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Bonfire Night

Sunday 09 September, 2012

The temperatures have really been warming up a little the past couple of weeks and it feels as if we have left winter behind, with summer now fast approaching. The nights have not been so cold anymore and our day time temperatures are starting to hover around the 29-30C mark. With little to no humidity at this stage, we have really been experiencing some gorgeous weather. 

It was in the climate conditions just described, that as church group we were able to spend some time on Saturday afternoon down at Holloways Beach. With most people arriving around 4.30-5pm we were able to engage in some beach acitivities whether it was swimming, flying a kite, fishing, kicking a footy, climbing trees or just having a great chat!

Dinner was cooked over a small bonfire and included fresh salmon only caught a few minutes earlier. Nothing like eating fish only minutes after it has been caught. The children thoroughly enjoyed warm marshmallows for dessert, having just roasted them over the fire.

All in all we can reflect on a fabulous afternoon! Below are a few memories captured at this event...

Aiyden, Shakira and Aliesha having fun climbing one of the near by trees.

The Pleiter boys flying their kite.

Something we must always be on the look out for when we go to the beach...not Aliesha...but the crocodiles :)

Savannah and Teleah having fun in the sand.

More beach fun...Aliesha, Teleah and Janaya.

Mr Josiah enjoying himself.

Chatting around the bonfire.

Aidyn and Shakira having playing a ball game.

Miss Nadia very happy to be entertained by all those around her. Such a cutie!!

Farewell Ben and Sam

Tuesday 28 August, 2012

It has been some time since we have had opportunity to share the daily comings and goings of Cairns. It has been a busy few months since the last post and we reflect with much thankfulness for the way in which God continues to provide for our group here in Cairns.

It was early July that we were able to witness the ordination of another elder. We are thankful that God has given to us Matt Plug to fulfill this position and calling. May God grant him much strength for this task. Unfortunately we did not have a camera at Church on this day and do not have photo record of this occasion. However we do have many witnesses to this service including a number of visitors from Tasmania and Western Australia. 

Over the last few months we have had a wide array of visitors filter through our services. We have had faces from Canada, Holland, the UK, Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. We are very thankful for the opportunity we have to meet Christians from all over the globe and that we can also provide a worship service for our visitors to attend while they are in our area.

Of more recent we have had to say farewell to Ben and Sam Wielstra who are heading back to Western Australia. For all of us members here in Cairns, we are very sorry to see them go. As we are a small Church group every family and individual plays such an important part and the departure of Ben and Sam will be felt by all. However, we are very thankful for the time that we could spend with them over the past 12 months and for the way in which they were able to be of support to our group. We pray that God will continue to bless them richly as they settle back into Western Australia. Below is a photo of Ben and Sam on their last Sunday with us.

We know that God continues to direct the lives of all of His children and in that way we may live in the comfort that there will be people that come to settle in Cairns and people that will leave. As a Church group we continue to pray regularly for growth (both spiritual and also in number) and we trust that God will provide for us in His way and in His time. In saying this, we also ask that our readers continue to pray for the Church development in Cairns and that other families or indiviuals may consider moving to Cairns to be of support to the work that is done here.

Last weekend we were able to enjoy an afternoon by the beach volley ball courts down on the Esplanade. It was a great opportunity to enjoy some fellowship, have some fun playing beach volley ball as well as take the opportunity to farewell Ben and Sam. We did manage to capture a few shots of this occasion and they have been shared below.

Having fun playing beach volley ball.

Janaya, Josiah and Maria.

Brooklyn, Janaya, Shakira and Aliesha watching the volleyball game from the viewing platform.

Teleah having fun exploring.

Elijah enjoying some time on his bike. The beach vollleyball courts are right next to the skate park, which was very handy.

Tyler and Cameron.

Some of the yummy dessert we had that night.

Congratulations!

Monday 21 May, 2012

Firstly a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ivan & Jolene on the birth of their gorgeous little blessing...Nadia Faith Byl!  We are all so thankfull that God made all well and we pray He will grant you the wisdom and strength to bring her up in His Name!

 

The beautiful Nadia

 

Dean & Kate, went up to join the Tablelands worship service last Sunday and nicely took some photo's for us to share on here.

The church the Tablelanders gather in every Sunday

 

Inside the Church.

 

Time for coffee & cake after the service.

 

Gil & Lucinda looking fantastic!

 

Pete & Plugga looking pretty good too!

 

Vernon, Chad, Brooklyn and Maria.

