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Molly Just Had Shoulder Surgery September 13, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 11:50 pm

Update from the Westside, Sept 2020: Molly just had surgery! 

Hi there team.

My sincere apologies if this announcement and update catches most of you by surprise.  There was no plan to keep this a secret; events simply unfolded so quickly over the last week that we have been all caught a little off-guard.

For the last few months Molly has been receiving physical therapy for a shoulder injury that has been plaguing her for about a year now.  The short version is this: the PT wasn’t working, so they referred her to an orthopedic surgeon for an MRI.  They discovered that she had a torn cuff and labrum in her shoulder, and possible Biceps tendon damage.  In a consultation last Monday, they told her this, and the only long term solution was surgery (these injuries actually will not heal themselves).  She opted for a surgery opening within 5 days! That was last Friday. With just a little time to prepare and reorganize “life”, and the kids going back to school the same week, our lives went into focused-life-management mode!  This also meant our communication network got neglected behind. Again, sorry! 

The good news is that we have excellent medical care here, and the surgery seems to have gone well although a little more extensive than was first expected. They did the labrum and cuff repair, but needed to reattach her bicep tendon to her shoulder.

Since then, the only real hiccup was that we found ourselves back in the ER the same night. Molly was starting to have some trouble breathing (this is a potential symptom of post-surgery complications when they use a nerve block with general anesthesia). After a chest x-ray for a possible collapsed lung, and then a CAT scan to check for a blood clot, she was eventually released with the diagnosis of “diaphragmatic irritation” due to anesthesia.  While this is excellent news, it made for a very long day for Molly.

Back home and OK, you’ll be relieved to know that I myself was able to battle through it all and get to bed by 1am. 🙂

As I write this Sunday night, she finally seems to be getting some sleep. She had a hard night last night and day today, as she began to react poorly to her pain medication.  We think we are back on track now (we will see) and all I can pray for is a good night of sleep for Molly; her body needs it. While she is a real trooper, believe me, she needs her sleep.

Please pray for her. She is in pain, which is expected, but it just makes life very difficult, and not very do-able!  (Apparently this surgery is rated among the most painful of recoveries, and will take weeks-months).  

We have also been blessed to be receiving help from so many people without ever asking for a single thing. Friends and family are being so faithful.

On the family front, it seems the summer is slipping away and the Fall is bullying it’s way in.  The kids are back in school last week, and Samuel has started college locally.  We are moving forward with opening the campus for schools and programs in a week, which is exciting, but in these times especially make for a lot of work, and just a bit of “excitement”.

Thanks for working and walking alongside us, as always. 

Jeremy (with Molly, Sam, Joel, and Eden!)

Five [arthroscopic] holes for surgery
And the ever present Boomer, on duty, as usual
 

June 2020 Westside Update June 24, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 9:19 pm

Hello dear friends and family.

(FYI, some photos at the end…)

Time is flying by. It’s hard to believe that 5 months have passed since we started tracking the outbreak and the implication of Coronavirus in Asia for all of our YWAM schools, ministry travel for Spring and Summer.  Not only that, the kids went to online schooling, and Samuel graduated High School, and has since started college online!

Life in the Discipleship Department

Late January we were relocating teams around Asia and Europe, examining travel routes, and setting up protocols for teams returning to Montana. Early in February and March we were changing destinations for outgoing schools (multiple times) and ultimately, cancelling outreaches and upcoming schools. The Spring DTS had to be canceled, and our leadership school DTS Equip was also pushed to next year.  Late May we cancelled our Summer schools also.

While all that was happening, we have been expanding our regular campus routine into more local community outreaches, expanded online ministry, and more local training and development of staff. This has proven to be a special “hidden” blessing for us as a campus. With our regular routine of non-stop training, sending and receiving teams back, we would never be able to effectively shut down our campus to incoming students and focus purely on staff development and community outreach.  I (Jer) have been able to host different training seminars for our entire Discipleship department, as well as prepare for a large influx of new staff come July.  In all, we are expecting 18 new staff to arrive this Fall; an amazing and encouraging development for us.

In terms of travel and teaching, after two trips in January and February, we have been effectively grounded.  But, not idle.  I have been able to teach via Zoom to DTS leaders and staff all over the country simultaneously in single sessions, plus teaching staff groups in Spain, Cambodia, Netherlands, and even preaching in a church in another state.  We have been to an online wedding, and I am even performing one next month!  Fun times.

Family life

The kids did really well transitioning so abruptly to online learning. While the boys didn’t enjoy it as much, Eden was in heaven.  She loved it!  She loved going to school, but being able to set up her own school schedule, work place, and being able to hang out all day with mum and dad (we were also working from home).

