Saturday, 31 December 2011

Three Weeks Later...

Well, it's now three weeks after the surgery and both the recipient and I are doing well and recovering quickly.  I talked to Manu this week and he sounded good - upbeat and positive.  In the second week after the surgery, there was a bit of a concern for him because his creatine levels were creeping up past the normal 120 (his had crept up to 130 then 150).  The doctors did a few tests - X-rays of the new kidney, blood tests, biopsy, etc - to see if there was perhaps something wrong with the kidney (yes, the super-bionic kidney).  But they found nothing of concern.

So it possibly could be the anti-rejection medication that all recipients must take to keep their bodies from rejecting the 'foreign' transplanted organ.  The doctors normally must give the recipient varying doses of this medication until they find a dose that keeps his levels in the normal range.  And this week, Manu's levels are dropping back into the normal range again, so the doctors will keep an eye on that.  Please continue to pray for Manu and his family.  Pray that he recovers well and that there will be no other concerns with the transplant.

As for me, I am recovering much quicker than I had expected.  I was able to get off of all pain meds after only a week post-surgery.  A week and a half after the surgery, I was able to go for walks of 2.75 km, 3.25 km and 6 km.  And at the 2 and a half week mark, I started running again - 5 km and now 7.5 kms.  So I am doing really well with the recovery!  But I'll try to milk it a few more weeks - breakfast in bed and being waited on hand and foot sure is nice!  ;-)

And as you can see from the 3-week-post-surgery foto below, the incisions are healing nicely.  You can barely see the 1cm keyhole scars anymore (yes, 1 of the keyhole incisions was INSIDE my belly-button).  And the 12cm / 5 inch incision is normally hidden by my pants so no one will ever see it except me.  It is kinda lumpy and  tough though, so that still bugs me.   And also, the only other things that still get me is the fatigue (surgeon said it can last for months - but afternoon naps sure help!) and the bloated/swollen feeling in my abdomen (and no, it isn't just my own gas that causes this!).  But I guess the only cure for these things is time.  So thanks for continuing to pray for Manu and me!  Will keep you posted....

[caption id="attachment_1364" align="aligncenter" width="615" caption="3 weeks after surgery"][/caption]



Thursday, 15 December 2011

Love Handles Still There!

[caption id="attachment_1334" align="alignleft" width="177" caption="Me - 15 mins before going into operating theater. Doped up on nerves and excitement!"][/caption]

Well, it's been a week now since the kidney transplant surgery and all is well.  The transplant was a success and the kidney has 'kicked in' immediately in the recipient's body.  I didn't know this, but for some recipients, the new kidney might take a few days or even weeks to start working.  But not for my recipient - my kidney (his now) was working overtime!   I talked to his wife and she said it was working too well!  It had cleared about 9 kg / 20 pounds of fluids from his body in a couple days!  In fact, it is working so well at clearing out the toxins and fluids that the nurse had to put him back on an IV / saline drip to keep him hydrated.  Too funny!  As one friend puts it, I have super bionic kidneys - and now the recipient has one too!

I am doing well - the pain is diminishing daily and I am able to do more and more each day.  It really ONLY hurts now when I bend over too fast or laugh or cough or sneeze or sit up too quickly or blow my nose or hiccup or burp or brush my teeth too vigorously or turn my shoulders to the side or strain too hard on the toilet or roll over in bed or walk too fast or walk up stairs or walk down stairs or walk too upright or right after eating or drinking or when taking a really deep breath or...or...or....  So as you can see, I am really doing great; improving everyday (as long as I sit absolutely still on the sofa)!   ;-)

My surgeon told me that I can start trying to run again in a couple weeks, as the pain decreases and as I am able.  So I am truly itching to get out of the house again!  Just have to wait until my internal organs return to their normal positions - they had to move things around to get access to the kidney.  And until I don't feel so bloated!  During surgery, they had pumped my abdomen full of gas/air to make room for the video camera and surgical instruments.  And I still have some of that residual gas left in me, plus all the natural gas that my body produces on its own - makes for a very bloated belly region, as you can see from the 'after' photo.

