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'TAIT TALK' Christmas 2012
Another year that has passed so fast! Where do they go? So young still – inside! Surely they’re not my wrinkles?
These are our most recent pictures, taken at our nephew Dominic’s Australian wedding celebration in Melbourne in November. Dom had married his lovely American belle, Susan, in the US, 3 months earlier. We spent a very pleasant 9 days in Melbourne celebrating (not all the time!) with my sister Judy and husband Bob, meeting Susan for the 1st time.
This was our second overseas trip of the year! The first was courtesy of some virtually half price airfares on Malaysian Airlines (recommended) to catch up with our Scottish family, Andrew, Catriona, Eva (now nearly 12 and the beautiful young lady), and the twins, Nathan and Charis (7 1/2 and real characters.), for nearly 4 weeks in February-March. We missed out on the poor summer here in New Zealand, swapping it instead for winter in Scotland. ) One day’s snow but overall, it wasn’t as cold as we expected. Had a great time with the kids. I took Eva on a date and the twins swimming (heated indoor pool!). No photos without hard to get permission! Parents overprotective of their kids! Etc. It is far more PC over there than even here! Kathy took the kids to the local cafes. Their B & B ‘1 Janet Street, Thurso’ (free advertising here!) is doing well and is becoming better known all the time. They are now building a small church through a successful kids club, and are seeing numbers of new people discover the joy of following Jesus.
Nigel was in the UK at the time (since moved permanently to London where he is straightening out the British Health System on a short term contract!) and he and Savi came up and spent some time with us. We also managed a quick trip to the Isle of Skye to see Catriona’s parents Calum and Margaret, and sister Marie.
Unfortunately, not all the year was spent on holiday! Kathy has continued with her dual jobs at the Hastings Hospital Theatre and her Ophthalmology job at Napier Eye.
She has also been busy with her mother, making many trips to Palmerston North, firstly trying to keep her in her home of 64 years, then some time in hospital and now in a room at an aged care facility. Sadly the decline is ongoing, so we don’t quite know yet what the next step will be. Last week Mum’s house was sold and settled, so it is the end of an era, being the only house Mum, Kathy and her brothers have known. Mum celebrated her 90th birthday in May, with a luncheon at a local restaurant. A highlight of the day was when her eldest son, Ian, turned up unannounced from Perth, where he is currently working. It was great to have 4 generations of the Healy family (all except the Scottish family) all together at the one time.
Also present were Brendan and his beau, Susan. Brendan is still keeping Seekers Palmerston North going! Susan is currently back in Singapore arranging another work visa to return to a job here in the aerospace industry. We all attended the wedding of our Palmerston North Manager, Lyn, one of 2 Seekers managers to get married this year! Wayne, from Masterton branch, even met his beau, Fiona, at Seekers! All in the family!
Cameron, now 26, had intended to head for Perth on an OE after resigning from his Bank job in October. However he has changed his mind and decided to go to the Massey University Albany Campus next year to continue his degree with a computer major.
Sadly though, we got a call from him 3-4 weeks ago, on a Saturday night as we were about to go to bed, saying he was in Wellington Hospital with a broken foot, having come off his motorbike, earlier in the day! 2 operations later, including a skin graft, he is at home with us recuperating!
Seekers has continued to trade in the difficult economic conditions which have continued throughout this year. In September, we shifted our Napier Store to another new location, which is affecting sales here, at the moment. About the same time we linked up with World Vision. We are hoping to develop the partnership further next year.
The ministry is going well, with a doubling of unique daily visitors to our website to 600 daily. Our Monday and Tuesday ezines are still being well accepted by their readers. It is round 8 years now since we have visited Africa, but are anticipating a trip back there in August, as the Lord wills and provides. Are also looking at doing more ministry in New Zealand next year. Look us up at www.wwj.org.nz
Nearly forgot! Our attacker, Kurt Taylor, finally pleaded guilty to home invasion etc. in January and was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment in March. This was more than the 6 years the Police and ourselves thought likely. His 1st opportunity of parole is in June 2014 although it is 90% likely he will serve a further year before being released. Kathy and I are fine, both physically and emotionally. Our thanks to Jesus and to all those who have been concerned for us. In particular Roger and Beryl who came up specially to visit us from Christchurch.
