I have always found it tragic to hear of those who have gone off to war and, having endured the inevitable gruelling toll, return to find little support or understanding. There are numerous examples of this in recent history, with the Vietnam War being a particularly pertinent one. Without entering into the debate of whether this war, or any other, is justified I can’t help but feel a huge sadness for those who gave so much to do what they felt was right, and were then left to deal with the consequences on their own.

Continue reading Epilogue

‘Tis the new season

Before moving to Canberra, God gave us a picture of the road ahead. I saw a path that was littered with obstacles, crevices and red tape, and we were helping one another over and round the obstacles, carefully picking our path.

During our time in missions, we have received two such warnings and, reflecting on our experiences, I doubt we’ll ever minimise God’s caution again! The last two years have indeed been marked with practical barriers, communication breakdowns and relational issues.

Continue reading ‘Tis the new season

Genetic diversity

As we expected, our time at the YWAM DNA Infusion Leaders’ Meeting in Townsville was one that has marked our year and elegantly divided it into a ‘before’ and ‘after’.

We thoroughly enjoyed being in the presence of so many cultures and languages, with their various expressions in worship and storytelling. There is so much richness in this diversity, so much to learn if you keep your heart open (and don’t do a Michal). For example, I had no idea that potted plants make very amusing and cheerful banner substitutes (wish I had a picture of that to show you!).

Continue reading Genetic diversity

Better Together

Looking back, I can see that the history of this blog has a few recognisable fingerprints on it. Dani will be the first to agree with me that we are not social media people (at times I’m not even a social person!). So when we first headed out to Fiji and decided to write a blog as part diary/part update for our family and friends, it was a touch uncharacteristic for us. At that stage we had no intentions whatsoever that we would still be doing missions work 4 years later and depending so heavily on God for provision. Yet I have a hard time imagining how we would have been able to handle the tough times had we not started this little project way back then. Continue reading Better Together

Blurred Lines

It appears that I (Al) am overdue making a contribution to our blog, and so I sit and type! In all honesty I have withheld slightly in recent months as it is undoubtedly harder to enthusiastically promote our current roles than it used to be. In medical missions there was a very clear and immediate cause/effect, and with a few photos it wasn’t difficult to convey our purpose. With our current roles being focused on the long-term, and with landmarks hard to identify and describe, I suspect that my attempts to do justice to our work will seem underwhelming. Continue reading Blurred Lines

The bits in between

Like many missionaries, we found that our social, spiritual and work life in Fiji tended to intermingle as one.  There was no divide between the sacred and secular, between work and play.  Looking back now I can see how God used that to help me unlearn some very ingrained Western thinking: that my value is matched to my productivity.  My mind still, at times, struggles to not let my sense of identity and worth be defined by the notion that “since I’ve been given much, I must accomplish much”.  Our culture labels certain tasks as significant whilst undervaluing others, yet God calls us to be faithful in the small things first. Continue reading The bits in between

Didgeridoo deja vu

G’day. Yup, after our quasi-furlough we are back in Australia.

It was undeniably refreshing to experience a healthy dose of the familiar over the past months. In addition to the encouragement and joy from precious time with family and friends, we were completely embraced by Community Church Edinburgh as well as Ballywillan Presbytarian Church in Portrush. What a difference it makes to know the backing and enjoy the fellowship of a community of faith-filled people. And so, apart from the remote work undertaken to uphold our RescueNet responsibilities, we were able to somewhat disconnect and reassess the mission we have lived this past year in Canberra. Simply put, our time in the UK did us good. We return to our work now with a renewed sense of God’s purposes and a better understanding of what we are called to in the season ahead. Continue reading Didgeridoo deja vu