And as you can see, there are 3 holes (hence the name keyhole surgery) about half an inch in diameter across my belly, from the left side to my bellybutton, where they stick the camera and instruments through.  And a longer 12 cm / 5 inch incision just under the belt-line where they take the kidney out from.  My surgeon asked permission to video the whole surgery, so I might ask him to post it to youtube so you can all watch!   Just kidding - he did video it, but it is for his own personal performance evaluation.  I hope.  ;-)

And look - they forgot to take my love handles away!   Might have to go back and have them do it all over again and take those love handles away!  NOT!  And yes, that is my natural skin color - yellowish white!  ;-)  Ok, I'll keep you updated - thanks again to everyone from all over the world for your support, prayers, emails, comments, etc.  Thanks for joining us on this journey.  Can't wait until the next one!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Twelve Hours and Counting...

Well, we are less than twelve hours away from me being about a half pound lighter.  ;-)   Tomorrow, Wed, the 7th of Dec, at 7.00 AM I check into the hospital to have my kidney taken out and transplanted into someone else.  The actual surgery will take place at about 8.00-8.30 AM and will go until about 12.00 noon.  Then I will be in the recovery room until about 3.00 PM and finally get up to my room sometime after 4.00 PM.  I have to honestly admit, that I am a bit nervous - mostly excited, but a wee bit nervous too.  I have never been hospitalized for anything ever, so am not sure what to expect.  Becks and the recipient's wife are actually very calm and at peace.  Hope that rubs off on me tonight!

So please be praying, especially during the surgery part - for those in the USA, it will be your Tuesday morning/afternoon and for those in Europe, it will be your Tuesday evening/night.  Thanks for praying!

Becky and I met with the recipient and his wife today and we had a quick, but good chat.  At the end, we prayed together and thanked God for this gift that he is receiving and for the even greater gift that God has given us and that we celebrate at Christmas - the gift of His Son Jesus Christ!  Afterwards, he had tears coming down his cheek.  Pray for him - he doesn't know the Lord (yet).  Pray that he will recognize the ultimate gift that God gave humanity - salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ!

Here's a 'before' foto...;-)  We'll post an 'after' foto in a week or so.  They are taking my left kidney, which is normal for this procedure.  I'm gonna ask them, since they have me opened up anyways, if they can take my love handles (Schwimmring) away too!  ;-)  Just kidding.  Well, maybe not.  Ok, I am signing out for now - see you all in a week or two!  And again, thanks for being patient and joining me on this year and a half journey.  This phase of the journey is almost over - 12 hours and counting....


Saturday, 26 November 2011

7.Dec - The Fun Starts Again!

Life at times, can be like a merry-go-round that never truly stops - you can get on and get off, but it's constantly spinning and moving.  Well, our 'merry-go-round' life is spinning a lot faster now and it's making me a bit dizzy!  Not quite puke-dizzy, but gettin' there!  ;-)  As you know from a few posts ago (click here to read that post), the kidney donation process has been started up again.  The surgeons are willing to go ahead with the surgery, despite the heart defect / condition that they found with my heart and despite the potential of heart surgery for me in the next 15 years.

Now, they had originally told us that it looks like the transplant surgery would be in Jan or Feb 2012.  But just over a week ago, I got a call from the Renal Coordinator and she said the surgery date has been set for 7.Dec.  That's only 11 days from today!  Ahhh!  That date was totally out of the blue - we were really expecting Jan or Feb!  In any case, they have fast-tracked me to go through the last few exams and blood-tests and cross-match - so it's been a busy time!

So now it's just a matter of getting things organized here at home and at work / church before I go into surgery.  So we would really appreciate your prayers for us during this time leading up to the surgery, during the surgery itself and of course, the recovery afterwards.  For me the recipient, they said the recovery typically takes about 6 weeks before you are back to 'normal', but I have heard from people who have donated that it can take longer for the fatigue to fade, even up to several months!

So please pray!  Pray for all the tests still remaining - that they don't find anything else wrong with me!  ;-) (I know some of you could probably give the doctors a long list of what's wrong with me!)   Pray also for Becky and the Phamily as they will take up the slack for a while.  At lease it will be mostly over the summer here, so the kids are out of school - no taxiing them around all day long with their various activities!  So thanks for supporting us on this journey.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

12km Run For Relief

On 26.Nov, I will be running 12 km to raise money to help the internally displaced peoples (IDP) of Burma.  Did you know that there are about a million people in Burma who are on the run from their own government's military?!  And it's been going on for 40 years!  There are thousands and thousands of KIDS on the run for their lives - many whose parents have been murdered by the Burmese military.  They and thousands of refugees are hiding in the jungles of Burma - trying to simply survive.  Some don't.

