Thursday, July 19, 2012

What If...

     The Lord does not always reveal answers to questions or situations in our life.  He asks of us to live by Faith and complete Trust in His doings.  We are to hold His hand and go in the direction He leads us.  With willingness of heart, mind, and body.  So, Wes and I have returned to going back to our normal daily routines and have committed ourselves to be content in our home state.

     We want to be careful in assuming anything, but the Lord may have revealed a small answer as to why things ended after only four months of working overseas.  Almost two weeks ago, the company that Wes had been working for, had a helicopter go down in the thick jungle bush.  On board were three men.  One was his boss, one was a fellow pilot (whom he did not know), and the other was a mechanic whom he did know.  It took a week to find them due to the tall trees with thick heavy canopies.  All three died.  They were flying the same helicopter and the same job assignment that Wes was flying while there.  We were grieved with the news.

     I know its speculation to wonder if God was leading us away from eminent danger, but I am thanking the Lord for His everlasting hand of protection over my husband and our family.  I know that one should not usually ask the "what if" questions because they are useless.  But..."what if...?"

     This past Fall Wes bought a cool helmet (per the requirements of the new job).  It was white with a black visor.  The price tag was painful!  But, I thought it looked pretty neat on his head.  I tried not to imagine the real use for it and instead just pictured my hubby as the pilot from the old T.V. show Airwolf.  Upon leaving and getting ready to go back to the states, his boss bought the helmet from him.  That made me happy to recoup our money.  I never imagined that the helmet would see death.

     Mankind has developed all sorts of safety devices to save a life.  I am thankful for all these devices!  What a blessing to have floats, harnesses, helmets...but, we need to remember not to place all of our trust in objects.  In the end, when safety measures have failed, it will be your heart and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ that will provide everlasting life.

     Wes is a great example for being a witness.  He finds opportunities all the time.  A few weeks ago Wes was in Dallas, Texas doing recurrent training with his favorite helicopter, the EC 135.  He got an email from his old boss in PNG that he was in Dallas too doing training.  Wes tried to arrange a meeting with him to talk with him one more time about his Salvation, but it just did not work out.  Two weeks later the man died.  Again, the question is, "what if...?"  Are you ready to meet the Lord? What if today was your accident?  What if your life saving device failed?  If you have access to a Bible you should read the Book of Romans.  There is hope for your future!  

     The plan of Salvation is simple:  Repent, Believe, and Ask.  Getting to Heaven is not filled with good works, but rather a simple decision to turn from sin and let God lead you in your life.  Wes and I made that decision many years ago.  We can go to bed at night with the sweet assurance that everything will be alright, even in the midst of chaos.  We don't have to ask, "what if...?" anymore about our future, it is all settled.
    On different news, God has been so gracious to us.  We have recouped most of all the money spent in preparing to leave for PNG.  Our previous employer, after seven weeks of waiting, finally decided to reimburse all of our non refundable flight ticket money!  This was a huge blessing!  Then, Abeka book decided to reimburse and allow the return of four years worth of books for three kids!  They waived the 25% restocking fee as well! This answer to prayer was just finalized last week. It took 6 weeks to process the returned order, wow.  I was also able to return a majority of purchases that were unopened to help make life easier over there.  I'm thankful for saved receipts!  I was also able to sell all the building materials that I had gotten for the house...I even made a profit off all the items, sweet!! God has been good!  

     There will be a name change to the blog soon...I promise!!     


Friday, May 11, 2012

Recovering From The Ejection Seat

     I always liked watching movies when I was a kid and watching the pilot eject from the spiraling plane as it made its way crashing towards the earth.  I used to think that was pretty awesome that you could push or pull something that would save your life from a no win situation.  Some people say its a bump in the road, some say you are just turning a corner, I say it felt more like an ejection.  I am not sure why the Lord has ejected us (LOL), the good thing is that we are safe and ready for our next mission!

