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.