Which reminds me! Earlier in the year I fell through a ceiling onto a joist, at work, breaking a couple of ribs in the process. That was far more painful than the head wounds! Don’t recommend it!
Staying with the physical, both Kathy and I have been ‘gym-ing’. Kathy has lost a lot of weight and looks ravishing! A new woman! I have managed to shift weight from stomach to shoulders, but still a bit left to go! The spa and sauna before work make the effort worthwhile!
All in all another busy year for us. We look forward to hearing your news too.
May you and yours again enjoy a peaceful Christmas holiday this year.
Love from ‘Her’, Cheers (my trademark) from ‘Him’.
Kathy and David
'TAIT TALK' Christmas 2011
Another year of life experience gained – along with extra ‘wrinkly wrinkles’ and further ‘faded hair’!
(Our latest portraits! Aren’t we still just so beautiful???)
In common with many others world-wide, 2011 has been, to be honest, one of the most challenging we have faced in our now 41 ½ years of married life. Well - at least of those of the years we can still remember!
My Mum died on 31 January, 15 years to the day from when Dad went to be with His Lord. At 90, she had a much longer life than earlier expected, and kept in reasonable health until the last 2-3 months. But by then, her time had surely come.
The recession hit Kathy’s Ophthalmology job at Napier Eye, so in April it was back to the Operating Theatre at the local Public Hospital in our nearby sister city of Hastings, the job she left 2+ years ago. This time though she is on the Casual Pool, while retaining a Monday at the Eye Clinic, to keep her hand in for the future when things improve. She was warmly welcomed back to the Theatre, which was most satisfying.
Seekers too, has continued to suffer in the challenging financial times in which we live. Survival has been the order of the day. We have closed 5 of our 10 shops during the year, which was sad, and hard on the staff involved. Our paid staff has been reduced from 22 to 8! They were amazingly understanding however, for which we have been really grateful. Unfortunately too, the building in which our main Napier shop was located, was bought by our main opposition, Savemart, in the middle of the year. They put up our rent 50% overnight! Fifty large truckloads later, we shifted premises! Then Savemart opened a store in our old shop! So, not an easy year, but we do seem to be getting on top of things now.
Theft has been a huge and growing problem for us. Sometimes think we are a charity for the benefit of thieves! This came to a head (literally - mine!) on Monday, 31 October……..
Our local truck driver had been helping himself to our best clothing when emptying our clothing collection bins which are spread around the community. We had worked with the Police for a few weeks to have him arrested for theft. This was difficult as the system surely favours the criminal. Finally, after some Sherlock Holmes-Tait work, the Police obtained both a search warrant for Kurt’s home, and an arrest warrant as well.
After a couple of day’s delay, 3 police cars and 6 policemen went round to arrest him at 6.30pm. Kurt wasn’t home. They called me to come and pick up our stolen goods. Kurt’s wife promised to take him to the Police station once he got home. Unfortunately Kurt had other ideas! Round 8.30 we were watching TV and heard a knock on the door. It was now dark. I answered the door and it was Kurt asking why the Police had been at his place. He then proceeded to hit me on the head with a sharp edged cosh about the size of a baseball bat. I escaped and ran. Kathy followed, screaming. When he couldn’t catch me, Kurt turned back, pulled Kathy to the ground and started beating her on the back. Her screaming went up an octave. I returned. Kurt saw me, released Kathy and chased me. A neighbour finally let Kathy inside. Her screaming stopped. Kurt, when he couldn’t catch me, came into our house and proceeded to smash it up before disappearing in his car. While speaking to the Police on my cellphone, I went back to Kathy.
The Police arrived with guns in hand and batons drawn. I was literally covered in blood from head and arm wounds, but in no pain. Even showed the Police round the house. The Ambulance arrived. Surprisingly to us, we were bundled in and taken to the hospital where Kathy works. On the way out in the ambulance, we both determined to forgive Kurt. The best thing we could have done.