     One of my favorite passage of scriptures to read is:

 Ecclesiastes 3:1 ~  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"

      I am so thankful that I have a loving Lord who always takes care of us, even during the storm.  The past three weeks have been surreal and I have experienced the most peace I have ever had during a trial.  All I can attribute it to is total surrendering to what ever God wants for my life.  Job 23:10 says,  "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."  I realized many years ago that I can't fight and throw a fit when something does not go my way.  I  knew I had a choice: to resist or go with the flow...I decided its much more fun to go with the flow than to kick at the door so to speak.
     Yes, the first day was a shock and I did cry.  I think its alright to show emotion.  The Bible even talks about it.  Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance".  So, I cried, laughed, and mourned (it felt like a death) the first day, and now its time to do another "happy dance"!  Eventually, you need to stop crying, tuck the pochy lip back inside, and light the fire of zeal and excitement again!

     While Wes was still over in PNG we started looking for employment.  I filled out a half a dozen resumes for him and he called his former employer back up as well.  We were trying to figure out where the Lord would have us to go.  There were options in other states, but we were not feeling at peace with a last minute move somewhere without praying and researching out the matter.
     Wes arrived home this past Friday night after a four month absence.  The kids and I were thrilled to finally see daddy!  I thought he looked amazing, despite the yellow hue to his skin tone from his fight with Malaria (Wes said he thought having Malaria was like taking a nap with the death angel).  Seeing him again, knowing he was so sick, made me feel like nothing in the world could bother me anymore, because I had my husband to help hold my hand once more!  The Lord protected him from this terrible sickness and returned him to me.  The kids had a blast opening presents and wrestling for a few hours with him.
     After we put the kids to bed we had a late night phone call from his previous employer.  They were calling to offer him his job back and discuss scheduling arrangements to get him back into the swing of things the quickest.  God's timing is perfect!  How amazing to step off the plane from one job and step right into another one!  I thank the Lord for holding my hand when Wes could not.  I'm also thankful for a husband who is calm in uncertainty and is the rock and pillar of our family.  He is a great example to myself and the boys of how to remain calm in chaos.

     Wes starts back up with commuting again on Sunday.  He will be gone for 19 days this hitch.  He will be doing recurrent training as well as perform a 14 day rotation.  Working 14 days on and having 14 days off is a typical work schedule.  This will be the same as we have been doing for the past 6 years.  When preparing to move overseas, I thought that the Lord was finally going to allow us to be a "normal" family again...meaning, we would see daddy home every night.  Obviously, God wants Wes and I in this situation.  Maybe its so that Wes can continue to tell others living offshore about our wonderful Saviour.  Maybe God wants me to be an encouragement to other ladies who husbands work far away too.  For whatever reason God has, I am going to embrace every minute of it and rejoice in the fact that He knows whats best for us.


Monday, April 30, 2012

What I Learned On My Journey

     I learned its ok to step out on a limb and trust God to not let you fall!  Our limb seemed sturdy, but when it began to wobble, God was there to put us on another stable branch.  Some may say we hit a dead end, but did we really?  I believe its only a detour along life's journey with Christ by our side.

     Other Things I learned: This list is definitely not exclusive...

