Wednesday, April 23, 2008

To Port Moresby and beyond...

We are still a little sleep deprived...but we can’t blame it all on our neighbours! Rather, travelling. Tomorrow we’re off to Port Moresby on the early bird flight—leaving here at about 5:30am. Meaning we’ll be up at least an hour before that. I don’t know about most of you, but I find I often have trouble sleeping on nights like this, mostly because my head won’t stop thinking—What if we sleep in? What if we miss our plane? Did I forget to pack anything? Etc. Actually already the last two nights I’ve lain awake for an hour or two, just thinking about all that I have to do before we leave. In desperation last night, I wrote down a few things on some tissues that happened to be on my bedside table. Just so I could stop thinking about them! Only to wake up this morning to the realization that you cannot write legibly on tissues, especially in the dark.

Ian is on the Board of Governors for the Bible College in Port Moresby and we’re going so that he can attend some meetings in this regard. We’re staying with our friends and colleagues, Wayne and Cheronne VanderHeide who along with the ‘t Hart family live on the Bible College’s property. So while it’ll be mostly work for Ian, it’ll be fun for me and the kids to hang out with Cheronne and Sjaan, Bryce and Cameron, as well as Dorinda and their kids. We’re looking forward to meeting the new ‘t Hart baby Jabez too.

Most of you have probably heard by now that Rev. Stephen ‘t Hart and Dorinda have accepted a call to a church in Western Australia. This means that sometime next year they will be leaving PNG. This will, of course, leave a huge gap in the churches in Port Moresby as well as at the Bible College. But we trust and know that the Lord will provide, according to His will and in His time. We pray that another missionary will accept the call to come work in Port Moresby next year.

So we’ll be in Moresby for the weekend and then as a family we’re taking a bit of a break—for about a week and returning to Lae on the 6th of May.

And before we sign off, here's a photo of our two children...stuffing their faces!

May the Lord bless and keep us all!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sleep Deprived...

As I write this, there’s about a dozen young men and women enjoying the pool here in our compound, which happens to be right in front of our unit. (That's our unit in the background on the left side) They are having a great time, laughing and joking around. Yeah, so what’s the big deal, you ask? Normally we do find joy in other people's happiness! But when it’s alcohol and drug induced, and may deprive us of our sleep tonight, it’s a different story.

For the past year or so, the house behind us has served as a party house, meaning that almost every weekend and sometimes during the week there’s partying going on—all night long. We have been kept up or awakened at all hours to the sound of laughter, loud music, and sadly, a few times the sound of a woman sobbing or once a couple was arguing right outside our bedroom window. With only about 20 feet between the back of our house and theirs, and louvers instead of windows, there is little hope of blocking out the noise. Although we do try—with two fans and the air conditioner. At least the sound is a little muffled. Or on the nights when it’s really bad we crawl into bed with Jonathan whose room is at the front of the house and away from the noise.

It’s obvious that they have no concern or consideration for how they may be disturbing others. And it’s very frustrating because we have no recourse to try and deal with the situation. The man who rents the unit is a friend of our landlord and an influential man in the rather small community of Lae, so we know it would be futile for us to say anything. The crazy thing is that this man seems to seldom be here--he just houses his 20 year old girlfriend here while he lives with his wife in a nearby village. He comes and goes, and in the meantime, she parties with whomever she can find. Yes, sometimes we’re very frustrated with their selfishness and immaturity. But at the same time, we see how lost every one of them is, and how they try desperately to find happiness in drugs and drinking. We know how empty their lives really are. We see the lack of peace in their eyes, and on the nights we’ve heard the young girlfriend sobbing, we’ve heard her deep despair. If only they would know the incredible, inexplainable joy of knowing Jesus Christ! And that their thirst could be quenched forever by Him! Lately we’ve been praying specifically for more opportunities to reach out to them with the love of Christ, but I have to admit, it’s difficult when all you want to do is let them know how much sleep you’ve lost because of them! And even though we’re missionaries (who are supposed to have this down pat by now, right?!...Not!), we still struggle with taking that bold step in coming right out and witnessing to them. Could you please join us in praying for them? And pray for us to, that we may get past our own frustrations and be bold in taking every opportunity to show them love and acceptance, and to tell them of a Saviour whose love is so deep and so rich that He is able to cover all their sins and set them free, if only they believe in Him!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today...Jonathan turned 4!

