Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Visiting We Will Go

The end of September we flew to Vila and decompressed for a few days, then flew on to Australia.  We planned to Christmas in Australia with friends and supporters, but when Gretchen found out she was pregnant, we decided to go a bit longer and have the baby amidst visiting and working.  Gretchen figured she was due November 2, but ended up having Kaiden the 26th instead (baby post to come).  One of our requirements pre-translation is that we write several papers on the language and culture of the people of North Ambrym.  Our aim is to complete research for our cultural papers while in Australia so we have been working on those.  Staying at Kangaroo Ground, on the Wycliffe, Australia campus, has given us free access to their library, which is a fairly good source of resources for Pacific languages and cultures.  We also have had a really nice schedule of churches to visit while here and are enjoying getting to better know the congregations we have connections with here. 
 Friends John and Jackie (Americans who served in Turkey for years, but now serve Turks in Australia).
 Pat (Australian Greek married to an Aussie Italian).
 Pat and Mike's kids - Sarah, Josh and Sam.
 Hannah over for a meal.
 With Hannah's family and friends. 
 Steve and Jodi's kids. These guys plan to be in Vanuatu once their support is raised!  Yay!
 Steve and Jodi and family.  Houghton just went with Steve up to Canberra to the yearly National Training Event, which is a big Australian university student missions conference.  Please pray for those they spoke to that God would lead Australians into missions!
 I've been doing a reading incentive program with the kids.  When they have completed the reading requirements I've given them, they can go somewhere fun.  So far we've gone rollerskating and to the museum.  Here's Si and I at the rollerskating rink.
 Addy and I
 Si and I at the Melbourne Museum.  Kids are free so that's cool, and their exhibits are really interesting and have good interaction for kids.
 Dinosaur models.
Gwen, Addy, and Si
 Hanging out at the museum after mom had Kaiden.
 Can you see their tiny little bodies way off in the distance?
They're into posing...don't ask me...!  :)
 We went and saw our friend Kristen perform at her program's performing arts studio.  Here's us getting some sun before going in to watch.  She was fantastic! Sorry, no pics of her performance...
 We were invited by John and Jackie to share with some of their friends.  Houghton shared a bit of a message and about Bible translation while Gretch and I hung out with the kids.

 Lots of kids!  Most of these guys are Lebanese.
 Singing songs with the kids before we did a lesson about missions.
 Our friends Allan, Lorette, Stephanie, Michael, Jacob, and Alana.
 Gretch and Gwen singing before Hought shared at Cornerstone church in Craigiburn.
 Gretch and Gweny singing at Grace Baptist in Watsonia.  This is the church we were involved in when we were students here.  We have been able to attend all the Sundays we weren't booked at other churches.  We got to share the ministry in Vanuatu with them as well. 
Sharing at Arkhouse church in St Kilda.

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