It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly March already. The beginning of this year went FAST and feels like a bit of a whirlwind. I suppose that had something to do with the way we packed it in: a visit from mum and dad Booker, a big 1st birthday bash for Levi, surviving a cyclone, and the expansion of our little family from three to four!
We’ve been busy leading our Staff Leadership Internship, which is a leadership training program for our first year staff. For us this means teaching twice a week on all sorts of leadership-related topics, as well as assessing book reports and other assignments, and catching up with interns in small groups and one-on-one as needed. Ryan and I lead this together, so we share the administrative and teaching load between us.
Ryan is also leading our Community and Staff Life area, which covers everything from personnel management, staff placements, processing holiday leave requests, making sure birthdays are celebrated well, leading our corporate worship times, overseeing staff meetings, leading base intercession, 24/7 prayer chain, our weekly BBQs that are open to the public, staff and base events, and a zillion other things in between. Basically if it has to do with looking after our staff or any of our corporate gatherings… Ryan oversees it. It’s a huge area and a big responsibility, but he’s adjusting to the workload and really enjoying having leadership over this newly developed area.
Teaching Young People.
We have also both been teaching on the DTSs recently – Ryan on the subject of Relationships and Adriel on How to Study the Bible. We love having the opportunity to be with the DTSs and teach from what we’ve learned. It’s incredibly rewarding to see young people grow in God and we don’t take these opportunities for granted.
Base Gathering = Camping!
This weekend we take the whole base – staff, students, and of course all the children – camping for our Base Gathering. We’re looking forward to this time enjoying the Aussie bush with our co-workers and friends as we seek God together… and relax and have fun together. Yup, all 200(ish) of us together under the stars around the campfire… tent city, here we come!
On March 1st Ryan turns 37. Be sure to wish him a happy birthday via email/text/facebook… or a card in the mail! He’s very excited to soon pay off the rest of his kayak that’s been on lay-away (lay-by) for months when he receives his birthday money… so watch for pics of his new “toy” soon!! We’re all very excited for him to finally get to pursue this passion that he’s been dreaming about for years now, thanks to the generous gifts from family (Christmas, birthday, etc) that he’s been diligently saving up. (In fact, Ryan’s been so good at saving up his gift money for the kayak… maybe I’ll suggest he save his gift money for a dishwasher next! hahaha… we’ll see what he thinks about that. *wink, wink*)
Papua New Guinea Outreach.
You may know that we were planning a family outreach to PNG with the Medical Ship in April… but our plans have always been loose, knowing that another pregnancy–if it happened before then–could alter things! With the news of our new little babe on the way, we are in the process of re-looking at this outreach. Of course we don’t want to subject the tiny bub to any unneccessary risks of malaria (which is especially dangerous for babies in utero, more so than babies who are already born). We are talking to our family doctor (GP) as well as seeking advice from a military doctor who is a friend of the ministry and also happens to be an expert on malaria. At this point we do know that there is an anti-malarial that is safe for pregnant mothers to take, and we also know that the ship stays pretty much entirely mosquito-free due to the fact that it is air-conditioned and the mozzies aren’t able to travel great distances over water. (The ship gets anchored off-shore, with a dingy transporting people back and forth to shore.) Another reassuring fact is that on our previous outreaches to PNG we’ve had no cases of malaria for those workers who have lived on the ship and made sure they were onboard by dusk when the mozzies come out. All that to say, whether Levi and I go or not, Ryan will still be going on outreach to PNG at some point this year for a couple of weeks, but those plans are yet to be solidified. I will only be going if we are confident that there is very, very little risk associated with the trip. We’ll keep you posted as our plans firm up.
For those of you who are curious, we won’t be making it to America this year. It’s such a huge expense and time commitment that to make it work we feel our trips are best done every year and a half or so… meaning our next time in America will most likely be summer (northern hemisphere summer) 2012. We do, however, hope to plan a trip to Sydney to see family and friends later this year, and perhaps have a small family vacation close to home at some point before year’s end as well.
It’s shaping up to be a great year!
With love from the tropics,
Adriel for the Booker Four