Well, our little man is 4 years old already! Hard to believe how time flies. All week Jonathan’s been counting down the sleeps until his big day, and then today as the day went on, he kept asking to make sure it was still his birthday!

The vanderHeide girls came over this morning and became part of the cake-decorating team!

And here’s the finished airplane cake!

Even a big 4 year old needs Daddy’s help blowing out the candles!

His birthday present, imported all the way from Toys R Us, Canada!

And an afternoon swim with a crocodile to finish off our wonderful day.

We praise God for Jonathan and pray that he will grow in his knowledge of the Lord and love and serve Him with all his heart!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rainy Day

There are clothes, towels and sheets hanging in various spots throughout our house—on the clothes rack, of course, but since we ran out of room on it, there are sheets draped over chairs and tables and hanging from curtain rods. I also hung up a temporary clothes line out front of our house. Today started out as a nice sunny day, and so I didn’t expect the rain that’s coming down now. Hence I washed all the sheets and the towels and lots of clothes!

We seem to be having more rainy days lately, so it must be the rainy season, I guess. Since Lae gets about 5 metres of rain annually, even the locals have a hard time specifying exactly when it is. We’ve asked many different people, many times, and have never received the same answer twice! We understand the confusion--most people don’t typically follow a calendar, and then you have the fact that it rains all the time in Lae, even during the ‘dry’ season! But we have figured out this much in the couple years we’ve been here—-during the dry season, we stay mostly dry, because it only rains at night! (With torrential downpours and house-shaking thunderstorms!) And then during the wet season, it rains at night and during the day. And it can rain and rain and rain. So that’s where we’re at today. Our laundry will probably stay hanging up all of today, and probably tomorrow too, and then unless the sun comes out, it still won’t be dry and we’ll just have to settle for damp towels, clothes and sheets. Actually, in the humidity, things basically feel this way what am I complaining about?!

Jonathan and Karlyn always get excited about running around in the rain. Actually Jonathan gets most excited about wearing his raincoat! I guess he’s a Canadian at heart and likes the idea of donning extra layers:) Karlyn, on the other hand, usually refuses, like the day I took this photo. At least she’ll wear her rubber boots though!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


We were recently blessed with the company of some new friends---David and Susan Howard and their 4 children, Katie, Melissa, Samuel and Jonathan. They are Bible translators with SIL/Wycliffe and normally live in their village or in Ukarumpa. However, for the past 4 months they joined us here in Lae, while they were the fill-in managers for the SIL guesthouse. (The usual managers are on furlough--you know, the ones we share the little tugboat with!)

David and Susan are very hospitable people, so they had us over for dinner often! In turn, their boys regularly came here to play for a morning when Susan was busy home-schooling their girls. Their family also regularly attended our church while they were here. It was really nice to have them as part of the fellowship. We will miss their presence there, and also the commotion their Jonathan (not our Jonathan, of course!!) caused when he would catch a handful of baby toads in the middle of the service!!! Actually, more than once, our Jonathan also came home with a pocketful of not-so-alive toads, the poor things!

Here are Katie, Karlyn, Melissa, Jonathan W, Samuel, and Jonathan H!

One Sunday at church, someone made the connection that the language David and Susan are translating is actually the language of our former pastor's wife, Ruth Bouway. We've met many of the people from Ruth's village and it is amazing for us to realize that we know some of the people who will, the Lord willing, be blessed with a Bible in their mother tongue through the work of David and Susan and their national co-translators.

Last week, we said goodbye to them as they left to return to Ukarumpa and their translation work. We will miss them but look forward to seeing them again sometime. We pray for God's blessings over them and their work!