So I am CHOOSING to use my feet and to run for those who have NO CHOICE but to run!  Please support them by sponsoring me on this run.  Every $50 that I raise can provide food, clothes and emergency relief for a month, for 5 people who are on the run and in hiding in the jungles of Burma.  Please go to my sponsorship webpage (click this link - David's sponsorship page) and click on the 'donate here' button at the bottom to donate whatever you can - every little bit helps!

This Run For Relief is put on by Partners, an organization that I have had personal contact with through my home church - Calvary Chapel Murrieta.  In fact, my pastor and his wife are good friends with Steve and Oddny Gumaer, founders of Partners.  This organization assists by making people aware of the atrocious conditions in Burma and also with practical relief by sending in teams with emergency relief and supplies.  My pastor and several from our home church have also gone with these teams into the jungles of Burma to serve these IDP.  You can read more and watch videos and testimonies of IDP at the Partners NZ website ( or the main Partners website at (

So join me on this run - you might not be able to run 12 km, but you can still help by donating!   Or if you CAN run 12 km, then join me on the run - it's not too late to register!  Make a difference either way.

EDIT: there are 2 other options if you want to physically participate.  They have a 7km run and a 7km walk.  The 12km run is basically 2 loops of the 7km run, minus a bit at the start and finish.  So if you want to join me, sign up!  We can do the first loop together and then I can finish the 12km alone.

Jesus said - 'if you have done this for the least of My brothers, then you have done it for me'  (my loose paraphrase of Matt 25.40.  ;-)

PS - When you click on the 'donate' button, you will be taken to the Partners donation page and then to Paypal to donate (but you DON'T need a Paypal account to donate - you can use your debit or credit card).

[caption id="attachment_1225" align="alignleft" width="594" caption="Photo from Partners' Website"][/caption]

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Shining and Sharing

I don't know if you all know this - I am sure you kiwis know this - but most of us foreigners don't (or didn't before coming to New Zealand)!  Prostitution and brothel operation and any type of sex work is legal in New Zealand as of 2003.  Here is a quote from the Wikipedia article (click link to go to that Wiki article) for this topic - "Prostitution (sex work), brothel keeping, living off the proceeds of someone else's prostitution and street solicitation are legal and regulated in New Zealand....These laws were changed by the Prostitution Reform Act, passed in June 2003. The decriminalisation of brothels, escort agencies and soliciting and substitution of a minimal regulatory model created worldwide interest; New Zealand prostitution laws are now some of the most liberal in the world."  Most of us would be saying 'wow' about now.  I did.

In any case, all that to say, that I just found out that there is a brothel less than 200m /635 ft (as the crow flies) from our house.  It is basically on the next street over from ours, and down a bit (see foto).  WOW, I did not know that.

Last week, I met with another pastor from the other side of the valley who ministers to girls working in brothels.  He and his wife are currently ministering to a few Asian girls near his church who are operating a brothel.  He shared with me that often, girls from Asia are brought to New Zealand under student visas, but they NEVER study.  They end up in the brothels!  And when their visas are up, they are either rotated out and fresh girls brought in or are 'discarded'.

Now, the 'legal' age for prostitution and 'sex work' is 18, but I have read that police have raided some brothels and found girls in their early teens 'working'.  Just imagine that - 13, 14, 15 year old girls!  How many of you have daughters that age?  Sickening, isn't it.

My heart is broken knowing that so close to where we live there are young ladies selling their bodies like this!  I have been told that the 'operator' of this particular brothel near us is a single woman with a teenage daughter (did you know anyone can get an Operators License to run a brothel?!?).  Whether the daughter is involved in the 'business' or not we don't know, but imagine what she sees and hears and experiences.  Imagine the home situation she grows up in!  Oh, my heart aches!

So pray with me - I am at a loss as to how to help and minister to them.  Do we just walk up and knock on the door?  Do I call first?  What do we do?  I jog right by the house every now and then - there is a footpath a couple houses down that is on my running route.  Do I stop by and see?  I will do nothing for now except pray, and invite you to pray with and for us.  Pray that God will open a natural door for us to minister to these ladies (and child).  Pray that God will begin even now to prepare them. Pray that there will be others who will go with me to minister - I definitely will not be doing anything alone.  We are all called to shine the light of Jesus and share the love and truth of God with all people - so pray that we will be shining and sharing!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Open Doors...

