we had overlooked that - so much for careful planning. As we sat and totaled it all up we realized we were possibly looking at $1800.00 and we started to pray - what else should we do. The airline check-in staff started to come out and for some reason Paula really zeroed in on one of the gentlemen and started praying God would touch his heart. Sure enough he was the first to open his line. He told us all the fees based on the fee schedule and went to work. He asked us to place one bin on the scale and it was just barely over weight. He said ok and started putting stickers on all the bins. Then he asked us to weigh our carry-ons and they were over weight. He said he would check them for free so Paula played a quick game of switch-a-roo in order to get some necessary things on the plane with us. After a lot of punching of keys and waiting he handed us our tags and said that he did not charge us for Drew's guitar and said since we had extra bins (we were allowed 12 and we had 16) he had to charge some fees. We looked down at the receipt that we were to carry to the cashier and the total was $351.00. He had charged us no over weight fees. Only for extra bags - and then not even the full price for them. It should have been close to $500.00 just for the extra bins. We prayed and thanked God for His hand through it all. Paula cried. :) Our God is so good, if we only have faith. We knew God would protect us and get us to Indonesia - we had so many who had prayed with and for us - but God continually surprises us. Not sure why we are surprised, but He blessed us in our journey to Indonesia before we ever stepped foot on the plane.
Anyway - so much for abbreviated. We will add more over the next couple of weeks to get everyone up to date and we will add pictures. Until then enjoy our Fort in the Airport picture. We definitely drew some stares! Love & miss you all!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Finding our treasure

So yesterday was a hard day - well let's face it - this past week has been hard. I said goodbye to students and co-workers who have been helping shape and influence my life. People with whom I have shared hurts and heartache, people I have shared joy and laughter - people I have loved. But YESTERDAY, I stood there - in the middle of my empty living room watching strangers taking a lifetime worth of stuff out to their truck. They carried it with no true care or concern, you see to them it was just household items. For me, I remember who gave it to me, where I bought it or circumstances around it that made it special. I have to say I was overwhelmed. I fought back tears several times. It just seemed very final and as if everything was changing and will never be the same. And I guess that is true.
Steve & I got in the van to come to his mom's house ( we are staying here temp.). I watched our home get smaller and smaller and reached in between the seats to retrieve my Bible. I just needed to hear my God's voice. He led me here:
Matthew 13
44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

These words rang so sweet in my ears. I read them to Steve - crying all the way through it. God loves us so much - there is no circumstance He does not understand, no void He cannot fill. He holds us all in the palms of His hands. I have found my treasure in Him. I have sold everything in order to gain that treasure and move in the direction of that treasure. I am so grateful for God's word.
So close to time - 8 weeks left.
Blessings to all!

Friday, May 28, 2010

In 10 weeks we will be in flight to Indonesia!!

10 WEEKS! Can you believe it? I can't. Since we said "yes" time has flown. It is amazing to see all the pieces begin to fall into place. We have grown and learned so much in the last 13 weeks. We have learned about spiritual warfare and how to really lean on God, we have learned about the generosity of people and the power of prayer partners in ways we could never have imagined. How blessed we have been. We are still only a third of the way to our fundraising goal but God will provide, has provided and has sustained us through it all!!
So this weekend we are packing up, moving out of our house and into my mother-in-laws spare bedroom. What a change that will be!! We will be finishing out our last week of school - selling our remaining things and preparing to leave to Seneca Hills Bible Camp. There Steve will be the speaker for camp and then we will pack up and head off to Mississippi for our pre-field training. It will be a whirlwind, exciting and stressful ---- So your continued prayer is coveted!
So to all of our family and friends here - we cannot wait to spend some special time with you before we depart and to our new friends in Indo we cannot wait to meet you in person! Lots of Love to you all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aku masih tidak dapat berbicara dalam bahasa o masyarakat Indonesia, tetapi saya yakin saya akan bertahan.

So I still cannot speak the language but God has been so good. Thank you to all my prayer warriors out there.
The kids are really doing well. Tori, in particular, has her laptop back and is connecting with many kids form BAIS. She is now more at ease with the move - a prayer answered.
God has also been moving on the fundraising front. Although still not where we need to be, we are at least getting some responses. Looks like we now have four churches to speak at and although small - it is something. I would like to continue to ask for your prayers for our fundraising. We are sending out a letter to appeal to friends - so please ask God to touch people's hearts. We have decided that worst case scenario we will do without for a while - but ultimately we have faith That God will bring us through and things will be fine!
I have tons of pics to upload - just have to find the time. On May 6th we are speaking during chapel. I pray God uses that time to open up our school here to our new school there. It would be cool for them to pen pal. On May 7th we are having a mission dress down day at our school to benefit us as well. Thank God for our current school's support, their prayers I know will go with us and that is a marvelous thing.
So until I can get those pics updated - we love you all! God bless!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indoensia.

So I can say that I can't speak Indonesian... Hmmm.. that might be like a band aid on a broken water pipe. Not very useful after a while. So as the date gets closer I have found several "worries" popping up. So for all of those prayer warriors in my life - I need you!
My biggest stresses right now are the fundraising and for my kids.
The kids are starting to feel the move. We are starting to prepare end of the year activities and such and it is starting to sink in that this is it. My 13 year old, Tori, was crying tonight about leaving her best friend - Tori. (Yes, they have the same name) It broke my heart. A parent never wants to see their child cry. Her laptop is being fixed right now - I cannot wait for her to get it back. I am praying that she is able to make some Indonesian connections now so it will help bridge the gap. The others have not gotten to the sad part yet - BUT I know it is to come. So I ask you guys to help us pray over our children. We know that they will be truly blessed by our time in Indonesia so please pray that God will give us the wisdom we need to say and do the right things to help them through this transition.
Fundraising... ARGHH! It is HARD. I am sure that the people in our life will love us and support us financially and in prayer, but I just cannot seem to get past the asking.... It just feels uncomfortable to ask. I know they will be blessed by their giving - we have been tremendously blessed by those we have been honored to support through the years - so please pray that God gives me strength and wisdom here.
As our time stateside is winding down it is so bittersweet. There is no doubt that we will be in Indonesia in July - we know this is where God is calling us, but leaving those we love behind is hard. Steve & I both had to turn in our intent forms to state we will not be returning as faculty next year and then when we received the kids re enrollment packets - knowing they would not be returning - it became more real. Could I not take my little nook of PA with me?
Thank you for the prayers - what would I do without all of those who pray for us? I praise God for them in my life. I praise God for His calling on our family and for the way He is planning on using us in Indonesia. I am honored to be a tool for His kingdom.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

New Journey to Begin!!!

What an exciting time in our lives! After much prayer and talking to many schools we have decided to follow God to Indonesia! How great God is in our lives - for those who want to take a peek at where we will be serving - here is the site for the school: http://www.baisedu.org/pages/home/ and here is the site for the town: http://www.kotabaruparahyangan.com/

Your prayers will be appreciated as we begin the process to transition into this new adventure - we will be posting more as it comes available!!!

Love to everyone!!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Goodbye 2009!

Well along with saying goodbye to 2009 we are saying hello to 2010. How are we greeting 2010? With open arms, with desperation that it just HAS to be better than 2009? I know so many who had a rough year during this past year but as I look to 2010 I am fascinated by the people I know who had an extremely hard year but you would never know it by their faith and love for the Lord. So as I look to the new year I will make this one resolution - I just want less of me and more of Christ! I want my testimony to be loud when I am quiet and I want you to know the saving grace of Christ.
God bless all of our family, friends and I even pray for blessings on the new people God will bring in our life during this coming year.

Love you all!

The Newell Family