Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekend in Newcastle

We had a FANTASTIC weekend in Newcastle a few weekends ago. We visited our friend, Neil Cox. We have him to thank for sending us on this Australia roller-coaster! THANK YOU NEIL! Updated details on the Australia move below. First, Newcastle...

Lots of famous things in the background, including the Tyne Bridge and the Millenium Bridge.

The actual 'New Castle'

Is Mark pulling a monkey face, or did he just discover that his shirt was untucked??

Blue-Steel =)

Just a pretty main street with the Tyne Bridge in the background.

Finally, the latest Australia update (in case you didn't receive it by email):

We have a few new announcements in regards to our move to Australia! We are leaving a bit earlier that we had previously planned on, details below. We decided to do this by email so that you are all in the loop at the same time...

Some of you will remember that earlier this year I was in a difficult job situation and God decided to open the door to Australia for me to work in Pediatric Chiropractics, working with Kirokids. When I told my current boss I was moving to Australia to work, he asked me to stay on until our move. Well, earlier this week he came into my office and said that he has had things in motion since I said I was going to leave and that we should nail down an actual leaving date for me. We perhaps had had a misunderstanding at some point along the line. He was thinking 'end of July'. I was a bit shocked by this because I thought we had agreed that I would stay on until October, but he said that others were coming, arrangements had been made and that after July there wouldn't be a place here for me anymore. It makes sense business-wise, but it was unexpected for me. I've learned that in these situations that nothing is shocking to God and I felt a peace about it, though I wondered what would happen for those 3 months of unemployment for me!

Now, the other side of this is that Rachel's employment has had some changes. The company management has been re-structured, and though these are positive changes for the company, we are unsure of the company's stability. The management has assured Rachel that the company and her job is secure. We are trusting that it will be, but we can't help but be open to other options.

So, there we were. We were planning on leaving England together at the end of October/beginning of November. My new job in Australia wasn't starting until Feb 1, but I would be there from November to write my exams. Rachel's job was in question. That equaled a minimum of 6 months combined with no income and a move to a different continent! But as always, God provides. I called my new boss in Australia and explained the situation and he told me that one of the chiropractors at one of his clinics is pregnant and they have no-one to cover her maternity leave in Oct and Nov. They had thought about asking me to come early but didn't want to put the pressure on me. There is another time I can take the board exam, which I obviously need before I can legally work there, and that is July 31st. Having prayed about it and seeking the advice of our families, here is our plan:

I will be leaving on July 11th to go to Australia and write my exams. Rachel will stay in Hull until the end of August. Our decision for Rachel to stay is for a few reasons. First, this is so that Rachel can stay with her company through the end of the school year and appropriately hand-over to a new consultant to be ready for the new school year starting in Sept 2007. Secondly, Rachel's aunt is coming out in August and has already booked her non-refundable ticket, and Rachel of course doesn't want to miss the opportunity to show her aunt around the north. Finally, this gives us another six weeks of income from Rachel, and it also gives us more time to get things at this end organized. Then, August 30th, we will both fly to Arizona after 6-weeks apart! From there we will have a month with family and friends in the States and Canada, and then we will both fly to Australia on September 22nd in time for me to start the maternity leave cover. My time in Australia in August will give me the chance to really perfect the new technique that I've been learning by shadowing my new boss, something that I am really thankful for and excited about. This means, unfortunately, that we won't be able to return to North America for Christmas, but we are thankful we can at least see our family in September. For those of you we were going to meet up with in December (if you live somewhere from Arizona to Colorado over to California and back to Arizona, we were planning on meeting up with you!!!), please let us know if you are available in September, and when. Thanks!

Dates (again):
July 11- Mark leaves England to go to Australia
Aug 30- Rachel leaves England and Mark leaves Australia to meet up in North America
Sept 22- Rachel and Mark leave North America to go to Australia

Rachel says:

We don't exactly have all of the money we need for this move, but we have been blessed by many things, such as: Mark is able to stay for free with his new boss in Australia for July and August while he is out there to take the exam; when we both go to Australia on August 30th, Mark's boss has said that we can live in the second story of one of the clinics, for free, until December 1st (because at the time we should be able to start renting a place of our own); and his boss has also said that as he and his wife each have a car, they will share one and let us borrow the other until we can afford one. Praise the Lord! What a great boss Mark is going to work for! Our parents have also been generous and supportive in our situation. Please continue to pray for our finaces to make this move debt-free!

I know that this is earlier than we expected to go, and that many of you will be sad to see us go (and we will be sad to leave you), but this seems to be the right way and we are trusting God with confidence that he is taking care of us and watching over our every move.

The church 'leaving-do' will be a picnic at the Humber Bridge Park on June 24th, 2007. You're all invited!!!

We're thankful for your support and prayers during this time of transition.


Rachel and Mark

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mark's birthday

We just celebrated Mark's birthday this past Sunday in Leeds. His actual birthday was this past Tuesday, May 1, but we celebrated it on Sunday so we could have a day out with our friends! We first went go-karting (photos soon to come). Mark got first place out of our whole group. I got last place... but that's OK. I can't be a star at everything =) Afterwards we went to a lovely park called Round Hay Park and had a picnic (see below), played games, and generally chilled out. Everyone seemed to have a great time enjoying each others' company and the outdoors.

Me and my friend Jo (the one who's parents' sheep farm we visited).