Wednesday, December 24, 2008


From our hearts to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas. May you be filled with joy as you celebrate our Saviour's birth.

Jonathan loves playing in the snow; a little surprising considering he's spent most of his life in the tropics!

The beauty of snow-covered fields and trees is a gift from the Lord.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fun in the Sun

We were recently blessed with a holiday in Florida with my parents. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed relaxing by the poolside and at the beach. It was wonderful!

With Grandpa

Should I go in, or should I just stand here....and pick my nose?!

Jono's catch of the day...can you see it?!

Just chillin'

But all good things must come to an end, so we are now back in our winter wonderland. And just in time too--they say there's a big storm brewing that will hit Southern Ontario sometime in the next 24 hours. Some schools have cancelled for tomorrow already. We'll have to wait and see what happens. Jonathan, for sure, would be thrilled to get more of that white stuff!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

30 on the 30th

I just realized that reading past blog entries is a great way to reflect and reminisce. Last week I hit another milestone in my life with my 30th birthday, and I guess that’s why I was feeling a bit nostalgic and skimmed over a few of the entries from the past year. It brought back a lot of memories, as well as a range of emotions as I‘re-lived’ the experiences of the past months. It was also really neat to see how the children changed and grew, not only by the photos, but also in the things they’re doing and saying.

Our second entry on the blog was about my 29th birthday—celebrated in Lae, on a very hot day, of course. The highlight was a morning walk on the beautiful grounds of the Lae Golf Course. How different this year’s birthday was in comparison! Just a tad colder and not too humid—-it was below zero, after all! But it was celebrated with enough family and friends to warm our hearts and home!

It was special to celebrate with a couple of the little, but significant, people in my life! Here’s Allie Buist and I celebrating our birthdays…together we turned 35 this year!

And here is Lucas (the son of Ian’s brother, Tim and wife, Elissa). He turned 1 on the 30th! I remember when he was born last year, and we really felt how far away we were in not being able to meet him right away and cuddle him in our arms, like you love to do with a newborn. But then the Lord blessed us with getting to know him in PNG this past year, and the icing on the cake, you could say, was celebrating with him in person this year!

I ended my 29th birthday blog praising God for another birthday and saying that I would strive to follow Him faithfully the coming year. As I think back, I know there have been times when in my stubborn pride I’ve tried to take the lead and go my own way. Other times I’ve stumbled and fallen as I tried to race along the path. But in His grace and love, He’s always picked me up and showed me His way again. And because of this grace and by His power, I can strive to follow Him again this year, wherever He may lead. Especially with Ian still not completely well and our future plans uncertain, we need to completely surrender and trust and follow. So easy to say, but really hard to do sometimes.
In His strength, we take it one step at a time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Phil and Lisa Houweling and family...all the way from WA, Australia!

Their little guy, Hamish. Cute, isn't he?

Here's some patriotic MKs for you! This was our last time with Wayne and Cheronne before they left for Australia.

Our new friend, Hudson came for a visit too.

Oh yeah, Uncle Ryan (and Aunt Elissa) came with him!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On the topic of libraries...

Thank you, Joyce, for prompting me to write more about libraries in Lae. While it is true that Lae has no public library right now, our church started up a small library about a year ago. It’s located on the ground level of the pastor’s house on the church property.

There are books of all kinds, for all ages, even for beginners like little Jelika!

Most are in English, but there's also some in pidgin. There are bible commentaries and study guides, as well as children’s books and books on health and general interest, etc. We have had to work out a few glitches—like how to ensure those books come back (!)—but it has still already been a blessing. Every week after Sunday School the children have some time to look at the books. This is special for them because most do not have books in their homes. I’ve noticed a number of the young people taking out books too, such as the Narnia series and some of the “Mandie” books that we have. Our co-worker, Natalie VanderHeide, is also teaching a women’s literacy course, which is held in the library (where else?!) and they’ve also made use of the books there.

Some of the women working to get the books ready, before the library opened.

