Sunday, April 29, 2007

Back from Aussie-land!

My heart is (THANK)-FULL!!!
The week was great - very rich with God - in fellowship, inspiration, refreshing and good food!
The kids seem to have had a good time, too, and we're all glad to be back together again!
Amazing how you can leave two teenagers for a week and come back to a CLEAN house! WOW!!! What great kids!!!


The two "little ones" seem to have done very well, too. This was Kylie's first time ever away from both of us for more than 24hours!



She told me this morning that she wanted us to go to Australia again. When I kept asking her questions to make sure I really understood her right, she kept insisting, adding "... so that you can bring me a backpack again." I guess she really liked the little backpack we picked out for her at the airport in Sydney :) - one she'll need for going to "kindi" (preschool) soon.


As soon as Rich and I stepped back into our home, we both came down with a nasty cold that's given us 2 miserable nights already and not much better days. We trust and pray that it's all uphill from here. There is so much work to be caught up on...

Back to Australia: We really loved our time there! First of all, it's not hard to fall in love with Australia (the little we saw). As a matter of fact, we just LOVE the nations - all of them!


It is most fascinating how the songs of the birds are so different in every country! The songs of the Aussie birds that we awoke to every morning were so interesting - and different!

Just like the songs and style of praise of humans is so different from country to country, so are the birds'! Just a little foretaste to heaven...

We LOVE it!!!
Here is an Aborigine playing his "praise" on a digeridoo - a most unique sound!



At the conference, there were more than 600 YWAMers (and friends) from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific- all ages, all colours and oh so many languages! We felt so at home in our YWAM-family and it was great to reconnect with "old" friends and get to know new ones.

Truly a great bunch of folks - and outstanding leaders and speakers!

Are we blessed or what - to be able to be part of this family?!!

The photo below is us with Ken and Robyn Mulligan, the leaders of the Townsville base (Australia). The last time we were all together was over 20 years ago - in Switzerland - where we were on an evangelism team together. That was before Rich and I started our "special relationship"!


Here is Rich with Taubale, his good friend and leader for YWAM and IWT Fiji:

Taubale really needs our prayers, as his family is being extremely stretched with all that's happening in Fiji and the preparations for IWT - including the battles. What troopers for God he and his wife Ofa are! They used to live rather comfortably in New Zealand before God called them back to their nation, and at the moment they are struggling just to put food on the table as their support is minimal.

There's so much more to say - - - maybe later :)



Sunday, April 22, 2007

Off to Australia


Off we go to http://across2u.com/Proclaim.html

Catch up with you in a week!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happenings

Our time with Rich's parents is drawing to a close - sadly...
It's been a most wonderful 2 weeks! God answered our prayers for beautiful weather, health, safety and a great memory-making time!

We'll celebrate both grandparents birthdays and then tomorrow, Rich will drive them to Auckland where they fly out in the evening.
What a precious time with them! Thank you Jesus!!!
(Photos coming...)

Then - on Sunday - Rich and I will drive to Auckland, where Rich will speak in a church about what's happening with IWT in Fiji.
Early Monday morning, we'll fly out to Sydney, Australia, for a YWAM staff conference!
I am so excited that I get to go with Rich!!! This will be our first plane ride by ourselves since our first flight to Tahiti 18 years ago!!! And the first time that we go to such a conference TOGETHER!!!

The time will be packed with meetings - and more meetings in between meetings - and connecting with fellow YWAMers from our region.
We are really expecting God to do some deep stuff during our time there!

And then we'll be back early the following Sunday.

Nathalie and Jeremie are excited to stay home by themselves - also for the first time!!!
Leilani and Kylie will stay with friends.

How blessed we are! Got to run... Lots of things to get ready still :)
I doubt I'll be writing more in the next week or so...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Where did she get that from?

Last night we had another amusing dinner-time. Everybody was chatting - it was Leilani's birthday and the attention had been on her all day - until Kylie sweetly interrupted: "Excuse me, I want to say something." She said a few things I forgot and then dropped "the bomb" : "First I was in Mommy's tummy - and then she pooped me out."

