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!

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