In ED we were separated and had our wounds attended to. Kathy went home about 11.30pm with Mel, the Manager of our Napier store. The doctor attending me was from Dallas, Texas, where they are more used to treating such situations than here in little old, peaceful (!) New Zealand. After sewing up one cut, he realised that I also had a fractured skull. An immediate scan. All was well. Only the top malleable layer had been pealed back! (and I thought a skull was hard!) He pushed it back with his fingers and continued to sew me up! If the blow had been straight and not on an angle, you wouldn’t be reading this. At 2.30am and 58 stitches later, I was done. Amazingly I had virtually no pain then (the doctor couldn’t believe it) – nor any since. Sadly, Kathy had pain from bruising to her back and side. Fortunately, it seems that Kurt hit Kathy with the flat side of whatever the weapon was. We thank the Lord for that.
Kurt gave himself up the next day. He has pleaded guilty to the theft charge, but not yet to the more serious charges, although his lawyer has indicated he will do so. He faces 5 further charges, most of which carry a 14 year prison term. Bail has been refused. We have been most impressed, in spite of all the complaints you hear, with the Police, the Ambulance service, the Hospital, Victims support and the Court, so far. Our only complaint has been being described in the media as ‘old’, or even worse, ‘elderly’! How could it possibly be! LOL!
We are both well recovered now. It was like being at your own funeral! People said all the nice things about us that they normally save for that occasion! And we got lots of flowers too! Great for ex flower growers! We have been at peace throughout the whole time, comforting those who have been upset for us. Why did it happen? We don’t know. What we do know however is the power of forgiveness that Jesus taught, is so true. Having had the Lord with us has certainly helped to get us through the experience peacefully. Certainly have learned to say the important things to others before it is too late! For you never know when your time will be up!
What some people will do to get instant, but temporary, fame! Enough of all that stuff…….
Photo: A detective and security guard at the ‘crime scene’ At our unit! It is the right hand one of the two.
Of course, there have been positives during the year too.
* The weekly ezine PGIM (Praise God it’s Monday) has now been published for 10 years without missing an issue (even in the home invasion week!).
* We had a very nice week’s holiday in the bottom of the South Island while attending a wedding in Gore with friends going back to Kathy’s Youth Group days. Could still recognise one another – just!
* Last weekend we had a pleasant rest in a motel in Taupo, having been given 2 nights accommodation.
* Kathy has enjoyed her Parish Nursing, running health checks and a seminar for the All Saints Anglican Church in Taradale.
* I have kept up the gym and am feeling pretty fit (helped me get through my injuries?) although am putting on a bit of weight at the moment – all muscle, of course! Have swapped gyms, now also having the use of hot pools and spa which I greatly enjoy, before work.
Kathy’s Mum, now 89, is still at her home of 60+ years in Manawatu Street, Palmerston North. She is getting older, but not (quite) ready to go into a home just yet.
We are going to visit our family in Thurso, North Scotland (a few km’s from John O’Groats), for 4 weeks from 9 February. Hopefully there will be some snow. Andrew and Catriona’s B & B there is going well. We will be able to sample both it and Andrew’s breakfasts when we are there! It will be nearly 3 years since we have seen our (still only) 3 grandchildren. Eva is nearly 11 and the twins, Nathan & Charis are 6. Will be great to see all the family.
Brendan still is friendly with Susan, his lovely Singaporean lady friend, and has got more involved with Seekers, to the stage that he is rapidly becoming indispensable in Palmerston North.
Nigel has been promoted and is doing well in the Legal Aid division of the Justice Department, but his heart is really in London where his gorgeous Indian lady friend, Savi, lives and works. The heart may win over the job next year!
Cameron continues to keep the Credit Control Department of the ANZ Bank in operation, training others how to get money back from recalcitrant customers in a very nice way, of course!
All 4 kids are very grateful to still have their parents! Surprising really! We have been so appreciative of their concern and support over the past couple of months. And hope to be round for them for some time yet!
At this Christmas time we thank Jesus for being beside us through a challenging year.
May you and yours enjoy a peaceful Christmas holiday this year.
Love from ‘Her’, Cheers (my trademark) from ‘Him’.
Kathy and David
AND THEN IT WAS (TAIT’S) CHRISTMAS - AGAIN! 2010
The world must be spinning faster, for the year does go by in a blur and, all of a sudden, it is Christmas again! I know our kids say that it’s the decrepitness of old age, but surely, it is simply the busy days which remain a constant, and mainly enjoyable, factor in our lives.
