Thursday, March 31, 2011

"God made shopping!"

Shayden this morning: "Go to kindi (preschool), Mummy?"

Me: Not today, Shayden. Today, we're going shopping and then horse-back riding.
(he gets wonderful riding therapy every Thursday!)

Shayden: I LOVE shopping! God made shopping!

Now you know who came up with the idea!
Out of the mouth of babes... hehehe!!!

Actually, Shayden really DOES LOVE SHOPPING! Since he's joined our family - over 3 1/2 years ago - he has never fussed in the supermarket!

No crying, whining, begging




This little boy is amazing and oh, how I love him!!!!

Went to the Children's Hospital in Auckland with him this week for an appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon.
He's scheduled for surgery on his right hand (the better one) in October...
This will then give him at least one really good, strong hand! Yippeeee!!!

Can't resist posting these photos from this morning's horseback-riding.
This little boy has got such a winsome personality and joyful disposition that he conquers hearts everywhere he goes -

even to the point of people wondering if he ever stops smiling...

{He does!}

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I WAS having a really good day...

Today has been a good day - Saturday. Had 9 people around the dinner table tonight, enjoying fellowship and some good food - roast chicken and veggies with mashed potatoes - a feast - and plenty, too!

Saturday nights we usually have family night - and tonight, we were watching a movie with Kylie and Shayden -
Leilani is out babysitting and Jeremie was having a worship time with some friends.

I checked my emails just before watching the movie - and my whole mood changed - as I read a message from my dear friend in Uganda, Judith.

She was telling me about several of the HIV+ widows that we met when we were there.

Ruth's special needs grandchild is very sick and in hospital

Joyce has been very sick - and not enough food ~ ~ ~ makes me wonder who's caring for her 5 grandchildren...

And this beautiful lady has also been very very sick.

When we were there, we prayed for her little HIV+ daughter

since her mom said that she hadn't had a good night.

We found out when we went back a few days later

that she ended up getting admitted to hospital.

She had malaria ~ poor thing ~ and I was so bummed that she didn't get healed ~

The problem on the day we came back was that the little girl was ready to get discharged from the hospital with her mother, but the mother didn't have the money she needed to pay before being able to leave the hospital.
It wasn't very much - for us - and we paid it.
The hospitals in Uganda are usually free, but you have to pay for the food that you and the patient consume while there.

For her - it was a fortune that she didn't have.

She just came to Judith this week,


because she has no food

and no money for transport to get her ARV (Anti retro viral) medicine.

This medicine will prolong the life of AIDS victims

and it's free in Uganda

but you need money to get to where they give it out

AND - since this medication is VERY strong

you HAVE to eat when you take it

or it will make you sick.

Please pray with me for Judith as she ministers to these ladies, day in, day out!
As I am writing, she is getting ready to go to the hospital to visit Ruth and her grandchild.

This is a quote from what she just wrote me:

"Its a big challenge but God will give me the grace. every morning I have at least 1-2 women sitting outside telling me all their needs,and its ok.
some of them don't have whom to tell. keep praying for me."

It literally makes me sick to my stomach to imagine what these precious women and children have to suffer! It is SO real to me!

This IS happening, right NOW!

While I am in my home

protected from the rain

eating, drinking, healthy

enjoying family

LORD, HAVE MERCY and show YOUR LOVE to these ladies PRACTICALLY!!!!

I have a project I'm working on ... but it's going way too slowly for my liking...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The other day, Kylie came back in the evening from a birthday party at a friend's house.

As she wanted a little time to wind down before going to bed, I let her have it.

After a few minutes, she showed me this:

Here's the "translation":

You're safe Africa, because...

and on the other side:

Dear Africa, you are my only friends.

I know you really well

Because my Mom always talks about you

Because she is so caring for you.

I thought it was hilarious!

I have NO idea where she gets this from...
Even talking about "Africa being her only friends"...
She's got lots of friends ~ ~ ~ go figure...

Besides the spelling, I guess we'll have to work a little on her theology

Africa is NOT safe because I care for "it"

~ I wish ~

~ and I pray ~

that GOD would keep people there safe!


And to add to the fun, look at our lil boy

Deeply in prayer

So grateful for his German dinner of "Käsespätzle".