It's been a month now since I updated you all on the whole kidney donation process, so here goes.  As you remember, back in September, I had the supposedly last meeting with the renal doctor and he outlined the 3 options that were available - yes, no, later.  And he said that he would talk t the surgical team and get back to me as to what they are willing to do.  If they say no to the kidney donation surgery (because of the risk of potential future heart surgery for me) then everything stops immediately.  But if they are willing to go ahead with the donation, then we can pick up the process where we left off back in July.  In any case, during this time, Becks and I prayed and talked and came to the conclusion that we are willing to go ahead with the donation.

Basically we had made the decision a long time ago, at the beginning of the whole donation process.  And the way we see it is that this decision hasn't changed - the heart defect only adds another dimension to the picture.  We had agreed to go forward as long as God keeps the doors open. We understand the potential risk of future heart surgery for me, but we also see that it is an uncertainty - it could be that I never need heart surgery.  And even if I did, it is very likely that I can make it through heart surgery with one kidney.  In any case, we don't want to live our lives so focused on the future that we are missing out on opportunities that God has for us today.  We want to live God-honoring lives today, trusting that He has our futures in His sovereign and caring hands. So I wrote an email to the surgical team, explaining this and basically sharing the Gospel with them (can't help it!).  I shared from Rom 8.28 and told them that we believe God does use ALL THINGS for good for those who are the called according to His purpose and who love Him.  That it applies now in the current situation and also in any future situations / complications.  Ultimately we trust God.

Well, this past Friday, I got an email from the renal doctor and he said that his team is willing to go ahead with the donation surgery!  That came as a total surprise to me, basically to us all!  We didn't think they would say yes.  But they said that my email showed them a few things, especially that we had prayed and understood all the options and made an informed decision.  So as long as God keeps this door open, we will continue to trust Him and walk through it!

That means we now pick up where we left off, assuming there are no other complications - for me or the recipient. ;-)  Next up is finding a surgery date - most likely some time in the new year - the end of January or beginning of February 2012.  And of course, I go through one last check-up and cross-match.  It was during that last check-up last time that they found the heart defect - so hopefully this time around I will get a clean bill of health!  So please continue to pray for us all!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Growing Up...

Our oldest son, Jesaiah is really growing up and maturing in his strengths!  What a blessing to be able to watch him doing the things he loves!  This past term, he was picked as part of a team to enter the regional Tournament of Minds competition.  The tournament has many divisions - Jesaiah's team entered the performing arts division.  For the last couple of months, they got together weekly to develop their own scripts, props, costumes - in fact, no adult was allowed to help them!  They even gave up some of their lunchtime at school and a couple Saturdays to work on the project.  But all that hard work paid off - they came in first place for their division!  Yeah!  They were so excited!

Also, this past term, Jesaiah's artwork was chosen to be displayed at the Wellington Town Hall as part of the ArtSplash competition - this is one of New Zealand's biggest youth arts festival and is divided into performing arts, visual arts, wearable arts, dance and music.  Over 100 primary and intermediate schools take part in this 2-week-long competition.  Again, well done!

(Note: the foto of Jesaiah's team is purposely blurred to protect the identity of minors.  Just in case you were wondering :-) )


Friday, 23 September 2011

A Waiting Game...

I hate waiting.  Hate it with a vengeance.  Maybe that's why God is making me wait another month.  That's how long until the renal doctors get back to me about the whole kidney donation process.  This week I met with the renal doctor in charge of my kidney donation process.  We went through (in great detail) the results of the echocardiogram of my heart and he confirmed what the cardiologist said - I have bicuspid aortic valve defect.  Or as he says - it's not a defect, it's an anomaly.  ;-)

In any case, we went over all the options that are available at the moment, but he didn't give me a clear answer as to which option is going to be the final one picked!  He is waiting for his surgical team to get back to him as to what they see as the next step. There are several members of the team - the 2 surgeons (1 for me the donor and 1 for the recipient) anesthesiologist, the renal coordinators and even a medical ethics officer - so that is why we have to wait a month for them to get back to me.

So here are the 3 options that we discussed...

