PES-KES News 1991 (February)
It’s been a long time since our last newsletter, or in fact any substantial correspondence. Believe me, 1990 was not the easiest year of our lives, but God was so faithful and blessed us with so much joy & growth anyway!
B A B I E S
Paul + I were thrilled to discover “we” were pregnant in November, and took our annual anniversary (5th!) holiday right before announcing our news to the world. But only a week after telling everybody, I had the misfortune to miscarry (at 6 weeks), so that was a disappointment. But we felt God’s peace in a very special way and he really carried us through that time. We also had tons of support from family and friends. We are excited about trying again, so pray for a successful pregnancy!
S C U L L E Y E X T E N D E D F A M I L Y
Sadly, Paul’s Grandma Falcke passed away last year after spending some time in hospital. Paul still has one remaining grandparent, his nanny . . . It was fantastic for us to get a visit from Paul’s mother and sister in October. It had been a year and 7 months since we’d seen them, so it was a long-awaited reunion. We took them to the mountains for 5 days to see the fall colours (at their peak in October). We’re still hoping Paul’s dad will hop on a plane one of these days (his mum says maybe by the Olympics in ’96!). Anne is settled in her new house now. David, Cathy, + 2-year-old Elliot are all doing well, too.
T I L L E R E X T E N D E D F A M I L Y
My last grandparent, Grandma Johnson, very unexpectedly died in January this year. She was 87, and in perfect health. Thankfully she died in her sleep while in Florida for her little sisters’ 85th and 80th birthday parties, so a lot of family was already there. I was able to travel to the funeral, which was a beautiful testimony to Grandma’s life. Mom suffered from severe clinical depression for much of last year, until she was miraculously healed at a church service in August. It’s hard to relate how difficult life had been for Mom + Dad, and us, and others who were nearby, but we are all so thankful that God touched mom – she’s a new person today! Mom + Dad served as volunteers at Habitat for Humanity in south Georgia most of last year (Mom in the International Division, Dad in the Computer Division). After 6 weeks back in Australia, they returned to start their motor-homing. Right now, they are somewhere between here and Texas (later they’re off to Alaska) . . . Eugene is well and truly settled in Washington D.C. now. I had the pleasure to be able to visit him during a business trip last May. We talk regularly on the phone and hope to be able to get together soon. He works for the U.S. Postal Service (headquarters) editing speeches among other things . . . Ellissa graduated in medicine in December, and a few days later celebrated her union to Bill Hamilton, a delightful man Paul + I had the pleasure of getting to know a little before we came over here. They are living in St. Lucia, Brisbane, and plan to move to their property near Dorrigo, NSW, afer Dr. Ellissa’s residency is up at the end of next year . . . Through reunions, weekend get-aways, long-distance visits, letters, and calls, we have been getting to know both sides of my family quite well. I am especially enjoying the huge extended family networks, having grown up with all blood relatives thousands of miles away!
V I S I T O R S
We had a wonderful time with all our family and friends who visited with us throughout the year, including:
- Mom + Dad Tiller (January – March)
- Eugene Tiller (January – March)
- Rob Mergard (January)
- Andrew Ross (April)
- Andrew Gillman, John Grigg, Mark Cramer (September)
- Mum Sculley & Anne Bogomiagkov (October)
- Rhonda Druce (November)
- Keith & Coral Cattell (November)
- Darren & Ros Iselin (November – January)
B O A R D E R S
A lovely lady, Susanne Floyd, lived with us from February to September, along with her tries-to-eat-cats dog, McFly. (We still have our 3 kitties!) Andrew Ross (yes, from Brissy) moved in with us in November. He got a transfer with Arthur Andersen, and it’s great to have another Aussie around on a full-time basis.
R E T I R E M E N T
About a year ago, we decided I could stop work this year if I wanted to. Having always wanted to spend more time on music, gardening, etc. before having a family, I joyfully decided to retire! February the 4th was my last day, so I am still a brand new homemaker, and enjoying every minute. I’ve written 3 songs, babysat 7 kids under 11, home schooled 2 children for 2 days, discovered the bottom of the ironing pile, started seedlings in a bedroom, cooked dinner every night (!), slept for at least 8 hours a night, and seen some daylight during the week! After a decade of computer programming (4 years at uni, 6 working), I am excited about this next phase of my life – I love being a homemaker, and the opportunity to do more music is wonderful.