After we recuperated from a good laugh, I asked her where she heard that (definitely not from us or anybody we could imagine) and she said that it was Leilani - which Leilani affirmed was not true at all.

Now remains the question: Who's teaching our sweet little girl...???

Sunday, April 8, 2007

HAPPY EASTER and Grandparents

Happy Easter and may we all grow in our revelation of what really took place when Jesus died on that cross and then was raised back to life - - - it blows my mind!

THANK YOU JESUS, FOR THAT HUGE SACRIFICE!!!!

It's been such a busy week and we just barely got everything ready in time for Rich's parents' arrival today. It sure accelerated the final stages and clean-up of our moving in and I can now say - very tired but very happy: we've got everything in its place and a place for everything!!!!
Well, just about everything (most of our books are still in boxes and will be until we can buy a book shelf)

Can't tell you what a relief that is for me!!!
When Rich or the kids ask me where this or that is, I actually know it! And hopefull they'll soon know it, too, so they won't need to ask any more. WHEW!!!

It is wonderful having Rich's parents here!!! We sure miss not having grandparents around most of the time! It was kind of funny and kind of sad at the same time having to prepare Kylie for their visit. She does not know them at all (she was a baby when we saw them 3 years ago), neither does she understand the concept of grandparents or who they are.

"Why are they coming to stay at our house?"
"Are they going to like me?"

She was so relieved when I told her that they're going to love her and she squealed with delight. Amazing that she would even wonder about that... must be the influence of those teenagers in the house... :)

I guess for her they are strangers - but that's going to change now!

What I am really grateful about is that the older children do have some relationship with them! Of course it is not as close as if we lived close by, but there are many good memories of times spent together over the years. Makes me all the more glad that we went out of our way (and financial possibilities) to visit them every 3 years or so. The kind of investment that is priceless!!!

Should be a fun couple of weeks with them - hopefully creating many more happy memories!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Invitation

I'd like to invite you to look at Julie's website. Julie is leading the "Impact Evangelism School" in Fiji at the moment, training workers for "Impact World Tour". This is just one page with some photos (can you find Rich?) and an interesting report from this week.

www.reeftooutback.com/article.aspx?id=22123

Enjoy and have a VERY HAPPY EASTER!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Friends

While Rich and Kylie are out choosing some paint for one of our living room walls (the present colour really doesn't match our couch set!) I should be doing all kinds of other things, but I can't resist to write you some more ...

Remember our Samoan friend? We were blown away again by his generosity! He never sends Rich off empty-handed, or let's say, with an empty gas tank!

Besides feeding him a feast on Sunday night, he took him out for breakfast Monday morning, and sent him home with a new/used shirt and a big box full of muesli bars for the kids. His generous heart really blesses us - all the more since we know that he's not swimming in the bucks, either.
AMAZING!!!!

How wonderful it is to have Rich back!!!!

Kylie was telling him this morning out of the blue: "I like it that you and Mommy are friends." Isn't that so precious?!

Just like the books say, if you want to show love to your children, the first important thing to remember is to love your spouse. It ministers to them when they see their parents love each other!

Regular separations really help you appreciate each other more than if you see each other every day :)

I'm happy we're friends too!

We've got a very busy week ahead of us and lots of things to get ready before Rich's parents visit! They're arriving on Sunday for a 2-week-long-awaited-visit!!! We're all very excited about it and are planning on doing some excursions that we haven't had time to do since we've arrived in NZ.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Ever wondered...

...what missionary kids save their money for?

I don't know about others, but our two oldest ones have been working and saving just about every penny for the last 2 years for tickets to go back home.

Now the quiz question is: WHERE IS HOME???

This is THE MOST dreaded question for our kids: "Where are you from?"

Until very recently, Leilani has been answering people, "I'm from Tahiti."

With her looks, she usually gets abit of a surprised look. So now, she says what her brother and sister have been telling people when they are asked THE QUESTION (because of their foreign accent, which is a bit American, but not totally typical):

"My Dad is american, my Mom is German and I was born and raised in Tahiti." (I'm not sure the puzzled look on people's faces gets any better after this explanation).

