Jayawardhana Christmas Letter 2013

Best wishes of the season to you and your family. Here is a snapshot of our year…

After a less than smooth sailing year for Gwenda last year, by mid-December 2012 she had resolved that 2013 would be a Year of New Beginnings. Little did she realise at the time how true those words were to become. Only a few weeks after the passing of her Uncle Lynn in late November she sadly had to also farewell her Aunty Beris, and her Cousin Glenys (who tragically took her own life).

Within a short period of time there were suddenly a succession of endings and yet paradoxically these times also gave birth to some beautiful new beginnings. With her extended family coming together at the funerals Gwenda and her cousins had been given a rare opportunity to reconnect with one another, some for the first time, and this year she has been enjoying doing just that. The year also saw Gwenda reconnect with friends from her early childhood and High School years, with the passage of time hardly even noticeable in their conversations with one another. Her parents also celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Gwenda also recommenced her Master of Divinity studies and successfully completed her first year of learning Biblical Hebrew. Her Ladies Connect Group also continued to meet on a Monday night and she continued to sing as part of her church’s Worship Team.

There was also a season of endings and new beginnings for PJ this year too with the passing of his sponsor-dad, Bill Kelly, in January and then the sudden death of his father, Ralph, from a fatal heart-attack in May. His GIS consultancy business also experienced a fairly severe decline with few companies renewing their contracts for 2014 due to the downturn in the mining industry. We very much feel that God is starting a new season in our lives.

PJ also continued to provide customer support for our accounting software package, Acclique; teach Year 5 Religious Instruction, as well as continue his board/committee roles as a Director with Crown Financial Ministries, and The Me I See Foundation, Chairman of the Aspley East Local Chaplaincy Committee, and Treasurer of the Grace Lutheran P&F Association. He was also instrumental in organising his thirty year High School Reunion for Padua College. It was a wonderful time of celebration catching up with old friends.

Taruna continued to be our quiet achiever and has been blessed with being able to achieve good results through minimal effort. In late November he met up with his Montessori Kindergarten teacher, Carol Callaghan, at The Hills Montessori Childrens’ School reunion. She remembered fondly Taruna’s dedication to learning and his commitment to seeing a task through to completion. Taruna successfully completed Year 9 this year and is interested in pursuing a career in business/accounting. Like most boys his age he loves to play computer games. He also enjoys playing Badminton.

Rasika finished her first year of Middle School at Grace Lutheran College (Yr 7) and in November both her and her classmates experienced a jam-packed week in Canberra visiting every possible place of national interest. Rasika has a lovely group of friends and is interested in drama and dance. She continues to be part of the Singers ensemble in the Voices of Birralee choir and her end of year concert was held in the newly renovated Brisbane City Hall main auditorium.

Prashan also continued to sing as part of the Voices of Birralee choir (Kids ensemble) and he is looking forward to joining Rasika in the Singers ensemble next year. Prashan played outdoor soccer this year and also had the added bonus of having his Dad, brother, and sister as soccer coaches for the U9 Blacks team. He is a natural dancer and still very energetic and so we continue to look for healthy ways to channel his creativity and talents.

As a family we enjoyed participating in the Bridge to Brisbane fun run/walk on Father’s Day. During the year we also enjoyed a week-long holiday to Mt Barney in July, saw the sights at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in September, and enjoyed a relaxing week-long holiday to Coolangatta in early December.

2013 has been very a reflective year for us as a family and has seen us very much counting our blessings. The fragility of life has taught us to cherish the relationships we have with one another, to never take things for granted and to be ever thankful to God for the many blessings and opportunities that he bestows upon us and the imperative we have to pass this love and blessing onto others.

We wish you a joyous Christmas season and pray that it will be a time to not only reflect upon the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the hope of eternal life that is found only in Him, but that it will also be an opportunity for you to reflect upon and be thankful for the many blessings in your life and for your loved ones.

Merry Christmas!
PJ, Gwenda, Taruna, Rasika and Prashan Jayawardhana