Saturday, January 22, 2011

Western Australia

A kind and generous family opened their home for us during our 2 week stint
in Western Australia. It was such a blessing to have our 'own' place.
As you can see, we could easily fit. Thank you!
And we even had a pool. It was wonderful to see Joyce and Ryan again too! We also had a great visit with Henk and Christine Plug who were visiting from Canada, although we must 've been too busy catching up to take any photos that day!
Our now former colleagues, Andrew and Natalie and their girls,
arrived in WA a couple days after we did.
The Mission Board and Consistory of Armadale Church
had a farewell bbq for them to thank them for their years of service in PNG.
We had fun riding the train into Perth one day.
The train also took us over to the beautiful historic town of Fremantle.
Here's Caleb having fun with Kirilee, as per usual!
Here's Jono climbing the Spider Web--
found at every Aussie playground we've ever been to!
This fine couple took us on a ferry ride to gorgeous Rottnest Island.
Thanks again, Len and Viv!
We swam and snorkeled and enjoyed being in this beautiful place.
Jono caught this little (slightly dead) fish!
We then travelled to another beautiful place--Albany!
Cheronne gave Caleb his first haircut there!
We also enjoyed some time at the beach where the VanderHeide girls
were having swimming lessons (brrrrr!).
Ian celebrated his birthday there. After he preached in West Albany in the morning, there was a coffee social and then the group broke out into song. They sang Happy Birthday and 'how old are you now?' (which he did divulge) and "God bless you always". We then had Cheronne and kids (Wayne was still in Perth) and Andrew and Natalie and kids over for dinner at 'our' place.
(We were again blessed by someone who opened her home to us for the weekend. Thank you!)
Here are the kids having fun together before saying goodbye again.

Here's Ian enjoying his birthday present from Hans Vermeulen (Cheronne's father)--an hour tour over Albany's gorgeous coastline! (Ian assured me the flight was stress free even if the pilot seems creased with concern).
And then we drove the 4 hours back to Perth!
Our time in WA flew by and we are now already back on the North-Eastern side of Australia and enjoying our last few days in Cairns before flying back home on Monday. We've got mixed feelings about going back. In some ways we are very ready to be back in our own home again and back to routine. But in other ways we're not sure we're quite ready to face the struggles of life in PNG. Thankfully God goes before us and is always with us and will give us much joy and peace in serving Him there again this year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

2011 has come...2010 has already gone by. How did that happen so fast?! We want to wish everyone the Lord's continued blessings for this new year. May it be one in which we all grow even closer to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who alone gives meaning and purpose to each new each new day.

We also want to share with you a few photos from our last church service of 2010, during which our church community said farewell to the VanderHeide family who will be repatriating to Albany, Western Australia after 4 years of working with Reformed Ministries in Lae.

People were given the opportunity to send them off with a gift. So they were laden with 'bilums' (string bags) and other precious PNG mementos.
Many tearful goodbyes...they will be missed!
Various groups like this one sang songs for them.
And of course a feast of PNG kaikai was enjoyed.
We took the opportunity to take a group photo.
Their farewell drew an especially large crowd.
As you can see, Karlyn will dearly miss her beloved friends, as we all will.
The day after the farewell service, we jumped on a plane at 7am and flew to Port Moresby and then straight on to Cairns, Australia, where for the past week we've been enjoying a relaxing holiday. We're staying in Matt and Claire Byl's flat underneath their house which has been great. Andrew and Natalie and the girls joined us here a few days later along with their friends Gerald and Rosita and five children who are visiting from Tasmania. It's been a fun time, and we're thankful for the break from our life and work in PNG.

Here's Caleb, relaxing on the veranda and eating chocolate pudding!
Karlyn and Jono, having fun in the pool at Matt and Claire's.
Just two more days and then we continue our travels and fly over to Perth, Western Australia where we are looking forward to catching up with our Mission Board and supporting churches and some old friends.