Samuel’s high school graduation was a highlight for us, and for him.  Although so many seem to be struggling with the inability to graduate as usual, we were able to have an outside, distanced, graduation. While Sam really missed all of the social events leading up to it in his Senior year, he was quite happy to graduate with less fuss than normal 🙂

Since school’s end then kids have been working and socializing as much as able.  Summer is just getting into full swing over here.  Thanks for following along, staying in touch, and supporting us in all the ways all of our “team members” do.

Love and blessings on your family too!

Jeremy, Molly, Samuel, Joel and Eden.

 

News from the Westside, April 2020 March 30, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 2:53 pm

Hi Everyone!

Please find our video update via the link below.

A few minutes of personal and ministry update from our living room, as we “Shelter in Place” under our Governor’s order.  🙂

Hope this finds you well.  Want to Facetime or Skype? Just let us know.  We’re working from home now!

Jeremy and Molly

 

Cambodia 2019, Report January 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 5:35 pm

Dear friends,

We are finally sitting down to share about our family trip to Cambodia!  It was AMAZING. God fulfilled so much in each of us and used us to encourage and train the saints there.  It was so good to be back in Cambodia together as a family. How to explain it all without writing a novel?!

God so clearly went before us.  On our way there, we were boarding our final flight in Hong Kong and noticed a group of young people getting on with us….hmmm 🤔…turns out we knew one of the guys (a family friend from Australia) and he was on a DTS outreach team from Australia to Battambang! This outreach team was awesome and they welcomed our boys to join in ministry with them.  So Sam and Joel got to do work projects and ministry with them while we were there. Sam was particularly impacted and connected closely with a couple of the guys.

We went to a village slum near the railroad tracks and loved on some children, played games, gave baths, had snacks, sang songs and shared about Jesus.  It was heartbreaking yet wonderful.

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We did some manual labor projects at “Cafe Eden” which is a YWAM restaurant that trains up Cambodians in business, discipleship and leadership.

Relaxing after a very sweaty day

 

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Molly got to meet with many different gals (Cambodian and Foreign) who serve in leadership positions and encourage and pray with them – just love them really. This was a huge highlight.

 

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The boys were constantly down on the soccer field meeting Cambodians and playing with them. 

We got to help with and attend a wedding: one of our past DTS students, Izzy from WA state, marrying Socheat from Cambodia!

IMG_8885Eden spent time with some precious kiddos and loved every minute of it!

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We offered a training seminar for DTS leaders and staff from all around the country. Jeremy did the lions share, but I also taught a few afternoons. This was incredible. Jeremy spent a ton of time with various leaders offering his wisdom and encouragement.  These guys so appreciated it!

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We spent time with old friends and made new ones!

We hit the ground running….and fully engaged until it was time to say goodbye.  As we were leaving, taxiing on the runway, and the sun was setting, Eden said, “Mom, you know what makes Cambodia so special? It’s the people.”  I couldn’t agree more.

And we shed some tears as we took off. What a rich time it was. Rich in spirit – which is the kind of rich we seek to be.

Thank you for praying for us and supporting us!

❤

Jeremy and Molly

KIDS HIGHLIGHTS…AND I QUOTE!!

Sam’s Highlights

  • “Seeing how God has influenced people to invest in Cambodia – the faith and confidence they had to go and now it is such a huge ministry.”

  • “Enjoyed jumping in with DTS outreach team. The spirit in the team was so joyful and deep.”

Joel’s Highlights

  • “Being in another culture.”

  • “The food.. well, the rice”.  (Mom comment: I cannot believe he said food when I asked about highlights!! Joel was diagnosed with Celiac disease 2 years ago, and I prayed that he would see he could still travel into the 3rd world and be ok. God is so faithful!)

  • “Bunking with the Cambodian guys.” (Sam and Joel stayed in a room with Cambodian staff guys, while Eden, Jeremy and I stayed in a room in a different building)

  • “Seeing how happy people are with so little.”

Eden’s Highlights

  • “Meeting people and getting to know them.”

 

Cambodia, 2019 Family Trip December 2, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 8:39 pm

Finally, as a family we were able to do another trip to Cambodia.  With Samuel in his final year of high school, who knows if we will be able to do that again.  It’s both astonishing and fulfilling to see the huge changes in Cambodia over the years.  What started for us in 2002 with several staff visiting back and forth, then taking teams, and then eventually moving there to pioneer life-changing (and city-changing!) works in Battambang, has since grown to a YWAM campus, churches planted, a local business, sports ministries, a preschool/elementary school, and school classes for the youth of the city, serving literally hundreds of people every day.

This trip was a short 2-week, but as always very full.  As a family we joined medical work going on in a village located on a city dump, helping in a local YWAM-run cafe, work projects at the campus, helping with kids and more.  As a couple Molly and I were key speakers at a week-long leadership training seminar.  YWAM training staff and leaders traveled from various campuses in the country to be with us for the week.  Some of those involved we first met when they were just teenagers, single, and new to Christianity. Now, so many are married, with kids, leading whole schools, ministries and campuses themselves. But, perhaps the most rewarding for us was hearing them refer to us as “elders to their mission” there.  In reality, while we have contributed the little we could over the years, it is our privilege to say we have worked with them.  These are the true heroes of the faith to us.

