Our Ship Has Sailed!

Photo Courtesy of YWAM Medical Ships Australia

Ahhh… we breathed a huge sigh of relief, satisfaction and gratefulness yesterday as we watched our ship sail into the horizon.

What an amazing six months it has been renovating, maintaining, and caring for this beautiful, floating hunk of metal that was given to us. It was incredibly rewarding to hug our friends tightly and watch Jared pass the gangway over and throw the last of the lines. He’s a bit sad to not be sailing this time, and fully enjoying having a relaxing evening on the couch watching TV after many late nights and long weekends of preparations. 🙂

Last we heard they were cruising along, spotting dolphins, and not too sick yet. A good sign! We’re looking forward to some great stories to come soon and will most certainly share them.

In the mean time, there is this amazing video from the former Prime Minister of PNG who shared some insightful and touching words at our annual breakfast last week. It is lengthy for a computer video, but well worth the time!

And the shorter but also inspiring news clip:

PS – If you’re looking for a good Mother’s Day gift, why not sponsor the distribution of birth kits!?



Australians, All Let Us Rejoice!

Our dual citizenship feels a bit more real this year as we have the opportunity to vote in … four elections this year:

  1. Australia State Elections
  2. Australia Federal Elections
  3. Australia Local Elections (city council)
  4. US Presidential Elections

We love to vote. Call us silly… patriotic… pathetic… whatever. We love the small parts we can play to influence the countries we love and are a part of.

So, true to the Australian national anthem, we were rejoicing today as we went to the polls and participated in our very first Australian election!

votes not boats!

Unfortunately, Max wasn’t rejoicing quite as much. Somehow he thought that we said we were going to go “boat” not “vote.” Fair enough. For a kid his size, a boat would be far more exciting that standing in a long line, writing on a piece of paper, and dropping it in a box.

Some of the things I enjoyed about this election? You actually get to rank your candidates in order of who you’d want. That way, if there’s a little-known person running for office who you really like, you don’t feel like you’re throwing your vote away.

What I didn’t like? No “I Voted” sticker. I love those things! Makes me feel like a proud patriotic citizen all day. But I guess in a nation where you get fined if you don’t vote, a sticker is probably a bit redundant. Oh well! Maybe we’ll get one with our absentee ballot for the US election this year!! 😉

Either way, we’re praying for the best outcome and wisdom for all the leaders put into office today.

“In history’s page, let every stage advance Australia fair!”

BYO Water!?!

This has been a year of babies, babies, babies. For the past couple of months, I’ve had a friend deliver a baby at least once a week… and they’re not stopping anytime soon. I think I am up to 10 friends/acquaintances who are due the same week that I am early next year!

Just in the past few weeks, four of my girlfriends here have had beautiful little babies, all born in the comfort of our local hospital, with wonderful care to keep them and their mamas safe.

That’s why I was shocked when I read this as my own little one kicked around in my belly this afternoon:

“A sign at the front of the hospital in [Papua New Guinea] reads, ‘Women in labour must bring their own water.'” — Fraser Coast Chronicle

Holy. Cow. There are no words. There are absolutely no words.

And this coming from a girl who has been studying health care in PNG for the past number of years, spending this very week up late at night writing up our current strategies while Jared helps to outfit the new waiting area onboard our medical ship, knowing full well that 1 in 7 women in rural PNG will die during childbirth…

Knowing Molly’s story intimately… Molly the sweet newborn girl who didn’t live… but has inspired hundreds to take compassionate action…

Knowing that for many of these women, clean water is actually quite hard to come by in the best of circumstances, much less in the middle of contractions.

And yet, as upsetting as it seems that a woman would have to BYO water to deliver a baby in a hospital, also knowing that it is still probably the best possible place to deliver and the ones who get to go there are truly the lucky ones.

I guess some days it hits you harder. Fresher. A deeper knowing. Deeper motivation to keep on keeping on to do what we can to change it… for more to have life to the max.

Let it be…

Max visiting a remote village in PNG earlier this year.

That Other Guy In Our Family

We’ve written a lot about Max and a little about me…

But can I just say Jared has been a champion all the while too! We’ve moved some things around on our centre and he was busy building a new chapel and relocating our recording studio. The results are fantastic, stunning, and we’re really excited about the change in culture it brings to our centre and the impact that has on all of our staff and students. Its funny how rearranging the furniture just a bit can make just the right change to our home and I think that’s what these projects have been about.

Our ship is still doing phenomenal things and I thought I’d share a short video clip that had me in tears (and I don’t think its just the hormones) from one of our DTS outreach teams who were working alongside the ship in PNG.

For those of you who get behind what we do, know you’re not just championing our family but an entire nation. And the results have been astounding – not just statistically – but in the way they are changing individual lives, families, and communities.

Good work, team!!

Superman = Superdad (Celebrating Jared’s First Father’s Day)

I know lots of kids think of their dads as Superman… but Max’s dad really IS super man! Check it out…

Funny videos aside, Jared is an amazing daddy and it is a joy to be able to celebrate him today, on his first official Father’s Day.

Max and I are enjoying all Jared’s favourite activities and treats and telling him just how great we think he is!!

Daddy is MY Superhero

Eating Out

We eat out almost every night… outside, that is. The weather is so nice… and after working inside all day there really is no better place. (Especially when the alternative is our warm, un-airconditioned kitchen.)

Eating out(side) has fast become one of my favourite moments of the day. The delight on Max’s face having his daddy home. Jared’s face lighting up with pride as he elicits uncontrollable giggles from his baby boy.

This is the life.

And isn’t he so yummy?

Winter Lovin’

We’ve been taking advantage of the awesome winter weather we’ve been having. (Read: 70 degrees and next to no humidity – HALLELUJAH!)

Gorgeous Aussie Bush

We spent today out in the rainforest enjoying the company of our friends Ken, and Robyn and Gus & Catie who are visiting from the States. Catie led both Jared & my DTS so even though we do not see her often, she will always have a special place in our heart.

Catie and Max

The April DTS are still away on outreach. Our Outback Queensland team have been going so well. They did nine – yes nine – religious education classes in one day last week! What rippers! We’re so proud of them!

The PNG team is also doing amazingly. They have seen some wonderful results from their time in Port Moresby and just today arrived in Kerema to welcome the YWAM Medical Ship, which is now officially on its first medical outreach in PNG!

The ship arrived into the Gulf Province today, fully staffed with a volunteer medical team. The Governor mentioned that the welcome put on by the people of the province was the biggest welcome they’ve ever seen. We are so excited to hear how the first two weeks go and will be reporting soon! In the mean time, if you’d like to see where its at, go to: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/ and choose “PACIFIC SOUTH” on the “Go to Area” menu and then “PACIFIC LINK” on the vessel menu.

Lil Toother