WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
One of my favourite children’s authors is Dr Seuss and one of my favourite books is “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” Here is an excerpt:
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
The character in the book is stuck in the waiting place. Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever feel like you are waiting on something to happen or someone to do something or change something?
Waiting is pertinent for us right now as we await the arrival of our son (be assured that the next JAM will have nothing much but photos and pleasant sounding platitudes). This can be a difficult wait, however it is a wait with an end in sight – a finite amount of time.
You may be waiting for what seems an eternity. That word should spark your interest. Think of eternity. Think big picture and wait not on someone or something but wait on the Lord. If you do, you will rise up on wings like an eagle, you will run and not grow weary, you will walk and not grow faint.
So yesterday I got an email about my spouse visa application and after 15 months of waiting, we finally have a case worker! It is exciting to know that someone has actually looked at the application now. After our baby is born (17 days till the due date!) I’ll go in for a medical exam and once that’s submitted, hopefully we will hear whether our application has been accepted or rejected. We might need to go in for an interview if they ask us to as well. Praise God that something is happening on this front. An approved visa will mean the ability to travel without having to pay extra to get permission, as well as the continued benefits of unrestricted rights to work and Medicare. It also means that come the end of August, I will be eligible for permanent residency. If and when PR is granted, Jono and I will be able to start making concrete plans about working overseas again. We would love to head back out in July or August 2016, God willing. Our hearts are still in many places around the world and this comes up in our conversations and prayers quite regularly. It has been difficult for both of us to be away from friends we love for so long without a visit.
Thank you to all the friends, family and school kids who have given us baby clothes, toys, blankets, equipment and money. We have been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and feel like we have more than we need to be able to take care of this little one in comfort and even in style! Our baby is already well loved by many amazing people; what a blessing that is both to him and to us as well.
PRAY FOR PEACE – AND UKRAINE
I thought to myself “I’m sick of saying pray for peace in Ukraine.” Then I realized that I love to ask you to pray for Ukraine. Just not about a war, rather about people’s lives and their relationship with God.
So really I do want you to pray for peace in Ukraine. But not peace as the world thinks but the peace that only comes through forgiveness of sin. People accept this grace from God by faith in Jesus Christ and their peace is greater than any peace deal brokered by any world leader ever!
So pray for peace in Ukraine. Lift up the church in Rzhyshchiv to God. Pray for my friends Natasha and Sveta running UTSIM. Pray for Dan and Pris Gollan. Pray for the Lighthouse Café. Pray for Vlad returning to prison to minister to the inmates.
LIFE IN THE BIG SMOKE
We have had “Baby Boy Bash”. We’ve been to the beach. My school reports are almost done. I have only a few more nights left at Youth Group. I’ve set up the cot, the capsule (and that other thing). We’ve been to parenting classes and I did my first ever nappy change with a clean nappy on a dummy.
Really there is not much more to do but welcome our son. And then I have lots of jobs. One of which will be “bouncer”. I will flex my muscles and only allow in a few at a time. If you are wanting to come and visit or organize a Skype date with us after the baby comes, then please contact me first. We want you all to come, just not 600 people in the first week.
PRAYER AND PRAISE
Praise God for a great recovery by Dad Gollan
Pray for Marie, the impending birth, and our son
Pray for peace in Ukraine – real peace
Pray for Jono to finish his responsibilities at school well
Thank God for so many friends who have helped us prepare for parenthood
To my wife Marie for growing and carrying our son. I love you mu juun.AttachmentSize 201411 JAM November 2014.pdf376.34 KB
"The greatest of these is love." But how do you communicate love? How do you receive love? Lately I have been a part of many varied conversations revolving around the 5 love languages. We each impart and accept love in different ways with varying levels of intensity. It is helpful to understand this. I have been challenged to try to go beyond merely understanding this and to consciously consider how I can show love to my friends. Do I go beyond what comes easily and naturally for me and engage my friends in a love which they comprehend?
This month's challenge: pick someone in your inner circle of friends, examine how they best receive love and then go out of your way to display love to them accordingly.MARIE'S CORNER
I am so grateful for the good friends that God has given me. I’ve been really touched by people’s willingness to drop their lives in order to give us rides to and from airports at inconvenient times. I hope that I am as generous with my time when people ask me for favours! Thank you to everyone who hosted us while we were away in beautiful New Zealand.
