Thursday, 24 January 2013

Dear friends, 24 Januari 2013

Firstly we want to wish you and your family a very Blessed and fruitful year!
This is our belated newsletter with lots of news happy and sad and a big change.

Since we came back from NZ, we were involved in kidsclub again. And because of a
year ago so many kids gave their heart to the Lord, we taught them together with the
Christian Yolngu ladies about baptism. And so many children wanted to be baptized
aswell. So on a Sunday morning we organized a baptism for the children. A lot of
preparations done for that day: together with the Yolngu ladies we made cross
necklesses for the kids, organizing the morning with a sausage sizzle. It was a day
never to forget...beautiful, amazing!
One girl that was baptised told us how she just recently was into petrol sniffing, but since she came to kidsclub and heard about Jesus and the baptisms, she was released from this very destructive addiction, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah!!

Aron was going well after we came back. It started with the coming of a new MAF family. It went really well even though Jack only just turned 8 when we arrived.
Aron was so sweet that he thought to make a birthday-cake for him! Also his Yolngu brother had a surprise; Galimarra made a spear for Aron!
Another big change for the kids: they were allowed 1 day a week to school!
They found this very exciting, but after the first day they were all-right and had good connection with other children. For Ruben and Adriana it was a big change.
She really missed a few extra hands, she found Ruben on Naomi's bedroom with nailpolish on his lips and on his bed...!
While the kids were at school Ruben and Adriana went for a day to Numbulwarto visit Ruben's friend Sam. Numbulwar is about an hours flight from Gove.
Ruben found the flight great and he also played very nice with Sam. Adriana carried lots of stuff: books, baking-gear, balloons to organise some activities with the 2 boys and to relieve Kim, Sam's mum!

But also since we came back from our NZ trip in October, again we had an abnormal
tough time.
We were taking the Christmas period to reflect, pray and think about our future with
Also we wanted to go along with God's timing about making a decision!

On the first day of the new year I (Eric) went to one of my favourite spots along the
beach, armed with my favourite Book, the (Dutch) Bible.
While I sat there praying and reading, I started reflecting on the last year as a
family within MAF.
Starting as a pilot for Laynha, then in the hangar helping out the engineers when I
lost my aviation medical and my recent role with Charley in maintenance!
I started reading over some verses and praying for God's leading on some important
decisions regarding work; flying, engineering, reservations or stores?!
Also the family situation; homeschooling, the unsettled situation with especially the
older 2 kids, but also the highlights of last year, the outreach events and
kidsclub resulting in 36 kids being baptized!
Just as I wanted to head back home, the Lord said: "Read Jeremiah 29" of course I
stayed and started reading the whole chapter to see what the Lord had to say!
Now verse 11 through to 14 just jumped of the page:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and
not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me andpray to Me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you
from all the nations and places where I have banished you."declares the Lord."and
will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

Although this passage wasn't new to me it gave an immediate and clear direction! My
Dutch Bible uses the word fatherland instead of "place from which I carried you into exile"!
Fatherland according to my dictionary means; one's native country or country in which
one is born.
So we want to tell you that we will move on and our time within MAF will finish here
in Arnhemland. And we are looking for ways to go to Holland for a longer period of
time, before moving back to New Zealand!
We have been living overseas for a little over 7 years now and we can see why the
Lord thinks it's a good idea to spend a longer time with the grandparents and other
family while they are still around and in good health. Also we hope to be more equiped
for ministry work.

              We hope we have informed you guys well, know that     we didn't take this decision
lightly, but it certainly made it easier when God gave a clear direction!
We are really sad to leave this place, (although it was a hard time) as we have loved
living here and serving and minister and working together with the Yolngu people
through MAF.
We still have a warm place in our hearts for MAF and especially the people of MAF,
we are going to miss them!

We still have a warm place in our hearts for MAF and especially the people of MAF,
we are going to miss them!
We are asking the Lord for further guidance for the next step, we will be leaving on the 17th of February. We will arrive in Holland on the 26th.
We thank you so much for all the support we have had: You have been such an
amazing example for how a family of Christ should look like! Caring for one another,
emails, cards, parcels, phonecalls, emotional support, prayer and financial support,etc
Our ministry is not ending by leaving MAF, we would appreciate your ongoing support.
God Bless!

With love from:

Gods Zegen!

Lieve groeten:
Eric & Adriana Koch
Naomi, Aron, Hannah, Lois and Ruben


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