Ongs in Malawi

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less than 4 weeks to go!

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Wow, time really flies!

I was meant to do a post every week as we count down but 2 weeks have already gone by since I last posted at 6 weeks to go!

With less than 4 weeks to go, things are really rolling. 

God has been so good and so far provided us with 96% of our ongoing support! We continue to trust God for the rest.

The major crisis facing us at this stage is getting my passport. It wasn't until we went to renew my passport that we realised that we'd love my dad's citizenship certificate on which my name is included. Applying for a replacement has turned up some issues with my official name (which includes the chinese name). All this means there's been a lot of driving around to citizenship/immigration/registry offices trying to get things fixed and fixed quickly! 3 weeks is not a lot of time for 3 bits of official documents to be processed. 

We and other have been praying hard and we continue to trust that God is in control. It is mightily frustrating and discouraging but we trust that he will provide me with my passport in HIS timing. We'd love to be able to get the passport before 10th July, but perhaps God has a better plan?

In all this, I thank God for the peace he has given me, the helpful people along the way, the parking spots, and happy children. 

Pete will be handing in his last assignments today. Here ends another era. From here on, it's pack pack pack!

~ Jo


Countdown: 6 weeks to go

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (2)

6 weeks to go... or a month and a half.


That's not a lot of time. Not a lot of time at all....


So we've crossed a few more things off our to do list:

 

  • Jo to casual teach 1-2 days to renew teaching registration
  • Buy boxes from Kennards
  • Start packing

Photo: Teaghan going thru her 'Treasure Chest' and sorting her things into piles of 'Take to Malawi', 'Keep at Grammy's', 'Pass onto Caya', and 'Giveaway'.

Tonight at our ladies Bible Study, we looked at Philippians. To the writer Paul, "To live is Christ, to die is gain". Christ was his all. Anything else compared to having Christ was worthless.

We had to answer the question for ourselves: "for me to live is..."

I was challenged.

To others, they may say that for me: "to live is to give up her all for the gospel" Yes we are giving up a lot, but on the inside, as we get nearer to departure date, I see more and more of just how much I hold on to my own comfort as my security. Could I give that up also? 

Often we measure someone's faith/godliness based on how much or little they have. Eg. Missionaries must be the most godly because they have the least, a wealthy business man must not be very godly because they have a plump bank account. But it is not how much you have that matters as God blesses each one differently and according to his grace, but how much you hold on to them as security that counts. Whether little or much, how much are you willing to let it all go for God? How firmly are you holding onto these things instead of Christ?

As we settle into our new home Malawi, we will really need to hold closely onto him. That is going to be a challenge in the midst of change and stress. We may have packed and brought with us everything that makes us 'happy' and 'comfortable', but if we're not holding firmly onto Christ, we will still be a sad blubbering mess. A sad blubbering mess surround by happy things, but still a sad blubbering mess....

What a timely reminder. Would you keep us acountable?

~ Jo


 

"I scared the lions will bite me"

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The glorified picture of mission looked so rosy 10 years ago when Pete and I made decisions to follow God's call and let him use us wherever and whenever. But on this side of  being parents of three beautiful kids. It is much harder than we had anticipated to drop everything and go. We always knew were were going to be leaving with 2-3 Onglets, but now that they are a reality, I'm finding that a lot of my emotional energy surrounding our big move are spent on preparing the kids.


Don't get me wrong. We trust that God will take care of them. We have personally experienced that and know that God loves our kids so much more than we do. But we also understand that we need to exercise godly wisdom in preparing the kids adequately for the big move. We are so aware that it is OUR choice to go, not theirs.  We feel that it is important that they feel a part of it too (thus the kids website).


TEAGHAN our 5 year old is a sensitive routine kind of girl. We are the most worried about her, being the oldest and most 'knowing'. We've been decluttering a lot and giving away old toys, so much that she had a bad dream recently that we had given away her much loved baby sister Caya. :( She has a few friends here and will miss them when she moves. She also has a dairy allergy so will find it a challenge not to have her favourite soy items available. However, it's been so amazing to see the way she has handled a few big changes in the past few months and really maturing through them. We thank God for these glimpses of reassurance.


LUCAS our 3 year old is an easy going little guy. He is outgoing but has lately been feeling very insecure and clingy. He is resisting anything that is new - places, people, preschool, food, etc. He recently told us that he's worried about going to Malawi because he was scared that the lions might bite him! :( He's reverting to sucking his thumb a lot more now. Thank God that he is very good at expressing ihs feelings and so will tell us when he's happy or sad.


CAYA our 1 year old is Miss Social Queen and loves interaction. We're not too worried about her since she's so young. She'll grow up a little African! We'll probably worry more for her reverse culture shock when we return on our first Home Assignment in 3 years time.


All three kids love their grandparents and will find it hard to be away from them. I'm sure the grandparents will miss them lots too. Thank God for Skype.


The kids are generally exctied about the Big Move but we would really apprecaite your prayers for them. Please pray for opportunities in the coming weeks for them to open up to us, that they'll find the words they need to articulate their feelings, and that we find the words to reassure them. We have a sign at home that says 'Home'. We bring that with us to each new place we go to. The idea is that it reminds the kids that no matter where they are, as long as we're together as a family, that is where Home is.



Sometimes I wonder...

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (1)

Sometimes I wonder about what our life would look like if we weren't doing overseas for missions...

Pete would continue working as an engineer for a while and I would still be making cakes and running cake workshops. Once Caya has started school, I'd love to return to teaching full time, and Pete would be a pastor of a church.

We would probably be looking to buy a bigger 4 bedroom house. Maybe even buy a plot of land out Kellyville way and build a new house there. Each kid would have a room. I would have a 'cake room' -  a room where I work and display my cakes, it would be bright and sunny with white furniture. There would also be a 'consultation table' where clients come and discuss their cakes over a cuppa. I would have a collection of gorgeous cake stands. I would definitely install a double oven. Oh the dream of a double oven!! Fan forced of course!

I would set up a workshop in the garage so I can do my woodwork. I would build a sandpit and a cubbyhouse for the kids.

The kids would all go to a Christian school, not a church school, but a Christian school. The girls would take ballet lessons and Lucas would join a soccer team. They would love that! All three would be enrolled into swimming lessons.
We would have Moonbie grow old with us.
We would replace some of our 10 year old furniture as well as our analogue TV.

Is that a dream? I don't think so. As attractive as the above sounds, the above just somehow doesn't excite me the same way the thought of moving to Malawi to reach others with Christ does. Oh yes, I'm freaked out about leaving my comforts here in Australia, but I also know that God is faithful and has wonderful surprises in stored for me. I know he has far better plans for me and my family than I can ever imagine and I'm so looking forward to it. I love suprises.

When we trust God more than we trust ourselves, the future just looks so much brighter!

But sometimes I still wonder... 

Information BBQ

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (1)