Of course, there have been landmarks in our year, as usually seems to be the case. No ‘little ones’ for our sons don’t seem to have learned from their father’s example, but a couple of BIG ONES, both revolving round the number ‘40’!
Unbelievably, for we don’t know where the time has gone, we celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary on the 2nd May, spending the night at De Bretts Hotel in Taupo, where we spent the first part of our honeymoon. It has had a makeover in recent times to become a Hilton, with prices to match the brand! Great memories! Surely it couldn’t have been 40 years ago though? No way! The wrinkles? Painted on, of course!
Our ‘2nd 40’ was the replacement of our bed of 40 years! Bought from Yates Furnishings in Otaki (Memories!) it has lasted us for 116,800 hours (approx) of bed time. Not a bad hourly rate at a cost of $100 or so, which seemed huge at the time! But well worth it! And never an argument!!!???!!! Ummm!!! The memory must be fading fast!
Yes, we still have my 1991 Toyota Celica too! A part of me! 320,000km on the clock!
This year has seen us travel to the lovely nation of Vanuatu, when I spoke at a ministry conference (my first for 4 years) and where we have also set up a ‘Seekers’ store on the island of Santo in the town of Luganville. This came about through an approach of one of the many Vanuatuan seasonal workers we have to help in the orchards and vineyards of Hawkes Bay over the summer harvesting period.
This was one of 4 shops we opened this year, the others being in Napier City, Taupo and Rotorua. For Seekers it has been a year of 2 halves. The first half very successful, when we managed to set up 2 poultry projects in Uganda and Kenya, which are providing hens to the poor to help them set up their own small businesses. Our pig farm in Uganda is also being expanded from 250 to 1000 pigs, which has required a considerable financial investment.
Unfortunately, the second half of the year has seen the Recession hit us. Our new shops, in particular, are struggling and we are only just about breaking even, so new projects are on hold and we are cost cutting, even further, as we are able. Never a pleasant situation! We look to an improvement in 2011.
The ministry continues with our regular weekly ezines having been going out round the world for 9 years now. Time flies when you are having fun! We are looking forward to the fulfillment of the Lord’s Prayer, where it says, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Check out our website at www.wwj.org.nz Currently we have 500 unique visitors a day. Hard to believe, really!
Kathy has been increasing her technical skills in Ophthalmology while continuing to work for Napier Eye, running her own nurse led Glaucoma Clinics and getting to know the patients better. Much time has also been spent at Seekers, working in the shop and doing washing and repairs of the more valuable clothing, as nursing work hours have been at a premium, with the recession affecting even the health sector. Unfortunately too, her job at the Hospice ceased when the local Health Board closed it down for 6 months, due to managerial problems. A gross overreaction that affected the lives of both patients and staff. It has just recently been reopened. However, on the positive side, Kathy has, along with 2 other nurses, established Parish Nursing at the All Saints Anglican Church in Taradale. She has wanted to do this for several years, having attended several conferences, so it has been very satisfying to get it under way. The Parish Nurses help parishioners and the general community with education, assistance, and information. A few weeks ago they had a Sunday clinic where they checked height, weight, blood pressures and diabetes, for those (many) who were interested.
Andrew and Catriona, who shifted to Thurso (Very near John O’ Groats – as far north in Scotland as you can go, on the mainland) 18 months ago, where they have converted a Georgian manor house into a B & B for an income, (see www.1janetstreet.co.uk) while serving the community for Jesus. Great value at 60 pounds a night for luxury - and Andrew’s cooked breakfast! Can’t wait for that experience! Eva is now nearly 10 now and the twins, being 5, are both at school. Lot’s of snow recently so not too many customers!
Just heard that Brendan has passed his final paper for his science degree. Also has a lovely Singaporean lady ‘friend’ Susan, who is really great for him. He is still driving the van for us at Seekers too. Very happy parents!
Nigel has had 2 visits this year from his London based Indian lady, Savi. Another lovely lady! One would assume they might be keen on each other, with keeping the airlines in business. He has also found his ‘dream job’ working for the Justice Department in the Legal Aid division. He has just been promoted into a policy position which he will start in the New Year.
