Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Phil 1:3-5)

It has been our very great joy and privilege to live and serve alongside our brothers and sisters at Rumginae, both our national friends and the many missionaries from overseas that have come to share in God’s work.  Sharing joys and struggles builds deep and lasting friendships. 

Rumginae is in the midst of magnificent rainforest, where a little seedling can be transplanted with a small amount of disturbance.  A sapling however, will have many intertwined roots which require a lot of care to extract well.  We are so thankful to God for the way he has blessed our children with an out pouring of love and affection from their friends, big and small at Rumginae as we transition from life in PNG to life in Australia.

During our last last few weeks at Rumginae, we were blessed with wonderful positive and joyful times with the people we have shared our lives with over the last eight years.  We shared many meaningful times and wonderful experiences.It has been the quality time spent with our dear friends at Rumginae that has been special to us. We have visited friends at their home villages, had a number of sleepovers, the most being 19 children on a wet, stormy night after watching ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ with hot milo and pop corn. We had a wonderful time of devotions early the next morning singing, reading and discussing how Aslan restoring Eustace is a picture story of God’s grace in our lives.

It has been wonderful to celebrate all that God has enabled us to experience together as a community at special events with the youth, Sunday School, and farewells with the hospital, missionaries and church.

At the hospital and community farewell, a wonderful traditional feast known as a mumu was prepared in our backyard. Chicken, sweet potato, cooking bananas, sago and greens were cooked in the ground with hot rocks.

Tom and his friends spent most of their waking moments together… and even then, there were some sleep-overs. They recorded some songs together on our back veranda. A small sample can be downloaded by clicking here as mp3 files. Also for a 6 minute video presentation Tom put together for the church, click here. It is a delightfully boyish celebration of life as part of a loving community.

We are now in Australia and are refreshed after a wonderful family holiday in Cairns. We are currently in our house at Mannering Park which we are tidying up for sale. We are also in the process of finding some accommodation in the Nelson Bay area. We enjoyed time with family over Christmas.  Dan has started work up at Shoal Bay which he is enjoying.  The children are looking forward to starting school at St Philips Christian College Salamander Bay at the end of January. We hope to visit with supporters and supporting churches over the early part of 2012. We plan to return to Rumginae for periodic visits to allow holiday relief for Addy and Sharon.  

From all we hear, medical work, other ministry and daily life at Rumginae continues to be very busy and tiring. Please continue to pray for the team at Rumginae, especially Rosie, Addy, David and family, pilot Markus and family, as well as Sharon and the Painter family as they return from home assignment.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Heb 12:1,2)

Thank you to each of you who has been a part of this team through your prayers and other forms of help given in Christ’s name. What manner of love the Father has lavished on us that we might be called “Children of God”! What a joy it is to be a part of this wonderful family of God, which does not know the bounds of time or distance.  Unto Him, be glory in the church!

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam.

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