Friday 13 June 2008

Settling In...

Carole Anne and I have really enjoyed our first two days here, getting settled into what is simply a wonderful single-level home owned by a distinguished well-traveled couple, offering a nice "retreat" atmosphere surrounded by flowers, trees, small gardens, and lemon and kumquat trees. (Phillip and Kelli Hughes who own this home are in Europe until the latter part of August.)

There are many open green spaces, parks and walking/biking trails close by. If this is winter I would never know it - the temperature lately has hovered around in the mid-60s in the day, and in the low 40s at night. The area has finally been getting blessed by some rains recently, as well, after extended drought. Yesterday when I drove the Hughes' Mazda (they put us on their insurance!) about five miles down to "the City Centre" to do some banking, many people were walking around with only shirtsleeves and sweaters. However, we are only about 10 days away from the longest night of their year.


I start my work at the Canberra Baptist Church on Sunday -- and at the hospital here sooner than I could have imagined, given all the structural/logistical difficulty we have been through of late.

The arrangement to contract out my time via Baptist Chaplaincy Services will speed up the acquisition of my "religious worker's" business visa considerably, and address all the various issues and concerns of the Government, the Canberra Hospital, and the Deacon Board of the Canberra Baptist Church, each of which had their own qualms about the inherent risks in the whole endeavor heretofore.

Jim Barr (lead pastor of the Canberra Baptist Church) and I both just "knew", internally, throughout this saga, that somehow all this would come together, but could not imagine just exactly how it would happen until the last few days. I actually anticipated a much more difficult time, thinking we still would need to create the new employer entity and policy agreements to manage it all, once I got here.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that
this is THE ANSWER we have all been praying for! I didn't even know this arrangement with Baptist Chaplains Services was even an option until yesterday (Wednesday afternoon) when the idea was floated by me by Jim Barr during the wonderful face-to-face meeting I had with him and Merilyn (the other associate pastor of CBC) in "our" house, just a few hours after arrival in Canberra.

Jim has been the "point man" behind the scenes instigating many conversations and meetings on my behalf throughout this saga. We are deeply indebted to him for this. He has demonstrated tremendous creativity, fortitude and energy and will be getting a well-deserved break soon - I hope!

We are all looking forward to the arrival in August of Moriah Hurst,
recently graduated from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart (my alma mater as well.) She will be a welcome addition to round out this wonderful pastoral team.

"Exceedingly abundantly, above all that we can ask or think..."

With thanksgiving,

1 comment:

  1. Clair, expect you will be sending a video shortly riding your unicycle like the one in the Video. Blessings, Bob