The good news is that there is still room on the shelves for more books. So, Joyce, we would love some of your books!
And for anyone else out there who would like to donate books, send us an email at Thank you!

Friday, November 7, 2008


As I was out jogging this afternoon, on an incredible fall day, I was thinking about the fact that I haven’t blogged in a while. I guess there’s maybe something about jogging that gets one thinking about blogging. So from jogging to blogging...

We are so enjoying being around family and friends, enjoying the fellowship and getting to know our nieces and nephews again!

Uncle Peter and Liam with Jonathan and Karlyn

Karlyn bonds with Uncle Greg at storytime
And with Auntie Lu

We are also loving the little home we have here and getting out on the ‘rail trail’(tracks and rails removed!) beside our house whenever we can. I’m even jogging 4km a few times a week on there these days. That’s a feat for me, but yeah, a good friend still ran the socks off me the other day (right, Alice?!).

The leaves keep falling in our front yard--and Karlyn falls in right after them!

And then today I went to the library with the kids. Especially after living in Lae where the town library apparently shut down because people were not returning the books, I am so thankful for this resource. The selection of books and videos and dvds…it’s incredible! And yes, it actually works the way it’s supposed to---people do return them! It makes me even more sad that Lae doesn’t have one—the people could benefit so much. Maybe someday.

And even with all of these things we're enjoying here, I often still find myself longing for PNG. Talk about struggling to be content! But actually I’m thankful for this struggle. When we first arrived here, I had a hard time thinking about going back to PNG. I was only thinking about the stress of Ian being sick and the other stresses of life there and thought, I’d rather stay here! But the Lord has helped me work through this and I’m thankful to say that that has changed. Now we just need Ian to get better…and it seems that slowly, ever so slowly, his health is improving. It’s not that we notice improvements everyday or even every week. It’s more like every couple of weeks, or when we compare this month to last month, we realize he has a bit more energy and is feeling less symptoms. And for that we praise God and hold on to the hope that this will continue. We’ve not received an ‘official’ diagnosis yet from the doctors at the missionary health institute, which is in a way discouraging and frustrating, but regardless, the Lord’s in control. The naturopathic doctor, on the other hand, maintains that Ian has a parasite in his heart tissue and a viral infection in his spleen. And this does seem to make sense when we consider his symptoms, so maybe we should just stop being skeptical about homeopathic medicine and believe it! Ian has been taking herbal medication for these things for about 2 months now, so maybe that’s why we’re seeing improvements. Whatever the case, we’re thankful, but have to admit that sometimes we’ve despaired and become discouraged. But here too, we are learning the secret of being content whatever the circumstances! And being thankful that we can serve our God wherever we are!

This week we have a good friend staying with us--Nathan Boersema, who works for Worldwide Christian Schools in Western Canada, and used to work in Nicaragua. He's here for a few days for meetings with his Ontario colleagues. We haven't seen Nathan in years, and it is really great to re-connect. The only sad thing is that Kim and the girls aren't here with us. (Miss you, Kim!) Jonathan and Karlyn have fallen in love with "uncle" Nathan in a matter of days and think he's lots of fun.

Speaking of visitors, we have some Aussies coming over tomorrow. Should be fun! Maybe I'll have to take a few photos and post them, especially for all of you 'down under'!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We have an absolutely glorious maple tree next to our house. And as we’ve entered the fall season, its leaves have become the most incredible hues of orange and yellow. We’re in awe of God’s handiwork every time we look at it. The sad thing is that more leaves fall from it everyday, meaning that it will one day be bare and the cold days of winter will be upon us. But we’re trying not to think about that too much yet…except that we've already decided we'd better embrace the cold weather once it comes!

Here's just a glimpse of its glory...

Fall also brings with it the Thanksgiving holiday. This is traditionally a time to celebrate the end of the harvest, and for us as Christians, it is of course a time to especially reflect on God’s rich blessings in our lives. Remembering our brothers and sisters in PNG, who want for so much more than we do, we are thankful for and humbled by everything He gives us—much more than we need and certainly more than we deserve. What a gracious God.

