We have arrived:
It has been 8 weeks since we flew from our Indianapolis home to Perth, AU. We are grateful that all our flights (Indy to Atlanta, Atlanta to LA, LA to Sydney, Sydney to Perth for a total of 28 hours air time and 34 hours travel time) were uneventful. We made every connection with time to spare; most slept some on the longest flights, and enjoyed catching up on movies. Rose really enjoyed the discovery of Pippa Pig. Since arriving we have moved our suitcases in to and out of 7 places (5 AirBnB’s as we stayed in one twice, 1 hotel in Malaysia for our Asia Pacific conference/retreat). We have stayed in South Fremantle, Fremantle and East Fremantle. At each stop we have meet neighbors out on the verge (i.e. curbside), in the local parks, at the grocery and walking the streets of our new neighborhood. After the first week here we decided that we would need to purchase a vehicle in order to get around the larger Perth metro area. While most of what we do will be within the Fremantle City area (so walking, riding public transport or push bikes is good) there are many activities (attending worship at local WPC churches, various presbytery meetings, school co-ops, children sport activities, etc) that are accessibility by public transport if we wanted to take 2 hours to get there. God was gracious and we located a 2000 Honda Odyssey that suited out family well and is in great condition. . Thank you for all your faithful prayers that have been the felt by us as we have made this journey. It is great to have such a magnificent sustaining God and wonderful faithful partners.
Proximity of Place:
It has been an interesting 8 weeks. On September 1st
we moved into our new home. We are surprised by God’s provision and care for us. It was a long search process and one filled with ups and downs, hope and discouragement. When living in Indianapolis we made the decision to live close to our Redeemer and The Harrison Center (the place we worshipped and eventually worked). We believed that to do ministry in the way God had designed us we would need to be in walking distance. This gave us the ability to know the people of our neighborhood and provides natural interactions since we were seeing them almost every day. Place is important. Every area of a city has its own ethos and ethic. Every block can have its own identity based on who is residing there. In our journey to find a house while staying in South, East and Fremantle we discovered that each area had its own vibe. There are similarities but they are far from identical. So as our search continued to bring up few options in Fremantle we expanded our search; each time moving farther away from the Place we knew God was calling us to minister and provide a local expression i.e. church of His body. Shannon and I visited over 20 homes over the last 4 weeks (17 in a three day period). Some of the homes were for lease and some for sale. We went the homes for sale to just see if they would be interested in leasing instead. We put an application on a house that was just on the edge of where we wanted to be. We thought our search was over but the house received a purchase agreement on the same day we were to get final approval for the lease. After our marathon of looking we had one house left on the list that we knew we would need them to accept significantly less than the price they were asking in rent. On top of that we visited the home with all 5 children in tow. We were truly blown away when they accepted our offer. The house is located in Fremantle, just a half a block away from the Soldier and Sailor Monument on Monument Hill that played such a role during our vision trip. It is called the The Lighthouse. It is one of three identical homes. The address is 10b Solomon Street, Fremantle 6160. We would love to get mail from you or to have you come stay for a bit. God has sustained us and provided more abundantly than we could ever hope or imagine. Getting settled has been slow going but with the almost one full week in our new place we are beginning to see some routine get set. We can walk to Fremantle and begin the work loving the people here and building relationships with them. Please continue to pray that God will bring those He is calling to Himself into our lives so we can be a part of God’s wooing.
Finding our Way:
New Grocery Stores. New Pizza Places. New Street Names. New Directions (not the band). New Landscapes. New Taste (who knew ranch can taste different). New Birthday Spots. New Worship Services. New Hardware Stores. New Sunday Afternoon Sport To Watch (btw Go Fremantle Dockers!) New TV Shows and Channels. New Catchphrases. New Side of the Road. We have jumped in with both feet while trying to be cautious in watching ours and the children’s emotions and longings. We love this new place and we miss our old places more deeply than we could have imagined. With every next Sunday, a visit to a new WPC church or church in Fremantle, we realize the loss of our Sunday mornings at Redeemer Indy. With every homeschool coop outing we realize the loss of our friends and family that would join us on similar adventures.
And at the same time we feel our hearts being knitted together with these people and this place in the rich depths of God’s love to us through Christ Jesus. This is our place and these are our people. The girls continue to make friends. Shannon and I continue to connect with as many people as we can. Braden is slowly discovering Uni students to join in adventures with.
With one full week of living in our new house under our belt we are beginning to find a rhythm of life.
Prayers and Praise:
- Our Visa paperwork should be completed and submitted by the time you are reading this. Please pray that it goes smoothly and quickly.
- Pray for the core group of The Village as we continue to meet and delve deep into God’s grace.
- Pray for Andy and Missy Shadburne. They are a vital part of our team with worship, evangelistic and strategic skills their presences here will bring glory to God and help build our local expression of Christ Bride and the Church at large. They are so very close to being able to move. If each of our partners would partner with them for just $10 a month that would go a long way in closing the gap. Follow this link for more information on their $10 challenge. Partner with the Shadburnes
- Pray for us as we continue to adjust and grow into our new setting. That we would not avoid our emotions or allow our flesh to reign in them. That we would submit them back to the Creator God, the One who created us with emotions, and allow Him to teach us and be glorified with in them.
- Praise God that we are here safely and that God continues to provide for all our needs beyond our expectations.
- Praise God that we are meeting people and beginning to see what God is and will continue to do in Fremantle for His glory.
- Praise God the leaders and people of the Westminster Presbyterian Churches who have welcomed us with open hands and hearts. We are grateful to be joined with them in ministry.
- Praise God that each Sunday we are able to worship with faithful followers of Jesus who love God, love the area they are in (whether Fremantle, Armadale, Bull Creek, Canning Vale, etc.) and love Australia.
Be watching for an evite to our quarterly video conference call. It will be toward the end of October. More details should follow in the next two weeks.