Below is a quick time-lapse video of the “Bamboo Train”; a low, short “train” made of bamboo and steel. Followed by some photos of “before” (2008/9) and now (2019).

 

Team West hits Cambodia November 20, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 12:54 am

Hi everyone.

We are here!  After a LONG but easy trip we are now in Battambang Cambodia. We will send out some more photos and updates in the days to come.  But for now, here is a very quick video blog of our journey…

Go Wests!

 

Don’t Lose Your Wonder August 17, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 2:04 pm

“The most important thing about us is what comes to mind when we think about God.”  (A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 1961)

Hi everyone.

I recently preached a message at church entitled “Don’t lose your wonder”.  It comes from a piece of my own journey over the last few years, and which I remind myself of every now and then, as well as others when I suspect that perhaps they too, have lost sight of who God is; not only in their own life, but of His majesty in general.

Trouble ultimately ensues when we reduce Jesus to a philosophy, or even some god-like-worker somehow involved within our lives.  Do I still relate to Him the way I once did?  Is that enough? Have I regressed? Have I simply become accustomed to Jesus as one “type” of god, limited to a single event, and now a single purpose?

Have you become bored with Jesus, or simply disillusioned with your idea of God?  Have you lost your wonder in an infinite, perfect, God?

I have included the video link below.  Listen in if you like!

JW

 

June 2019 | A quick day-in-the-life video tour! June 17, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 11:01 pm

DSC_3003Hi all.

Here’s a 5-min video tour of a bunch of places on our campus as we go about a “regular” day.

Thanks for supporting and following us.  Constantly busy, never stationary for long, always grateful.  Thanks to the team!

JW

 

March 2019- Quick Video Update March 17, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 8:18 pm

Hello everyone.

Check out our latest video update:

  • Back from Australia
  • Jeremy just in Texas
  • DTS update: outreach teams back, Refugees, Ending Bible Poverty, and new schools starting
  • Family update
  • God is moving on our campus

Thanks everyone!  Love from the mountains

Jeremy and Molly

 

February update – Australia and Back February 11, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — GoWests! @ 8:05 pm

February, 2019.

IMG_3300In brief: Back from Christmas and New Years in Australia; a very full January quarter on campus, sending and graduating students; developing and moving the campus ministry forward; and, the upcoming Spring quarter looms.

Greetings from snowy Montana.  It’s hard to believe that three months have elapsed since our last update.  Happy thanksgiving!  Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And, Happy Australia Day for my folk =).   The arrival of 2019 saw a very full finish to 2018, and a wonderful start to our next season of family, and ministry busy-ness.

Photo 7-1-19, 16 20 20As many of you know, in early December the Montana Wests headed Down Under for a huge West family reunion.  With my Mum turning 80, her dream gift was a time of was bringing her 5 children and all the families together for one huge gathering around Christmastime and New Year.  We did it: Wests from Wollongong, Sydney and Brisbane, more from Hawaii, and of course Montana, all converged on a massive property for 6 days together.  So much fun.  And yes, we finally got all of the perfect family combination photos for “Nana”.  Well worth it.  Our kids had not been back since my Dad was ill with cancer 10 years ago, so this time was one of reviving old memories, and making new ones.  On a more selfish personal note, Molly and I were just so happy for warm weather during the cold winter over here.   Back to Montana reality, we returned mid-January to cold, but beautiful “Big Sky Country” Montana.  We hit the ground running and haven’t stopped.

IMG_3324On the work front, we have been putting students through our programs, sending them out, receiving them back again, and preparing for the next schools to arrive.  This week we welcomed back 65 in the DTS program from their outreaches in Greece, Thailand, Cambodia, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

I (Jer) continue to teach students, as well as develop staff and train our school leaders.  I’m also still traveling and teaching in other schools around the place (watch for another roving-update very soon!). Molly is living an extremely full life at work as the assistant to the Campus Directors.  From frantically organizing life from her desk, to participating in meetings (from strategic-departmental to Corporate Board) she does an outstanding job of helping so many to do their work well, and making so much of our campus life and ministry successful.  In the next couple of months, more DTS students will arrive, as well as our DTS EQUIP students; leaders and staff from various YWAM ministries around the world. But we can talk more about that later.

IMG_3319The family is well, reentering school well and adjusting to the (very) cold winter this year.  We love to hear from you too, and always welcome visitors here in Montana, ‘The last best place”, as they say up here.  Love, and blessings and thanks to you all,

Jeremy & Molly

Here are a few photos of our time in Australia, including one of the view from our airplane window about to land in Montana: a shock to the system.

 

 

 

 
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