Monday, October 27, 2008

Partners together in Mission

We have just returned to Auckland, New Zealand, from Melbourne, Australia. We were there for three weeks and stayed with Keith and Kathryn Graham. Our time in Melbourne concluded with a Missionary Conference on Sunday evening where we both spoke. Keith gave a report on a two month trip to Zambia and I gave a report on the work among the Latinos of Los Angeles.

We go along way back with Keith and Kathryn. We met as students at the Bible College of New Zealand (formerly the Bible Training Institute) in 1967/68. Keith and Kathryn were married on January 9th, 1970, and we were married on January 10th, 1970. Soon after we both went to the mission field, Keith and Kathryn to Italy and us to Colombia. Keith and Kathryn initiated an invitation to us from Brethren in Los Angeles to work with Latinos over there while he was doing a Doctorate at Talbot Seminary. They welcomed us when we arrived in 1989 to work in LA. We are both still involved in missions and ministry, Keith and Kathryn being based in Melbourne and us in Los Angeles and reaching out to Latinos in Los Angeles and beyond in Latin America.

Richard & Nancye Yarrall

Keith and Kathryn Graham

We will be in the Auckland/Waikato area for the next month with family and for meetings before returning to Los Angeles on December 4th, 2008.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Aussie Parrots

The parakeet's and king parrots were the friendliest birds. This was a parakeet.

There were always plenty of cheeky cockatoos. One even snatched my bag of seed and flew away. He then laughed at me from a high branch on a tree!

Feeding a hungry king parrot.

Richard and Keith Graham feeding the parrots in the Blue Dandenong Mountains. This was in a park near Belgrave.

Australian Birds and Shop in Arcade

No matter where you go in Australia you both hear and see birds. The eucalyptus trees are home to all sorts of parrots, parakeets and other singing birds. The coast is no exception with seagulls and other types of wading birds. Here are a few. We also found a little shop selling Russian dolls in an arcade. Out of place!

This shop called Babushkas (grandmothers) was found in an arcade in Melbourne. All it sold was Matroshkas from Russia - but so expensive!

Mother goose with babies.

Baby seagulls

Seagull sitting on eggs.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Good Australian Blokes

A couple of Koalas greeting each other.

Wallabys wanna a meal.

Joey doesn't want to be left out ... or does he!

There's always a Kookaburra to do a serenade.

We have another week left in Melbourne but with a few responsibilities. On Wednesday evening we have a home group meeting to attend to do a presentation on the work in Los Angeles. Then on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon we are to participate in a Missionary Conference involving the Brethren Churches of the Melbourne area. We return to Auckland on Monday, 27th October.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Great Ocean Road

We have been touring the south west coast below Melbourne. The coast line is spectacular with sandstone cliffs that have been eroded by the ocean leaving a variety of features.

Apollo Bay where we have stayed for three nights. The bay is beautiful with waves steadily rolling in.

The Twelve Apostles - 12 blocks of sandstone left standing in the ocean.

The Arch, another interesting sight.

The grotto. There are about 100 steps down to look through this archway out to the ocean.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Melbourne, Australia

Flinders Street Station in downtown Melbourne.

The Puffing Billy steam train in the Dandelong Mountains.

Canterbury Gardens Community Church where we fellowshipped on Sunday morning. One of several Brethren Churches in Melbourne.

Two young teen agers were baptized on the Sunday we attended the Canterbury Gardens Community Church. A spa pool was rented for the occasion.

A King Parrot that also visited the cottage where relatives were staying in the Dandelong Mountains.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wedding of Travis and Alisha

The wedding of Travis Griffiths-Bell to Alisha Peden (Richard's grand niece) took place at 3.00 pm in the Lye Bird Falls Reception center, Kallista, in The Dandenong Mountains some 20 kms. east of Melbourne. It was an outdoors wedding set in a garden surrounded by bush (blue gums and tree ferns). The reception took place indoors as evening fell.

Travis and Alisha

Travis and Alisha with the parents - Janette and Alan Peden, James (L) and Adele (R).

The extended family composed of Lindseys and Yarralls.

Lyn and Margaret Lindsey - Alisha's proud grandparents.

Dior Ramohitaj, Alisha's cousin, was the ring bearer. He was soooo excited about being included.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cute Kids

Georgia Mackey is Robyn's 4 year old daughter and Graham Yarrall's grand daughter.

