2011 is well under way, beginning with many extremes in weather, social justices, in the political arena, ‘natural’ phenomena – and in many other areas. GOD IS GOOD! Didn’t I write that in my last letter? There is nothing like the peace that one can have in knowing that one’s life is in His hands, that nothing or no one can touch you outside of God’s perfect will for you. How I praise Him for that assurance!
In December we had 31 team members and leaders from New Zealand join their Aussie companions for training for their vacation mission projects. Teams were planned for Egypt, Papua New Guinea, India, Thailand, Uganda, Argentina, and two for Vanuatu. There was the usual scramble to get all the money and paperwork in before we flew to Boot Camp in Queensland. Then, ten days before leaving, I had one of those adventures you pray will never happen. On my way to church, a lady did a U-turn right into my car as I was coming around a corner, neatly flipping it over and onto its wheels again. The car was a write-off, and how I came out with only bruises and shock is another one of my life’s miracles. Can I say it again? God is GOOD!
That same week we had been advised by the missionary in Egypt that he could not guarantee the safety of the young people arriving on the team because of the political unrest in the country, so we cancelled the project. It is almost impossible to reschedule flights for a team at that time of the year – two days before Christmas. As we narrowed things down, Mike Reilly, at our base in Australia, worked with the travel agent and we found we could get the team down to South Africa on the same airline at the same price – and there were enough seats! So the team has been working at the Teen Missions base out of Pretoria, and we have heard they have been a real answer to prayer for not only our staff there, but also other ministries. Another hiccough as leaders came in for training, was that two head lady leaders decided not to come. That meant a shuffling of leaders as team members arrived for training, and also added to our travel agent’s headache as she worked through changing tickets. Boot Camp itself went fairly smoothly, despite the fact that we had the wettest Boot Camp ever. As I write this, teams are finishing off their projects and will be looking forward to Debrief back in flooded Queensland!
Florida winter weather has been delightful and Christmas with family a joyous experience. Great-grandsons six month-old Mason and two-and-a-half-year-old Ethan kept us well and truly entertained as gifts were opened. Then Cathy and I drove up to Panama City to visit the four E’s, (Erin, Elizabeth, Emily and Elaina, the daughters of my eldest son Brett), and their mother Barb. What a blessing to meet great-granddaughter Autumn Marie, who, at four months is a chubby, smiling, healthy, happy baby. Brett himself is living in Texas where he has just retired from 26 years in the Air Force. The job he had planned on taking at the base where he had been working did not eventuate, so he is job-hunting. I spent a few days catching up with him, time which I really appreciated, as I have not seen him for nearly three years.
Back in New Zealand, everyone is gearing up for PARACHUTE, the huge annual Christian music festival. As soon as I get back I will be buying a new car, packing it up with our Teen Missions’ display stuff and driving to Hamilton, to set up a booth to promote yet another Boot Camp at the end of yet another year. The cycle begins again.
In Ecuador, the Bible School students and staff are preparing for a Boot Camp for the young people living in the coastal region, who have their school holidays at a different time from the inland and Andes provinces. Please be praying for them in this new venture: it will run through February.
A huge THANK YOU to those who share financially with me and to those of you who pray. May you be experiencing God’s goodness in every aspect of your lives, despite bumps along the way.
Joyfully in Jesus,
Elizabeth Little Hab. 3:19