Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Celeste Comes Nest or Just for a Rest?

It was about two years ago that we first introduced you to our little 'tugboat', that is. We had high hopes then of one day sailing the ocean blue in her, seeing as we live right on the edge of the beautiful Huon Gulf and all. But alas, those dreams have not yet become reality! She (the boat's name is Celeste, by the way) spent about a year and a half at our friend's property, where we did some work on her, but just couldn't get the engine going and then she just rested there while we spent a year in Canada. So when we returned last October, a friend of ours who works at a mechanic shop in town suggested we bring her in there. He did this as a favour to us, and they worked on her in their spare time, that is, until the boss said that this 'charity case' of a boat was taking up space and had to go!! We promptly ordered two small parts from Australia and they got the engine going! And so it was that last Saturday our friend called and asked if Ian would follow him to our place while he pulled the boat here. The reason being was that although the boat is now running, the trailer for it, well, it was a little more uncertain, shall we say. And boy did it need some reinforcing to get it here. Imagine a trailer that was close to falling apart, pulling a boat on roads full of potholes, BIG ones! Well, after being stranded on the road 3 times, and 3 hours later, Celeste finally came home to be with us!

The Reinforcements!

Jonathan helps to give her a wash.
We're not sure yet what our next step will be. Somehow we will have to fix the trailer before we can test the waters with Celeste. But that will take time, and money, of course. We were originally sharing the boat with some missionary friends, but the Lord has directed them to work in the Highlands of PNG instead, and so we are now the sole owners. This is ok, but it makes us question whether it is all worth it. Maybe we just need to get out on that water, just once, catch some fish and taste the sea salty air and we will be convinced! I don't know. For now, Celeste will rest in front of our house while we contemplate our next move.
And a few other pics.
Karlyn, posing...for some reason she does the head-tilt thing whenever I take a photo of her these days. Where did she learn that??
Jonathan has just completed his first term at school...and he loved it! Here he is with a few of his classmates on 'Sports Day'.
All of our kids have been sick lately and Caleb is still on the mend. He fell asleep in his high chair during dinner yesterday. Very uncharacteristic of him...showed how tired his little body is from not being well. Still so cute, though, eh?!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Change the Tide of Violence

It took 4 attempts, but the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier finally published one of Ian's letters to the editor today. (He says the other ones didn't get in because they were too impassioned! Now that's hard to believe coming from Ian, eh?!)

They did cut some parts out, but the gist is there. Here it is as it appeared in the paper:

"I read with sadness and anger yesterday in the Post-Courier about the man who has been jailed for murder in Wabag after kicking his pregnant wife, bursting her spleen and causing her death.
What tragedy and I am glad justice prevailed. We know this type of abuse happens almost ever night for hundreds of women in PNG, although not every act ends in death. Just last week, I witnessed a man trying to throw a rock the size of a brick at his wife and if that hit her spleen, what then? My question to these men is: will you repent and show true remorse for your actions? And more than that, will this remorse turn into a positive action? I often wonder, will such men after realizing the pain and loss ever change?
I pray they will because men must stop violence against women. Men have to raise their voices in solidarity and denounce such acts."

So there you have it. Woman abuse in this country is rampant and often goes unpunished, but thankfully not always. Slowly, ever so slowly, the message is getting through that the abuse has to stop.

But what will make these men change? Stricter laws may help, but God alone can change their hearts and we pray He will!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Call Sent Out

As many of you have already heard, our calling church, Armadale, along with the supporting churches in WA have called Rev. Hendrik Alkema and his wife, Kristen and family to join the church planting work that we (and the VanderHeides) are involved with here. Some of you also know that Hendrik and Kristen are our good friends; and it goes without saying that we would, of course, love to have them join the team here, IF that's the Lord's will. So we commend their decision to Him knowing that "A man's steps are directed by the LORD (Prov 20:24)."

Please pray for the Alkemas as they go through this major and difficult decision-making process over the next 6 weeks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Sight for Sore Eyes

A couple weeks ago a nasty strain of conjuncitivis was going around Lae. Almost every family in our church was affected by it, as well as many from the kid's schools. Jonathan was the first in our family to get it, but he managed to recover in just a couple days. Ian and Karlyn, however, both got hit pretty hard. Especially the first couple days, their eyes were swollen, weeping, and at the worst of it, the whites of their eyes were completely red. Although the worst is definitely over now, both of them still have some red spots on their eyes that are slowly going away. It is extremely contagious, but thankfully Caleb and I didn't get it. Probably thanks to the constant handwashing and sterilizing that went on around here! Poor Shiana VanderHeide who happened to be staying with us that week also got it and missed a day of school (although I don't think she minded that too, too much and Karlyn enjoyed the company:)).
Here are the two patients. Pretty pitiful, eh?!
It is dry and very hot these days. We have gone some three weeks without any rain and that really heats things up around here. But then finally God sends rain again and we enjoy a cloudy day or two and some cooler temperatures. I say 'cooler' because it's less humid, but really it's still 30 C!
Our first day of rain after a dry spell, and our crazy kids put their goggles on for a bike ride in the rain!
...This is Jonathan's new bike that we shipped over from Canada.
(I'm not sure if you're following this blog, but just in case, thanks again, Mr. Brian, from Magnolia Drive!).
And of course Karlyn is happy with her 'hand-me-down' from her brother!

When it doesn't rain we complain about feeling the heat more, but at least we still have plenty of water to drink (and it's purified at that!), to wash our dishes and clothes, and have a cool shower after a long hot day. And even our kids will spray each other down with the hose sometimes--actually I feel guilty that we can even do that. Readily available water really is a luxury. Most of our national friends living in the settlements collect rain water to supply their drinking, cooking and washing water. So you can imagine that when it doesn't rain for a few weeks, they find themselves short, which is why rain tanks such as these pictured below are so valuable and necessary. This is a new tank that is being installed on our church property and will serve to supply water to our church community and the broader community. We were able to purchase it through donations that came from the churches in Western Australia. This is our church group, saying, thank you, everyone!
Speaking of water, here is our Caleb, presiding over us, as he sits in the new baptismal font for our church, which happened to be at our house for a few days before we brought it to the church!
Many of the people from the Sepik province here in PNG are gifted in the area of wood carving. And when a few large trees were being cut down right outside the gate of our compound, Ian noticed a group of these carvers gathering there. So he went, with a drawing in hand, and asked a couple of them to carve the font. Although he gave them some artistic freedom too!
Sorry I got the order of the photos wrong, but here it is in the earlier stages.
We hope many will be sprinkled with water from this font as they are baptized into the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Or, seeing as our 6 month old fits in it no problem, maybe newborns could be fully immersed:)!