  • Being married into the Wells Family is a great big ADVENTURE!! (I really already knew that one, but, Wes continues to and will probably always throw adventures at us!)
  • Stepping out in faith takes courage and that sometimes you need to step out and see what God has in store for you.  
  • Taking risks are rewarding, even if the risk does not pan out
  • If you never try to do something that seems scary and outrageous to try, then you will live life regretting never having tried!
  • God does not give us anything too big for us to handle
  • Our perceived trial will make us stronger
  • That it was nothing personal just a business decision
  • Family and Friends are awesome
  • Brad and Deborah Wells are really gracious people who helped us along in our journey
  • That Dad Wells is a great draftsman in preparing house plans
  • Churches are supportive
  • How to do and who to do your prayer cards with
  • Learning how to set up online newsletters
  • How to be open with people and learn to share in the process of preparing to go
  • That it is ok to let go of possessions
  • That I tend to hoard boys clothes
  • The cost involved to ship ocean containers overseas to a third world country
  • That there are many kind people waiting to help you in a foreign land
  • Shopping can become a dreaded thing, LOL
  • Skype is a great communication tool
  • God gives strength even when your husband is in a far away land
  • My kids are growing up and they are my mighty little helpers
  • Lehaman's Catalog is amazing
  • That there are reuseable canning jar seals for canning
  • That books and audio programs are worth buying
  • There are lots of unique spices out there
  • The best way to filter and/or purify water
  • Setting up a greenhouse for my herbs
  • Power conversion cords and the difference between 110v and 240v, lol (I miss my CHI flat iron that Uncle Brad tossed in the trash because I didn't plug it into the right power source)
  • Electrical transformers
  • How to convert an Amp to a Watt
  • Diesel vs. Petrol Generators
  • Gas stoves, gas refrigerators
  • Solar powered appliances (like my solar oven!) and solar panels
  • Every salesman wants my money
  • You need lots of cash to move overseas
  • How to get rid of cockroaches
  • The best ways to trap and kill rats
  • Cockatoos screech lots and lots when they are a baby
  • How to keep snakes warm and properly caged...Ha Ha, the boys really wanted a pet snake!
  • How to fix concrete moisture barrier problems
  • Currency Exchange Rates
  • Foreign Taxes
  • What the US government wants and requires of us for moving over seas
  • What the word "Ex-patriot" means 
  • Tropical diseases
  • That everyone still thinks Wes is an amazing, steady, well controlled in his emotions and thinking and talented pilot..."and that he is going to go far"
  • And my favorite: That I am loved by the PNG nationals who know me and those who don't
     I'm looking forward to the next stage of the journey on life's road of adventure for Christ! I'm also trying to think of a new name for my blog...hmm, "The Life of a Pilot's Wife"? Lol, that may be kinda of boring sounding, I'm still thinking about it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Dramatic Turn of Events

     Its been a whirlwind of a weekend and partial week.  We were given life changing events on Sunday afternoon.  The song "Be Still My Soul" has been on my mind ever since.  What we perceived to be our answer to prayer in bringing our family back together once again and the added blessing of helping in Brad Wells' ministry came to an abrupt halt.   Seven months ago God opened the door wide for us to step through.  The decision to make this journey across the seas was not made lightly.  Many hours were spent in prayer, as well as counseling with other Godly men.  We had peace.

     We have spent almost $10,000 in preparation for this move.  We had no doubts that this is what the Lord had in mind for us.  Our pastor and church got behind us in support.  Along with our church there were 14 other churches who decided to take us on for prayer support as well.  Over 2,000 prayer cards were sent to praying families!  Both of our families were supportive.  Friends were supportive.  House plans were being made.  Visas were approved for everyone.  School books were ordered and packed to last 4 years.  Goods were being bought to help make life a little easier in a rough environment.  But, in one instant, everything changed.  Change can make one feel numb, bring tears of sadness, questions of why, and questioning if we did things right from the beginning.  But, after the initial shock we choose to rejoice in Gods goodness!  All we can say is that we know: God is great!  God is good!  God loves us! God is wonderful!  God is looking out for us!  God knows our circumstances!  God is understanding!  God never leaves us!  God has something amazing for us!

     On the first night of hearing of our game plan change I tried praying to the Lord.  I would start the prayer by saying, "Dear Lord..." and pause and try to think of something to say.  My words wouldn't come out.  I didn't know quite what to ask of the Lord.  After many attempts at starting a prayer and fumbling, I decided to just tell the Lord what I was thankful for and tell Him how many wonderful and great things there are in my life. It took me three hours to list and pray for everything that I am thankful for.  I fell asleep thanking the Lord instead of being upset.  I woke up only 4 hours later, but with a contented heart and I decided to continue my thankfulness.

     By now you are probably wondering what happened.  This past September Wes signed a three year, renewable contract, with a 6 month trial period where either party could break it.  This is why we choose to be separated for four months, so Wes could get the feel of things and pass the most critical points of beginning a new job.  Well, Wes was called into the company office and told they were going to dissolve his job due to the fact they did not think it was cost productive anymore to have a full time based pilot in the town of Hagen (where we would be living).  This was the risk we took and they took since this company never had a full time pilot living in the country.  It was all new to both parties being involved.  Instead, they offered him a job in the same country, in the city of Port Moresby, slight pay increase, a better helicopter to fly, and a 28 day rotation (and 28 days off).  In most cases pilots would be happy with this arrangement, but the purpose was for us to be a family again and be a help to Brad and his family.  Hence, the heartbreak of the situation.