Yeah right - this happens to little boys who don't wanna take naps


Sunday, March 20, 2011


This past week was intense.

We were sitting on "hot coals" - waiting any minute for the news of an (immediate) RescueNet deployment for Japan - praying that God would let us know if Rich was to go or not.

We did sense he was to go - IF there was a deployment, but the word we (and the other international leaders) felt from God was WAIT.

Since nobody knew how long the WAIT was meant for, we waited every day.

Yesterday the leaders decided to step down from a deployment to Japan at this time.

Of course, things could always change again...

God is our refuge & strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we WILL NOT FEAR,
though the earth give way & the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar & foam & the mountains quake with their surging. Ps 46

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whata family!

In the midst of the tragic happenings in Japan - which will have consequences for our whole world, I believe (just read that Japan moved 8 feet through the earthquake, which DOES affect the world!),
here are some "happy photos":

Yup, I had a birthday on Sunday - turned another page in the book of my life on this earth!

48 years!!!

And have rarely felt better!


I was SOOOO blessed by my family!!!

Rich and Leilani stayed up until late (despite my protests, as I didn't want them to do this),

decorating for our traditional family birthday breakfast

Leilani and Kylie had made the sign earlier

Rich made a beautiful exotic fruit salad
and picked these gorgeous flowers from our garden

in the morning

before 7:30

because we had to be at church at 8:45!

I got cards from (almost) everybody -

Jeremie had serenaded me the night before

(which moved me to tears!)

And I pretty much got my only wish, thanks to Rich and Leilani:

Not to have to do ANY work the whole day!

(I did have to change 4/5 poo-diapers in the morning, as Rich was sharing at church about his time in Christchurch during 2 services and I was in charge of Shayden, who was working through a slight medical issue that day...)

I was VERY touched by so much affection!!!



Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's pray for Japan!

While Rich and I are praying about him going to Japan with a Rescue-Net team, here is an email from a sister in Christ in Japan to a fellow-blogger.
I am taking the liberty to post it here.

PLEASE - let's pray for her, her family and the precious people of Japan!

Hi!! My name is M~....... I have a very special prayer request and knew I could count on your prayers right this very moment.

My family currently lives in Japan, where my husband is serving in the Military. We have been here, along with our five kids, since last July. Our military base is near Toyko.

The devastation in this country is horrific. I've been praising God that things were NOT worse, as I know it could be a much bleaker picture. We are OK as of right now on the military base, but knowing what is going on just a few miles outside our gate is very sombering. Just as bad is the fear that is settling in.

The talk of nuclear meltdowns and radiation leaks is very disturbing. The mere thought of another earthquake is mind numbing. Today they are starting rolling power outages to help conserve energy, and there is talk of gas rationing. We are starting to go into panic mode - not just us in our home but the community around us.

After the initial shock of the earthquake I was earnestly praying that God would use the situation - and those Christians He has placed right in the midst of it - to bring honor to His name in this country where the great majority of the population do not know Him.

Don't really know how that can happen if we let ourselves be enslaved by fear!!! We would love to have you join us in prayer - just KNOWING other believers are lifting us up goes a long way!!!! Please pray for us to be strengthened and encouraged, to be used to help those truly experiencing loss and devastation all around us, and to let His glory shine in all this! And for the physical needs AND spiritual needs of those without food, water, power, medical supplies as we speak!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Frugality and honesty saving lives!

The Christchurch earthquake continues to affect all of our little country of New Zealand,
even with Japan on our hearts so much now.

We keep meeting people that have moved up to Tauranga from Christchurch,
making it out of the city sometimes just with their lives and a few belongings.

We've had the privilege of hosting a young couple -
earthquake refugees, as we lovingly call them.

They are friends from Germany and Switzerland that were on a 3-month tour of New Zealand. They "just" wanted to stroll the streets of Christchurch for an hour and were inside the cathedral when the earthquake struck.

They were able to get out with minor injuries.

Part of their story really touched me:

They wanted to go up the tower, as most tourists do.

But because they were frugal and didn't want to spend the money it cost to go up, there lives were saved!

Because 60 seconds after they were going to go up, the tower was no more!

They could have cheated and gone up the tower without paying, as somebody that was just coming down left the door open.

