Jayawardhana Christmas Letter 2012

Another year nearly over and what an interesting journey it has been!

At the end of 2011 we deliberately set aside a day to bless our children and affirm to them how much we love them and what we see as their strengths and God-given talents and abilities. Tears were shed, laughter was had and wounds were healed as we talked, played and ate together.

Then in early January 2012 we headed to Bundaberg and, as well as enjoying a great family holiday, we also got to experience the logger-head turtles coming up onto the beach at Mon Repo to lay their eggs.

In early 2012 PJ also took Rasika on a Father-Daughter Adventure at Mt Tamborine (http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/) which was a wonderful bonding time for them both. And in June he was able to take his mum, Asoki, over to Nairobi, Kenya in Africa to stay with her sister and brother-in-law as part of Asoki’s 75th birthday celebration. They were very blessed to see many wild animals on their numerous safaris. Some were very happy to get quite up close and personal as you can see.

Throughout the year PJ continued on with his Mining Industry consultancy business, Acclique customer support, Year 5 Religious Education teaching, as well as board/committee roles with Crown Financial Ministries, The Me I See Foundation, Aspley East Local Chaplaincy Committee, and Grace Lutheran P&F Association. However, his life took an unexpected detour when our family camping trip in September ended a few hours after it had begun as our butane gas cooker exploded and flash burned both PJ and our friend, David. With both men taken by ambulance back to the RBH Burns Unit in Brisbane the women folk stayed overnight at the camping site before re-packing and heading back to Brisbane. We’re all so thankful to God that both men have made a complete recovery and that their burns have left no residual scarring.

In February Gwenda commenced a Ladies Connect Group at her house and this has been such a blessing to both her and all the ladies involved. She also continued to attend KYB (Know Your Bible) on a Friday morning and took on the role of RE & Chaplaincy Schools Liaison Representative for her church. She was also given the opportunity to preach at two of the church’s mid-week services with both sermons being well received.

In March PJ and Gwenda managed to sneak away to Rotorua, New Zealand for a week long holiday. Not only was it a time when they both really felt God’s presence and leading but it also marked the beginning of a healing season in Gwenda’s life of past hurts and wounds. She is now looking forward to continuing her Master of Divinity next year and is going to tackle learning the rich and vibrant Hebrew language.

Taruna had another wonderful year at Grace Lutheran College, having just completed Year 8. He chose not to continue with Concert Band and instead plunged all of his efforts into his studies with very pleasing results. Taruna also had quite a noticeable growth spurt and at age 13 he now towers over both Gwenda and PJ!

Rasika finished off her primary schooling at Aspley East State School and is looking forward to starting Middle School (Yr 7) at Grace Lutheran College with her big brother next year. She continued on with the Vocal Ensemble at school as well as joining Voices of Birralee in their Singers ensemble. One of her many highlights was singing, as part of a backing group, with Katie Noonan and Karen Schaupp at their Songs of the Southern Skies concert and on their rendition of the Gotye song ‘Heart’s A Mess’ (Click here to listen to the song on YouTube). She also passed her piano test in Book One of the Suzuki Method. Next year she’s keen to check out the many performing arts opportunities at Grace Lutheran and will forego piano for now.

Prashan had a successful and productive year playing soccer, learning guitar and making great progress in his academic results, especially with his reading and spelling – an area that had been of concern earlier on in the year. He also continued to sing with the Voices of Birralee in the Piccolos Ensemble and has a great flair for drama. He was also an active participant in looking after the school’s vegetable garden.

…..This year, as with all families, we experienced highs and lows but throughout them all we knew that our Heavenly Father was with us, guiding us, comforting us, and encouraging us. He is our hope and our strength, our Lord and our Saviour. May Christmas time be for you and your family, as it is for us, a time to reflect on the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ and all He has done for us, and the eternal hope that is found only in Him.

With love,

PJ, Gwenda, Taruna, Rasika & Prashan Jayawardhana