 

 

Claire also took some photo's of the service in Cairns last week;

Janaya, Aleisha, Shakira and Mali enjoying Sunday School.

 

The girls having fun on the slide.

 

Catechism lessons.

 

And these are 3 of the gorgeous little ones....Josiah (who is already turning 1 next week!), Callum and Teleah (who turned 1 already a few weeks ago!).

 

We have been enjoying the company of Mr Bolhuis and Mr VanLeuwin for the past few weeks....sadly for us they will leave this week...although I think they will be happy to see their wives again (and not have to do the washing, cooking & shopping for themselves anymore!)  We are very thankful for their guidance and we pray they will have happy memories of their stay in Cairns...and a safe trip home.

Labour Day Church Outing

Tuesday 08 May, 2012

Last Monday was a public holiday here in Queensland - labour day.  We enjoyed an afternoon together at Pelican's Playground, which is in the Paradise Palms Resort in Palm Cove.  There is a huge pool, mini golf, jumping pillow and playground.  After a few hours at the playground we went down to Clifton Beach for a BBQ.  The weather was beautiful and the company was even better!

 

Maria sitting on the edge, Savannah in the water and Tiarne watching.

 

 

Ivan & Jolene, Mr VanLeeuwen & Mr Bolhuis enjoying a game of mini-golf.

 

 

Janaya

 

 

Aliesha

 

 

 

Brooklyn

 

 

 

Brad, Tyler & Cameron

 

 

 

Matt Byl, Elijah, Savannah & Maria having 'wars'

 

 

Claire, Teleah, Rod & Tiarne.

 

 

Maile & Kate.

 

 

Dean, Callum & Rod.

 

 

Savannah & Lani

 

 

Gil, Plugga and Mr Bolhuis.

 

 

Jolene, Ivan, Lucinda and Mr VanLeeuwen.

 

 

Vernon & Cameron

 

 

The gorgeous little Callum!

 

We are again enjoying a steady stream of visitors through our doors and also 2 elders from Armadale who are here for a few weeks to visit and offer us some guidance.  We are very thankful to the Armadale Free Reformed Church consistory (and these gentlemen's wives!) for 'lending' us these elders for a while!

Our prayers this week go especially to Ivan & Jolene who are very close to having their first child.  May God grant all goes well!

Youth Social Event

Monday 16 April, 2012

On Saturday 31st March our Youth enjoyed an afternoon of bowling together - the first of a planned number of social events for the younger members of our group!

 

Aleisha getting ready to bowl....Tyler bowling behind her.

 

Claire giving Janaya a hand.

 

Cameron, Tyler and Tiarne.

 

Shakira and Elijah checking out the bowling balls...Mali behind them.

 

Elijah

 

Shakira.

 

Aleisha waiting for her turn.

 

 

Aidyn showing style!

 

Aidyn

 

 

Janaya

 

Matt giving Brooke a hand.

 

Sam enjoying it too.

 

Brooklyn waiting for her ball to come back!

 

Aleisha

 

 

Brooklyn having a go.

 

Thanks to Matt & Claire and Sam for taking the kids....they all had a great time!

Sunday

Monday 12 March, 2012

Yesterday we had a beautiful Sunday together in Cairns.

As it was the 2nd Sunday of the month we have a pre-arranged 'sing-a-long' at one of the retirement homes here in Cairns where we share the gospel and music with some older members of the community.  It is a fantastic opportunity to be a 'light in the world' to these people who just love to sing along with us and really appreciate the time we take to talk with them about the Lord.

Once we finished singing we headed along to Church, where we made the most of Rev Sikkema (and his wife and daughter) being in Cairns, to celebrate the Lord's Supper together.   Rev Sikkema delivered a great message about Jesus' Parable, in Luke 16:19-31, of the Rich man and Lazarus.  It was a good reminder of how 'rich' we are, but are we using those 'riches' for God's glory or our own?  Are we setting ourselves up for a life here on earth...or an eternal life in Heaven with God?

When we have an afternoon service we enjoy coffee & cake after the sermon, before the adults have a sermon/Bible discussion, the older children have Catechism instruction and the younger children enjoy a Sunday School lesson and activity.  Once these are finished we all have dinner together before it's time to go home around 6:30pm.While our Sunday's are quite 'busy' it is such a good opportunity to enjoy the Communion of Saints together, to encourage one another and upbuild each other in the Lord. 

We have continued to enjoy visitors from Western Australia, Canada and other parts of the World, although at this time of the year (the Wet Season) it has slowed down quite a bit.  We also have a few families from the local communities come to our services regularly and we pray the Lord will work through us, and with them, that their faith may grow and they may come to see Him as their only Saviour.

