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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good Times

Just before we returned to Australia, we had the pleasure of hanging out with Graeme Smith's Maranatha Missions Awareness team.  One of the highlights was a soccer tournament held at a local futsal field.
It soon became obvious, despite the cultural differences, why soccer is said to be the world’s universal language.  To find out more about this day, check out the ZOE Children's Home blog where you'll find more photos from this wonderful event.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Family ~ Making Memories

Family faces are magic mirrors. 
Looking at people who belong to us, 
we see the past, present, and future.
Gail Lumet Buckley

Amongst all the speaking engagements, there's a very special element of being back that involves spending time with our loved ones.  Here's just a few of the treasured "memory making" moments we've had so far with our families.
My niece Island, recently turned 4 and we were delighted to have been able to celebrate with her.
A visit to my grandma's house in Leongatha had the kids and Dave spontaneously sweeping leaves and doing yard work in my grandma's spectacular garden whilst we caught up on each other's news.


Eliana, Tobi and Spencer had been excitedly awaiting meeting their newest cousin Poppy.
Here they are for the first time... yes they were {just a bit} infatuated with her, but how could you not be?
Christmas in July!  Well we missed having a traditional Christmas dinner last year but this spread totally made up for it.  Thanks to my talented mother-in-law, there was a lot of festive cheer.  Needless to say, we all had a wonderful day celebrating as a family.

The kids "helping" Gramps with his gardening jobs!
We had a lovely afternoon catching up with my Auntie Julie and Uncle Terry.  Tobi, Eli and Spencer loved walking the dogs, playing cricket, totem tennis as well as the highlight, for Eliana, feeding the cows.
A glorious winter's afternoon was spent visiting Dave's sister Tammy at her house beside the beach.  We enjoyed a fish 'n chip lunch and a relaxing, peaceful time together playing in the sand.

Having a place to go - is a home.  
Having someone to love - is a family.  
Having both - is a blessing.  
~Donna Hedges

Click here to see where we'll be speaking next!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Still to come...


In addition to speaking at schools and various groups, last weekend we visited both the Narre Warren Baptist Church's English and Latin American services as well as the St John's Anglican Church in Cranbourne.Today it was our pleasure to share at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Clayton.  It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and meet so many new people too.

With still a few weeks to go, here's the update on the remaining services:

Wednesday July 11th
Winepress
54-60 Intrepid Street
Berwick
7.30pm 

Sunday July 15th
Oasis Christian Church
29-31 Hopetoun Rd
Park Orchards
11am

Sunday July 15th
Rowville Baptist
corner of Wellington Road and Le John Street
Rowville
7pm

Sunday July 22nd 
Antioch House
43-45 Lakewood Boulevard
Carrum Downs
10am

Sunday July 29th
Village Church, Dingley
(2nd-5th Sunday each Month)
Harold Box Hall
31 Marcus Road,
Dingley Village
10am

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reverse Culture Shock

Maybe I've blocked it out, but I don't remember the transition from Thailand back to Australia being as noticeable last year.  
I know Spencer, 2 at the time, was found curled up on the couch with my mum at 11pm, one of the first nights we were back, muttering "gkin khow" and my mum had no idea what he talking about.  
We later explained that in Thai that meant "eat rice" as well as being a phrase used for "come and eat"- he was still in Thai time and he must've been feeling hungry!
This time though, my three littlies have been heard saying, 
"Wow! We didn't know there were rainbows in Australia".
"Look that horse has clothes on!" "Probably because it's sooo cold in Australia".
"Can you help me get dressed?"   and
"Mum, are we allowed to flush the toilet paper?"
There's been so much to get used to from car seats to constrictive clothing... different foods, colder temperatures, heaters, blankets, television, new faces, new places and an unpredictable routine.
Just to get dressed, there are sock struggles, tricky zippers, annoying singlets, tight coats, long sleeves that get lost somewhere inside jumpers and that's not even mentioning the gloves, scarves and beanies...
Is it any wonder that these little guys have found it all a bit overwhelming?
I know even for me, the Mac store had my head spinning and simply buying a few groceries yesterday left me feeling overwhelmed (way too many options!)  
How is it that 'home' can be the thing that, in some ways, now feels foreign?    
It can be challenging going from seeing so much of the "not enough" to be once again surrounded by "too much".
I love it how John Franklin Hay says, on his (Bike Kenya) blog:
"What we have on our hands is a gift and a burden. It was a blessing to have this unique cross-cultural experience. But this gift leaves us with something of a burden. What shall we do we do with what we experienced? Unlike a souvenir, we can't just put it on a shelf or pack it away. It's somehow with us in our thinking, valuing, choosing and acting every day.

I do not pray that you will return to "normal," so that this will have been one more passing experience in a string of life experiences--"been there, done that, got the t-shirt." Instead, I pray that you and I will ultimately be able to use our unique and wonderful experience(s) to become compassionate and graceful advocates in tangible ways in the days ahead".

Despite the differences, the reverse cultural shock and the challenges of "too much", may that be our goal, to become compassionate and graceful advocates in tangible ways in the days ahead.


If you haven't already done so, please go over to our new ZOE Foundation Australia Facebook page and give it a "LIKE".  Thanks!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Next Four Weeks...



It was so great seeing old and new faces during the 3 services yesterday.  If you missed hearing David share about the ZOE Foundation Australia and what's happening at the ZOE Children's Homes, there's still time.  Here's the details for the remaining 4 weeks.

Sunday July 8th
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Clayton
Corner Clayton Road and Shandeau Avenue
Clayton
10am


Wednesday July 11th
Winepress
54-60 Intrepid Street
Berwick
7.30pm

Sunday July 15th
Oasis Christian Church
29-31 Hopetoun Rd
Park Orchards
11am


Sunday July 15th
Rowville Baptist
corner of Wellington Road and Le John Street
Rowville
7pm

Sunday July 22nd Antioch House
43-45 Lakewood Boulevard
Carrum Downs
10am

Sunday July 29th
Village Church, Dingley
(2nd-5th Sunday each Month)
Harold Box Hall
31 Marcus Road,
Dingley Village
10am