Wednesday, April 30, 2008

encouragement

What is it that teaches you to search all the more for the Light of the Lord? The presence of darkness. Some of you may know, some of you may not, but life here is burdened with darkness at the moment. Some church leaders have fallen away and are in the clutches of sin. Questions of why? what will happen next? where to now Lord? are in our minds. We do not know what will happen next, although we know all is in the Lord's hands. And the Lord is always present as I was reminded again yesterday.

Yesterday morning was Bible study morning and one of the women involved in the problems and sins was there. As I listened to her talk I cringed. I knowthat all her talk does not match up with her actions, but some of the other women do not. Then she began slandering someone else, and I was about to halt this, in my mind wondering and praying how to deal with it, how to prevent a big argument, when it was all over anyway. However, as we hopped into the car to go back home with some of the ladies one of them said to me: "she shouldn't have said that. She should have just asked us to pray for the man without explaining all his sins." It was a simple statement. It was all she said. But then I prayed a prayer of thanks, because I saw in this statement that the Light shines through. This woman and all the others in the car saw the slandering for what it is and I was so thankful for that. I was tense and stressed, and yet so, so thankful. Isn't it wonderful that in the darkness and our stresses, the Lord sends us little encouragements like that?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Music in Lae

So we even got a Western style treat this weekend! The Ukarumpa
school band and choir came to Lae. One of the teachers at our girl's school
(TISOL) organised it and we got to enjoy some great music. On Friday
afternoon at assembly we had a bit of a foretaste of what was to come and
then this afternoon at 1 we went back to school and listened to the whole
performance. Then they had another performance at Unitech at 4pm today.
We did not go to that performance. The band played some great pieces and
the choir sang some beautiful Christian songs. The band played one piece
which was a prelude to "A mighty Fortress Is our God". It was beautiful.
The choir also sang a couple of songs we were familiar with, so that was
pretty special too. The thing that was the greatest about it was the way
these kids were using music as a means to witness. The conductors also took
every opportunity to read out the words of the songs and to speak about the
meanings of these words in our daily lives. It was obvious that they saw
this trip as a chance to witness of their Lord and Saviour, and it was great
to see them doing this in a "secular" school.
It was so nice, and you probably think I am crazy for going on about it.
But rare is the time we get such a chance here in PNG, and so we really
appreciated it. We even got to sing the PNG national anthem (which is a
beautiful anthem, by the way) to the band's music, which just made it feel like and even more beautiful anthem!

O arise all you sons of this land,

Let us sing of our joy to be free,

Praising God and rejoicing to be Papua New Guinea.

Shout our name from the mountains to seas Papua New Guinea;

Let us raise our voices andproclaim Papua New Guinea.

Now give thanks to the good Lord above For His kindness, His wisdom and love.

For this land of our fathers so free, Papua New Guinea.


Shout again for the whole world to hear Papua New Guinea;

We're independent and we're free, Papua New Guinea.



And just thought I would add some more pics...


Goodnight

Monday, April 21, 2008






We’re back! Last Monday we drove to Ukarumpa, an SIL base in the Highlands, for a combined doctor’s check-up for Andrew’s eye and a short break…
I’ll talk about the doctor’s visit first and then the fun stuff we did! Andrew’s doctor’s visit did not go as well as we hoped. Andrew thought his eye was close to normal again, but apparently he still has a large scar across the centre of his eye. The doctor wants him to somehow communicate with an Ophthalmologist in Australia to find out if we need to visit a specialist in Australia soon or if it can wait till the end of the year (during our scheduled return). We are working on finding that out at the moment. It was a little disappointing but we pray that we can soon figure out what we should do from here…
Apart from the doctor’s visit we made lots of happy visits with friends we have there in Ukarumpa, many from our almost 4 month long cultural/language training course we did in Madang when we first arrived in PNG, and also with a family who we got to know here in Lae while they looked after the SIL guesthouse here for a few months. We had a great time of fellowship with many of them and on Friday night one of our POC families organised a small BBQ kind of for a reunion for all the POC staff and students who were in Ukarumpa, since we were there as well. That was fun too. The girls really enjoyed all the interaction with Christian girls their own age and culture.
I’ll try and post lots of photos here as they make a blog much more interesting!


Dinner with Kym and Tristan Craven - they were on staff while we were at POC



Our girls with the four Craven Girls




Dinner with the Howards - here the girls are eating dessert with their friends they met in Lae, Katie and Melissa

Dinner on Friday night with POC friends.

The SIL guesthouse

One bridge we had to cross which looked a bit wonky. It was - it has been out for a number of weeks and is just hanging in there - we got over it thankfully!

Above: The awesome scenery on our return trip - evidence of our Awesome God. Who could not believe in our God after witnessing such beauty??

