Contributed by Jynene Helland and John Abelseth
From June 6 to 18, Oceania was fortunate to be able to host a visit from John and Helen Abelseth, from the BFM USA, who presented Family Matching Preparation Seminars and Matching Supporter Training in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia and in Auckland, New Zealand. Around 70 members (parents and BCs) participated in the three days of Family Matching Workshops in the three Oceania cities, and 30 Matching Supporters participated in the three Matching Supporter Training workshops.
A few parents from the Solomon Islands also attended both sessions in Sydney and will share their experience and support families when they return home to the Solomon Islands.
It was a great opportunity for those attending to gain a deeper understanding of the matching process and the tools for matching. The workshops helped families to gain more confidence in the matching process, and feedback from participants was positive.
The number of trained and inspired Matching Supporters in Oceania also significantly increased. A big thank you to John and Helen for taking the time to visit down under. It was a valuable opportunity for our families and very much appreciated.
We were fortunate to have David and Ursula McLackland, BFD Directors for Asia, participate in the Matching Supporter Training in Sydney. Jynene Helland, BFD for Oceania, participated and offered support and wisdom in all six workshops, hosted the workshops, and coordinated with leaders in all three cities to ensure the smooth and well-organized programs. Jynene took time from her work and family to travel with John and Helen and to take care of them at each stop, as well as show them the sights in Sydney.