Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting into Routine

Much has happened since I last blogged. Not the least of which was a trip to Australia and back--actually to Cairns, which is an hour and a half flight from Port Moresby. It is a beautiful place and when we go there we stay at Tree Tops, which is a missionary guesthouse. This time around we enjoyed the company of Andrew and Natalie and their girls, as well as Nat's parents, the Byl's, the Terpstra's and the rest of the group from the home church in Mareeba, which is up into the Tablelands outside of Cairns.

We often notice when we get off the plane in Australia, that we feel an immediate sense of relief at no longer carrying the cultural stresses that we experience in PNG. Things like safety issues and always being stared at--the stresses we don't even realize we're feeling until we leave here. It was good to have a break from these and blend into the crowds (until we opened our mouths, that is, then everyone thinks we're Americans. Close...) It was a relaxing holiday for us all--lots of swimming and reading, although it also involved some work for Ian as he preached in the Mareeba church.

Since the last time we were in Cairns, Jonathan has been looking forward to a go-kart ride and saving his 'kina' for this. He loved it!
The church group very thoughtfully organized a bbq at the 'lagoon' for Ian and Andrew's birthdays.
Even Caleb enjoyed cooling off in the pool!
Although it is always good to get away, it is even better to come home again! We are settling back into regular routine as summer holidays are over.
Caleb has entered a new phase in his little life--the world of solid food! So far, he loves pureed pears, apples and sweet potato, carrot and corn!
The new school year has also started. Thanks to all who have been praying for Jonathan. He has done well his first week, even though there were a couple tearful goodbyes. His teacher told us yesterday that we should be proud of him for his good manners and obedience in the classroom. We praise God for that! Karlyn also started going to a preschool program just a couple mornings a week. She came home full of stories--we learned more from her first time there than we did in the whole year that Jonathan went to that program!! (Is that generally the case with girls?!)
Brother and sister, all ready for school!
Regarding church life,the regular programs such as Bible Study, literacy program, fellowship nights, membership class, and Sunday school are also starting up again. We do pray for the Lord's blessing over all of these.
This month our church also began a special 'outreach program' to encourage us all in the calling we've received to be witnesses to those around us. The program is fairly straightforward. Everyone was encouraged to think of people in their life who are not redeemed and for the month of February, pray for them everyday. For the month of March, we are to continue praying for them, but also be there to help them and share the love of Christ with them in tangible ways and also take any opportunity to share the truths of Scripture. And then we are to invite them to join us at our church for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This is the first time we have tried a program such as this and again, we are so dependent on the Lord's blessing and guidance!