  1. NO - if ether myself or the surgical team say no, we don't want to go forward anymore, then it ends right now.  It could be that the surgeons say that they don't want to take the risk because I have the defect/anomaly.  For them, they have to think about BOTH the recipient AND the donor (me), so they might decide that the risk is too great.  If this is the case, then everything ends now and they will discharge me

  2. LATER - there is the option that I can wait for a time, maybe a year or so, and IF the recipient hasn't received a kidney yet and IF my heart condition hasn't gotten worse (they'll do another echocardiogram, ECG and stress test), then they MIGHT start the whole donation process up again.   If this is the case, then everything is now put on ice for an indefinite time.

  3. YES - or if both I AND the surgical team think the benefits outweigh the risks and we are BOTH willing to take the calculated risk and go ahead with the donation, then we can move forward with the surgery.  From what the doctor said, this is probably the least likely of the 3 options.  He personally doesn't think I should donate, but he is waiting for the surgeons who will actually do the surgery to give their input.

So that's's back to waiting.  Again.  God is teaching me patience.  Again.  In any case, in my devotions this week, the Lord brought me to the passage in 2Sam 24 where we see King David taking a census of the people.  God is not cool with this and must then discipline David and Israel, but in the end He shows mercy.  King David then wants to give a peace offering to God, so some dude named Araunah gives King David some stuff for the offering - for free!  What a generous gift!  But David says something that struck me and made me really think about the situation I am in at the moment.  David says - 'No way man, I can't offer something to God that doesn't cost me anything!  No, I will buy it from you, Araunah.  Name your price' (my loose translation).  So David buys the stuff from him and offers up a peace offering to God.

But what David said really hit home for me.  How can I offer a sacrifice to God when it costs me nothing?  Up to now, this sacrifice of a kidney hasn't cost me anything.  So perhaps this is the cost - not necessarily the fact of the heart murmur and heart valve defect.  But making a decision to go ahead KNOWING what COULD be in my future.  That is the true cost, I think.  Just my thoughts.

In any case, after talking with Becks and discussing the 3 options, we are leaning towards going ahead with the donation.  As Becky says, we can't base our present lives on future 'what ifs' that might never happen.  Yes we need to make wise decisions, yes we must take into account many factors.  But we can't live on 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'.  So bottom line - we keep going forward until God truly and completely and finally shuts all doors.  I know some of you will not agree with this, so I ask you to pray with and for us.  Nothing is set in stone yet.  We will continue to pray and seek God....and of course, wait.  Let's see what the surgeons say in a month.  A very long month.  ;-)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Life Can Change So Quickly...

First I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me and the whole kidney donation process.  And especially this past week as I had the appointment with the cardiologist.  Well, the outcome of that meeting was along the lines of what I had feared but praying wasn't the case.

Basically I have been diagnosed with a congenital bicuspid heart defect / disease - this affects about 1% of the population, a significant number.  So what is this defect?  The normal heart valve has 3 cusps or leaflets or flaps that look like triangular pie wedges (see FOTO below).  This opens and closes with each heartbeat and keeps the blood flowing in one direction as the heart pumps it through the open tricuspid valve.  When the valve closes, the leaflets / flaps seals and keeps blood from flowing back in the direction it came from, thus ensuring that blood only flows in the desired direction.

Well, with a bicuspid valve defect, instead of 3 cusps or leaflets, there is only 2 (see FOTO).  It is caused when the leaflets or flaps are not formed properly in the womb during pregnancy.  The bicuspid valve can function without complications for years, well into adulthood.  But because the defective bicuspid valve wears out quicker than the normal tricuspid valve, many people with this disease start showing symptoms in their 30's or 40's - shortness of breath, dizziness, heart murmurs, stenosis (stiffening of the leaflets), regurgitation (backflow of blood), etc.

For me, it was the heart murmur that first alerted the doctors to this disease / defect.  And because I have inherited high cholesterol, I am at greater risk.  About 30% of people with this heart disease develop complications.  And about 80% of the people with this defect will require heart surgery.  So for me, with this defect and the high cholesterol, there is a very good chance that I will need heart surgery in the next 10-15 years - according to the cardiologist.  Thus, with this likelihood of heart surgery in the near future, he highly recommends AGAINST kidney donation.

So that is where we are in the whole kidney donation process - it is looking very unlikely that I will be able to donate my kidney.  The doctors don't want to put me at risk.  I meet with the renal doctor on 20.Sept, likely for the final time. Pray for that meeting.

