Thursday, January 29, 2009

goodbye australia

We are now in Cairns, almost ready to head back to PNG tomorrow. I thought I would just update one more time in Australia, since we have highspeed internet for the last night! The last time I blogged was in Albany, so this will be quite the catch-up post!
Firstly, we had a great time in Perth. We spent four busy days there, but were very thankful for them. On the Thursday we arrived and that night had our presentation to the churches. There was a fantastic turnout and we really felt supported and encouraged through our interaction with various people on that night. It is great to feel the support and interest of the churches – gave us a real boost. A birthday cake had even been organised for Andrew (it was his birthday that night) and they all sang happy birthday to him too!
On Friday we had our meeting with the Mission Board which was also a real blessing. We have a wonderfully supportive Mission Board which we are so very thankful for. Then on Saturday afternoon we had a home visit (also a blessing) after which we enjoyed a BBQ with our Mission Board and some members of Armadale consistory. An enjoyable evening.
And a wonderful bunch of people overwhelmed us by giving a huge amount of craft things (stamps/papers/punches, etc, etc) for us to take to PNG! A few weeks before we left PNG last year, someone contacted me and offered to collect a few things for us. But, wow!! We were so overwhelmed with how generous everyone is, and just so encouraged by such an act of thoughtfulness. Thank you so much to all those who so generously donated things!
Sunday we spent time in Armadale, our fist Sunday in that church for over two years, even though we are members of it! We were really blessed with two beautiful sermons – even though the pastor was on holidays, two very capable elders read. The morning message really touched us as it dealt with the Israelites crossing the Jordan, and how much they had to rely on the Lord to cross the impassable river. The sermon (from Rev Stam) brought home to the congregation how we need to rely on the Lord to face all the challenges He gives us in this life, and how we need to trust him completely! A beautiful message for us as we go back to the Mission Field, and of course a wonderful message for all of us as we all face many various challenges in our life!
On Monday we said our final goodbyes and flew to Ayers Rock and then on to Cairns. While in Cairns Kirilee somehow mistakenly left her brand new camera there (possibly not zipping up her backpack properly). As we flew from Ayers Rock to Cairns Kirilee realised she had lost it. We checked with a stewardess and she said to go to the baggage counter in Cairns to see if they could track it. Well, we did that and the next day we received a message that they had found the camera. Andrew called them and found out that there was no way they would send the camera on (for fear of being sued if it got lost). So he was told to ring up some courier companies to organise it. Anyway, he could not get a quote for under $300 to send it here (and that for a $100 camera). We could not believe it. Anyway, suddenly I remembered that both Wayne and Cheronne and Stephen and Dorinda would be flying to PNG soon, and I thought I would ring my sister in Albany to get her to find out if by any chance either family was coming through Ayers Rock. And, would you believe it, Stephen and Dorinda were, and better than that, they were leaving the next day and were coming to stay in Tree Tops (where we are staying!). So we had to send an email to Ayers Rock to give authorisation for them to take it, and yesterday Kirilee excitedly received her camera back. I think she’s learnt to pay closer attention to her camera now!
We have been having a good time here in Cairns. We visited the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas and we also have been catching up with some other friends staying here before they head to their year long furlough in the USA.
Tomorrow we hope to fly back to hopefully in the next few days you’ll hear from us from there. And I’ll finish off with a few pics:

saying farewell to cousins

more cousin pictures

saying farewell at the airport

holding a koala at the habitat

lorakeets joining shiana for her lunch

feeding the wallabies
more birds
with a python!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

goodbye albany

Just before we leave Albany, I thought it was time to update again while we still have internet connection. I can't believe that we already on our way back to PNG, albeit via Perth for a few days and then Cairns for a few days. Time has just flown by, partly too because Andrew was sick for a couple of weeks inbetween. He is feeling much better now, for which we are thankful. It has been good that he has had no pressure of work here - it has helped him to get over it quicker, as he has just been able to relax and take his time to get well.

We have had an enjoyable time here, not doing a great deal, but just enjoying the Albany sunshine (which we have had a lot of by the way!).

Last Thursday (15th) the Lord also called home Mum's brother (Reinhard) after he suffered from cancer. It is so amazing that the Lord is there to give comfort to his family, especially his wife and children. It's hard to imagine going through life and death without our Heavenly Father by our side!

We had our mission presentation in Albany on Monday night and we were thankful that it went well. We had a great turn up and that gives encouragement. On Thursday (that's tomorrow!!) we hope to go up to Perth and have our presentation there (Thursday night).

Today I brought Ashlyn to the library to bring our books back and she cried and was rather upset - when we got them out a week ago she had no idea that they were not ours to keep - guess she has never been exposed the concept of a library, and I never thought to explain it to her - that's what happens when you have no libraries in the Lae!
Anyway, I guess I'll just post some pics while we still have highspeed internet at our disposal:

Kirilee and her cousin Elise

Shiana and Elise

Our family

A visit from Andrew's brother Stuart

Out for dinner with the family

Visiting with Sjaan and Bryce vanderheide

beautiful Albany

more cousins

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

on the mend

We are still enjoying the Albany sunshine (though yesterday was a bit cooler!) Thankfully Andrew is doing so much better now. He is back on his feet and we even went out for a while yesterday, and he has been doing some stuff in the garden again. After a week of not eating he has finally started eating again to. Now he just struggles a bit with headaches (especially with lots of noise and people around him, or anything that requires concentration) and tiredness. So we are very thankful that he has responded well to the medication and is doing much better.

While Andrew has recuperated in the quietness, I have been going about some of the time with the children, enjoying the sunshine, going here and there and spending a couple of days at the beach. Ashlyn was not interested in swimming as she thought it was much too cold, but eventually one of her cousins managed to convince her to come in when I was not around!

The older two girls are just thriving on their interaction with their cousins. They had another sleepover last night. We are so glad that they can enjoy this time too - they really do miss it in PNG and can't get enough of it while we are here. Even Ashlyn keeps asking when we are going on the next visit to someone's house...

Another thing we continue to enjoy is the freedom to go out and about day or night by car or by feet, without the same security issues, and we can play outside all day without cooking from the sweltering heat or being bitten by those malaria carrying parasites! We are so thankful to enjoy this time!