And a couple of unsavoury things occurred in our household while we were gone: Firstly, our haus meri (home help) was robbed at knifepoint of her bilum (bag) with the wages I left for her, just outside our compound’s gate as she was leaving work, and our house flooded too. We have a huge drain in front of our house (we are downhill from it) and sometimes during a big rain it gets blocked. If the gardener doesn’t get the blockage unblocked quick enough it will overflow and the front of our house becomes a raging torrent. If it goes on long enough it seeps under our door and into our house. Thankfully our floors are tiled, and also we are prepared for this so we lift all electrical cords and appliances off the ground before we go away for long periods of time. But it still makes a mess and is smelly. (Thankfully our wonderful haus meri had it cleaned up before we returned. Last time it happened we were cleaning it up till all hours of the night!)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unwheel!!

How we were struck by God's amazing providence today. On Monday we plan to go for a 3 1/2 hour drive to Ukarumpa for a break. However, today as we were driving around in our car we noticed a strange sound and wierd movement in the car. I looked out the window and saw the back wheel looking really bad in the way it was moving. We were right near Boroko Motors (a mechanic/car yard/tyre sales place), so we drove straight in. The back wheel was almost off the car. If we had travelled at high speeds (as we will be on the way to U), there is no doubt it would have come off and we probably would have thus been in a terrible accident.

So what was the problem? Recently the wheels on our car were changed by a mechanic near our place (not Boroko motors). Apparently they put the wrong nuts on the wheels which were unable to be tightened properly. This means that they did not tighten them well, and hence the wheels were able to fall off. And with all the potholes and bumps in Lae it didn't take much. Simple human error which could have such terrible consequences.

As the girls were complaining about waiting around for all the nuts to be changed, I reminded them how thankful we should actually be. The Lord was caring for us. In his perfect timing he allowed us to discover the problem, thus averting a terrible accident. Just a "small" thing like this reminds us how every step (or drive) we take is so in the Lord's hands. Thank God he is in control!

We had Nadia and the kids over for dinner tonight as Andrew and Ian have been involved in meetings all afternoon and are still there tonight. They are often out at night and often quite early (sometimes around dinner time), so it was nice to do something different!

Today we have had lots of rain. It's starting to make me realise that the rainy season is coming. It is cooler, but oh so wet, and humid. It's in the rainy season that nothing dries, and washing sits for days on racks and eventually gets put in the cupboard still feeling damp. It's in the rainy season that you climb into bed at night only to feel like your sheets are wet...mmm... but at least its cooler and I can do some things without actually sweating. The themometer in the room tells me we are now down to 26.8 degrees Celcius - and I am actually feeling rather cold...mmm...how everything is so relative!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

party and another sunday

Okay, so I know I’ve done the birthday post thing, but yesterday was Kirilee’s party and we got some nice pics so I just thought I would post again with the photos. It was busy, but fun. She had a “cooking party” which they seemed to all enjoy. They made their own individual pizzas, and a pastry snack, and then decorated their own cupcakes. She got spoiled with some nice presents too.
Having fun playing a balloon popping game - notice Shiana blocking here ears!


Decorating the cup cakes - don't you just love the mix of skin colours in there - PNG, Australian, part chinese/part PNG, part NZ/part PNG, Phillipino?


Fun in the swimming pool!

Our cheeky youngest daughter having fun too!


This afternoon (Sunday) we walked into Biwat settlement (slum area on the outskirts of town – we are well known in this settlement as a number of our church members come from there) as a family. It’s just a ten minute walk from our house. As we were there, sitting on rough bits of wood on the ground, watching kids running around barefoot and roughly dressed, looking on as drunk people walked past every so often, hearing shouting, seeing houses of rough wood and tin and corrugated iron, it got me thinking. I watched the girls playing with other kids. They were playing dodge and Ashlyn was happily being carted around by older girls, picking up their kitten and chasing their small turtle running around on the ground. There was lots of laughter and giggling. They were having a ball of time. And it just struck me with thankfulness (this same thing has struck me before many times too) at how wonderfully our girls adapt between their “different” worlds. Yesterday they were playing with a group of friends from their more “upper-class” school, and two nights ago we were sitting in a restaurant for Kirilee’s birthday, and now here they were playing among the poor of PNG. And they were happy in every place. Some how they just know how to act, how to talk, what to talk about, what not to talk about in every instance they find themselves. Just incredible and such a blessing. Anyway, just thought I would share that!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

birthday

Kirilee's birthday today - 9 already. Where did that time go?? We are so thankful that our Heavenly Father has been with her all these 9 years. Thought I would just post a few pics. She hopes to have a party with some school friends on Saturday, but today we had the Wildeboers (Karlyn is on the last picture) over for some cheesecake (a pkt I took from Australia and saved for a special day!). Kirilee's favourite present is her guitar. She really wants to learn it so we'll see how she goes....

Had another literacy class today. We are still plodding along and we are progressing. Two of the women are struggling a bit, but we're not giving up yet. They are such a great bunch of women altogether and I so love teaching them. We have a great time.

Andrew just walked in back from a meeting and fellowship at Tent Siti (left at 5:45pm), so I guess I will get off this blog and make a drink. Goodnight.