     Wes did fly down to Port Moresby to have a look around.  Even though we both were not feeling at peace with moving there.  He wanted to make sure he could say he explored all his options.  He was met at the airport by a local pastor and his wife, whom he had never met.  They showed extreme kindness towards him and took him on a tour of the city for several hours.  Wes says they were the sweetest couple he has ever met.

     The major problem with living in the capital city is the price of living!  Housing costs around 1,000 -1,500 us dollars per WEEK!!!  Wow, thats like making 4 house payments in a month!  The price of food is right up there with "yikes" as well.  Vehicles are also outrageously priced.  Plus, there is political unrest in the city and it makes for a dangerous situation.  Port Moresby is known for its crime, murders, rapes, and lawlessness.  Its also rated as one of the worst places to live in the world.  Being that we are white skinned makes us more of a target for carjacking and thefts to other things.  Its also not the best environment to raise your kids in.  We believe God has shut the door due to absolutely no peace in our hearts.

    When looking at this situation one can choose to be angry and mad at the Lord or you can be excited for whatever other adventure God has for you.  We are excited!  Sure, disappointed, but happy to do whatever God has for us.  We are so thankful to the Lord for allowing us a taste of what we have been praying for all these years!  God allowed and answered Wes' prayer to fly in Papua New Guinea!  How amazing and cool is that?  He had the opportunity to fly over the most beautiful, scenic landscapes that God has ever put together.  He performed a couple of rescue flights.  He was given the chance to give his own dad a medical flight as well!  He helped in getting aerial footage of Brad's place and Dennis and Chad's places too.  He gained some valuable flight hours in a foreign country.  He was given long line instruction!  He was a shining light for our Lord in a dark place.  He kept a great testimony.  He witnessed to everyone he came in contact with.  He was a great helper in the few short months with Brads ministry.  He loved teaching the Sunday school class.  He enjoyed teaching in the Bible Institute.  He looked forward to the outreach ministry every week.  He enjoyed loving on his nephews and nieces.  He is thankful to God for allowing his dream to come true.

     Even though the door is shut, the door is never shut to be a witness wherever you go.  You don't have to go overseas to tell others of Christ.  Wes will continue to do what he has always done...he will keep telling others of Gods grace and love right in our own homeland.  Yes, we declined the offer of this other job, which now makes us unemployed.  The unemployed word is scary to most people, but oddly enough, I am not scared since I have already experienced this before with Wes 6 years ago!  Our Lord has been preparing us for years with many different circumstances in our lives, and I believe with all my heart that He has something wonderful for us!  God has said no for now, but you never know if in the future if the opportunity may come again.

     Would you please continue to keep us in your prayers?  We are asking the Lord what he wants us to do now.  Where to go?  Where to live?  Where to work?  Do we stay in Idaho and commute again?  We don't have any answers right now, but we are looking forward to when God will reveal all the answers in due time.  Please pray that I will remain patient in this upcoming process.  Please pray for Wes' family as they too are in shock with the turn of events.  We pray that God will send someone else to be a blessing to Brad and Deborah.

     On the flip side my family and a few close friends are happy not to have to say good bye for so long now.  LOL  Please don't feel sorry for us.  I'm glad God shut the door before we went any further with this move!  There were many things that were going to have been finalized this week that involved money, so we are glad God protected us from spending it!  Don't be afraid to ask questions or give me a hug (preferably the girls only, lol)!  I'm not going to be offended if you want more details.  Don't avoid me because you don't know what to say or you feel awkward, because I don't feel awkward!  If I do cry its only because of all the emotions I have experienced these past few days (not because I'm sad)...and well, that's just how I usually respond to things anyways...I'm tenderhearted towards lots of things!

     Thank you to all that read my blog and showed your support by reading it!  It was encouraging knowing there are so many people out there who were interested in what we were doing!  I will continue to update occasionally, since many people may be interested in where the next flying adventure begins with us!   God bless ~ Tammy

     P.S.  Wes should be home soon!!

