For a quality printable and/or downloadable copy of this webpage click here.

Ruth and I passed this procession while on our way up to the remote north west of Thailand.



Good tidings of great joy, indeed,
ALL PEOPLE can afford,
Each nation, tongue, and race and creed,
To know Him, Christ the Lord.

This message is of one who came,
He left His Father's throne,
Born in the town of Bethlehem,
He came unto His own.

But He would be rejected by
The ones He came to save,
Lifted up 'tween earth and sky,
For all, His life He gave.

But He could not be held by death,
He rose, and reigns on high,
He'll come again, and not by stealth,
And now, the time is nigh.

But many still have not yet heard,
This message of good news,
Please pray that God will bless His word
To Gentiles and to Jews.


Personal Notes

Well, as we write, we have just two weeks to go before returning to Thailand on 29th December, four days after a special Christmas with our two young families.

But let's backtrack a little. July last year we commenced our first and only furlough since leaving Australia for Thailand as full time missionaries in August 1999. We set out on a three month "deputation" trip in January, visiting assemblies and churches in Tasmania, Victoria and NSW. This trip commenced with a Jubilee reunion at Wagga with my ex-Air Force colleagues. Our intake, known as the Rosebuds, joined the RAAF 50 years ago in January.

Ruth and I have been back to Thailand twice during this furlough, for renewing visas and to be part of the second two yearly combined assemblies camp for young people. We also attended the wedding of Maliwan known to many of our prayer supporters. She married Saeng - a young Karen pastor at a Baptist church near Pattaya.

We returned at the end of August to complete our twelve months furlough. Besides spending time with our daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren—a very happy but hectic time, we also made a trip to Coolamon for a reunion where Ruth spent the first years of her life.


Our health continues to hold up well and our needs have been met. Our Lord is faithful as promised, and we also record our grateful thanks to our prayer supporters.

We now ponder our future - how many more years will we be in Thailand, and what ministry will the Lord open up for us when we move back to Australia. Our grandchildren are growing up too, and we would like to be able to buy a suitable house with our young families in mind. We share these thoughts with you not out of concern (our God is faithful), but that you might join us in prayer for His guidance.



Biennial Camp

Once again, the two yearly combined assemblies camp for young people, held during the first week of May, was a very special blessing, not only for the ministry of the Word of God, but also providing the opportunity for assembly young people from the different parts of Thailand to meet


and be a mutual encouragement to each other.

The camp was held at Baan Khun Glang, a Christian camp site on a mountain called Doi Inthanon, one of the highest accessible mountain peaks in the north west of Thailand, approximately 90 kilometres south west of Chiang Mai. Almost 200 young people came to the camp from all parts of Thailand.


Rosebuds Reunion

In January, we attended the 50th Anniversary of the 10th Intake of the RAAF apprenticeship scheme at Wagga, where Russ first joined the air force along with over 160 other trainees. Our intake was known as the Rosebuds and 67 of us attended the reunion, with our wives. We trained and studied in a highly disciplined but basic environment with few creature comforts, so it was great to see each other again after so many years.

Eight of us, dubbed the “Boffins”, then spent another 3˝ years together studying and training to become Engineer Officers, so it was particularly nostalgic to catch up again with these friends.

During the reunion, a very good pilot friend, Aussie Pratt, and myself had the job of scattering the ashes of a deceased trainee over the Wagga airfield. I have very fond memories of spending an Easter weekend with Aussie and his family at Griffith NSW.

Another reunion (of many) was with Ian McLiesh. While cleaning up at our recreation centre early in our third year,

The Diploma Group at the Rosebuds Reunion


Before the flight over Wagga airfield

Ian came to me and said "Russ, I have some good news that I think you will be interested in. Last Saturday night while in town on leave, I heard a Salvation Army group preaching the gospel and I was saved."

Until Ian shared this with me, I had been pretty much on my own as a Christian, so we became very close friends. But by the end of that year, we had established a weekly Bible study group that numbered about eighteen from all three intakes of trainees. Some years later, I was delighted to learn that that Bible study group was still going.

The reunion with Ian at Wagga


Back to Coolamon

At the end of September, we visited Coolamon where Ruth spent her younger years for a “Back to Coolamon” weekend. We drove down for the event with Norm and Nancy Pratt, Ruth’s aunt and uncle, spending 3 nights there. It was a very nostalgic time for Ruth as she met many school friends from her childhood days.

The picture at right shows Mrs Ellie Lucas (100 years in Feb) cutting a cake made and decorated by Aunty Nancy. Mrs Lucas taught with Ruth’s Aunt Carry at Coolamon Central School. Also in the picture, is Colin Patterson  who organised the “Back to Coolamon" week-


Mrs Ellie Lucas at Allawah Lodge cutting the cake

end event. He was a student of Aunty Carry’s, and thought very highly of her.



The grandchildren count has increased once again this year to a total of seven, after the arrival of Melody Anne McHugh on 19th September. So Ben and Joy now have four lovely girls. Natalie has just finished preschool and starts Grade 1 at the beginning of next year. Ben has just finished the first year of accountancy at uni, and has started working with a firm of accountants in Toowoomba. Even with four young children, Joy has continued teaching a few piano students, and takes her turn playing for church services.

After 3˝ years in Port Macquarie, Simon and Melody have just moved to Brisbane, as Simon takes up a management position with a private medical firm. The move came with mixed emotions for them, having become very involved in their church at “Port”, and having to leave behind lifelong friends.


However, along with the family, they have been praying for a move to Brisbane “in the Lord’s will and time”. From our point of view, it certainly will be more convenient to visit them when we come back for short visits from Thailand. Jake starts the new “Prep” grade at school next year. Mel and Sime now have a home walking distance from both school and church.

We aim to have Christmas together with our two young families every two years and this is our year. So we are all looking forward to a very happy Christmas together at Simon and Melody’s place before we leave for Thailand on the 29th.

Ruth and I feel our responsibilities towards our family as well as our work in Thailand, and we are looking to the Lord to know His perfect will. Until we return to return to live in Australia, we plan to make two trips back per year to visit our families.


Joy and Ben, Susan, Katelyn, Melody, and Natalie

Simon and Melody, Rebekah, Jake, and Holly

Contact Details