Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Merry Christmas from Australia

We trust this post finds you all well and enjoying this special time of year.  Our Christmas was very different for us in that we spent it not in Uganda or Scotland but in Australia.  God was gracious in that we got to spend it with some "African" friends.  Some we knew by name as they were in MAF Tanzania and Kenya and the other family, the Cousleys we had spent more than one Christmas with in Uganda as well as holidays together.  We had a lot of fun talking about our African experiences and the kids had a blast reconnecting.

It has been quite the month for us and are thankful we have made it through.  After leaving Switzerland in November the race was on for Simon to pass his exams so we can proceed with paperwork for our more permanent visa.  Thankfully, after many hours of study he passed both the flight and written exams.  We give thanks for his diligence, patience and perseverance through it all.

Whilst Simon was busy the kids and I kept searching for a house.  We finally found one and we moved in last week.  Our belongings from Uganda will hopefully arrive in January so at the moment we are camping in the house but it's working so far.

Simon and the kids left Uganda with, what we believe now, was whooping cough.  It was a rough time for them and it hasn't left simon completely yet.  Joshua also managed to pick up an ear infection and also got bitten by something.  So its Jurassic Park 2 - Joshua 0.  He came out in a extremely itchy rash over his torso and his legs.  The pharmacist knows us well now as we have tried a few potions to relieve some of the symptoms. Thankfully it is much better and he is sleeping through the night.

Thanks to all of you who continue to keep us in your prayers.  We are thankful for them.  Don't stop :) We have seen God provide for some big needs in a short space of time and we are thankful beyond measure.

I did promise folks I would post some photos but that might have to wait until we have Internet in the house.  Don't worry I haven't forgotten.

We will continue to keep you updated when we can.  Much love and blessings from Down Under!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Making Progress

It has been three weeks since we moved to "Jurassic Park".  It has been a sharp learning curve on various levels but we are making progress.  We have two pieces of good news and answers to prayer in that Simon passed his written exams and we found a house.

Simon has been studying hard for his exams and sat them on Wednesday.  We haven't seen a lot of him in the last couple of weeks as he has been busy with his nose in the books.  However, it has paid off and he passed his two papers on Wednesday so there was much rejoicing when he came home.  He might be able to fit in the flight exam next week and then we can make progress with our visa status.   We need to move to a different visa than then one we came in on and so the sooner the application goes in for the more permanent visa the better.

While Simon has been busy studying and figuring stuff out at the flight school the kids and I have been running around Cairns and the surrounding areas navigating where things are and also looking for a house.  We have seen some weird and wonderful ones but on Wednesday we went to visit a house not too far from the guesthouse and we all knew it was the one.  I spent time filling in all the paperwork with Simon and put our application in for it.  Thankfully it was accepted and the agent called us and said it was ours.  God has answered our prayers beyond our imagination.  The following day we picked up the rest of the paperwork and went through the finer details and also collected the keys.  We will be living on minimal things until our container arrives from Uganda.  It is scheduled to arrive in Brisbane on the 9th January where it will clear customs and then hope to see it in Cairns sometime after that.

The kids and I went shopping for some of the basic items today to make it work for a month or so.  We gave the house a bit of a clean although it didn't need much as it is in good condition.  We had the fans going on in the house to get some air but we were all dripping by the time we left.  Wow it was hot today.  It is exciting to know that we will be moving into a more permanent place soon although the guesthouse has been a blessing to us. 

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us, many of your prayers have been answered.  It has been a busy time but we are looking forward to a bit of a rest over the Christmas period.

Once I get a minute I will take some photos and put them on the blog.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Jurassic Park

This morning as I sit outside our door having breakfast overlooking the sugar cane fields I felt like I was in Jurassic Park.   The noise of the birds was incredible and some of them are the size of China (okay that is an exaggeration) but you get the point.  Not too far from me is a smaller version of a turkey scratching in the dirt.   The colours of the birds are amazing. We have parrots in the tree not far from our room and cockatoos are readily flying around. The other day we had a spider outside our door.  It was also the size of China (haha). Thankfully it was not of the poisonous variety.  Then there are the rhino beetles that really do look like their namesake.

In this part of the world the sun shines 360 days of the year and the temperature is the 30's every day.  It is a bit warmer than Uganda but the humidity is higher.  On some days it feels like the sun is out to get you (haha).

Today Simon left early for Mareeba which is about 1 hour from here to study for his exams in 2 weeks.  This is where he will be based when he starts his new job with MAF. I am sure he would value your prayers as he hits the books again.

Last week we went on a tour round the school that Joshua and Zara will be joining in January. We had a good first impression of it with people being friendly and helpful and keen to help Joshua and Zara fit in.

We have visited 2 churches since arriving and have enjoyed the friendliness that we found at each one.  We will try out another one next week and then see where we settle.

We are making progress in that we bought a car this past week and hope to pick it up this week.  We opened up a bank account which was amazingly easy.  We have also been driving around looking for houses.  We will look at more this week.  There is still a bit of confusion as to whether we can sign a contract on a house with the visa we are on so more investigation needs to be done on that.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Simon, Joshua and Zara in the health department.  They are doing much better and coughing less.  The second round of antibiotics seem to be doing wonders.  It has been a rough time for them but glad to see improvement.

The kids and I are off to do some more exploring today so I am sure there will be more stories to tell soon.

Thanks for praying for us in this new stage of life.  It's definitely been a massive step to take but God continues to be faithful and we are thankful.