Sunday, 2 October 2016

A Moment in Time

We enjoyed a lot of fun family time together the last couple of days with Zachary and Elisha here. (However we sure missed Glenn, Ruth, and Titus being here.) It was a joy to see our grandchildren getting to know their Uncle Zachary and Aunt Elisha again.  Since it had been nine months since they were here last time, some of the little ones had changed a lot and little baby Gavin wasn't even born yet.  The next time Zachary and Elisha come up here there will be another little one to meet. :)  How we treasure these little snap shots in time that we get to spend together!

Tourist in Toronto

What a joy it was to have Zachary and Elisha here for a few days!  Since they live over 800 miles away we treasure these moments in life when we can enjoy hanging out together.  It was a special treat for us to spend the afternoon and evening together in Toronto  Even though we only live two hours from Toronto we really have not spent much time doing anything in the city.  Therefore it was fun to do a couple of things we have never done before.  We went to Ward Island which was such a cool place to visit.  Then we went to a Toronto FC game.  Even though the game ended in a tie it was a fun experience.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A Day the Changed Our Lives Forever!

Twenty Nine years ago on September 27, 1987 Vern, Caleb, Seth and I stepped on a plane in Chicago and we headed to Venezuela, South America.  In our high school years Vern and I both felt God leading us to serve overseas as missionaries.   Although we lived 2,000 miles apart,  God brought us together  at Bible school and when we were 20 we got married.  Six months later we entered the missionary training center.  

When we got on that plane 29 years ago we were 24 years old and Caleb was 2 1/2 and Seth was 14 months old.  We were filled with a mix of emotions as we said good-bye to our family and friends and headed off on that plane to the unknown.  (Back then there was no email and it costs $1.50 a minute to call back home.  Therefore, with limited support, phoning home did not happen that often.)  Once we stepped off that plane in Caracas our lives would forever be changed.   I don't think I can put into words everything we experienced during our years down there.  There were many, many hard challenging, lonely, and discouraging days.  However, we met God in a way that we would never have if we had not stepped on that plane.  It is amazing to me how God delights in using the weak things of this world to be his hands and feet.  God stretched us and we found ourselves doing things we felt ill prepared for and in ourselves incapable of doing.  But through God we made it through the valleys and experienced some amazing mountain top experiences as well.  God gave us a love for Venezuela and the people and we made Venezuela our home.  God blessed us with three more children: Zachary, Ruth, and Titus who were born down there.  So although there were many challenges we loved our time down there and we made some incredible memories as a family and missionary team.  There is nothing in this world that can compare to having a front row seat in seeing God work.  How amazing it is to see the gospel change lives and to see it go to places the gospel has never gone before.

When we left 29 years ago we thought we were going to live until we died on the mission field.  Little did we know that God had other plans for us.  As many of you know in 2002 while we were on furlough the work we were involved with closed down.  We would never be able to return to where we were living and working.  It was a crazy time in our lives as we lost our jobs, house, pets, and everything we had owned.  As hard as that was to walk through, we had such peace that only God can give.  We started a "new normal".  It was through that move that God brought us up here to Ontario to work at Emanate.  As you all know God has many twists and turns in this life.  Great has been God's faithfulness to us through the years.  As we start creeping up in age with more years behind us then ahead of us we just thank the Lord for allowing us the amazing privilege of being his ambassadors.  Our lives have been so richly blessed as we walk with Him in this journey God.

We also do not want to fail to thank the many people who have been on this journey with us.  In those early years all the snail mail letters were our life line to the outside world.  I thank the Lord for those who sent packages knowing that they might end up stolen.  On our furloughs we have had cars givens to us, apartments furnished and stocked with groceries.  So many have and continue to, faithfully pray and support us. There have been so many people who have encouraged and spurred us on to keep pressing on and to keep our eyes on the Lord.  We thank-you  for the countless ways you cheer us on.  So as we celebrate this "Ministry Anniversary Milestone" we hope you can celebrate with us.  YEA GOD!!!! 

Our Family Summer 1987

Excited for our Furlough! 
We didn't Know we would Never be Back

Our Last Flight Out

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Emanate Kick Off

At the end of August we welcomed in our Emanate students for the fall semester.  What a thrill to have 12 new students and six third semester students.  We are thankful to have them here and are greatly enjoying getting to know them.  It is a privilege to be here and to be a part of this ministry in preparing people for cross cultural church planting. 

Emanate Staff 

 New Students Start Arriving!  Yea!

In the Classroom

Fun Times Spent Together

Away for the Weekend

After we dropped off Titus we were able to spend a couple of days in Charlotte with Zachary and Elisha.  Since our paths do not cross too often having a whole weekend together was such a treat.  We celebrated Elisha's 26th birthday, enjoyed worship with them at their church, went to cheer them on in their beach volley ball competition, swam in their pool in the pouring rain and just enjoyed our time together.  Before we knew it the weekend was over and we were on the road heading back home.

The Awaking of the Blog

Well, life has gotten busy and I have sadly neglected keeping my blog updated.  I forget that there are people who aren't on facebook.  As most of you know, we were able to make it out to BC  and Alberta this summer to visit many of our supporters and churches.  We were so richly blessed by spending time with so many dear people who love and care for us and the ministry we are invovled.

When we arrived home we invested a lot of time into preparing for our new semester here.  We were also enjoying our last weeks before Titus headed back to school.  And yes, sadly the four weeks we had with him flew by and before we knew it, we were moving him back to Lynchburg.   We were very thankful for the job God provided for Titus to help him in making money towards his school bill.  Titus was very excited to be back at school and to start another semester.  We are so glad he is at a place that he enjoys so much.  And now we are back to empty nesters again.