It’s been too long since I last wrote. So, my thoughts and memories are messy.
I wanted to write shortly after Naomi left for the US in August. I had lots to say then. But I did not. Then I thought Christmas is a good time for a newsletter. Again- nothing.
Now I catch myself in February 2022. So here goes…
Since this is a family newsletter, I will let you know what each one of us are up to…
LIAM is turning 14 this year, is now as tall as I am. Sometimes I hear a voice in my house and wonder what guy came over to visit. My little boy is all of a sudden, a man.
I got the idea the other day from someone else to put a bottle with marbles on your shelf. Each marble will represent one week your child still have left in home. So, we counted and found out that our bottle with Liam still has 277 marbles in it. May God help us to number our days with him well and make every moment count.
My boy wants to become a rugby player or pilot one day. (just a pity one has to go through school to achieve this!😀) I hope he goes for the pilot thing! He still has a teacher here who is home schooling him. Teacher Tessa is one of the biggest blessings of my life.
Liam is a child of God and we love our maturing boy. Our conversations with him is getting adult level. So is his goofiness… one of his best friends is his black guitar. Always ready to come up with a song for every conversation. Did you know there’s songs out there about unpacking the dishwasher or about a mom that told a boy to put the mayonnaise back in the fridge?
Our MARLOU is turning 18 this year and is doing grade 11. She is not living with us on this smaller island but is in the school and dorm on the mainland of Papua New Guinea. We see her every 8 weeks.
My Marlou is beautiful inside and out. She loves people and God has put some amazing dorm parents, teachers, friends and their parents, and mentors in her life. I am so thankful for the role these people play in the parenting world. Having Marlou in the dorm for her last few years here proofs to be a good way for maturing my MK (missionary kid). She is enjoying life- school, soccer, choir, friends and friends and friends.
No idea yet what Marlou will go do after she graduates in a year and a half from now. We pray that God will soon make that clear and will open the doors for us to that.
God is faithful in Marlou’s life as she walks with him and making her relationship with him her own.
We said goodbye to NAOMI August 2022. Ready to go start her nursing degree in Chicago, USA. This mom was not prepared as I seriously thought this will never happen. But her dream came true. Liam still imitates me as I said, crying the night before she left, “feels like I’m never going to see your again my child”😂
She is done now with one semester. She made it to the Dean’s list of academic achievements this term. We are proud, and humbled and thankful.
God provided her with friends that love Him too. With Christian families just opening their hearts and homes for her. That was one of my fears for her there… where will my poor child go to weekends when she needs time away from college, Christmas break! But like God is… he is also in the small things. He is in the smallest details.
Families that understand that they can play a part in Gods Kingdom when they look after my orphan MK while the mom and dad are missionaries oversees. Families who is willing to not see Christmas as a family time, but who are willing to take in a stranger from who knows where and even have Christmas gifts for her as if she is part of the family.
Recently Naomi got Covid. Luckily her college had some isolation rooms. I read the message somewhere in the night on my phone, frantically got online and opened and account at one or other chemist to get some meds delivered to her ASAP. Just to be told by Naomi that Emily’s mom is already bringing her everything she needs, plus snacks! Now I have never met Emily’s mom, but she is a fellow believer, understanding how the body of Christ functions. So yes, our support network has grown this past months. So many people just showing so much grace to us.
Another HUGE miracle was getting Naomi’s class fees paid this past year. After her scholarships we needed half the money for the year still. Over the years I got to trust God to provide for us. But when it came to Him, providing for my child’s college fees, I found myself doubting. Asking myself how on earth our supporters will want to pay for the luxury of sending my child to a college in the US. But God knows, He, through our supporters is the only channel of financial support we have. So, God provided for this past year. HE is GOOD!
Our oldest daughter, MADELEEN, back in South Africa, continues to be doing great too! She is still living at her special place, Camphill Village on the West Coast , for disabled people. Grandma and grandpa are faithful acting as her guardians in SA and are taking every opportunity to take her home for a weekend or break. They are the immediate family for her that she does not have with us being so far away. Such an extension of us!
And then there is friends of ours to take it on them to go and visit Madeleen, help pay for her life there, who buys the necessary things she needs, including treats!
Madeleen is so happy with her Camphill family. Being surrounded with people that understands her. Working with the farm animals that she has a special bond with. A place that fits her like a glove!
LOURENS is doing well too. This man will have his big 50th birthday this year.
Most of you know that we are stationed now on our mission center. From here Lourens is working with the broader national church in PNG.
We have about 20 tribal church planting groups here, where the missionaries had to leave, whether the work was completed and there is a growing church or where the missionary left halfway and left the church unattended.
Lourens and a team of national elders are working under this 20 language groups. Giving training to them, visiting them, equipping them, encouraging them. We don’t have enough expat missionaries to go and fill these gaps… but the already existing church in PNG can. So, it’s helping this different tribal churches to take hands and becoming the ONE church of GOD.
Furthermore, he is helping here with the team formation and allocation of 6 other missionary families that is new to PNG.
Most days the hours are not enough, the hands are not enough.
Between the above roles and some others, it’s hard to find time to switch off, to really rest, with a brain that’s not still running in hundreds of directions… he does get discouraged, worried, is tired.
But always, God is giving him hope to press on and have a vision and hope for the global CHURCH here in PNG with all its needs. Pray for him for wisdom in this calling.
The MOM AND WIFE are here too! Doing well for the most part.
The past year had many goodbyes and too many kids leaving the house. I find myself in a mostly quiet house. Missing the joy and laughter many kids bring.
My thoughts live in 3 continents, my heart is therefore scattered too. And all of a sudden, I re-evaluate my time and purpose. You can find yourself all of a sudden with too much time and too little purpose. I’m asking God to help me use my new-found time well.
I enjoy my life here on the mission center a lot. I love being surrounded by other missionary wives. I have a job here in the business office and I am a guest house manager, making sure visiting missionaries have a restful place to stay.
My favorite thing is to just be available for whatever God has for me for the day. Trusting HIM to send someone or, a job my way that needs done.
I am blessed to have the greatest friends around me. Other woman I can do life with here. My little PNG family. I pray that God will use me to build into other, to have a listening ear, and use me to be an encourager to others in the race we are in.
This brings me to the end.
So, summarize- typing this newsletter made me realize how blessed we are. Experiencing God’s goodness through fellow believers is something that stands out to me more than ever. The role the body plays.
With a thankful heart