Garry and Mindy Tingson Prayer Letter: Happy New Year!One of the biggest adjustments that our family has gone through while living in Australia is the Christmas season. Instead of the snowy winter wonderland of Michigan, we have a scorcher of a summer season on the Mid-North Coast. The children’s school year comes to an end, and we begin the summer holidays. Many take this time to go out of town to visit relos (relatives) during Christmas and then segue into summer vacations. Many in our town leave or hibernate during this time until all the city folk go back home. Some men of our church had the chance to fellowship on a fishing trip on the river. We’re so spoiled!

Though some of our church folk go out of town, we benefit from people visiting our beautiful town of Port Macquarie. December was a roller-coaster of new faces in our church services. I enjoy getting to meet extended family of our people and likewise for our people to meet my extended family, who were able to visit us from Sydney. My mum, brothers, niece, and nephew were able to spend time with us during the Christmas holidays, which was a very busy but sweet time. Because Christmas is in the summer, many Aussies eat seafood for Christmas, but we opted for the traditional turkey. Our church was able to put on a Christmas party at our house, with the turkey being the centre piece. We had visitors from all over the state. My wife organised a Christmas program with the children, which made the church service extra special! They all did a great job!

When it begins to heat up, many of Australia’s unique creatures seemingly start to pop up out of nowhere. Spiders are building their webs all over the place, and if I don’t keep up with the mowing, red-bellied black snakes start to visit our house. We’ve had two different ones already visit us in the span of one week! I’ve added a photo of a menagerie of creatures we’ve discovered in December. Of course, we have kangaroos; but we’ve had a bat, a bagworm, and thousands of cicadas—we even found one molting in our church tent! One that really stood out was a huge longhorn beetle, which was found on the curtain of our church creche (nursery). It took all the strength my wife had not to scream in the middle of my sermon when she discovered it. She ended up changing the baby in the house!

Our church plant is continuing to grow. We had a family of four join our church at the beginning of December. We now have five core families in our church, and we’re excited with what the Lord is going to do in and through us in the next year. Please continue to pray for our outreach efforts. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Your servant in Christ,

Garry Tingson