So that is the physical side - but there is also an emotional side.  I won't lie and say that I am not hugely disappointed that I won't be able to donate.  It's been a year of lots of tests and medical exams and appointments - all in preparation for donation.  And the fact that we were just 10 days away from the surgery date when everything was halted.... :-(  And needless to say, the potential recipient was also very disappointed - he was sooo looking forward to this.  I met with him last week and explained everything and he took it very well even though it was obvious that he was extremely disappointed.  I explained to him that this whole process has been in God's hands and it will remain in His hands.   So pray for the recipient, that he will come to know the Lord.

In any case, thanks so much for being on this journey with me.  And isn't it 'funny' how life can change so quickly - one day you're doing fine, having run a half-marathon, getting ready to donate your kidney.  And the next day you get a call from the doctor saying you have a serious heart issue that will very likely preclude you from donating.  Funny.  God funny.

If you want more info on biscuspid valve defect, visit the Cleveland Clinic's website - they are the world leaders in this field.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

More Snow....

This afternoon, we got another generous helping of snow.  Well, at least for this part of the world where it doesn't actually snow and stick except for maybe once every 50 years or so!   The kids' school was closed today because there apparently was no heat in the buildings (why not???) and also because some of the teachers couldn't get to school because the roads were closed in their areas.  Two of the kids and I spent the day at the library while I prepared the bible study for Wed night, and not more than 30 minutes after we got home, it started to snow!  Got got dressed and got outside to play a bit - snowball fights, snow angels and snowmen - all the usual fun for snowy, wintry days!  Here is a foto collage of the fun (click on the foto collage to enlarge it - you might have to click a couple times)...



Monday, 15 August 2011


This afternoon, we had a cold front come up from the South Pole and it brought with it some snow (mixed with sleet, hail and rain).  This is the first time I have ever seen that much snow falling, here in the Wellington area.  A few people who have lived here for decades said they have never seen this much snow either.  Unfortunately, it was too wet to really stick - would have been fun to make a snowman!  Or at least a snowball or two.  ;-)  Anyways, the kids thought it was pretty cool so they got out for the few minutes - ahhh, memories of fun times in the snow in Germany.  Makes me homesick for the Freiburg and Germany.  Here's a short video clip...

From Vids - snow

Saturday, 6 August 2011


Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."  Matthew 28:10

Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "   John 20:17

In the Bible, there are some encouraging passages where Jesus calls us “servants” and “friends” and these are amazing and special relationships we have with Him.They speak of an intimate, close, personal relationship.

But, as I was reading in my devotions this week, I came across these passages where Jesus calls us His brothers!  It really spoke to me - this is an even more intimate and special relationship. Why or how?

Because it is a BLOOD relationship!  Brothers are related by blood.  It is the blood that makes this a unique relationship.  Sure, brothers can be friends and they can even be servants to one another.  But friends and servants cannot be brothers in the true sense of the word, unless there is a blood relationship between them.

So consider what it means when Jesus calls us “My brethren” - what is the blood relationship that we have with Him?  Ahh, we have a glorious relationship with Jesus based on blood that was shed at the Cross!  We are Jesus’ brethren based on His blood, which was poured out for our salvation!  In fact, not only do we have this blood relationship with Jesus, but with all believers of all countries and all ages!

The apostles Paul and Peter and John are my brethren.  Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, the Wesleys, George Mueller, Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham are my brethren.  Believers throughout the world are my brethren.  You are my brethren, if Jesus is your Lord and Savior.  All because of this unique blood relationship we have with Jesus!  So consider what the author of Hebrews wrote…
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:

"I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."   - 
Hebrews 2.11-12

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Phamily Photo Montage...

Here are a few fotos from the last few weeks - just of various projects and things we and the kids, some of it in the first week of the 2-week term/semester break....

The kids had a painting day where they went to the local supermarket, got some cardboard boxes and each got to cut them up and paint them and decorate them however they wanted.  Amazing how long a few cardboard boxes could keep kids busy and occupied.  And inspired their imagination!  Here they are hard at work...










































On the first day of the term break, I took the kids (well, the 3 who wanted to go) for a bike ride along the stopbank.  We stopped to skip rocks across the river and then to make a 'raft' out of reeds tied together with long grass.  We then threw it into the river and raced alongside the river on our bikes, trying to keep up with the 'raft' and stopping off along the way down the river to watch for it.  It worked for about half the way home, but then somewhere along the way the 'raft' got hung up and we never saw it again!  Oh well, time to go home...












