Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Our society would like to make us believe that we need the latest, the newest and the best in order to be happy. It is so sad to see how we let consumerism consume us only to find out that it is never enough.

My thoughts have been running in the direction of abundance over the last few weeks. We sometimes forget that we have so much. I was at the breakfast table and looked down to realize that there were five different types of fruit on the table (we are trying to encourage healthy eating) and most of them were fruits that we can’t get in Niger. I turned to Dave and said now this is abundance!

Then we took our car into the garage to be fixed just before we left for a weekend of driving and presentations. We were surprised to have a gift given to us at the one church and even more amazed that there was some left over after we paid for our car repairs. Now that is abundance!

God is so good to us in providing for our needs and blessing us, but how often do we take those blessings for granted.

I was reading in a devotional the other day “Though I [Jesus] have brought many pleasures into your life, not one of them is essential. Receive my blessings with open hands. Enjoy my good gifts but do not cling to them. Turn your attention to the Giver of all good things, and rest in the knowledge that you are complete in me” (Jesus Calling). The media would like us to be unsatisfied with who we are, what we have and try to get us to focus on more stuff. But really it is all about the Giver.

May you rejoice in the blessings & the Giver today!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I have had two themes running through my mind over the last two weeks- renovations and abundance. (I guess they must really have been running because my word processor can’t keep up with my typing at the moment). I think that I will only take the time to deal with the first this week because I am still processing the latter.

A little over a week ago I was helping my sister and brother-in-law preparing their house for hardwood flooring. As I was ripping out staples from the floor boards, I was reminded how much more work renovating is to building new. When you build new, everything is fresh and new and you get to see the progress almost immediately. When you renovate, you have to rip everything out and get rid of the old (or take the time to repair it) before you can begin to see progress. It can be a painful process, but at the same time incredibly rewarding.

My epiphany amidst the drywall dust and staples was that this is what God does for us as believers. He reaches out and says you are worth all the hard work and sweat that it takes to remove all the crud in your life, even when it is one small staple at a time. He takes us where we are when we give our lives to Him and He slowly goes about making a new creation out of us. It is incredible to think that the creator of the universe would think that I am worth it. We have much to praise Him for! I think that He must have the same sense of accomplishment that comes to a renovator knowing the before and after. Maybe the “well done thou good and faithful servant…” is a commendation that goes both for the servant and the creator that enables us to finish well.

Dave is away at school today trying to get caught up on the classes he missed last week while we were away and trying to complete his assignments for next week. The boys had a great time with their uncle and cousins while we were in Winnipeg, thanks to all who were praying for them. Dave and I learned a lot at the church planting congress and hope that some of the teaching will take root in our lives and ministry. It was also nice to connect with some western FMers who were there as well. We had a great trip to St. Joseph’s Island and were truly blessed to have the opportunity to connect with the people there. Please pray for our time in Prince Edward County this weekend, that we would be a blessing to the people there

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Week of Presentations

This past week was marked with meetings and presentations. Here are a few pictures from the presentation at the boys school.
Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures at the presentation for the Board of Administration.

We were truly blessed to be at Caistor Centre Free Methodist Church this past weekend to help them celebrate their anniversary. It was great to be able to visit with old friends and to meet some of the new families that have been added to their midst since we left. Thanks for the warm welcome it really felt like a home coming.

Dave is hard at work presenting an assignment for one of his classes even as I write this, hopefully he will be able to get the accompanying paper written before we start out on our next series of travels. Please pray for us as we are in Napanee, Winnipeg and St. Joe's Island all in one week's time. The boys will be staying with their uncle while we are in Winnipeg and I am sure that they would appreciate your prayers. I don't know if I'll be able to post next week while we are on the road or not hopefully no one will be too disappointed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


What an amazing institution that God has designed? They tend to know us better than we want to be known on occasion. They are the source of our greatest joys and some of our deepest disappointments. They may look very different in different cultures and at different stages of our lives, but these are the people that we have the biggest commitment to and that have the biggest commitment to us. It seems like each family has their own unwritten rules about how things are done, some of these are cultural related and some are just specific to an individual family. While we were in Niger we had a couple of opportunities to open our home to minister to ladies that needed a place to stay and they became part of our family. As a result we had the opportunity to learn some of their unwritten rules and discover some of our own.

It was interesting to discover something about family dynamics in Niger. My friend told me that the younger sister is expected to help with chores for an older sister and in return is free to ask for financial help or to borrow any clothing or other items that they might have need or want of. It made a lot of sense in the context and doesn’t sound too different from life here. –At least I know that I have been blessed by hand-me-downs from my sister over the years.

When you leave your extended family behind to serve in another country it can be really challenging. Who do you turn to for help with your kids, or when your car breaks down, or when you have a medical emergency? This is the loss that happens when someone converts to Christianity in Niger, most times they become outcasts from their family and friends. This is where the church has to fill in the gap. It is a complicated process filled with difficult decisions. How do you care for others without having them become financially dependent on you (especially when that is what they are used to)? How can you make what you have spread far enough to care for the need? When is it ok to say no, I don’t have any more to give?I have really been enjoying being home these last few months and reconnecting with family. It has been great to be able to not only visit but to be able to help and hopefully make a difference by being there. Isn’t that what family is all about?