Anyway, as you may have guessed by now, although our kids LOVE to go back to the US and Germany to see their families, HOME IS TAHITI!

So on Saturday, Nathalie and Jeremie booked flights to go back "home" for 2 1/2 weeks during the July/winter vacation. There was a special for tickets - almost half off the regular price!

Nathalie was just about over the moon!

Jeremie would have been over the moon, too. Except that he is completely exhausted from the rowing championships and not very emotional anyways.

Last year, he told us that he was going die if he couldn't go to Tahiti soon. Now being as non-dramatic of a boy as they get, this sounded an alarm in us parents. He really does need to go back for a visit!

In the meantime, though, as he's saved up money, he realized that he could actually buy himself a car with that money if he wasn't going to Tahiti.

Hard choice - - - since he'll have his restricted licence (can drive by himself during daytime) early May.

Priorities, priorities - - -
We're glad for them to be able to go back home together!

My hubby's coming back today!

After more than 2 weeks, Rich will be back home from Fiji this afternoon! YEAY!!! I am so excited!!!
I've got to run and get the house cleaned up. If there's time left, Kylie and I will bake him an American apple pie for his welcome - one of his favorites :)

Having come from the islands, I know he will not have suffered from starvation, but it's still nice to come home to that smell (and taste)!

He actually already arrived in Auckland yesterday but had to do some more ministry stuff there this morning. Nearly every time he comes and goes he stays in Auckland with our Samoan pastor friends we know from when we were working in Auckland with IWT 3 years ago.

It's so funny - it's become a family joke - they always have a BIG FEED for him, no matter what time of day or night he arrives!

Last time, he arrived after midnight. We all knew - and yes, it happened - our Samoan friend took him out to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It's hilarious! Even if he's not hungry and doesn't really want to eat at all (rather sleep), he HAS TO eat and fellowship first!

It would be unacceptable for the Samoan sense of hospitality to just pick him up from the airport and let him go to sleep.

Last night was no exception :)

We love our island friends!!! (and we'll know who to blame for extra-pounds)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

yearning and longing

Those of you faithful readers and those who've known me for a long time know my passion and love for orphans and Rich's and my desire to adopt - some day.

There is a little chinese girl in our church creche (where I work most Sundays) who was adopted by a beautiful NZ family. 2 years ago, when we first arrived, I remember her to be totally closed and unapproachable. She would only stay at creche with her older brother. She had been adopted about 6 months prior.

Her mother told me how the first year with her was horrific, as she was unable to receive any love and basically screamed at the top of her lungs for the major part of the year! She was adopted from a chinese orphanage where she'd stayed for 18 months.

She is now 4 and the most beautiful, well adapted little girl. She loves Jesus and participates willingly at everything we do - especially the songs that we do movements to.

Last Sunday night at church, Kylie and her were intently watching over 20 people getting baptized in a very moving service. As I was watching them getting as close as they could to the pool and cheering and clapping with the rest of us, I was pondering on the changes this little girl has gone through.

How touching to see what she is becoming! How beautiful, what this family has done to literally save her life (according to her mom, she would most likely not be alive today, had she stayed in that orphanage)!

As I told her Mum about it this morning - thanking her for adopting her and taking her into their family - she said, "And we're doing it again. We'll have to wait 2 years (and know at what cost), but It's worth it!" WOW!!!

I've hardly been able to fight back the tears since this morning. The longing in my heart to also adopt are so strong. I feel like I am painfully yearning for the child(ren) that should be in our family...

It's hard to describe - - -

I am just going to have to keep asking the Father that he would open doors that would naturally be closed (for reasons of residency and finance mostly). I'm going to be like that widow, pestering the unjust judge... And I know that God is everything BUT unjust!

I know that it all starts in prayer and I'm going for it!

new blog

Since I can't fix some annoying problems of my old blog, I decided to get a new one... :) Easy as.

Let's continue to enjoy the journey of LIFE!