Monday, December 8, 2008


Loving greetings from the Johnston family in Blackburn South
December 2002


Each year over the past three decades, as we have crafted a brief annual report to our small group of friends and relations, there has been a sameness about it all. We have been an ordinary Australian family, with young ones growing up, living in an ordinary house in an ordinary suburb, and having pretty ordinary jobs (or not having, as it goes). We have experienced the usual highs and lows that are to be expected, but on the whole, life has been good to us.

As we face a new year there is a new sense of gratitude in our hearts to God, that we can report that we are sound in body and mind.

Noel has recovered well from the stroke he experienced in July, and is working ‘full time’. He has regular medical checks to try to prevent a recurrence of the clotting problems he experienced, and looks just as fit and strong as in the past.

Paul is recovering from the surgery he had last month to remove a brain tumor. He will need regular checks, but the prognosis is said to be good. A couple of his uni exams have been deferred, and he plans to sit them in January. Paul and his fiancée, Leanne Kay, plan to be married in March at the Gold Coast.

Miriam is living in Perth, keeping up with her ‘day job’, providing physiotherapy support services to children with disabilities, and her ‘other’ job using voice and violin to lead the music ministry in her Church. Rebecca is now in a position as Senior Landscape Architect for an engineering firm, and is active in her Church. Josh has enjoyed a good year at university, studying computer science, and is committed in the student ministry of the Christian Union, as well as a local Church. He also had a brief visit to Kunming in Yunnan Province in South China, visiting friends who are linguists working on a dictionary.

I (Joy) don’t know what to say about myself! Having spent the past decade practising as the ‘village midwife’, working closely with women who are taking up the challenges of motherhood and family, I can say that I have been in a wonderfully privileged position. However there are now big questions about future independent midwifery practice. This is as a result of the insurance crisis, in that no insurance is available, coupled with a new government policy mandating insurance for all health professionals. I am not taking any new clients at present. I continue to sit on the Nurses Board of Victoria, and am doing my best to protect the scope of midwifery practice.

Noel and I plan to celebrate thirty years of married life in January. Some of you were with us at Windsor as we exchanged our vows. We thank all who have stood by us in prayer over the years, and particularly lately with your messages of love and concern.

May God’s blessing and encouragement be yours in this Holy season, and in days to come.

With love,

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