     P.S.S  If you did not receive a personal phone call from me if you are someone that is close to us, please don't feel offended!  I ran out of cell phone minutes with all the talking in the last few days, and the price per minute is pathetic!  Seek me out at church or call me if you have a T-mobile  account...I can talk for free with mobile to mobile.  LOL



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Post from Wes

I recently visited a remote camp site called "Triceratops".  At this camp they do mining, drilling, and exploration with just under 200 workers composed of expats (that is what I am expatriate who leaves his homeland to work in a foreign country) and nationals.  The nationals have a hard time pronouncing the letter "c" so this camp is referred to as "Tango2".  Using the NATO phonetic alphabet...Tango for the letter "T" and the number 2 comes from the two T's in Triceratops.  I think its fun to hear them try and say it!

                                                                                                                                                    This picture to the left was a beautiful scenic shot with a sheer cliff and a waterfall.  The waterfall goes all the way through the stone and it comes out of the rock at the base and spills into the river.   When you are flying in a new area for the first time it is good practice to fly along the route of the river.  So, when  the bad weather strikes and the clouds diminish visibility you will know the path to fly.  
Camp Herisu
This past week I also visited another drilling/exploration camp to fill in for a guy.  This place was located near Kerema, which is in the coastal region.  The weather is quite humid and warm!  I am usually stationed in the highlands where the weather is a little cooler.  At this camp they were getting ready to go find another spot to drill.  The helicopter carries the explosives via long line through the jungle to a spot that has been pre-drilled.  The explosive is lowered through the trees to a guy who then helps lower it into the hole.

Sensor probes are placed all around the area.  When the explosive detonates the sensors sense the oil movement and then they know exactly where to put the new drilling rig.  Amazing!  Its slightly more complicated than my explanation, but you get the point! In the picture below the sensors are being laid out and getting ready to be put to use.  I liked how they called it a bomb in the photo above.

Along with all the sensors comes many extension cords!  I have never seen that many at one time.

     During my off time I was able to take in all the local wildlife.  There were many, many parrots down here.  I bought a red parrot (the female to the green male) for my nephew Torrey for taking care of my cockatoo while I am at work and since it was his birthday.  That was fun!

    I also got to see some unique colored turtles with a rust colored tummy and rust color on the trim of its shell.  These little guys are considered a delicacy.  Yum, its whats for dinner!

I stayed in a tent while here.  The tents are wooden frames with plastic walls.  Inside those structures are 2-4 man tents.  This helps to protect against the rain and pesky mosquitoes, which are prolific here!  Malaria is quite common.  I got Malaria when I was 13 while living in PNG many years ago, but you still need to take precautions against a flare up or new cases!

Not my picture, just told to watch out!
     In the swampy grasslands lives the Black Papuan, a deadly venomous snake.  I was warned that they are out there and to be careful.

I saw this cool looking tree on my hike into the jungle where the explosives are seperatly located. (No they don't keep the bombs in the camp.) This area had hundreds of parrots flying around, It is amazing how many different kinds there are! All sorts of colors!
The river headed straight into the ocean.  There are many crocodiles down there.  I know I will eventually get to see one, just like I used to see the alligators in the Louisiana gulf swamps.  I really enjoy my job and thank the Lord for giving me an adventurous career.    ~~Wes Wells

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


     We have all been taught the word "wait".  When I was little it sounded like this: "Wait, I'm still playing with it", "wait, mommy's working on it", "wait, we are almost ready to leave", "wait for your birthday and the new toy", "wait for the right guy", "wait for vacation", "wait to graduate", "wait for marriage", etc...  I'm glad my parents taught me how to wait for things when I was a young person, so that when I became an adult I could face my grown up waiting periods a little better.