M I N I S T R Y
We still host our Wednesday night kinship group, led by our best friends, Jeff + Lisa Tatarsky. We have about 12-15 come each week. Paul is in charge of the setup for Sunday services at our church, Atlanta Vineyard. We meet at a 7th Day Adventist Church – a very nice facility. I play piano or keyboard in the band for Sunday service, so enjoy the grand piano while Paul sets up each week. We love to share hospitality with others, and are co-ordinators of a brand new hospitality ministry at church – we link visitors, etc., with places to stay, etc. (We got the idea after a conference our church hosted – conference attendees had to find their own accommodation – we had 9 of them!) About once a month Paul + I help out at a cooperative ministry (10 local churches participate (Vineyard’s not one of them – we drive 20 minutes to get there!)), where we help the needy with food, rent, gas, and whatever else they need. There’s tons of people living at or below the poverty line in Atlanta (the government doesn’t take care of them here as much as in Australia). It’s great to be able to serve. Our pastor, Johnny + Anne Crist, had their 6th child prematurely last week, so my friend Lisa + I have been helping out there, looking after the other 5, etc. We feel that we’re a Batman + Robin type team (on call whenever there’s a need). It’s so fun!
H O B B I E S
Together, Paul and I have enjoyed lots of travel (near + far) – last year we got to see England, Scotland, France, Germany (well, a little of each!), Panama City (Florida), Blue Ridge parkway, Great Smoky Mountains, plus lots of one or two day trips around Georgia. We do lots of gardening together, have regular backgammon tournaments, thrive on family reunions, give tours of Atlanta to out-of-town guests, etc. Paul works out every workday at the healthy club at work, has started painting the house (in and out), is about to collect our new computer, and is working on getting his ham radio licence so we can keep track of my parents on their travels!
P E R S I A N G U L F
A few years ago, Paul + I would have said we were total pacifists, but this conflict seemed to be right to us. Most people here support Bush’s decision to attack Iraq. At the same time, most people hate war, as we do. There are a lot of servicemen from Georgia over there, so many people are personally affected. We pray that it will be resolved quickly. Gas prices went up a lot here, but compared to Australian prices, they’re still cheap to us! (U.S. gas is not the cheapest in the world by any means, but it’s still very cheap to us.) Recession has caused many job losses around the place and several local businesses have closed, but prices seem to be the same. We have a close friend who has been unable to find a job that pays more than unemployment for 13 months.
F A V O U R I T E M O V I E S
Quigley Down Under (of course!), Dances With Wolves
F U T U R E P L A N S
We don’t sense God leading us back to Australia yet, and know with certainty that we are where we should be right now. We do love both countries – they are equally home to us. Strangely, we feel patriotic to both and neither – we could probably live anywhere on earth and feel that way. Atlanta is a great place to live in so many ways – the main thing it lacks is a beach!
A N A M A Z I N G S T O R Y
Two weeks ago, our pastor Johnny called me to get me to call a lady who’d called him about church. He said she had an Aussie accent, so he wanted me to talk to her. So I called and we realized we were both from Brisbane. When she heard what church we went to there, she asked if I knew Mark Ossola – yes, I do, so we were really excited about that. Anyway, I gave her directions to our place so they could come for kinship. (By the way, these people, Roger + Kate Thompson + 4 children moved to Atlanta a week before this, and we have not met any Aussies in Atlanta yet!). So on kinship night, we’d already started, when the doorbell rang. In walks our Aus family, + suddenly Paul + Roger realized they knew each other – they’d worked together as contractors at Main Roads in Feb ’89 – the last place Paul worked at before we came here. We couldn’t believe it! How’s that for a divine appointment?
S U M M A R Y
We are very happy . . . God is in control . . . We are madly in love after 5 years of marriage . . . longing for children . . . excited about life . . . missing our Aussie family and friends . . .
We love you all (never “y’all”!)
Paul + Karen