Here we have offspring number 3 waking up with pretty bad bedhead.  Perhaps it was because he slept until after 10am that morning!  Oh well, that's what school holidays are for!











Tuesday, 19 July 2011

We Are The Chapmpions....

Congrats to the Wellington Saints for their 2011 New Zealand NBL championship win over the Hawks.  Great game guys!  The kids and I and were able to take a couple of our friend's kids with us to the Final and it was really fun.  And even though not all the kids understood all aspects of the game, they loved the atmosphere of the game and arena.

Here is a slideshow of the post-game celebrations and autograph signing. It was pretty cool that we could come right down to the floor and talk to the players - our kids were a bit nervous being around these GIANTS! Notice how HUGE some of these guys are - the kids barely come up to their hips! (click on the foto below to watch the slideshow)

From Vids - saints

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Scottish Line Dancing

The kids have been taking Scottish Line Dancing the past few months and have really enjoyed it. Last night, even Dariah got in on the action (well, with the help from one of the mums - you ain't getting me out there, I have 2 left feet!). Dariah really wants to be a part of the dance group, so here she goes...

(Notice in the video, near the end that she doesn't just dance, she bounces and floats and is sometimes dragged and carried, ;-) ).  Auntie Doro, your little goddaughter is a-growin' up too fast!

PS - the video was a bit choppy - I only had my cell phone with me, so that's as good as it gets.


From Vids

We're Still Here....

Wow, it's been a couple of months since we posted on this blog, but we're still around! We'll try to be better about posting updates and fotos and videos. But we have found that facebook is a much easier way for us to get short updates out. So add us as a friend on facebook if you want to see more up-to-date stuff!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

May 21, 6.19 PM Down Under...

...and still no Rapture nor end of the world. Sorry Harry C. - wrong again!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Becks' Memory Lane - Air Supply (Part 5)

This one got Becks singin' along. She was in 2nd grade when this one came out!

Memory Lane - Air Supply (Part 4)

Ok, I lied. THIS is the last flashback for now. Ahhh, junior high school dances.....

Memory Lane - AIr Supply (Part 3)

Ok, I promise this is the last video (for today).  But you gotta admit - brings back memories of the youthful innocent days, doesn't it?

Memory Lane - Air Supply (Part 2)

Here's another one - ohh, the clothes, hair and music!  AWESOME!

Memory Lane - Air Supply

Wow, this brings back memories!  It kinda dates me doesn't it!?!  How many of you remember listening to this band?  Come on, I KNOW I am not the only one!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Say It With Me - 'Liquefaction'!

One thing (among many) that I learned from this last earthquake in Christchurch - soil liquefaction.  You gotta admit, that's a pretty cool sounding word - it just rolls off your tongue and makes you sound so intelligent!  Actually I am sure I learned it about 20 years ago in one of my soil engineering classes in Uni - but come on, how much of what we learned in school actually sticks with us (especially 2 decades later)!?!

Anyways, here's a link to the explanation of what soil liquefaction is (come on, say it with me, you know you want to - liquefaction) - click here.  Basically it is the ground turning liquid or semi-liquid because of the shaking of the earth - kinda like quicksand.

And here are a few photos of the results of liquefaction in Christchurch (here's another chance to say it - liquefaction)...

PS - photos came from various sources in Google Images

PPS - Pray for the people who are dealing with liquefaction and its destructive powers.  :-(

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Christchurch Earthquake - We're OK

To all our family, friends, churches and acquaintances all over the world, we wanted to thank you all for checking in on us.  Makes us feel all mushy and gushy and warm inside!  ;-)

Also, we just wanted to let you know that we are all fine.  The earthquake was in Christchurch on the South Island.  We live just outside Wellington on the North Island - about 300 km/200miles away, as the crow flies (see map below).

But please do be praying for the people of Christchurch - this is the 3rd major earthquake in 6 months.  And there have been literally hundreds (if not thousands) of aftershocks.  The residents of Christchurch are constantly on edge, their nerves are raw and shot from all the tension and stress. Pray also for the the families and friends of the deceased - there are a confirmed 75 dead, but that is expected to rise in the coming days as rescue workers are digging through the rubble.

