Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Every Person You Meet Has Something to Teach You

The title of this is a quote from the Prof at a Pastoral Counselling course that I am sitting in this week. It struck me as so true as I think back to this past weekend's Wesleyan Theology Course. You see I really appreciate the knowledge and insight that the two instructors brought to the course, but I think I may have learned as much from all the other people in the course. If you get a chance to take one of the FM courses it is very worthwhile for both the teaching and the interaction amongst the group. Thanks to everyone who was praying for me last week. Amazingly, I was able to get through the precourse reading before I got to the course--now I just need to find the time to get through the assignments. Well, I need to get back to the class. Please pray for Dave as he tries to complete this last course, while trying to collect the resources he will need for his thesis and deal with all of the things that need to be done before leaving. Please also pray for the boys as well as they get a little less of our time and attention these days in our business.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day Surgery & Other Points for Prayer

I could really use some extra prayer today because this week is taking life in Canada to a whole new level of crazy. I was going to list the additions to the regular routine but I am not sure how much of the regular things I will cover this week. Today Ben had a field trip that meant getting him to school for just after 7am (hopefully we will be back to get him for 5 without having to call in reinforcements). I need to leave in a half hour to go into Toronto for day surgery (I am hoping that having my boil removed will be the end to some of my troubles. I am just so grateful to be able to get it dealt with here before I leave!) Dave gets to go too for a check up (and to watch my procedure if he can stomach it). Friday morning I start my Wesleyan Theology course and sometime before than I have to finish my precourse assignment and help Dave make arrangements for his trip to Saskatoon. From there my course is to be prematurely ended by a trip to Peterborough (I really hope that we can get away before 9pm so that I can get to bed before 11). I am not sure this craziness would be all that bad if it ended there but next week is Dave's last class for Mac before he writes his thesis. I was originally supposed to be taking it with him, but it all depends on how my other course goes. Oh well, I am sure we will make it through, but I would appreciate your prayers just the same! In my readings on Wesley I was struck by how his teachings on money are so different for both our culture and that in Niger. He basically teaches: work all you can, make all you can, save all you can so that you can give all the you can. In Niger If someone close to you comes along with a need and you have money --it doesn't matter whether it is yours or you have a plan for it, you are supposed to help. So instead of Wesley's attitude they try to spend what they have as soon as they have it so they aren't obligated to give. What would happen if we all took Wesley's advice a little more seriously? Something to think about this week.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day and other extras

I've gotten out of touch with writing this lately and have let Dave have a few turns which has been a great relief in a busy time (even if he didn't always do them in the timing that I thought they should be done).The week before last we had the opportunity to participate in the Church Planting Summit in Toronto. It was a great opportunity for learning that I am sure Dave mentioned in his blog. I thought that my interviews went well with the denomination and had some encouraging feed back.  Thanks to everyone who prayed for me, I know that it made a difference.

I don't know whether it was the business of the week before or the stress of sermon writing (not my forte), or maybe it was just allergy season, but last week I came down with a bad sinus infection that put me out of commission for a few days. Somehow by the grace of God I was able to pull together a Mother's Day sermon for Caistor Centre that fulfilled my annual (or once every five years?) speaking requirement for them. It is amazing how God puts pieces in place when we need them most. I received an article in my e-mail about Niger being the worst country to be a mother this year (according to an annual report by Save the Children) that linked the two topics that I was speaking on: Mother's Day and our plans to return to Niger. Please pray for the food crisis that is going on there and that we would be instruments of God's peace as we return.

One of the recommendations that came out of my interviews was that I take the next Wesleyan Theology course (at the end of May). I had previously looked into taking the course but decided that our speaking engagements and other obligations where too much of a conflict, so I had written it off. (Ironically, I had dinner with the teacher of the course and had told him that just the weekend before). So it was a bit of a surprise and a scramble this week as I tried to find text books and delve into the reading to hopefully get the precourse work done before the course starts. I guess I will get to practice what I have been learning about resting well (Sabbath) in order to work hard--maybe I'll even learn how to work smart in the process.

Praying that you are able to thoroughly enjoy your long weekend for those of us who are celebrating Victoria Day this weekend. Long live the Queen.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Church Planter's Summit

This week, Jenn and I went to the church planter’s summit organized by Church Planting Canada. We enjoyed the opportunity to wrestle with some of our questions and hear other people’s stories. Even though the summit was aimed at church planting in the Canadian context, we found it beneficial for thinking about our own context and helped us think about the next steps in our ministry in Niger. We were able to connect with other church planters, two of whom had overseas experience with another mission. I also gained some insight that I think will be useful for my thesis.

Saturday Jennifer is going for a check-in MEGaP (Ministerial Education, Guidance and Placement) the committee for the Free Methodist church. It will include three interviews and some conversations about the training she’s been doing for ministry. Please pray for good counsel as she meets with these people.

Time is winding down as we near the end of our speaking schedule. We’ll be visiting two churches this weekend just north of Toronto.