On the holiday Monday, as is tradition, the whole Wildeboer clan got together up at the farm in Markdale, to enjoy food, fellowship, the infamous wagon ride and even some bocce ball!

A few of the Wildeboer men...

Let's ride, Papa!

Nana and some of the grandkids!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fun on the Farm

This past weekend we headed 3 hours north of here and surprised Ian's mom and dad with a visit. They live on a beautiful farm in Markdale, Ontario. And with many of the leaves already becoming vibrant oranges, yellows and reds, the scenery was breathtaking. We knew that Wayne and Cheronne VanderHeide and family would be spending the weekend there, so we didn't want to miss out on the fun! Much to the surprise of them all!

Here's Nana, surrounded by the kids, reading stories.

Papa took all the kids on an ATV adventure!

We drove through the back trails to the Campfire! property.

Here's Cameron, Jonathan and Sjaan near the barn and the horse pasture.

Getting my excercise for the day!

It was also a blessing to hear Wayne and Cheronne's presentation on their work in PNG at Owen Sound church on Sunday. They began with a powerful photo presentation put to music. It was very moving for me because even in 3 years we've grown to love the country and the people. I think I kind of forgot that lately as I've often only thought about the negative and stressful things we went through there. Wayne and Cheronne helped to remind me of all the incredible blessings and joy too. The Lord knew that I needed that right now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our New Home

Here's the beautiful place we'll call home for the next 4 months or so. It's in a nice area of Dundas, on a tree-lined street. We're right at the end of it and have a walking/biking path right beside us. And there's a playground nearby too! It's getting to be a little chilly here already, but Jonathan and Karlyn still love to play outside.

And there's this great tree for climbing in the front yard!

This is Ian's sister Lydia and her boyfriend Adam vanHof who is the owner of the house. These two have put in a ton of work to get the house ready and furnished for us. We're so thankful for them!

My Wildeboer sister-in-laws did a wonderful thing for us--they organized a house-warming shower and gave us gifts of food to fill our cupboards. We were really touched by their thoughtfulness. Here are a few of the guests--Elissa (Ian's sister) and Sheri (married to Greg).

As well as Janet (married to Andrew) and Juanita, also Ian's sister.

Praise be to God for the way He provides for us in every way!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

We went to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo!

Jonathan goes to Jubilee School two mornings a week for Junior Kindergarten. His class took a trip to a nearby zoo and I got to go along to help out. He's been pretty hesitant about going to school, but on this day, he could not contain his excitement. He was so enthusiatic about the animals and ran from one to the next, while the rest of the group followed behind!

Although enthusiastic, he still didn't dare to feed the deer!

He was a little braver when it came to the goats!

Me and another mom were in charge of these 5 little munchkins for the day. Here they are sitting and waiting for the animal show to begin.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Bit of an Update...

I guess some of you may be wondering how Ian's doing...Not that we have too much to share with you yet! He's had lots of tests done at the Missionary Health Institute in Toronto, especially looking for tropical diseases. He also went to see a naturopath who thinks he may have a parasite in his heart (something we'd never heard of before, but it certainly seems plausible). He's on some potent, foul-tasting herbal meds to eradicate the parasite, if it's there! He also went for an ultrasound of his heart this past week to see if there's anything abnormal. All this to say, we haven't heard the official results from any of these things yet. We continue to wait on the Lord...and pray. And as we reflect on all the appointments he's had just in the past 2 weeks or so, we are incredibly thankful for the access to solid medical care. What a blessing! We are also cautiously excited that this past week he had a little bit more energy again...maybe this is the beginning of the healing process.