Cameron is still doing well at the ANZ Bank, working so hard that he has no time for the ladies! At least, that is what he tells us! His Toyota MR2 sports car looks forlorn, as it is not currently turning wheels – by itself!
So not looking good for more grandchildren for a while yet! Scotland is so far away! And buried under snow!
Kathy’s mum is now 88 and has had some health challenges this year but she is still in her own home of 60+ years. Kathy’s brother, Ian, is currently working for a transport and logistics firm in Ethiopia. Something different! Her younger brother Ross, remains in Auckland, still managing a timber yard.
My Mum turned 90 in October, which is a real milestone considering her past health problems. We had a very nice party with lots of ‘relies’ from all over. She has now been diagnosed a form of lymph cancer of the skin which causes an itch that is not so pleasant for her. However, she soldiers on – a true Tait (and Dunn - her maiden name! Hardy Irish stock.) My sister Judy, (still in Melbourne), flies across the Tasman Sea regularly.
Our own health has been really good. Kathy walks up the hills nearby while I have been going to the gym, which has been better than I expected. Even losing weight! We are still living in our 2 bedroomed unit next to the shop at 7 Bull Street, Ahuriri, Napier. Visitors are always welcome. Had lots to stay recently! The 2 grafted tomato plants in our wee garden are the best we have ever had! Haven’t lost the green fingers completely, in our dotage! A couple of months ago we got really radical and got the internet on at home, so Kathy can keep up with you all now. Her address has changed to email@example.com if you wish to mail her direct.
We wish you a relaxing, family Christmas, remembering that without Jesus, there would be no Christmas at all!
Love from Kathy, Cheers (my trademark!) from David
Kathy and David
IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS - AGAIN! (2009)
If you can still recognize the couple in the picture you will know that this letter is from the Taits!
‘His’ hair is greyer, ‘hers’ never changes! Unless, of course you remember back 39 2/3 years to the wedding photo, when both sported mops of a similar and somewhat different colour!
Shapes too have ‘matured’ but the brain is still the same – as far as I can remember!
This year, for us, has been one of consolidation and work rather than births, deaths or travel. Our mothers are both a year older, and have aged somewhat during the year. Mum Healy (87) is still in her own home though, but receiving some home help, while Mum Tait (89) remains happily ensconced in her rest home of the past 8 years or so, where she is now a senior resident. Both are now ‘height challenged’, to be PC.
The 1st highlight of our family year was having Andrew, Catriona, Eve, Nathan and Charis stay for the month of April. It was wonderful to get to spend time with them as a family and to get to know the kids better, as they grow up. Eva is nearly 9 and the twins turned 4 the day before they left. Gather they had 4 birthday parties between family here, the airplane, and at home! Now, I don’t want 4 birthdays though….. Great to be young! We did the touristy things of Rotorua and Taupo, travelled to Palmerston North to see Grandma Healy, and spent the rest of the time ‘hanging about’ round the Bay. The family stayed at our place, while we found a couple of friends to put us up and put up with us!
Thanks too to the wonderful hospitality of our Auckland family and friends over this time.
Our second, and most recent highlight, was having Nigel return from his OE to the UK where he has been for the past 3 years. It has been great to have him home and catch up on his experiences. Of course, he has now joined the multitudes of returnees looking the perfect job in Kiwiland. Not an easy job today – the pun was unintentional!
Brendan remains in Palmerston North where he spends a lot of time with his friend Susan, from Singapore, who is studying Aviation Management at Massey. He is also assisting at our Seekers store there and enjoying the company of the other staff, which is good news for us. Am told by them that he has a ‘wicked’ sense of humour. Still has one paper left to finish his degree………
Cameron continues to brave the Wellington wind, working in the bankcard credit control section of the ANZ Bank. It is unlikely he will be out of a job any time soon! We have spent 2 motor racing bonding sessions during the year at the (last) A1 GP at Taupo in January and at the Formula 1 exhibition at Te Papa at Labour Weekend. He has lost weight and I have put it on, so that is the only reason he was able to beat me at the Indoor Karts! But not by much! Life left in the old man yet!
