Dear family,

Our VERY sincere apologies for not communicating as often as we should this year.  We could make excuses but we could have also made time – and for our slackness we are sorry.

This year has been a very difficult one for us.  It has been a year of incredible loss.  In January, our daughter-in-law and our two grandchildren moved back to Canberra.  Our community of Boggabilla became too much for Danni (and Isabelle) to function happily in.  Andrew loved it here, but he loved his family more, so after attending to some house business here, he also moved back to Canberra in June. 

We miss them so much.  I (Georgie) miss playing dinosaurs with Zach on our lounge room floor and going for treasure hunts in our yard.  I miss talking music and fashion with Isabelle and going for our school holiday girl’s day where we drank milkshakes and ate yummy cake.  I miss having a fellow jewellery crafter in Danni, and being able to pass on things that I have learned and also learning from her as she discovered the world of beads.

God has taken care of them.  They were able to move back into Danni’s sister’s house (where they were before they moved to Boggabilla).  Danni has picked up work in a Real Estate office and Andrew is still with Coles Express, managing a big petrol station/shop in Goulburn.  Their house in Boggabilla is being rented by the Police Department.

In May, Les’s father passed away at 90 years of age after complications from pneumonia.  He was able to see his Dad shortly before his death.  He took his Dad’s funeral.

In June, Les’s position at school became redundant so he is officially retired (ha, ha).  We feel that God was in this change.  He had been cutting his days back for quite a while because of chronic fatigue, so God just cut the remaining days out instead.  I am still working 10 hours a week at the school as Chaplain, and loving my work. We thank God that He is Jehovah Jireh!

In August, a lovely young girl, Maria (14) who was like a granddaughter to us, tragically burned to death in a house fire at Toomelah.  The cause was a faulty heater.  We felt her loss very greatly – as of course did the community.

In September, a very special aunty to us, Aunty Pam, also passed away after complications from a stroke.  She loved the Lord, so we know where she is.  She was my mentor as I did my Uni. Course a few years ago.  We miss her.  Les took her funeral.

Funerals here can have in excess of 500 people and there is no facility here to hold them in.  The old Community Hall in Boggabilla needs to be demolished.  Funerals are held in an old shed out at Toomelah mission and we have heard since the last funeral, that it has been trashed.  Les is doing another funeral for a man in our community in a week’s time and it will be held in that shed.  We so much want to be able to provide a fitting place for this community that will not only be a spiritual home for our church, but be a blessing to families as they say their last good-byes to those they love.

BUT …. God is good.  We continue to look forward to hosting visiting teams from schools and churches (and the number is growing).  What a privilege to see not only the lives of our children and young people change as teams come in with the sole purpose of just loving and serving, but also to see the change in the lives of the team members during their stay here, and also to see some of them go back home with a new focus and direction not only in their walk with God, but in their career choices.

We are continuing to believe God for the finances to complete Stage 1 of the OASIS Centre (the main auditorium/toilet block).  We have approximately $60,000 in the bank and we need another $70,000 to see this happen. Please continue to pray for the release of additional finances for this project.

We have also been encouraged by a visit from a Pastor and his wife from the Hunter region and two young families (from the same church).  The husband of the first couple and the wife of the second couple are both indigenous and they are praying about spending extended periods of time here to partner with us in the ministry.  Their church is 100% supportive of them (and us) and we are presently looking at ways that we can make this happen.

So …. would you pray about something for us?  We own an acre of land.  Our house is on the front part and the back part is empty – except for some horses owned by our neighbour.  We know that God gave us ALL this land for a reason.  I (Georgie) have always seen a house on our back block.  My initial thought was that maybe we could house teams so that we could bless them with less expense when they visit us.  But now, it seems very possible, that we could have a rotation of families/couples that would come here to serve the community.  It would be so good if we could have a place for them to stay as they would have to lay down a lot of things to do this. 

 We are not sure where to go with this.  Les is currently looking at kit homes.  We have looked at maybe relocating a home …………Of course we don’t have the finances to do any of this, but we are both feeling that this is a direction we need to pursue.

 We know that your prayers, love and support have played an important part in where we are and what lies ahead for us and we are so grateful that we are travelling this road together.  We love you. 

 

Les and Georgie