In this update:
- Kari is scheduled to go into surgery on the 13th.
- Lauren (Doug & Kara Watson’s daughter), has begun to show signs of a miraculous healing from Tuberous Sclerosis & epilepsy.
In this update:
Kari – As you may have noticed from the pictures, Kari’s appearance has changed over the last couple of weeks due to 1) loosing her first tooth and 2) getting glasses. Over the past 6 months, we have been visiting a number of medical people, including a Consultant Paediatric Opthalmologist. The end result is she has a lump called a dermoid (normal tissue in the wrong spot) in her right eye socket. We are waiting on scan results to see if anything needs to be done with it, and what the options are. It was also found that she has astigmatism in her right eye (i.e. a funny shaped eyeball) and hence the glasses, as this can sometimes be corrected.
Lara – Lara received her birthday present early this year – a new bike! John said to her that if she learnt to ride her bike without the training wheels, she could get a new bike for her birthday. It took one afternoon for her to master this – talk about determination!
Courtney – Way back in January, Courtney reached double figures and celebrated with a sleepover party. 10 friends were invited with the thinking that they all wouldn’t be able to make it – wrong! They all came, and so we had a very full lounge room of girls, all ‘sleeping’ over, although we don’t think their definition of ‘sleeping’ was the same as ours!
Bushfires – We have been very saddened and shocked to see the devastation caused by the bushfires in the Kinglake area earlier in the year. It was very close to home, as we lived in St. Andrews for 7 years and would attend annual training at the local CFA, along with having a fire plan. Our deepest sympathies and prayers to everyone affected by the fires, especially those of you who have lost loved ones, property and/or possessions.
Easter meant that on Christine’s birthday, John and Courtney left home at 3 a.m. to travel to Madrid, Spain, where the Salem church held their annual Easter conference. Here, John continued building relationship we began last September and trained around 90 kids leaders. This included a practical demonstration where John ran a ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Sunday, assisted by Courtney. It ended with most of the 80 kids and 40 leaders crying (because of the Holy Spirit, not John’s speaking!) and responding to the challenge to stand up for Jesus, take a risk for God and be serious about their faith.
The church leaders in Madrid are very supportive of kid’s ministries and want to see it embraced across the nation. Don’t underestimate what is happening here in Spain. They have a passion for and value kids. Seeing kids interact and respond to God overwhelms them, and so they want to learn how to effectively minister to them. Our involvement in Spain looks like it will be a 4 year project, as the leadership are really keen to see this become a reality in their nation. This will include intensive training twice a year for the kid’s leaders.
Yes, we do realise that Canada is not part of Europe! However in March, John spent a couple of weeks travelling throughout Canada. The aims were to raise finance, recruit short term mission teams, promote BOOST Tour 2010 and sign up trainers for BOOST It! training of kids leaders in both Slovakia and Spain. He was also networking with key Canadian leaders and had a number of speaking engagements.
Downtown Toronto is home to Emmanuel Church – a church for those with life dependency issues, such as alcohol and drug abuse. They believe that to reach families, they must reach also the kids. Each week, they meet in a cinema, with the kids program being held literally in the stair well, and hence the creative name for the kids program – ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – true story! Prior to John speaking at the service, he was told to expect some heckling from the crowd, as they are not exactly backward in telling you what they really think about what you have to say. Fortunately, the crowd was silent, indicating their agreement with John’s message about kids! He also spent time training their kid’s leaders, and has potential for future follow up and consultation with them.
John also travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, specifically to speak at ‘Elevate’, the first district children’s ministry conference for 7 years. He took a number of electives, as well as checking out some of the local kids clubs.
The first experience of Kenyan culture occurs miles away from the Kenyan border. In fact, it begins whilst queing at the boarding gate at Amsterdam airport. Different skin colors, different hair styles, different languages, different smells, different ideas of cabin luggage size……we were definitely in the minority! In December, we spent almost 3 weeks in Kenya, training kids leaders, running kid programs and speaking in churches. This was Christine’s first time to Africa, whilst John has previously been several times. (more…)
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