The rest of the year has been spent working. Kathy left the Operating Theatre at the end of February to take a job with one of the local eye surgeons, Phil Macdonald, trading as Napier Eye Ltd. (Free ad!) Because of the recession her hours have not been as many as she expected so, in September, she joined the casual pool at the local Cranford Hospice. Along with the occasional duty at Theatre she now has 3 jobs to juggle. There has been a lot to learn, particularly with the various equipment at the eye clinic, but she is now getting on top of it. Can now prove that I am ‘one eyed’!
Seekers Megamart has expanded during the year. We have opened 3 new branches in Masterton, Palmerston North and Gisborne as well as shifting premises in both Wairoa and Hastings. Napier is the only one remaining the same, and we may well relocate this shop next year. New stores are a lot of work to set up, but with one exception, all are trading well. Our turnover has doubled this year and will more than double again in the next, which is not too bad in the current economy. Please visit our stores if you are in their area. All are easily found.
Additionally, we have sent our first container of clothes to Africa. 60,000 garments weighing 20 tonnes. We have another 4 ready to go.
Our pig farm project in Uganda is going with 250 pigs in the main piggery which is enabling pigs to be distributed to villagers to raise, to provide protein and income for them.
Operating in Africa has its challenges, which we are continually working through.
Walking With Jesus Ministries continues to send out weekly ezines to several thousand people around the world. We believe that God is requiring major change in His people at this time and it is our desire to embrace and share with others what God is doing at this time.
We wish you a relaxing, family Christmas, remembering that without Jesus, there would be no Christmas at all!
CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM THE TAITS - 2008
WE’RE BACK IN CHRISTMAS LETTER LAND!
After three years of silence,
Of work, not decadence,
We are back with our Christmas letter,
Hope it makes you feel much better!
Well, where to start! Probably at 2006. My, how time flies when you are having fun and even faster as the years go by. Can’t see the wrinkles now as the eyesight has failed! Gotta be a plus side somewhere.
When we left you last we were in Flaxmere, as part of a small Christian community. It didn’t work out and split up in the May. We remained in Flaxmere. I loved the mixed community, Kathy was not so keen. In October I went off to Africa for 2 months on 50 cents a day. As usual, I had lots of adventures, most great, a few challenging. My $30 got down to $1 after 10 days, before God started bringing money in. I left Kenya to go to London to meet Kathy with no money but no debt either! While I was away Kathy successfully completed her final exams for her nursing degree.
Kathy and I met at Heathrow, Terminal 2 at 5:30am in the morning and we were really pleased to see each other. After a week of making reacquaintance (good things take time) Kathy went on up to Aberdeen to the family while I stayed in London for another week to research a new venture for us, before joining with the Scottish family for Christmas. It was a white Christmas, not with snow, but with frost upon unmelted frost. The icicle patterns were amazing!
It was great catching up with the ‘Scotties’ and for me, meeting the twins, Nathan and Charis for the first time. Kathy had already seen them earlier when they were first born. Eva, our first grandchild is really growing up. How time flies! Andrew and Catriona are still pastoring in the same COC church in Aberdeen they have been attending since they first met.
On Boxing Day Kathy flew home to go back to work while I went off to Kentucky in the U S of A for a week to meet with my contacts there and had the big grain fed steak on the BBQ that I had always wanted to experience. Even though it was the middle of winter!
When Kathy returned, her Mum collapsed and has had ongoing problems with her spine and collapsing discs. She is now (2008) settled; a little frail, but still a feisty lady. She still walks fast and for long distances.
Upon my coming back to good old NZ, our life took another turn. While in Africa I had met a great young guy on a bus, a Nigerian who imported second hand clothing into Ghana. He came to my friend Collins and my rescue, when we were left stranded at a bus park (ie. an empty field) at 11pm one night with little money and nowhere to go, as our supposed host had been locked into his compound an hour earlier! He put us up in a hotel at his expense (this doesn’t happen in Africa!) and joined us for the rest of our time in Nigeria. To cut a long story short, through this contact, (although later finding out in the UK that he was a conman! Africa! Africa!) we have got involved in the second hand clothing business! This is the last thing we both would have thought we would have ever done!
