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Advent and A Summer Christmas Greeting
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Merry Christmas from HinkleDownUnder

 

Advent

Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and its name comes from the Latin word adventus, which means "coming". The season also celebrates Christ's anticipated coming again in the fullness of time to rule triumphantly over life in heaven and earth. 
Our family have been participating in morning advent readings during this season and The Village (our small group/launch team) has been participating in an Advent liturgy each Saturday.  
Advent is a time of Waiting, Preparing and Celebrating.  

WAITING
(our stuff on the day it was loaded back in July.  Thanks again Brumbaughs!)
Our earthly possessions (at least those that we did not cram into 28 suitcases, tubs, carry-on luggage and back packs) are currently in a shipping container on a boat sailing the ocean on its way to Fremantle Port. We last saw our things in July.  The boat is scheduled to arrive in mid-February and will then go through customs to be cleared before arriving at our house and being unpacked.  That is some waiting.  We have missed our art, some dishes, some furniture and special things that hold some of our favorite memories.  God has been good and we have furnished our place with some bare minimums from IKEA and Gumtree (think Craigslist).  We are ready for our stuff to arrive.
We  have been waiting for our visa to be finalized.  All the paperwork is in and we are waiting for Immigration's approval.  And we are waiting for that approval so we can quickly turn around and start the process over again for our Permanent Residence visa. 
We are waiting for normal.  We know that for those of you that know us well understand that we don't really ever do normal, but we are waiting for things to be our normal. There are still moments were we just feel out of place or out of step.  We have been warmly welcomed by all that we encountered.  We have begun the process of making connections.  Even with this there are moments in every day where something just feels a little off.  Just getting in the car and turning on the radio will jar you into the realization that you are no longer in Indiana.  Visiting multiple churches and not having a consistent place each Sunday as we prepare for the Village's launch is a reminder of the place of waiting and transition that we are currently experiencing.  
We are waiting for our team mates Andy and Missy Shadburne to arrive.  Their unique gifts and God design will help us as we strive, by God's grace and providence, to establish a church in Fremantle.  
PREPARING
(Setting up for Advent and Christmas)
The band of believers that were gathering with the Rarigs before our arrival has begun the transition and preparation to move from being a core group Bible study and becoming a launch team. We have started meeting every week on Saturday to prepare ourselves for when our weekly worship service will take place when we publicly launch.  We are preparing by practicing a liturgy each week during advent so we will be accustom to the rhythm of our services.  We are building a foundation of allowing our faith to be expressed in love by studying the Gospel-Centered Life together.  We are preparing by having Andy Shadburne record arrangements and lead vocals for worship songs that will be a normal part of our services.  He sends them to us each week and we listen to them to prepare to sing them together on Saturdays when we meet.  We are preparing by looking at buildings for meetings, art studios, community engagement, and place activation.  We are preparing by praying that God will direct us to the right place to shine brightly in Freo.  We are preparing by starting the legal work of being a recognized church with the government.  We are preparing by spending time getting to know people, inviting them into our home and inviting them to consider what it would look like to join us.  We are preparing by looking at the appropriate dates for us to begin our public worship.  Our hope is to begin on March 5th with a series on the "I AM" statement of Jesus in the Gospel of John.  This will give us a few weeks leading up to Easter and the opportunity to open wide to the community.  We are preparing by strengthening our relationship with our fellow WPC churches with lunches, supply preaching and worship attendance.
 
CELEBRATING
(Fremantle Festival Fireworks over the Indian Ocean from our roof)
Each week our list of friends for ourselves and the children continues to grow, so we celebrate.  Each week we have a gathering of committed families who are excited about shining for Jesus in Fremantle, so we celebrate.  Each week we spend time with this committed group to study, sing, fellowship and pray, so we celebrate. Each week more people are added to a growing list of names that we are praying for and asking God to call to Himself and to His Bride in Freo, so we celebrate.  Each time we meet with our team leaders, Stephen and Berenice Rarig, we are encouraged and loved well, so we celebrate.  Each time we hear the Gospel proclaimed in our WPC churches we know that it will not return empty to God, so we celebrate.  Each time we receive a letter, email or Facetime our family and friends from the states we are reminded of the pain of absence from their physical presence in our lives but the joy of our eternal connection in the Family of God, so we celebrate.  Each time we hear a story from someone who has been hurt and turned away from faith but are willing to let us be their friends and love them we witness the power of the Gospel, so we celebrate.  When Lee was able to spend time at the Australian Field Council meeting being encouraged with other missionaries and pray and plan for the future of AUSTRALASIA we see God working, so we celebrate.  Each time someone responds with ," Tell me more," or "That sounds interesting." to our declarations of starting a church in Freo we see God drawing His children to Himself, so we celebrate.  Each month as we make our budget we see God's continuing provision, so we celebrate.  Each sunset we share with new people and new conversations we see God building His church, so we celebrate.
There are many things in the three articles above that we  would request you continue to pray about so please look at the list to the side for those that are most pressing in our minds.
Pray for:
  • Our shipping container to arrive and our visas to be finalized.
  • Us, as we navigate the first Christmas/ New Years season away from our family and friends.  
  • The Shadburnes arrival to coincide with our hoped March launch.
  • Conversations that we are having with those God is calling to join His family and join the Village in Freo.
  • That our launch team will continue to grow together in the grace of God and He will add a few more folks to our team.
  • God will provide the right space for us in Freo
Mark Thursday, February 18th at 7:00 pm EST on your calendar for our next Zoom Video conference. Email me at lee@hinkledownunder.com saying you would like to participate so I can send you the details in early February.   
One of the things we are preparing for and waiting on is the arrival of our fellow team members the Shadburnes.  As the end of the year draws near would you consider joining with them as financial partners by giving an end of the year gift that could be prorated to help meet their monthly budget.  Follow this link, Partner with The Shadburnes, to help them arrive in Freo before we launch our public worship. We would also appreciate any end of year gifts that can help us maintain our  budget and allow us to stay focused on the work on the ground.  Follow this link, Partner with The Hinkles, to make your end of year gift.
Copyright © 2015 The Hinkle Family, All rights reserved.


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