Over the last few Sunday's we have missed the familes Pete & Marcelle Jansen and Gil & Lucinda Jansen who have started worshipping up in Yungaburra, on the Tablelands.  They aim to encourage members of the communities around Mareeba, Atherton and Yungaburra to come and worship together with them and, with the Lord's blessings, grow into another 'congregation'. It is our prayer that God grant growth in this area also.

The weather in Cairns has been quite different from last year's Wet Season.  We haven't had much rain...yet...by Cairn's standards.  Last year we had already had a lot of rain by this time, and even a cyclone!  This past week the rain has started...but not a lot yet.  However, even the small amount of rain we have had has been enough to give all the plants a boost and make everything grow again, and also to make most of the waterfalls run again, but not enough to flood the rivers and cause chaos on the roads.  Today it is a beautiful 25 degrees celcius with sporadic showers.  

Here are a few pictures of Cairns and the surrounding areas for you to look at;

 

Josephine Falls

 

Along one of the footpaths to the falls.

 

The Barron Falls in the Wet Season.

 

 

 

Ellinjaa Falls.

 

Millaa Millaa Falls. 

 

Great Barrier Reef

 

 

The Botanical Gardens

 

Blue flowers.

 

Driving through the clouds.

 

Beautiful Port Douglas

 

Beach in the Daintree.

 

Boardwalk through the rainforest.

 

One of the many many little creeks.

Regards

Reflections

Tuesday 14 February, 2012

Already February 2012....well I guess we can say 2011 is well and truly over!  What an amazing year we have had as a group here in Far North Queensland.  As we reflect on last year we can only be extremely thankful that God has been with us and granted us so many blessings.  We are continually in His care and guidance!

For our group 2011 was a year of growth, with the arrival of quite a few new members from Western Australia, Holland and Canada.  Our numbers swelled from 5 families to 12!  From 19 people to 40!  And although we have 'lost' Jane & Emily vanderBrugge, who have returned to Albany, we are postitive about continued growth both from the local community and abroad.   We also continue to enjoy internal growth with 3 new babies born last year and at least one new arrival coming this year...that we know off!  All the best Ivan & Jo!

We continue to have regular visitors, from the surrounding community, to our services and we pray the Lord will work, in us and them, to bring about a greater understand of God.  It is always nice to have 'new' faces on Sunday!  We have also had an abundance of visitors from various churches overseas and in Western Australia/Tasmania.  It is a great feeling to drive to church on a Sunday morning and not know which new people you will be meeting that day!

During the year we could enjoy visits from missionaries in PNG and Lae.  We really do appreciate their input into decisions we make here as they have good ideas about evangalising in our local community.  We also enjoy socialising with the missionaries and their families.  It is wonderful to see the work the Lord is doing through these families in their respective areas.

For 3 months we had the privelidge of Rev Huizinga and his Wife (retired pastor from the Free Reformed Church of Armadale).  We are very thankful for the time and effort that was put in to help and guide us in the right direction. 

2011 also saw us gain an Elder and Deacon to oversee the group and we thank God that He has granted Matt Byl and Gil Jansen wisdom and strength to carry out their tasks.  It is our prayer that He will continue to grant these men what they need as it is only with God guiding them that they are able.

Last year, this month, Cyclone Yasi caused lots of destruction throughout Far North Queensland and once again we can also reflect on God's protection in Cairns during the Cat 5 cyclone...and also be thankful that there has not been any bad cyclones this year....so far!  We have actually had quite unusual weather for this time of the year.  Rather then lots and lots of rain it has actually been very warm (around the 30 degrees) and very humid, so we are all looking forward to the 'wet' starting so it will be a little cooler and not so humid. 

So..if you are planning a trip....why not make it to CAIRNS?   We would love to have you here!

November Already!

Wednesday 16 November, 2011

Wow....November already!  It's been a great year for our small group here in Far North Queensland.  We have been blessed in so many ways and we are very thankful for the Lord's guidance and protection.

One of the blessings is the arrival, in the past month of 2 new members from Western Australia....Ben & Samantha Weilstra.  Welcome Ben & Sam, we are thankful for God's protection over you as you travelled here and we pray the Lord will grant you all you need to feel 'at home' on this gorgeous side of the country!

We have also not had a Sunday for a long time where we have not had any visitors!  We are thankful we can share our Sunday's with a variety of people, from many different parts of the World and we look forward, every week, to see who will be joining us next!

