This time last year I commented on words such as 'unprecedented', as it applied to the COVID 19 pandemic which continues to seriously affect our world's physical and mental health, and the economy. This year, the word that has surfaced many times in my mind is 'fatigue'. During a long, cold winter, with restrictions on movements and activities, and unprecedented efforts by our governments to provide vaccination for all, fatigue has been evident in my little world, as well as the big world out there. And recent changes to the 'rules' do not provide me with assurance or comfort. We can only imagine what lies ahead.
By way of contrast, I have been encouraged by a phrase in a Christmas hymn, 'The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices' (from O Holy Night). I encourage you, dear reader, to ponder the hope we each have in our Saviour Jesus, the message of Christmas, and the hope that our weary world will truly rejoice.
This year, as with last, I do not have a photo of all our children and grand-children. The group photo was taken earlier this year when we met up for lunch with Paul, Emily, and Poppy, Zachy, and Abigail, and Josh and Anna, Eve and Norah.
Having spent a lot of time at home without visitors, I have enjoyed working on some of our family's history, gathering and scanning old photographs and putting together a book about my grand parents Tom and Jessie Davidson. With the help of cousins, some of whom I have not seen since childhood, I have prepared a book and distributed it as a digital file so that family members can print out their own copies. I hope the younger generations will hold onto and treasure the images and stories from previous generations.
Another project has been to help my sister Marion Andrews with desktop publishing of her story, 'All the way to Bamaga'. This is the story of Jie Jie (Mandarin Chinese for 'big sister') and 'Little me' and our younger siblings and parents, and our time in far north Queensland.
Enough of my doings. Noel has kept himself busy with work in our local church, Gisborne Pres, and as convenor of the Victorian committee of Australian Presbyterian World Missions. He also takes the lion's share of caring for the livestock in our little piece of country - ponies, chooks, Bingo the dog, and a recent addition - a hive of bees. We are thankful for the health and strength that we have.
This year we are planning simple gatherings for festive meals on Christmas day and Boxing day. We are very conscious of the threat of the current strains of the covid virus, without being fearful as we know that God works in all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28)
We would like to take this opportunity to send loving greetings to you and your family.
Joy and Noel