Anyways, thanks for checking in on us!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Lost Art Of Waiting On The Lord (Part 5)

It's been almost 3 months since I started the series on waiting on the Lord (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).  During that time, we have gone through a lot - moving house, summer holidays, Christmas and New Years, kids starting a new school year, challenges in the fellowship, friends' major health issues, etc.  Wow, lots!  And all the emotional roller-coaster that comes with that!

And sometimes we wonder where we will get the strength to make it through all this.  Or even IF we will get through it!  But that is the beauty of waiting on the Lord.  We looked a bit at this passage in the last few posts on waiting on the Lord.  And in these last few months and weeks, we have truly lived it also!

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Isa 40.31

I have often read or quoted this passage to others.  But these last few weeks, it has made more sense to me.  We have experienced, that in life there are times we soar like eagles, effortlessly gliding on the rising air currents, keenly surveying all below us.  And there are times in life when we run without hitting the proverbial 'wall' - we're firing on all pistons, so to speak.  Our stride is confident and sure, our breathing is easy and deep and we're just taking in all the sights and sound of life along the way.

And then there are times when we can barely walk - our soles and souls are raw, blistered, open, bleeding, hurting.  Our heads and shoulders hang low, burdened with the weight of the world.  We are unable to see more than a few paces ahead, because in the valley of the shadow of death that we traverse, it is dark.  And we find no comfort in companionship because there are none - we alone tread upon this path.

And yet, we do not faint, we do not quit, we do not turn around, we do not stop, but we plod on forward, step by painful step.  How can we do this?  Ahhhh, because we are waiting on the Lord and renewing our strength.  We move forward, even if only by inches instead of feet.  But we ARE moving forward, making headway, gaining ground, going THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death.  That is the promise we have in God's Word - as we wait upon the Lord.

And we have the promise of God Himself  - that He has gone before us and knows the way and understands everything we are going through.  And that in fact, we are not alone but He is with us and will NEVER forsake us.
And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you.
He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you;
do not fear nor be dismayed

Deut 31.6,8

Just think - our Lord Jesus also walked a lonely hard road to His death.  And yet it was with joy that He walked to Calvary, endured the Cross and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, basking in God's glory and pleasure (Heb 12.1-2).  And we too, will one day (soon!) be in the presence of God ourselves.

So keep plodding on,  faithful pilgrim!  Remember we are but sojourners on this earth.  Our destiny and destination on this journey is Home.  And we're almost there.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


After the kids got home from school and had a bit of a rest and something to eat, I took Zachy, Taliah and one of their friends for a short hike up the firebreak behind our house.  It's a pretty steep climb up - about 1100 feet /330 m - some parts of the hike is literally 1:1 gradient (that's a 45% grade!).  But they all made it, even though this was Zachy's first time up.  When we got to the top, they begged me to go along the ridge to the radio towers, so we did and when we got there, we saw 3 crosses that someone had 'woven' into the chain-link security fence around the radio towers.  Cool, huh?  Here are a few fotos...

[caption id="attachment_893" align="alignleft" width="614" caption="Cool!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_894" align="alignleft" width="614" caption="Look, we live down there!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_891" align="alignleft" width="614" caption=" "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_896" align="alignleft" width="614" caption="Snack time"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_895" align="alignleft" width="614" caption="Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's superdad!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_892" align="alignleft" width="614" caption="We aaarrrre champions..."][/caption]

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Jesus Toast? How About Yoda Tortilla!

Our oldest daughter was eating a plain tortilla one day, just nibbling at it and suddenly she drops the tortilla and exclaims - 'it's Yoda!'  And sure enough, it WAS Yoda - in flat tortilla format!  Oh, miracles of all miracles!

Now if only we can find a way to market this like the guys over at!  They have invented a toaster that burns a picture of Jesus onto your toast (inspired by that lady in Florida who sold on ebay a grilled cheese sandwich with a picture of Jesus burned into the toast!).  So now you can have your own Jesus toaster!  How cool is that!  Breakfast with the Lord every morning!  Here's the youtube video...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

CCW Tennis Tournament

Wow, it's been a while since we posted anything here.  Life got busy over the summer and Christmas holidays (not to mention moving house!). Hopefully I will be more consistent now that summer is over and the kids have started school again.

Anyways, we had a fun church tennis tournament at the end of Jan.  Here are a few fotos from the day...

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