Calista turns 11!

It is hard to believe, but our firstborn is eleven! 

Calista is a sweet, sensitive little girl. Her understanding of, and love for God and His Word is growing… She adores animals – big and small. Her little village friends all know this, and bring around all kinds of critters for her to see. Right now, her favorite book is Beezus and Ramona, and her favorite activity is still drawing and painting. A close second is watching a movie (about animals)!

Please join us in thanking the Lord for blessing us with this beautiful, hilarious, quirky girl!

We celebrated with Calista’s favorite meal – salad bar
(everybody builds their own salad so everybody’s happy!)

Know Things, New Things

culture shock

 – noun

the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.

We were warned that we’d experience some degree of culture shock during our first weeks here in PNG. Thankfully, God blessed us with wonderful team mates who have made the transition so much easier! They often explain ‘little things’ that are helpful to know – like ‘a carton of eggs’ is a box with 9 dozen eggs, not one dozen! We often think of how much harder it must have been when the three families from GBC arrived…

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Double digits

Children are a blessing, a reward! We’ve been parents for 10 years now. Crazy. Our girl is sweet, silly and yet seriously thoughtful. We love that she can make up the strangest songs and stories, and also ask very deep theological questions.

Happy tenth birthday, Calista! May you continue to grow in your understanding of, and love for the Word of God. May Lord Jesus capture your heart, so that you will become a young lady after his own heart.


Square One


Our first applications for work permits to enter PNG, were submitted in March 2017. In August 2017, we were told that these applications were lost somewhere at the Department of Labour. We had a second application ready in country, so we sent these to our agent for resubmission. The last 8 months we have waited eagerly for news, but none has come. We have placed increasing pressure on our agent in PNG for feedback with the result that he was forced to admit that he never submitted our applications. We are back to step 1 in the work permit application process, but with reliable agents this time.

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‘Normal’ life

“No, we are still waiting.” Most of my conversations these days start with the question, “Have you heard anything about your papers?”  There has been some movement (another agency had one of their missionaries’ papers processed). But for now, we have a pretty ‘normal’ life here in South Africa.

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If only for this…

On Thursday 4 January, Ledo Silvano Giovanni Raffanti breathed his last breath. His nurse helped him wash up and dress in the morning, and left the room to fetch his breakfast. When she returned, he had quietly slipped away.

Oupa Joe was proud, strong, meticulous, and hard-working. He was a real engineer – a problem-solver, who invented many gadgets on a large scale (his ingenious ideas solved many problems in our public hospitals), and small scale (like using a rod to pull his car cover when he was not physically strong enough to do so anymore).  At 91, he was still living alone, driving and fishing.

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Wrapping up 2017

I have not written in a while. I cannot give you the exciting news everyone is waiting for – we do not yet have our work permits… And thus no clear idea of when we’ll finally head to PNG. But God has not been wasting time. So pull up a chair, and let me tell you about our good God!

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While we wait


Being in ministry often means arriving at church a little earlier than most people – sometimes Daddy has a prayer meeting or a counselling session. Sometimes we arrive early just to make sure that we arrive on time! We’ve learned to include ‘waiting time’ in our planning – our kids often have a picnic dinner before church on a Sunday evening, or I finally read them that book they’ve been asking for…  I often ask them: “What will you do while you are waiting?” You see, waiting time does not have to be wasted time.

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