 

Last week Saturday we had a big celebration together.  It was Rod's birthday, Matt's 30th Birthday and also a celebration for Sjaak receiving his Aussie qualifications!  They put on a scrumptious gourmet dinner which was enjoyed by all.  Here are some (ok..quite a few) photo's of the night.

 

Matt & Claire

 

Rod, Makeesha & Josiah

 

Sjaak & Elijah

 

 Marcelle & Sarah

 

Andrew & Nadia

 

Gil & Lucinda

 

Little Mr Josiah

 

Pete & Marcelle

 

Rod & Tiarne

 

One of the tables - getting into the cooking!

 

 

Aidyn & Malachi

 

Ivan & Jolene

 

Our 'newest' members - Ben & Sam

 

Our 'youngest' member - gorgeous Callum

 

Kate & Cheree

 

Dean & Kate

 

Fred & Brad

 

Chad, Aidyn & Elijah enjoying dessert!

 

Pete & Matt

 

Jo & Sam

 

Kids watching a dvd.

 

Brooke, Aliesha & Janaya

 

And...of course, there is the washing up to do at the end of it all!

 

Last Sunday we were saddened by the news that Dean's father had passed away.  We pray God will grant comfort and peace in the knowledge Mr Visser is now free from pain and in a much better place.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Visser family during the difficult weeks ahead.

As we draw closer to the end of the year we wish everyone a safe and blessed Christmas and New Year period!

Sunday 28th August 2011

Monday 29 August, 2011

Sunday 28th August was a special day for us here in Cairns!

 

We were able to celebrate Lord's Supper and once again remember Christ's redeeming work on the cross...what a blessing! 

Also we were also able to celebrate Rev & Mrs Huizinga's 40th Wedding anniversary!  While for them it would have been a different anniversary having none of their own children/family around...for us it was special to be able to help them celebrate.  It was also their last Sunday with us....after 3 months it is time for them to return home to Western Australia. 

We have felt very blessed to have Rev Huizinga's guidance and leadership for 3 months and we thank God for allowing such an opportunity.  Rev Huizinga will probably need to have a good rest once he is home again because we took full advantage of  his wisdom and knowledge while he was here!  I think, though, that we may see him back again one day...so it is not 'goodbye' for us...it is 'see you soon'!  Thank-you Rev & Mrs Huizinga for the all the work you have done here, we pray you have a safe  trip home and look forward to seeing you back in Cairns one day.

Here are some photo's from Sunday:

 

The delicious.....huge.....anniversary cake one of our members organised!

 

Cutting the cake.

 

Lunch time.

 

We have been having beautiful weather here in Cairns which has been bringing a steady flow of visitors which we have been thoroughly enjoying. 

However, we have also been having a few 'bugs' floating around and causing illnesses.  We pray everyone may regain their health over the next few weeks so we may, once again, have a 'healthy' group!

There have been no new members lately but we have had a few new people join us on a regular basis and we pray the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their hearts that they may join us in a more 'permanent' way in due time.

Regards

 

 

Update on Cairns

Thursday 04 August, 2011

Hello all

since our last update a few things have happened.....

firstly...we have a few new members...Jane & Emily van der Brugge and also Fred vanderWal have joined us.  We welcome you all to our small group and we pray you will become active members. 

secondly...Rev Huizinga and his wife have been with us for two months now and only have a few weeks left of their stay.  We have thoroughly enjoyed having them here and hopefully we haven't worn the Rev out too much with all the work we have asked of him.  Thanks Rev Huizinga...and Mrs...for blessing our little group with your knowledge and encouragment.

thirdly...we have now been in our 'new' premises for 1 month and it is going well.  The new place suits us 'down to a T' and makes for a smoother Sunday.  You will have to come have a look!

fourth...we have had lots and lots and lots of visitors...always something we are grateful for.  It is nice to head off to church in the morning and not know who you will meet that day...exciting!

 

With our numbers now standing at a whopping 37....we thought it was time to update the 'family' photo...so here is the latest picture of us all .... without anyone missing!

 

 

And just to give you an idea of the new place....here are a few photo's around the place on a Sunday...

...sitting around having coffee/chat after the service...

 

.....and standing around having a chat....

 

...then...once lunch is over..it's time to do the dishes...here are two of our best dishwashers.....Matt & Ivan Byl...

 

...but then the ladies thought they needed a hand...so a few more helpers in the kitchen...

 

So there you have a few snapshots of our sunday.  If you would like to see more...you are most welcome - we have plenty of room!

Regards

The Cairns Group