Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dear Family & Friends,

Many things have happened since we shared with you that all the paper work for Tasmania was received. My Passport was sent off to the Australian embassy so it could be officially evidenced that I am a permanent immigrant of Australia. Our plane tickets were purchased. Our boxes, mostly of books, were picked up by my movers and should be currently truck bound to California and then to Taz via sea freighter.

The Lord Jesus Christ has once again proved that He is Sovereign over all and that all things in heaven and earth must work together for the expansion of His Kingdom and the benefit of His people. Martha and I are thankful to see the hand of the Lord moving so powerfully in our lives and we await to see what other blessings He has in store for us.

The Lord willing, Martha and I will be flying out for Taz on December 28. We hope to meet in California and then fly to Taz together arriving December 30. We are both eager to go and I am very thankful the Lord has allowed us to come to Taz together. It is important to me to share this with her, to give her this opportunity to meet our new church family, get a feel for Taz, and see our wonderful new home (the Montifiore Manse) before we are married July 21, 2007 at 10am, DV.

Thanks be to our Lord who does great things and who will never leave us nor forsake us!

Love through Christ,

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hi, everyone; Martha here. Yesterday I actually (amazingly) finished my last exam for the semester. I am very thankful to be done; this last week was pretty crazy. To give you a glimpse:

Thursday 12/14
- "Hispanic Women's Voices and Images" class portfolio
- grammar paper (8 pages) re. the origins and characteristics of Australian English (This involved an all-nighter.)
Friday 12/15
- teaching philosophy paper (2 pages)
Monday 12/18
- "Reading and Writing in the Content Areas" class portfolio
- iMovie for "Technology in the Classroom" almost finished after 4 hours, but the computer ate it
Tuesday 12/19
- "Technology in the Classroom" class portfolio
- Webquest (a project created for students accessible on the web)
Wednesday 12/20
-iMovie for "Technology in the Classroom" redo
Thursday 12/21
- "Grammar: Theory and Pedagogy" exam
- grammar paper (2 pages) re. my independent readings this semester

Through all of this, God has kept me relatively healthy and cheerful. It was definitely only through His grace that I was able to do the work; it seemed so overwhelming at times.

On a lighter note, I appear to have lost some memory. Over the last few days, I have lost my toothbrush, a book (which was buried on my desk after all), my keys (left at the Office of Student Activities when I returned my locker key), and my wallet (left at the cafe last night). As of now, all but the toothbrush have been recovered. :)

Hoping you all are well and wishing you all a blessed winter - or summer - season!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dear family & friends,


Praise the Lord and rejoice with us!

Thank you again for all your prayers.

Now begins the contacting of movers, the purchasing of tickets, and passport modification.

More updates coming as things continue to develop, DV.

Love through Christ,
Terry & Martha

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rejoice with us! Today my FBI criminal background check came back. The fingerprint card had this anticlimactic message stapled onto it: "Please note the stamp on the back of the enclosed fingerprint card indicating the results of the search of the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division's files. " The stamp says simply, "NO ARREST RECORD." It was processed November 29, 2006.

Thanks for your prayers and thanks be to God for making the paperwork go smoothly so far. Now more definite plans can be made for Terry's departure. As I write this, Terry doesn't know yet that the FBI check has arrived; he went to New York City today with my brother Dan who works there, while I went to school. I look forward to seeing his smile at the news; he is yearning so to go to his people in Tassie.

Well, I'd better be off and get some more schoolwork done. There are a slew of papers and portfolios to complete in these last three weeks. But after that comes Christmas break in which (Lord willing) I'll visit my future home in Tasmania with Terry for a couple weeks! I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dear family and friends,

By the grace of our Lord I can once again say, “Greetings from New Jersey!”

The Lord gave another opportunity to visit my wonderful fiancĂ©e and her family. I arrived in late November in time to go to their extended family’s Thanksgiving Day celebration. There, 68 of Martha’s aunts, uncles, and cousins all came together to share food, fellowship, and fun. It was likely the only time I would have an opportunity to meet most of Martha’s family before our wedding (July 21, 2007 10am, DV) and I enjoyed it greatly.

Things continue to progress little step by little step towards my departure for Launceston, Tasmania. I recently requested and received my membership papers from the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids, the denomination that has been my home for almost 10 years.

To receive my papers was an odd feeling. It was a mix of the sorrow of an ending and the joy of a new beginning at the same time; the Lord’s ways are truly beyond our understanding. The joy continued to grow as I sent my papers to the Clerk of the Presbytery of the Southern Presbyterian Churches of Tasmania. I am not officially a member until my papers are formally accepted, but it is only a formality; I already feel the warmth, care, and love of my new church family on the other side of the globe.

The Lord willing, the needed paperwork for immigration will come in two and half weeks at the most. When it arrives, my movers will need a week’s notice and then I’m off to my new home in Tasmania. Hopefully Martha will be flying there with me for a short visit over her winter break from college.

Well, that is a bit of the latest news.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.


P.S. Martha here – just want to let you all know the wedding dress was ordered recently, an important and exhilarating step in the planning process.