But because they were honest (and they WERE tempted to cheat - but didn't), they are still alive today!


Teaching my children to be frugal - and honest - has just taken on another whole dimension for me!

I'm not saying that you should never spend $7 to do sightseeing, but in this case, they definitely did the right thing!

You can see the cathedral in the beginning of this short video clip.

It was AMAZING that NOT.ONE.SINGLE.PERSON was found dead in the rubble of the cathedral - even though there were 20-30 people inside at the time of the quake!

There are a lot of other stories of people surviving miraculously ~ ~ ~

We are grateful that no more than about 200 people died - it definitely could have been a LOT more! And our love and prayers go out to those who did loose loved ones...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Funny kids

Shayden is such a rascal -

very cheeky -

and Mr. Humor in person!

He continues to bring so much joy and laughter into our family!

The other day, when Rich came home from Christchurch, I asked Shayden before he had seen Rich,

"Guess who's here???"

As he turned the corner and saw Rich, he looked at him

paused for a moment

and exclaimed:


Too funny, this little guy!

(dunno where in the world he got this idea from...)


Here as Spongebob

is growing up

7 1/2 now - WOW!!!

She's Miss Social butterfly

She makes friends anywhere we go within minutes

Talks to people without inhibitions.

The other day, Shayden's doctor mentioned something to her having to do with


She promptly turned around and replied matter-of-factly:

"I'm over princesses"


I guess this momma better catch up with the times...

no lil princess anymore?!

I then proceeded to ask her if she was also over "pink"

~ ya know what I mean ~

EVERYTHING needing to be pink (or sometimes purple)

to which she first replied "yeees", but then changed her mind just a lil bit:

"well, not totally ~ yet"

Oh goody, she's not totally grown up yet after all.

I'm trying to ENJOY with the kiddos !

Before I know it, they'll be out of the house, married, with kiddos of their own

... in less than a month...

I'll be a grandma!

How exciting!!!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Praying for Japan

There's no better place to be than in a House of Prayer when hearing about a big earthquake and tsunami hitting Japan!

I LOVE the House of Prayer that's just minutes from our home!

I've never appreciated it more than tonight!

We were there as a family - we try to go every Friday night.

When the news was announced, we were just praying for Christchurch.

Immediately, we switched gears and started praying for Japan.

What else can we do but pray - in times like these?

God is still sitting on the throne.

We will continue to worship him

And plead for the salvation and lives of those who may be just about facing eternity

either with God

or in a terrible place


Pleading for mercy for the nation of Japan

Japan - we love you, precious people!

Our heartfelt prayers are with you, as we pour out our hearts and tears before God on your behalf!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update from Rich in Christchurch

Rich and the team in Christchurch have had an amazing time - doing medical "stuff", going door to door, listening to people's stories, hugging them, praying for them, praying over the city, giving out food and water, shoveling dirt - just being a blessing in whatever way needed!

And - as it is more blessed to give than to receive -

Rich told me that the devastation is WORSE when you're there than what you see on TV.
It really is quite sobering...

While all of our hearts and prayers will continue to be in Christchurch, Rich and the team will start their trip home tomorrow afternoon - be back Wednesday afternoon.

Can't wait!!!


Please pray for a safe journey back home - lotsa driving - a ferry trip - THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dear God

Prayer said by Kylie tonight after talking to her brother Richard in Uganda:

"Dear God,
Please let it rain in Uganda so that my brother Richard won't die."

She prayed more, but my fried brain can't remember now - after less than 5 hours of sleep last night and a baby shower with almost 30 ladies at our house today for Nathalie.

Yes, the baby shower was wonderful and it was great being able to bless Nathalie and have some special food and drink!!!


And now, Lord, I do want to ask you to LET IT RAIN in Uganda!
You see how bore-holes are dried up and other water sources that normally provide water to many are gone as well.

They NEED rain - for drinking

and cooking

and washing

- and for the crops - so that they can eat!

Thank you that Richard is provided for and won't die of thirst or hunger.

But many others might -

especially those living in rural areas.

I do feel for the many whose tiny mud huts will get completely washed out in the rain

and everything becoming mud

YET - I know that even these people would be wishing for the rain to come.