God is good, all the time. Reflecting on the past few months we realize that God knew exactly what we needed in order to be refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to go back to RVA. What a huge task it is and we could not do it by ourselves. Here are some thoughts as we finish our time here in Canada.
1. We have found ourselves back in Three Hills, AB again. This is where we met and all of this life together started. We were out for a bike ride and reminded of our time here as students almost twenty years ago. Now, after fifteen years of marriage and three children and living on the other side of the world, we are starting our journey again from here. God is good.
2. Cassidy and Titus got to spend a week at camp this summer. Cassidy did crafts, water adventure, and canoeing. Titus did pelletry, rocketry, and camp skills. They had a great time and made many new friends. Cassidy also got to spend the week with her best friend from Stettler. It was an important time for both for them. Cassidy and Titus both memorized many verses, sang new songs, and learned more about God. God is good.
3. We were blessed to have had a place to stay here in Canada. When we were planning on coming back to Canada we had no idea where we would stay. It was not until the last couple of weeks that a house sitting opportunity came up in Stettler for a family that we had just met before leaving for Kenya in 2004. They entrusted us with their house which served us well. As we cleared out for them to come back we were reflecting on how incredible it is that God would provide just the right housing situation for us. God is good.
4. The question of how we were to get around was also a major one we asked. We were not in the position to buy a vehicle when we got back. Just what would we do?? Well, in steps someone from the church who just happens to have a minivan (aka swagger wagon) sitting in his driveway. Oh, and by the way there is no charge and no need to get insurance. Really? These types of things do not happen everyday in our lives but somehow we are not surprised. So after driving many kilometers, filling up many liters of fuel, new tires, and oil changes we are so blessed to have used such a reliable vehicle. God is good.
5. Oh, the Places You’ll Go – is not just a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. We experience it as an almost daily occurence in our lives. Our year here has seen us in so many places. Let us recap where we have been: First Baptist Church Stettler, Missions Fest in Edmonton, Brentview Baptist Church, Castor Evangelical Missionary Church, Camrose First Baptist Church, Crossfield Baptist Church, Lethbridge Evangelical Free Church, Central Fellowship Baptist Church (Prince George), Battle Lake Community Baptist, Hawkwood Baptist Fellowship Church (Calgary), Hinton Alliance Church, Holy Nativity Anglican Church (Calgary), Brownfield Baptist Church, Ministik Community Church, Grandview Baptist Church (Vancouver), Harvest Fellowship Baptist Church (Kelowna), Stettler Alliance Church, and Squamish Baptist Church. We have had the privilege of getting to know people in each of these churches. Sometimes we were able to go back to a church twice which was even more special for us. We were blessed to have met so many believers who are passionate about reaching those who are not yet reached. What a great opportunity to be encouraged. God is good.
6. Cassidy, Titus, and Ella all got to try new things this year. It was neat to see how they stepped up to the challenges of not knowing what was going on around them and then making a difference in the lives of others. We are so proud of all of them. Highlights for Cassidy were entering and winning the regional science fair with her best friend, performing in ballet competitions, opportunities that she had through school (skiing and swimming), and seeing family again. She received a note from the Superintendent saying that he heard that she had stood out as a student who showed kindness and care to everyone. Titus really excelled in school this year. He loved his teacher and he was able to master some skills with confidence. Highlights for Titus were playing rugby, going to BC, and visiting the Winter Olympic sites. Ella has such an outgoing personality. She was able to make friends with everyone she met. She really grew both physically and emotionally this year as we had her in a playschool program. It was a great opportunity. Highlights for her were playschool, birthday parties, and spending time with her aunts and cousins. God is good.
7. Time with family. This is a precious commodity as we are gone for much of what happens in our families. We are so glad to have been in Canada for the birth of a new cousin and the wedding of a sibling. Those are special events that we may not be able to get to while living on the other side of the world. We have been able to see most everyone in our families which is a major reason for coming back to Canada. Carpentry needs were also met for several members which is a way we like to help family as well. God is good.
8. Who would have known that we would have gone to the Nutcracker performed by Alberta Ballet, three NHL hockey games, WHL hockey game, Red Deer College volleyball game, coached the Stettler Wildcat volleyball team, Edmonton Science World, Skytrain to Canada Day fireworks in Vancouver, Britannia Mining Museum, Toronto for the National P.E. conference, West Edmonton Mall Water Park, Anne of Green Gables play, Christmas tree lights festival, Grade five camp Circle Square Ranch, Camp Silversides, Grade two Heritage Museum trip. People were so giving to allow us to have all of these great experiences. God is good.
9. Bible study and ladies retreat. These were two highlights of Kylie’s time in Canada. The Bible study that was started when we were in Stettler in 2003 was still going and attended by many ladies of all different stages of their walk with Christ. It was a real encouragement for Kylie to get involved with that again. The Ladies Retreat at Whispering Pines Bible Camp was a very challenging event for her. There is a lot of responsibility for each of the sessions and she came through it with flying colours. God is good.
10. Last but not least – involvement in the community of Stettler. We did not know how it was going to be when we got back to Stettler but people there were very welcoming. We got involved in a lot of different activities that had us meeting many different people from all areas of the town. The connections we had allowed us to share what we do. Our children also played an instrumental role in sharing Christ’s love with their friends. Todd also was very surprised with how much substitute teaching work he had over the course of the year. It was a privilege to work in the school division again. God is good.