As many of you know, our colleagues, Ian and Nadia have left us for an extended furlough in Canada. This of course was quite a shock to us (and them too!!), as they had not planned to go on furlough yet, but due to health/stress issues they were forced to go early. It was not an easy decision for them to make, but it needed to be made and we support them whole-heartedly in this. They need our collective prayers – we pray that Ian may be restored to good health and that he and Nadia and the children will be given the strength they need to deal with the Lord has put on their paths.
Needless to say, we will miss them! Last night we said our goodbyes and it was sad to have to do that. The girls too will miss their family, and Kirilee was rather upset about it all. Also, as I was driving today with Ashlyn she said to me, “Today, Nadia come back to Lae?” and I needed to try and explain the concept of a “long time” being more than a day. When she kind of gathered that a “long time” meant more than a “short time” she said sadly, “but my (I) will miss Jono and Karlyn a long time.”
But we know we are not alone, though at times we may be lonely. Our Heavenly Father is always with us. He will be there to guide us through the difficult days ahead. And then we have our national brothers and sisters in Christ here in Lae, and some other friends too.
Tonight at about 7pm we returned from fellowship in Kamkumung (we left home at about 4:30). It was a nice evening. I don’t always go along with Andrew for this as it just gets too late for Ashlyn to go out at that time, especially trying to keep her relatively quiet if she is really tired! But sometimes it is nice to go along and it worked today because Ashlyn fell asleep in the car when I went to pick up the girls after school. Andrew has begun to go through the book of Daniel!
This morning was spent with the church ladies for Bible Fellowship in Kamkumung too. I drove a number of Biway ladies there and we met with some ladies who live in Kamkumung (this is a weekly occurrence!) When we first arrived we were talking about the increase in armed hold-ups on cars especially in that area. The lady who lives at the house mentioned that early yesterday evening (around 7pm – the same time we were there tonight) men/boys armed with guns and knives were holding up cars in front of the church property, and then last Saturday in broad daylight the same was happening. We were discussing how the criminals just seem to have no fear, as police response time is not great at all (if they answer the phone – at night they usually don’t!). On Saturday night/Sunday morning rascals (criminals) were also men surrounding the church property talking about how they were going to break into the house. The property is already surrounded by a huge barbed-wire fence, and the house has deadlocks and barred windows as well. Andrew is in the process of organising more security doors,etc, but as per usual it seems to be taking forever to get done! The crime here is sometimes very disheartening. We know when we drive around that it could happen any time. We feel for the people here too who often live with this violence. We ask for your continued prayers for our Heavenly Father to protect not only us, but especially for the Kamkumung church area where some members of our church live and where hold-ups and violence seem to be on the increase (though it has always been pretty bad out there). Please pray that the people living at our church property will be kept from harm!
On a happier note, I was on a high after last week’s literacy course. It just went so well. It’s not that I usually don’t think it goes well, but last week I really felt this sense of: “Wow!! Look where some of these ladies are now, compared to where they were before!” I am so thankful to be able to do this and I do so enjoy doing it!