Rene Vivian is 5 (or 6) and was so pleased to hear that another girl, Sydney Nesbitt, has curly hair like her. So Sydney when you visit Auckland from Siberia you have a soul mate waiting to befriend you.

Family and friends in New Zealand

Nancye's mother's 90th birthday, with Rex, Neil, Nancye, Jean and Graeme

Celebrating Graham Yarrall's (Richard's brother) birthday in the Sky Tower in Auckland, with Anne (Graham's wife), Nancye, Georgia (Graham's grand daughter) and Graham.

Peter and Lyn Gordon, with Richard. Peter is an old friend from Gisborne days and then Teachers College, teaching in Auckland and Bible College.

Nancye with Lyn and Margaret Lindsey picnicking at Waikanae Beach, Gisborne. Margaret is Richard's sister.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


The Sky Tower in the heart of Auckland City. The highest tower in the Southern hemisphere.

Auckland city from the Sky Tower, looking towards the harbour, Devonport and Rangitoto Island, a volcanic dome.

Celebrating my brother Graham's birthday in the revolving restaurant in the Sky Tower. Included are Braydon, Alan and Kathryn, and Kenneth and Roslyn on left side.
Georgia, Robyn, Graham, Richard, Nancye and Anne on right side.

Manurewa Bible Chapel's new facility recently opened. Manurewa is located some 10 miles south of downtown Auckland. I preached at Manurewa the last two Sundays.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Gisborne is Richard's home town. It is a port city for the export of logs, meat, wool and other produce such as apples and Kiwi fruit. No matter where you look there is something associated with the coast (beautiful beaches) or Maoris and their culture. From the hills behind the city there is a great view of the city, port and Poverty Bay. The bay is misnamed. When Captain James Cook planted the British flag on the local beach in 1769 to claim New Zealand for Great Britain he was repelled by the Maoris who have him nothing - hence the name Poverty Bay. However, that name has proved to be wrong as the surrounding hinterland is so productive with its crops and fruit, as well as sheep and cattle farms.

In a central park stands a big wooden carving symbolizing the prow of a ship. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand in about 1250 AD. They came in carved canoes from somewhere in the mid Pacific Ocean. One of the seven canoes landed near Gisborne. They named New Zealand, "Aotearoa" (the land of the long white cloud).

Wainui Beach is a few kms. to the north. It is one of the many beaches lining the East Coast of NZ. New Zealand has such clear blue skies. There is no haze or smog to cloud the view. For that reason NZ has a lot of problems with skin cancer as the sun burns so much quicker in such a clean environment.

About 30 kms. south of Gisborne a popular picnic spot in the summer is Rere Falls.

Waikanae Beach, Gisborne's main beach, is popular all the year round, but especially in the summer as tourists come in big numbers to enjoy its safe beach.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wairoa (East Coast of NZ)

Wairoa is a town of 5,000 on the north side of Hawkes Bay on the East Coast of New Zealand. To the north of Hawkes Bay is Mahia Peninsula and at the easterly end of the peninsula was this lighthouse which served shipping for over 80 years until about 1960 when it was brought to Wairoa and became the town's "landmark." Wairoa serves a farming community mainly sheep and cropping. We spent last Sunday with the folk at the Lahore Street Assembly which is one of our commending churches and we had a great time of fellowship.

Monday being a glorious day (picture perfect blue) with no clouds in the sky we decided to take a picnic lunch to Mahia which brought back memories of holidays on the beaches when we would go fishing and and for walks along the beach.

With our good friends and hosts, Garfield and Rachel Sproul, walking on Mahia Beach.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Lake Taupo and mountains

Being Sunday, we started the day by going to the Community Bible Church in the morning for their Lord's Supper. As we were driving to the meeting, along the lake, we were awed by the beauty of Lake Taupo with the snow capped mountains in the background. Three mountain peaks can be seen: Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu. Ruapehu is an active volcano and periodically erupts. Ruapehu also brings back memories as I did my army service some 45 years ago on the slopes of the mountain at Waiouru Military Camp.

We had a good time of fellowship at the Community Bible Church, one of two Brethren Assemblies in Taupo. I was also asked to bring a message this morning. Their numbers were down today with some sick and others out of town. The C.B.C. has faithfully prayed for us and supported our work over many years, so it is good to return and have fellowship with such special people.

We have five more days at Lake Taupo before we move on to Wairoa and Gisborne on the East Coast.