Friday, January 26, 2007

Tales from the Revolving Suitcase

Have you ever had one of those jobs that just never end? I have a suitcase that never seems to get completely emptied and maybe that is not a bad thing when you are going to a new place every weekend, but it has caused some problems in the last little while. You see I assume that there are certain things in that suitcase so that I don't have to pack them everytime that we go somewhere, but these last few weeks have been so crazy that I had to pack a number of different suitcases (and do some quick changes of content into our standard suitcase) in order to cover the bases. We were in Campbellford on Sat./Sun then flew to NewHaven, CT for the week (minus two litttle boys), only to turn around a go to Dresden and Wallaceburg for the next Sunday. You see my problem. But God is gracious and the things that were left behind or forgotten were only somewhat minor--Dave really didn't need his jacket in order to preach on Sunday and who really needs shampoo! Oh well hopefully life will slow down a little or my brain will start to pick up the pace in order to keep on track of the details.

We really enjoyed our time in Campbellford. The pictures this week are from there (we forgot to take the camera to New Haven and then is died in Oil Springs on the way to Dresden). They did a wonderful job of welcoming us and the boys made a new friend in George, the retriever.

New Haven was a good experience too. We studied under Dr. Darryl Whiteman an anthropologist that "used to be Free Methodist"--his description not mine. I found that a lot of the things that I had learned from various different sources came together this week and he was able to tie up a few loose ends for me. I think that Dave came away with more questions than answers though, because Dr. Whiteman was working from a cultural perspective and Dave was looking for more theological responses.

The boys seemed to have a good time with Paul Griffin. We are blessed to have him for a friend and for his willingness and availability to serve. None of them looked the worse for wear when we got home and the boys said that they did eat while we were gone. So, Paul's cooking couldn't have been that bad.

This last weekend in Dresden and Wallaceburg were great. The boys got to see where Grandma went to high school and we met old friends (some even remembered when I was 2 and lived on the farm with my Grandparents) and made some new ones. It is so great to be apart of the family of God.
Please pray for us this weekend as we have been given some new opportunities (and challenges) as we go to Whitby. Also pray for our studies, Dave is doing an additional reading course this semester that has some pretty tight deadlines and I am trying to prepare for my Ministerial Candidate Interview, write an essay for my International studies course and do some of the reading and writing assignments for the anthropology course we just took, in addition to all our regular responsibilities. I also have to plan a birthday party for Ben--if you have any ideas for that let me know. Thanks for all the encouragement and support! We look forward to seeing you on our travels!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What a Ride

I'm posting from New Haven, Conneticut tonight, where jennifer and I are talking a weeklong course at the Overseas Missionary Study Centre. Our journey was a an arduous one. Sunday night my brother called and said, "There's an ice storm coming, are you sure you're flying out tomorrow morning?" As it turned out we sat on the runway for an hour and half, not because of ice in Buffalo but because of weather trouble in Philadelphia, where we missed our connecting flight. We boarded a later flight and rolled a short ways down the tarmac and then stopped. A few moments later the capitain came on the P.A. announcing a mechanical failure, aborting the flight... Back at the terminal they offered to book us on the next flight, only to find that it was already full. Then our flight was cancelled altogether, then finally they found another a plane to swap and we finally got out of Philly. As soon as the cabin opened in New Haven, the ground attendant said, "We didn't think you'd get in here with all this fog." The later flight was in fact cancelled, whether for fog or some other reason I don't know. The Study Centre was overbooked and so they've put us up in a hotel nearby and we're commuting with some Catholic Brothers who are also participating in the course.

Jennifer will be doing some reading and writing from the course to get credit towards our ordination. Macmaster however has set up a reading course for me based on the seminar syllabus. I have to find all thirteen of the books on the recommended reading list and read them for mid-February. I'm a little anxious not only about reading them but finding them--only four were in the library at Macmaster and Amazon will take a few months to get the rest shipped out.

Please pray that the rest of our week is less eventful than the start, and that we are to find and read all the books to get through our assignments.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Day To Myself

I am amazed to think that I got a whole day to myself today. I can't remember the last time that happened. The boys have gone ahead of me to Aunt Sandy's and Uncle Jeff's with Grandpa to have a visit with Lawren and Will. Dave is taking an ethics class in Brantford for his master's program and I am home alone working on my course work and just enjoying time to myself. Dave & I will be heading off to join the rest of the troops to help celebrate Will's birthday when he gets back from Brantford.

With regards to my course work I have been reading a book on John Wesley and I find it interesting that when he established societies he would organize his people into bands of 4-8 people of the same sex and similar maturity in Christ if possible, because he believed that every Christian needed a small intimate place to share the concerns of his life and common experiences as well as to find support. I didn't realize that this was a part of the early Methodist experience, but I know that I have benefited from these types of groups over the years. If you aren't apart of one at the moment, I would encourage you to find an group that will support you and hold you accountable for your faith. If you don't know of one, talk to your pastor and see if he might give you some advise about starting one.

Points of praise and prayer:

The Christmas Eve service here in St.Catharines went very well and has had some positive outcomes. Pray that God would continue His work in the lives of those who were touched.

Pray for our French language learning--the school that we were all attending on Saturday mornings has said that they don't have an appropriate program for Ben & Cole on Saturdays. Pray that that will change or that something else will come along.

Pray that the giving stream pledges from our supporting churches will come in and meet our needs for 60% soon so that we can start to make arrangements to return to Niger.

Pray for the church plant that we left behind in Niger. We have been told that a prominent healing evangelist is planning on holding meetings there in the next little while.

Please pray for the boys and Paul Griffin, who will be babysitting them, while we are at a seminar in New Haven. And that Dave & I will be able to make up the work that we miss from our other courses that week.