We do realize that even with all these tests and access to medical professionals, there are still mysteries out there. Things that only the Lord knows about and reveals in His timing. He's the Great Physician and we know and are thankful that Ian is in His care.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Faithfulness through the Generations

We visited my grandparents the other week. Grandpa is 91 years old and Grandma is 88. The Lord has brought them through so much in their lives. I remember sitting down with my grandpa and talking about his experiences during the war for one of my high school papers. The war had been many years before, but the emotions and memories for him were still so real and painful and difficult to talk about. A particularly painful time was when my grandmother was taken to a concentration camp because of her family's involvement in hiding Jews. The Lord brought them through that and guided their family here to Canada, where they were able to raise their 7 children. And now they watch those children raising children and see their family grow through the generations. How amazing it must be to look back over the years of pain and joy and know that God was there through it all--working out His plan and purpose!
Here's Karlyn with her Great-Grandma, who is always the lady--hair done and stylishly dressed!

Jonathan was quite amazed with Great-Grandpa's harmonica...and then was given a little one of his own! Here they're playing a little duet!

Last week, Ian's Oma Veenman, turned 90 years old. We were able to celebrate that with her and the extended family. She has been suffering with Alzheimer's for many years now, so we're not sure how much she realized what was going on that day. When family members first said hello to her, she did raise her eyes towards them. Soon after that though, she was pretty tired and slept through much of the afternoon. It's so hard to understand the Lord's purpose when a loved one has Alzheimer's and it must be especially so for Oma's children. And yet, God does use it for His purpose, maybe to teach, or to test, or draw us closer to Him. There's much we don't understand, but one thing we do know--one day she will be with her Lord in glory--restored and glorified. We praise God for that assurance.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Friend Drops In...

Literally...he just dropped in from the sky---in a helicopter that is! Our friend, Gavin Jones, whom we first met in PNG during our training at an SIL (Wycliffe) school, is home on furlough with his family in America. During this time he became a helicopter pilot and has been flying for Wycliffe in America. As he needed to fly from Vermont over to Michigan, he had a couple days to spare before his next job and so he crossed the border in the sky and landed at the Hamilton Airport!

Jonathan thought the helicopter was really cool!

The smile says it all!

After a few days of good fellowship, he was off again!

Gavin, his wife Carrie and their son, Isaac, are planning to return to PNG at the end of October. We pray for the Lord's blessings over them as they make their final preparations to go, say their goodbyes and take up their work in Ukarumpa again. Gavin will be flying Bible translators and others to villages not accessible by car or plane. Carrie will continue to work at the medical clinic.
May the Lord bless and keep them!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grandma's Sweet 60th!!

It was an added blessing to be here to celebrate a milestone in my mom's life--her 60th birthday! The Lord's timing is really perfect. She said the best present was having us here with her, well, she was probably mostly talking about her two grandchildren!

We gave her a "made in PNG" bamboo plant holder!

And this outdoor fireplace. Of course, Jonathan and Karlyn had to roast marshmallows on it!

The stats say that 55 is the average life span in PNG. Comparing that to Canada where most people live to be 80 or 90, you realize how blessed we are here. What a blessing it is that the Lord has given my mom 60 years and she is still healthy and going strong. (No one can believe that she's already 60!). Praise God for His care over her.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Making Our Way Home

We're enjoying our 12th day back here in Ontario, Canada and finally I have the chance to sit down and put some photos up about our trip back home. We took our time getting back, mostly for Ian's sake, but also for the kids. It was a good way to do it--still tiring at times, but definitely manageable. We spent a weekend in Cairns, Australia at the beginning of our trek. We checked out the zoo there and met up with a croc!

Mommy and Karlyn, taking a break!

The little joeys were pretty friendly! Aussie animals are cool!

And then it was Aloha! as we flew on to Honolulu. We were there for 3 nights, during which we were wide awake until falling asleep around 2am! We rolled out of bed late but still enjoyed a bit of the beach, although it was very crowded.
The most memorable thing...Karlyn turned 2 in Hawaii! We had a birthday lunch at the "Cheesecake Factory" before flying home through the night.

We arrived home tired and groggy, but safe in Toronto on a Saturday morning to a quiet airport and no customs lines. It was wonderful. Grandma and Grandpa were there to greet us and have been taking great care of us ever since!

We praise God for looking after us throughout our travels and blessing us through people we met along the way.