Now that we are back home, we are busy getting things ready for our baby. We have 52 days to go till the due date, so it’s time for us to put the cot together, pack a hospital bag, and buy some baby wipes. We are having a get together to celebrate our baby boy on Saturday, Oct 18th, so if you’re in the area and you’d like to come, please let us know and we’ll send you the details. If that day doesn’t work for you, we’d still love to see you and catch up on life before the birth as I plan on going into hibernation for several months once our kid is born!GLOBAL CONCERNS
Once again my main plea is prayer for peace. My thoughts tend to wander towards Ukraine even though it is not the most prominent in our daily newscasts. Of course it is where my friends live and work and worry and hope. Thank God Alyosha was able to have a week off from military duties to be with his wife and kids. Thank God for keeping him safe thus far and pray for continued safety back on the front. Read Dan Gollan's blog for an in depth look into life where I once lived. For a balanced view of both what is happening and an appropriate response from Christ's body, the church, read Danny Footes' notes.LIFE AWAY FROM THE BIG SMOKE
Firstly up north in the middle sized smoke, Brisbane, Dad Gollan is on the mend slowly but surely. The full extent is yet to be determined but thank you for praying for him.
Over in the Land of the Long White Cloud, Marie and I have had two action packed weeks. We arrived to pouring rain and got soaked picking up a car to drive south to KatiKati for a couple of days with my parents. Then we had just a day on the farm with Pris and kids before flying north to Kaitaia. It was great to hang with Jon and Ruth and Gabby and support them after a tough term getting ready for their 11th kids camp at Lonsdale Park. It was my 7th and Marie's 3rd. Thank you for praying for the team, the kids and the talks. The Gospel was presented clearly and simply. God the Creator of all is very big and deserving of our respect but our sin causes us to need forgiveness which we don't deserve. Jesus came to pay the way and offer us life with God as His children. We learned John 1:1,3,4 & 14 as well as looking at verses 10-12. On top of being pregnant, Marie did a fantastic job as camp Mum and camp Nurse.
Now it's back to the big smoke and back to work.PRAYER & PRAISE
Praise God that he has communicated love with us all
Thank God for a great time in NZ
Pray for the kids who heard about Jesus at camp
Thank God for Dad Gollan’s improvement and continue to pray for him
Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and for Alyosha
Pray for our little boy coming soon!THANKS TO
Ruth and Jon for driving us 5 hours to the airport – that’s service for you!AttachmentSize 201410 JAM October 2014.pdf308.52 KB
Recently I have had cause to reflect upon many shared experiences but also wise words from a friend and mentor of mine. Thankfully my “Aussie Dad”, John Gollan, is still with us and slowly recovering from a major stroke a number of weeks ago. When I first came to Australia (in 1993) I spent many hours at the Gollans place before finally moving in and living there. I was young and headstrong and yet desired to know what God’s will for my life would be. Then, and many a time over the years since, I have hashed out conversations pertaining to the direction of my life. Each time the bottom line, the final word, would be the same: “Jono, you have to do what God wants you to do.” And that, my friends, is that!MARIE’S CORNER
Nothing different from last month.PRAY FOR PEACE – AND UKRAINE
Peace continues to be my burden. At the birth of Jesus, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth!” I know that the coming of the Prince of Peace opened up the Way. But now we, as followers of this Way, as ministers of reconciliation, we should be working hard for peace. Praying for peace, proclaiming peace, providing peace.
I was able to spend a few hours visiting Daniel on his rather brief visit to Australia. It’s great to hear of Luda and Yura’s wedding. I first met Luda in 2004 and it has been good to see her grow in God and I enjoy the memories of the experiences we shared in Rzhyshchiv Youth.
Please pray for the many refugees who have fled the conflict areas of Ukraine. A number are in Rzhyshchiv staying with friends of mine.
Please also pray for a smooth transition from one tenant to another in my house in Ukraine.
Lastly, UTSIM (the language school) is operating for another year. Sveta continues to teach English but also to share her love for Jesus with a number of young people in Rzhyshchiv.LIFE IN THE BIG SMOKE
September is already half spent. As I write, it is the beginning of the last week of Term 3. Two weeks ago we babysat 7 then 5 children for a week (7 for the weekend then 5 Mon – Fri). Marie took the week off work and I had increased travel each day. It was a good “hit out” before we tackle the real deal in 75 days. We are excited and sometimes daunted. Please pray that we will be good and godly parents. Pray that our boy will grow to be a man of God, a man of peace.
We were able to have a few days away for our final “holiday BC”! We spent a weekend with my friends Ben and Tamara Clarke and family. I previously worked with them in Ukraine in 2004-2005. Then we had a couple of lovely days on the beachside of Glenelg, just out of Adelaide. I came back from that holiday to immediately go on Year 3 Camp.
I have enjoyed this term. The next thing is one last trip to NZ before the baby arrives. We will briefly see all my family there but spend the majority of the time helping Ruth and Jon run another camp. Please pray for the leaders and children attending Lonsdale Park for another camp. This is Ruth and Jon’s 11th camp, my 7th, Marie’s 3rd and baby’s 1st. Pray for strength for Marie as camp Mum and for the right words for me as I give devotions each day.PRAYER AND PRAISE
To Ben and Tamara and the tribe for a really lovely time in Adelaide.AttachmentSize 201409 JAM September 2014.pdf313.54 KB