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

Happy Land Day To You!

One of my favourite parts about volunteering with  YWAM is all of the cultures we are exposed to. We have SO much to learn from one another. Tonight, while Jared is still away, Max and I had the honour of attending a Fijian Land Celebration.

Long story short, our friend and next door neighbour Amenatave Tuibua, has recently had his land restored to their tribe in Fiji. This was a long time coming and a very significant event. Mena had hoped to attend the official celebration in Fiji, but travel plans did not work out so his precious Aussie wife, Shey, planned a celebration right next door!

We sat on grass mats, many wore sulus, and there were curries galore! Of course, there is always a mix of cultures and we sang “Happy Land Day To You” (to the tune of Happy Birthday)

Even though I’m sure he won’t remember this specific event, I’m SO glad that Max gets to take part in these special events and growing up with this amazing awareness and understanding of different cultures.

Happy Land Day, Mena!

Max Getting Ready to Give Uncle Mena His Land Day Present

Paddy Melons, Pythons, and Kookaburras – OH MY!

This week was our annual staff retreat and with the Medical Ship crew all joining us, it made for a very special occasion indeed! For most of our staff, the many trips up to this special place make this a long-anticipated event, with the sweet memories of past trips almost as precious as the new adventures we are eager to have!

Lounging

This trip was extra-special for us as the last trip I was nearly half way through my pregnancy with Max and the time before that, well, he was just deciding to make his appearance into my belly. THIS TIME, however, we got to introduce our sweet little bundle to the joys of camping and also this special place.

Welcome to the bush, Little Man!

Normally I like to think I’m a fairly relaxed mom, but this time I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous about two things:

1 – Learning how to keep a baby warm (can I just say he’s slept in a nappy and either a onesie or nothing else for almost every night of his life, so learning to do blankets and proper jammies and the rest with no climate control was a tad bit daunting!?)

2- Figuring out how to keep him quiet all night long with 150 sleeping people – most of whom are either not used to babyhood, or are new babies themselves who I didn’t want Max to wake up!!

Fortunately with a few extra cuddles, we figured both out better than I anticipated and had an absolute blast.

Toasty Cuddles!

We enjoyed the sights, the smells, the warmth of the campfire, and the thrill of chilly noses. We relished in the wildlife (we saw paddy melons, pythons, and kookaburras – all Aussie favourites!), worshiped with our friends, relaxed, and looked forward to the future.

  • Max’s highlights – playing with his friends Riikka and Levi, getting to know four kids who have just joined us on staff, eating grass, getting cuddles from all mom and dad’s friends and getting to rock to sleep in our arms or the pram for pretty much every sleep time!
  • Jared’s highlights – lots of time to read, all day long to spend with Max, and the gummy candies I packed as a treat!

  • Rebekah’s highlights – heaps of games, good chats around the campfire, and getting to just stop for a couple of days for the first time since Max arrived.

It… was… wonderful.

Jared is still camping with the DTS. There are our first nights away from him since being in the hospital for Max’s birth and our only contact has been a phone message he made with the satellite phone (love that thing.)  However, Max and I are enjoying some quality time together and the leftover smell of campfire smoke in our hair while our hearts are excited for our love to come home!

I LOVE CAMPING!

A Daggy But Oh So Special Dedication.

I’ll be honest. We’re not your typical family. We might look typical on the outside. But we tend to do things a little bit differently than everyone else.

Which is why, when you see this picture posted below, you just might think, “Man, couldn’t they dress up for their first born son’s dedication*?!” And that would be an understatement. Because we actually look as daggy as daggy can be.

A Holy Memory

But there’s a reason.

This week when we went camping, there we were under the stars, singing songs to God, and I was absolutely struck with awe in my heart at how privileged we are to do what we do. Here we are, halfway around the world, working with an organisation where we are helping to shape a nation – by helping people one person at a time. Not only that, but we get to do it with about 150 amazing people. And what really struck me is that – even with the sacrifice of spending his days away from his adoring aunties, uncles, grandmas, grandpas and cousins – our little boy is so, so loved. Other than next door to his Nani and Papa or Grandma and Grandpa, I can’t think of a better place I’d want my son to live, learn, and  be loved.

So it was, with tears glistening under those twinkling stars, camping at a place that has come to be a special home to us with so many memories, that we decided to dedicate Max  around the campfire in front of 150 of our closest friends and coworkers.

That night will become one of my most special memories, as we counted the cost of parenthood – the sacrifice it takes (and oh, is there sacrifice!) to raise our precious boy, and also the sacrifice it will be to one day release him to do whatever it is God asks him to – and committed before God and our friends to do our very best to love our sweet Max.

It was one of my most proud moments of Jared, as with tears in his eyes he so eloquently committed these things in words so sweet I can’t even begin to do them justice with my memory. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate in this journey.

We make mistakes often. And we’ve only been parents for 4 1/2 months. But our hope and prayer is that even our shortcomings and failures would point Max to find comfort and hope and identity and truth in His Creator… and to bring life to many.

* Wondering what we mean by dedication? Its a bit of a “Christianese” term, if you will, but in reality its similar to a marriage ceremony in that we wanted to make a special statement to help seal in our memory our commitment to love and raise our little boy.

I Want To Live.

Tonight was one of those nights where I’m so proud of what we do. We bundled Max up in the pram and trekked down to the YWAM centre for the I WANT TO LIVE concert. All week long we’ve been at schools telling Aussie young people the importance of using our lives to help others. Tonight, it was all about taking that to the next level.

With an amazing lineup of some of my incredible (ahem)  friends and coworkers, it was all about telling the story of Papua New Guinea… and what we can all do to help.

So what can you do?

TELL
Join the I Want to Live Facebook and tell your friends all about it. The more people who are aware, the more people we can help!

GIVE
You can donate online to the cause, or even buy an album (see below) with proceeds going to assist

GO
That’s right. You could come and join us right here in Australia OR Papua New Guinea and make a serious difference. For that, you’ll have to contact us at jaredandrebekah (at) gmail (dot) com.

Check out some of the awesome music they have written in honour of the beautiful people of PNG…

Five Star Streets
AND you can buy this album on iTunes

Saving Sparrow

Woje

Finally.

It was April 2007. Jared & I had just been married. Our engagement was what I like to call a calculated whirlwind. It would be a long engagement or a short one. We chose a short one, knowing it would mean we’d have to spend time apart.

This was the week of many we’d spend apart. I was at a conference for YWAM iin the Pacific. And it was there that a dream was born – for Australia to have a medical ship.

Fast forward three years to February 2010. It was the very week our first little boy was born that this special ship arrived in Australia.

And another four months to June 21, 2010. My 30th birthday. And the day the ship arrived in its new home… our home… Townsville…

Max took naps on the ship, played with people he didn’t know, and ministered with his baby babbles and smiles to many who were exhausted under the pressure of this amazing undertaking.

Jared was our hero, leading a DTS and somehow popping up at just the right time to put Max to sleep or bring me a plate of lunch. The man makes a mean sandwich and though he always puts a lot more chips on the plate than I would ever give myself, they’re always gone by the time I’m finished.

And then there was me, sneaking away from meetings to feed my little man, secretly loving the fact that I got to be the mommy and the messenger all at once.

Its  been a long time coming. But she’s here.

Finally.

You'd think we could've found a better photo to mark the occassion with!