Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Rejoice!  It’s Christmas!
Nick & I are grateful to share with you this Christmas season and Year end!  We hope all is well with you and your family and that you also have many things to be thankful for as you look back to the year of 2014!  I am sure there has been hardships too…loosing a loved one, illness, ups & downs that “life” can give us! Yet – through it all…we remember this special season of the year with thankfulness and gratitude, and the Gift of Life, God has given us!…and for Nick & I, it is giving our God & Lord all the Glory for His Care & Keeping over us this past year and a half!  Yes we have much to be thankful for!
We can hardly believe we have been gone for so long…16 months…returning on October 1st, and our hearts our Full of wonderful memories trip & experiences!!
When we departed in June 2013 from San Francisco to Singapore, we had no idea from day to day where we would be and what we would be doing…but we continued to travel – all one-way tickets whether it was airplane, train, trolley bus or horse & man buggy!  You name it we did it!  Enjoying Malaysia & Thailand.  Then visiting our missionary friends Jerry & Wilma in Batambang, Cambodia who have beem there for 14 years! Amazing Grace! From there traveling to Sumatra, taking a hired car through the jungles of Sumatra…and we actually spent a total of 10 months in Indonesia!  We had been traveling for some time and wanted to settle in this beautiful country!  Both Nick & I are amazed how the Lord directed us to the very town where Nick & his sister & parents & other family members lived for the  first 6 years of his life ….yes the town of Salatiga, Java!   We fell in love with the people there…and felt so “connected” with them – both Nick & I knew it was because of our Dutch/Indo heritage with these gentle people!  We met & made many friends in our immediate neighborhood (Kampung) called Dukuh!  Sweet as can be!!!
It was also a blessing when we found out that foreigners from all over the world come to Salatiga to learn the Behasa Indonesian language…so again we met and befriended many wonderful people who live there and spend time in Indonesia!  It was a  r e a l  blessing to us both! 
All together it was a life changing experience for both Nick & I …there is a “BIG” gap it seems in our hearts right now as our hearts & minds wander back to our beloved Indonesia…so’ we are waiting to see what God’s direction is for us in the future!
( See our blog of our complete trip )
After departing Indonesia we flew into Jordan & then by road to Israel…and on to Greece & Italy.  When we arrived into Austria, we rented a car and travelled through the Alps enjoying the Tirolian countryside!  We continued to drive along the Rhine River in Germany and then entered into southern Holland!  Yes we enjoyed our last 2 months in Holland visiting my son & family – and my sweet little granddaughter Skyler…now 2 ½ yrs old!  Spending 2 months in Holland gave us the chanc to  visit many family members both on Nick & my side …and that too was such a Joy for us both!  Some of the families we visited we had not seen in 25 yrs plus!!!! Everything together made it a very special time! 
And here we are in Arizona…Yes!  Upon arriving back into the US we purchased a used motor-home and after visiting our home town Bend Oregon and seeing our family, friends & church family again…we headed south to a warmer climate!  After having been in Asia for all that time – these two “sissy’s”  are still adjusting to a different kind of weather!
(Follow us on our new blog )
  We are grateful to the Lord for this past 1 ½ years and look forward to God’s Plan in the new year to come!  God Bless You & Yours this Christmas Week and into the New Year to come!
“The Lord Bless you and Keep you and Shine His Grace Upon you!”
Happy & Blessed & Healthy 2015 to each & everyone of you !!!
In His Love ~ Nick & Ellen

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