So in February 2007, without a cent in the bank, we started collecting clothing to send to Africa. It grew. We were given a van. It grew. We were given the use of an orchard packhouse for sorting. It grew. Some friends from Flaxmere, Cyril and Marie, started helping us. It grew. In May we opened a small shop, ‘The Clothing Bin’ in Flaxmere, to sell what we could in NZ at higher prices to both meet our expenses and send profits to Africa. It grew. A larger packhouse now. It grew. In September we closed the Flaxmere Shop, having learned a lot but not getting sufficient turnover during the off season in horticulture when our customers were mostly on the dole. It grew. After Labour Weekend we opened a large shop, ‘Seekers Megamart’, in Napier, shifting our sorting there also. It grew. In February 2008 we opened a small shop in Wairoa. It grew. Took on more space in Napier (now 2,000 metres to increase our storage and sorting area.) It grew. Were given 50 clothing bins in the Hawkes Bay and Manawatu. It grew. In late August we opened an 800m store in Hastings. It grew. Then came the recession. Clothes in grew, clothes out slowed!
We are now ready to send our first container of clothing to Africa, where it will be sold and the money used for aid projects. Just a small matter of $10,000 in freight costs to be found first! God will provide as He has done so amazingly over the past 2 years of Seekers. We have been able to support a number of projects and people, the main one currently being a pig farm in Uganda. Pigs have been bred and are now about to be distributed to villages where there is plenty of food for them, but a lack of protein for the people. The villagers will breed on and return replacement piglets to the main farm so they can be sent elsewhere.
Have also sent funds to Nigeria, where we are waiting to get a government subsidy through the World Bank of 9 times what we have sent. This is for a fish farming project, once again to provide protein for the people.
The internet ministry has continued. Have now been sending out our ‘Praise God it’s Monday!’ ezine for over 7 years, without missing an issue. Along with ‘Tuesday Teachings’ and a couple of daily ezines, we send out over 15,000 emails per week. On top of running seekers, it does keep me out of mischief! Well – almost!
During 2007 Kathy had to travel in our trusty old Celica, which is still going strong, to Palmerston North more frequently to see her mother. Brendan too, lives in PN where he has one paper left to complete his BSc. Brendan is still Brendan!
The highlight of Kathy’s 2007 was her graduation in April. All the challenges of years past was made worthwhile as she stepped onto the stage in the Municipal Theatre in Napier to be capped and given her BN (Bachelor of Nursing) Degree certificate. A great moment for her - and us all.
In February of the same year, Nigel went off on his OE to the UK and now, points beyond. He has spent time with Andrew and Catriona and an extended period working for the Surrey Cricket Club in the Membership Department, including being there at the Oval for that great one day Black Cap victory! Gave him much needed bragging rights for some time! More recently he has been travelling in the US and Canada. Now back in London and about to go back to his old job.
To complete the family news, Cameron is working in the Credit Department of the ANZ Bank in Wellington and (supposedly) continuing with his degree extramurally from Massey University. Prior to the bank he was managing a car rental company Wellington Branch. My Mum has recently turned 88 and is still soldiering on. Amazing how she has outlasted her contemporaries, given her earlier health problems.
In late May this year Kathy had a trip back to London and Scotland for a month to see Nigel, some of her friends in England and, of course, the family in Scotland. Our twins are now 3 1/2 years old and she has visited them 3 times, so has managed to keep in touch as well as is possible when you live on the opposite side of the world.
Unfortunately, Kathy has not been well over recent months, with her irregular heart beat having made an unwelcome and more lengthy reappearance than on past occasions. While it is neither life shortening nor life inhibiting, it is worrying when your heart both races and then stops beating for a while! She has lost quite a bit of weight, and is, in fact, looking most glamorous! Her work is work, Theatre is Theatre, but it still pays the bills and allows us to run both the internet ministry and Seekers.
In February 2008 we shifted back to Napier, as we were travelling back here so often to operate the shop. Then, of course we opened a shop in Hastings, so both have to travel back there now too! Live next door to our shop, our address being 7 Bull Street, Ahuriri, Napier. No bull! Our home phone is (06) 835 0567. Have downsized once again, to a 2 bedroomed unit. Got rid of even more ‘stuff’! Still have a bedroom for visitors though! We are within walking distance of both the waterfront and town. It is really nice area to live in and for visitors to visit! Get the hint?