     I mentioned in an earlier blog about our job loss almost 6 years ago now.  When we went through that trial there was only one book besides the Bible that I could bring myself to read.  It was called Morning and Evening  by Charles Spurgeon.  Its a devotional book filled with many great truths.  We had received it from our church as a present a few years prior.  Wes and I were  having our devotions together on the morning of August 30, 2006. I was feeling very emotional about what I thought was our bleak situation.  Wes started to read and this phrase caught my attention:

August 30- Morning
"Wait on the Lord."  Psalm 27:14
"It may seem an easy thing to wait--but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier cannot learn, without years of teaching.  Marching and fighting are much easier to God's warriors--than standing still.  There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not which part to take.  Then what shall it do?  Vex itself by despair?  Fly backwards in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption?  No--but simply WAIT."   
~Charles Spurgeon~ 

         I was so convicted by what we read that I copied it out and put it on our refrigerator.  At the time I was wanting to run in all directions to fix our job "problem".  I read this portion every day for the next 90 some days!  It helped me with my waiting.  I came across this again while packing.  I have been "waiting" for nearly 6 years to be a normal family again.  During this time Wes and I had plenty of opportunities to climb the ladder of success and move to different locations.  We choose to wait.  We have lived with this crazy commuting because we choose to, not because it was a forced situation. We were simply waiting for God's direction and perfect peace.  I'm glad we waited.  I think that God was seeing how long we could could stand still, with a good attitude, and wait on Him...even if it seemed difficult at times.  Waiting has lead us to go where Wes has always wanted to go.  I wonder if we had been hasty and found a different job somewhere else, if we would still be waiting for God to let us go to Papua New Guinea.  Thank you Lord for teaching us to WAIT.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My New Toy For Playing In The Sun

     I have mentioned before that I love a bargain!  I have been researching Solar Sun Ovens for a few months now.  In PNG, the LP gas is quite expensive and I was looking for ways to save money on the cooking bill without giving up cooking whole chickens, breads, casseroles, etc and using up all the gas to cook these foods.  These ovens are quite expensive (well, at least to me they are since it's "just a box"!)  I tried bidding on Ebay a few times for one, but I am always out bid.  I got the bright idea of calling up Sun Ovens International, Inc.  I explained that I wanted to take one to Papua New Guinea, a third world country, and use it there.  I asked if they would be willing to give me a discount for taking one to the tropics.  I figured, it can't hurt to ask!  The manager reduced the price for me by about $100.00!  I was so excited!  Now, if you buy it direct through their company site you will pay more for the oven than just buying through an authorized dealer.  But, I still came away with an amazing deal!
Unpacking the oven!

     I was thrilled when UPS rang the doorbell (I love UPS!) and delivered my new toy!  I was going to try it out right away, but the Spring rain has kept me from testing it out, until today!  Most people know that PNG is a rain forest and might be wondering how I will be able to use it with all the rain they receive.  Well, where we will be living it usually shines bright in the morning and afternoon...and then around 3:00 pm the rains come.  You can use it on cloudy days, partially cloudy, and with wispy clouds.  Sounds fun, huh?

     You can make almost anything in it, except for fried foods...but, I really don't need fried food!  I bought special little dark pans and pots to fit in it.  I also bought special dehydrating racks. That will save another eight or more hours on the electricity bill not running a dehydrating machine!  Another awesome savings!  Hmm...thinking of all the other possibilities of solar panels and solar equipment!

     I gathered up my two youngest boys and we did a lesson on Solar cooking today.  Check out the process!   It was 42* outside and slightly breezy with scattered clouds.

Toll house chocolate chip cookies
Gather ingredients!
Get your self a crazy cowboy helper (notice the bolo tie with no collared shirt?)

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly!

Set up your oven
Position it pointing into the sun...checking for shadows!

Oven is preheated...Put in your cookies

Yum!  Can't wait!

Almost done...oven temp is 350*

 Perfect cookies!
  Slightly crunchy on the outside and still  soft and delicious in the middle!

Gather tasters!  Gabe and Spencer!

Taste tester #3...Delana...she liked it!

Taste tester #4, Hadley (its her first chocolate chip cookie!)
     This is a fun oven to use!  Everyone enjoyed the treat and I only used a small amount of electricity for mixing!  How cool is that!   I'm happy to know it works.  Now, I am really looking forward to creating some delicious meals in the jungles of PNG!