Dear Friends and Family:
Greetings from Sydney, Australia! This is our first time we have ever stepped outside the airport in this country and we are looking forward to spending time together and meeting old and new friends.
With jet-lag and respiratory virus behind us, this week has been ever so much more pleasant than the first one in Thailand was. In addition to the usual lectures, worship services, spouses’ program and the children’s program, this week was marked by a children’s performance on Tuesday evening (see below which shows Sean with his friends during the performance), Bruce’s last lecture on Wednesday afternoon and the deeply moving communion service Wednesday evening which was capped with the traditional performance of Handel’s Messiah chorus. We have been so blessed to be here, serving and enjoying the time with these amazing people.
The conference came to an end Thursday afternoon and all the attendees have now scattered to the four corners of the earth. It was a great conference and it is difficult to convey a sense of the value that we all received. These quotes from one of the attendees perhaps encapsulate the gestalt and benefit of the conference as well as anything we could say:
“Early in my career, I temporarily lost my medical license in the States due to the lack of documented CME. The CMDA-CMDE conference rescued me… My license in _____ depends on an active license in the USA.”
“The Spiritual life input with deeply spiritual speakers and the challenge of God’s word have been especially appreciated and convicting. I have been ‘recalled’ to continue missionary service.”
“Good wholesome fun with jokes, skits and funny video clips is such a special healing health restoring change from the burdens of disease, suffering, sin and sorry that we live with.”
Friday morning, we left Chiang Mai, Thailand and flew to Bangkok, then to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and then on to Sydney, arriving mid-morning on Saturday. It took almost 22 hours including the two long lay-overs. On the longest overnight flight, Bruce got stuck in a middle seat away from Micky and Sean. Painful. Among our great pleasures Friday were meals from Burger King, both in the Bangkok airport and in the Kuala Lumpur airport – not a single grain of rice was ingested during that entire meal! We love Thai food (well, maybe not Sean) but two weeks of it was enough. We are in our hotel in Sydney and used the cool rainy weather as an excuse to nap today. We will do the tourist things starting tomorrow morning.
Our plans for this coming week include two more days of tourist things until we fly to Adelaide in southern Australia on Tuesday. That afternoon, we will meet with friends we know from our childhood and with friends we haven’t yet met. Tuesday evening, we will dine with an Australian surgeon who is a donor for and volunteer with PAACS. We will also present PAACS to a group of medicos who attend his church. Bruce will also meet with the Christian surgeon who runs an Australian humanitarian medical organization. We were to have met with a second but just received word that he broke his ankle in New Zealand and won’t be back in time. Wednesday and Thursday, we will stay with the Forstens who we have known since the 1960s in our home town and church in Lapeer, MI. They moved from our hometown to Adelaide and have lived there ever since. John, the family patriarch, will be missed – he recently went home to be with his Savior. He was a prayer warrior for us and always expressed a keen interest in our ministry.
We will also take one day to visit Kangaroo Island and definitely do the Australian tourist thing as possible. Next Friday, we leave for Ghana via Sydney and London. That will be another long trip over two days with the flight from Sydney to London lasting 24 hours!
This past week, Bruce’s grand-nephew was born to Jason and Katie Crichton. He was named Ethan Carl Crichton, with his middle name in honor of my father and his great-grandfather. My mother was able to hold her new great-grandchild yesterday (see picture).
Praise and Prayer:
- Praise God for all that was accomplished during the XXXIII CMDA-CMDE conference. May God continue to keep His hand on all those who are working in areas where freedom and even life itself is at stake. May they be able to model and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Pray that all the details for the rest of the time here in Australia and then in Ghana and Togo will come together and that God’s will might be accomplished.
Yours and His,
Bruce, Micky and Sean