Sunday, May 27, 2007

An Australian Trip

One of the reasons I haven't written much recently is that I have been traveling. At the beginning of May I flew just 3 hours to Sydney, Australia for a personnel consultation for SIM. What a great time I had! I arrived a couple of days early so that i could hang out with my Aunt who I hadn't seen for several years.
On our first day together she must have driven me all round Sydney to see the sights. I had never been there before even though it is so close to home. We drove over the Harbour birdge and round the Opera House. It's architecture really is quite something to see. Then we drove round several beaches including Bondi Beach which is well known for it's surfing. It was a beautiful day to do all this as well and was quite spectacular. I managed to get a little shopping in for the lads back at home in NZ which I always enjoy doing. I had been sent on a mission to find a kangaroo exactly like the one Isaac had lost the year before. What a job that turned out to be!!!! It was so important to him that everytime he talked to me on the phone he cried because I hadn't found "Jack" yet. God knew how big a thing it was for him and thankfully i found one in a shop at the airport as I was a bout to leave the country. He was thrilled and it hasn't been out of his sight since!

The next day all the SIM sending office Personnel people from around the world (South Africa, USA, UK, NZ, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Korea) met up and we travelled 2 hours south of Sydney, into the bush, where we stayed at this campsite for the rest of the week. It was a gorgeous setting with thousands of gum trees and a beautiful river just down the path from our cabins. What a peaceful place to be. The only bummer was that I didn't have cell phone coverage but when we went for walks I managed to pick up the odd signal so was able to stay in touch with home.

We worked hard everyday from early in the morning until mid evening. It was tiring but was also an excellent way for me to get my head around issues in the SIM world and network with others from different offices. It gave me space to think about how we do things here in the NZ office and ways in which we could improve oursleves. I learnt how thankful I am to work in the NZ office as we have a lot of freedom to develop great relationships with our missios and encourage/mentor them. What a privilege. All in all it was a great week away. I missed the lads terribly but we all survived our time apart. They had a nice party for me when I got home and the next day was Mothers Day so it was extra special.

PS....On one of our walks we saw a real, live wombat! He was so cute (this is him here....thanks Laura for the pici) He was just sitting in the long grass as we walked by and didn't seem bothered by our presence at all. At the time I was talking to Isaac on the phone and he thought it was a pretty cool thing to see. No koalas or kangaroos though. Maybe next time.

I've discovered persimmons.

They are a sweet, pear like fruit that looks like an under ripe tomato. Actually it looks like a "ripe" tomato if you go by an Ecuadorian definition of "ripeness". I have to admit to being a little sceptical when I first saw someone eat them. My recollection of these fruit was when my family moved to Auckland when I was 16 and we had a persimmon tree in the back yard. We had no idea what to do with them so when we thought they were ripe we ate one. It was like chewing on a hunk of sucked all the saliva out of our mouths! Not pleasant in the least. In those days we were told that you had to wait until they were almost rotten to eat them and then they were delicious but the thought of eating almost rotten fruit did not enthrall us at all so we didn't bother. These days you can eat them crunchy. They must have developed a new brand of them.

Since discovering them I have eaten one a day for the last couple of weeks. No one else in the family really likes them. They're not as adventurous as me :-) But then again I don't have to share them so I don't mind. I wonder how long their season is? It would be great if they lasted all winter but somehow I doubt it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Confusion! Total and utter confusion!!

That's me. Things have been quite overwhelming these past couple of weeks....hence no new posts. But I will rectify that in the next wee while and bring you up to date with all that has been going on.

Today is the last day of the last remaining full time personnel worker in the office. That means we go from 3 full time workers to just 2 part time ones and I'm heading the team...the team of 2 that is! I have spent the better part of these past couple of weeks trying to get my head around all the systems and procedures that are already in place. We have been looking at revamping the way we do things and I think it will go well for us and the people we serve. With Jen leaving today that means that tomorrow I can finally get settled at my desk with a phone and hopefully a computer that doesn't keep crashing on me (oh the joys of a PC when you're a Mac girl!!!!)We will begin to look for a third person to join the team but until then Sean and I will hold the fort.

I keep telling Nige that my brian feels mushy and he always replies, "Welcome to my world!" It seems that as you dig a little deeper things get muddier and murkier. Not all hopeless though, it just means that the future looks very busy. Fun though :-)

So that's me now. A working woman, mother and wife etc. It is kind of weird having to go into an office for work when I am so used to just stopping at my computer in my bedroom and working there. It's a nice change though.

More later. So much to write about and so little time. I'm off to chat to the guy who works on our computers and hopefully get some things sorted out.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

These past couple of weeks I have been praying fervently for a good friend who is struggling with the actions of her son. He has made some wrong choices and must face up to the consequences of his actions. This, of course, impacts on the whole family and has broken the hearts of his parents. I have been sympathetic in my prayers, asking for wisdom, patience and love for them as they deal with the things at hand. Little did I realise that things weren't so hot in my own household.

Yesterday we were called to school regarding the actions of one of our own kids. Things were so bad that dire consequences were called for. We were so angry that we were incredibly calm with him! He knew then he was in big trouble!!! It broke my heart that my child had chosen the wrong path and now had to face the consequences....we all have had to.

This whole incident has made me reflect on how we are all handling the change back to NZ. I can't blame that entirely for his actions. He has to learn to deal with peer pressure around him and make the right choice all the time. But I do believe it has something to do with it. We are all struggling at the moment in our own ways. We are all facing decisions on a daily basis that we have never had to make before and there is always an opportunity to make the wrong choice. As parents we need to be more vigilant in helping/guiding our children to do what Jesus would do and stand firm. It is a daily task and one that requires much prayer and wisdom. It's heartening to know that God is a parent as well. He has had a son, live on earth and be surrounded by opportunities to sin. Yet he didn't. I know it's unrealistic to expect my kids, even myself, not to sin but we have a great role model to aspire to be more like. That's what we daily work towards. I think it's time to be more conscious of our efforts.