The week before we left the US, I read a book called The Light Between Oceans. In the book there is a lighthouse keeper living on the fictitious island of Janus, located near the south west tip of western Australia. At some point the lighthouse keeper describes why the island is called Janus, and I can’t find the exact quote, but he simply explains that Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, passages and endings. Janus is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks simultaneously to the future and to the past. And this island sitting between two oceans, is aptly named Janus. If you’re looking for a beautifully written book, this is a worthwhile read. Be ready to feel all your emotions and keep a tissue box nearby.
Since this book is set in Western Australia, I have thought of it a few times as we’ve begun to settle in here. And I remembered the quote about Janus as we rung in the new year. Janus is where our word January comes from. January 2017 is a time when we can look back and reflect on 2016, but also look forward to the new year, a new unknown future. It’s fitting that Ryan and I would arrive in Perth just in time to begin the new year, settling in during this in-between time of looking back as well as looking forward.Since I’m in reflection mode, I couldn’t resist looking at my top liked Instagram posts of 2016. If you don’t already, you can follow me @joycandee. I do my best to post different things to Instagram, this blog and Facebook so you can hear/see a different angle of the story from each social media outlet. Anyway, it’s not surprising that my top liked pictures all point to Australia in some way. The top three and the middle were taken the last week of 2016 as we made our way to Australia. My birthday is represented, turning 32 and wearing my “totally koalafied” shirt. And of course, travels to Europe and our road trip/travels through the US this past year. 2016 was a good, hard, wonderful and challenging year.
Today, January 3rd 2017, I am in the doorway. Like Janus, looking back and looking forward. I am in the passage between the preparation, what it took to get us here and anticipation, looking ahead to what is to come. Welcome to 2017!
Tomorrow Ryan and I fly from San Fransisco to Dubai and then from Dubai to Perth. If everything goes as planned we will arrive in Perth on the 30th. Ryan and I will ring in the New Year down under! We’re starting 2017 off in a new country, in a new apartment, new friends, a new team and all sorts of other new things that we haven’t even realized yet. I’m sure the year won’t be without challenges but we’re looking forward to what is ahead for us in Perth, Western Australia. Please pray for our transition.Please forgive the blog silence into the New Year because we aren’t sure about internet, jet lag and scheduling once we arrive. However, we will try to be posting to Instagram so you can follow us along the way. If you haven’t already, you can find us on Instagram @joycandee and @lpturntable. Next time I post will be from somewhere over the rainbow!
Ryan and I leave for Australia in one week, and year end giving ends just a few days later. We are so abundantly thankful for all the individuals, churches and families who are already partnering with us. If you aren’t already giving, please pray about becoming a part of what God is going in Australia.We praise God for how he has provided in many ways! We are thankful for the provision of an apartment for our first 6 months in Perth. This will get us through my first semester before we try to find a bigger more semi-permanent flat to rent. Ryan and I are amazed at how God provides and are so thankful for a place to call our own in Perth. Let me know if you want our address, it will be fun to get mail in Australia.
We are currently at 91%! And we also have received some very generous end of the year gifts. Each gift is a blessing to us. In order to be at 100% we still need another $1000 in monthly giving. Any amount pledged monthly gets us closer and as seen below, gifts of all amounts make a difference.
5 faithful givers @ $100 a month = $500
4 faithful givers @ $50 a month = $200
8 faithful givers @ $30 a month = $240
6 faithful givers @ $10 a month = $60
How do you give? Contact the MTW one of three main ways.
- Call- 1-866-373-6133 (Before December 30th because that’s the last day to make donations for 2016)
- Give Online- Ryan and Joy (End of the year gifts and pledges will be accepted before midnight EST on December 31st)
- Mail a Check- MTW Donations PO Box 2589 Suwanee, GA 30024-0982 (Must be postmarked before the 31st and include our names and account number 11299)
Any questions? Feel free to ask me, I will happily help you through the process.
Thank you to everyone who has already been giving and for those of you praying for us! We look forward to sharing the journey with you as we ring in the new year in Perth Western Australia. 2017 should be a very interesting year.
Please forgive us for not mailing out Christmas cards this year. We would have loved to because we love receiving Christmas cards. But for our sanity during this crazy season of moving across the world, we decided that Christmas cards were not a main priority.However, we are planning on doing snail mail in January, not Christmas cards but something newsy. Real mail (not bills or junk mail) is fun all year long. So if we don’t have your current address please let us know (email@example.com) and then we can make sure you hear the latest and greatest from Perth.
This has been the question for almost a year now. Because, around this time last year we were already in sort, pack and sell mode. We’ve packed and purged. We’ve sorted and organized. We’ve added things and sold things. Given items away and also thrown away items. Last year we only had guesses of what we would need to do in order to get to this point and how long this process would take. But shipping day is finally here!Last night we did an inventory of most of our earthly possessions and today the items that we are not bringing in our suitcases with us, are starting their journey to Australia.Please pray for our items to arrive safe and sound on our doorstep in Perth. We know that our value is not found in what we are shipping but it truly is mostly about memories for us. If we had to we could have left more things behind and gotten rid of things too. But we had the option to ship and we are. Many of these items remind us of people, places and things that we love. We look forward to having these tangible memories with us to support and encourage us in Australia.
It was fun to write this letter and look back at all the amazing answers to prayer we have seen over the past year. If you aren’t getting our newsletters and would like to, please let me know. This was sent out on Friday so if you’re on the list, you get the news first! If you want to see this newsletter as well as our past news, you can find them on the About page of our website: ryanwithjoy.com. Or just click here: December 2016.
Since we’ve sent out this newsletter, we’ve received a few verbal pledges so if those all come through then we’re at 90%. Only 10% more to go. Please pray with us for 100% by the 28th of December.
Merry Christmas and a Hoppy New Year Everyone!
Long drawn out goodbyes are one of the most difficult parts of this stage in the process. We’ve been saying goodbye since November and it doesn’t get any easier. I still don’t know the best way to say goodbye. (Anyone have any tips? I’d be happy to listen.) Although, I do think it’s helpful to have a time when you choose to give an extra hug to someone, maybe say a word of prayer and at least remember that maybe this could be the last time you see each other for a relatively long period of time.
We had the opportunity for two wonderful goodbye parties this weekend. Warm, cozy houses filled with lots of friends, good food, and visiting is always sweet. And, of course, everyone always gathers in the kitchen. I’m so thankful for these homes where Ryan and I have had so many great memories over the years. Lord willing, there will be more memories made in these homes when we’re back for further visits.
The past two Sundays, we also had the opportunity to share our vision, say our thanks and goodbyes as well as be prayed over at the church where Ryan and I attended for our first two years of marriage. It is very sweet to be surrounded by our church family who loves us well and we know will be praying for us as we set out to Australia.
During this process I have to remind myself that saying goodbye is challenging because we have many wonderful friends and supportive, loving families. It’s these great relationships that are providing the foundation in support for us and our ministry. These have been such good goodbyes.