Monday, February 18, 2008

Telling the Story

No photos tonight as it is late and I really should already be in bed. But I just wanted to stop by briefly and say hello to my friends and faithful blog readers. Thanks to Karen from Missouri for her note - hope you received my e-mail. :-) My time in Toronto seems to be pretty occupied and next weekend is my last one here in Canada. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet with some of my supporters and answer their questions about my ministry. Then this morning I visited the children's Sunday School in my church, sharing photos and prayer requests with these little ones whom I know will remember me in prayer. I have meetings this week with CBM, with the church Board of Mission, and several coffees and meals with friends.
I am hoping that if there are others whom I have not had a chance to visit, that you might drop by the Mission Expo next weekend: and see what is happening in the world of missions. I will have a missions display set up so come and visit me there! God bless you all!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Maritime Connections

Since my last posting I have covered a lot of territory. I preached in 2 churches on Vancouver Island and I also had an awesome visit with a college friend, Marianne. We hadn't seen each other in 30 years so we had a lot of catching up to do, some of which we did while walking on beaches and some while cozying up with Marianne's border collie, Spuds. It's interesting that many of the people I have stayed with are dog-owners. Now why is that, do you suppose? Thanks, Marianne for such a great time and for sharing your doggie with me.
After preaching twice on Vancouver Island I returned to the mainland and the following Sunday I preached at Hillside Baptist in North VAncouver.It was a real pleasure to be there, and to meet the pastors and the enthusiastic members of that church. I took advantage of the visit to that side of the city to make a trek up the mountain on a gorgeous sunny day, for a spectacular view. Vancouver truly is a beautiful area and I was constantly awed by the mountains.
At the end of January I packed up my belongings, grateful for the accomodations some dear Christian folk had generously provided. I said so long to my daughter and her family, to my son and to my brother and his family - and I headed all the way east.
What a great time I had in the Maritimes! A bit of a whirlwind but I so enjoyed reconnecting with dear friends at Acadia, at West End Baptist in Halifax, and at Kentville Baptist Church. It was wonderful to stay in the home of some of my oldest and dearest friends, Barry and Anna, and catch up on all the news that neither of us are good at communicating on a regular basis. And - I got to cuddle their dog Cinder too! One of the coolest events in Halifax was a luncheon hosted by a friend of my mother's and to which a bunch of Mom's friends from my growing-up years were invited. It was a real treat for me to see my favourite grade school teacher, Mrs. Stone. But I had to keep reminding myself that I am an adult and not 12 years old! It was a great time, though, and thank you, Joan, for planning and hosting this special luncheon. (see above)
In Fredericton I went walking in the snowy woods with my sister Beverly, who also pampered me by taking me for a pedicure. :-) That was before she asked me to come and talk to her puppet group about my ministry in Moldova.
I was excited to see and to hear about the good things God is doing in the Maritimes. If you want to hear the sermon I preached at the Acadia Divinity College chapel, you can find it online. I'll find the website and post it here later. Anyways, it was wonderful to be in the Maritimes.

I had a few days in Fredericton with my sister and a visit with my brother and his family, as well as with my aunt on the south shore of Nova Scotia, and my sister-in-law in New Minas, NS. While at my aunt's place in NS and having brunch with her wonderful neighbours, I asked my sister and Anna-Clare to poze for me, so I have to include that photo. See on the left. Thanks, ladies!

It was wonderful to have a social evening organized by dear friends in the Wolfville area and to reconnect with people I hadn't seen in ages. Thank you so much, Judith, Lorraine, and Kevin! Eventually I had to squeeze all my stuff back into my 2 suitcases and fly away to Toronto.
But now here I am in TO, where I was so warmly received and welcomed by my sending church. And the other bonus inToronto is my son Ben. I get to visit with him and hopefully share in a bit of his life. I will also have time to visit with my mother, who is not far away in Hamilton. I know this month is going to go quickly and already I am thinking more and more about being back in Moldova. But I am enjoying myself and so grateful to the Lord for filling my life with so many dear friends. A couple I know have let me stay in their home while they are away, so I am enjoying having my own space, but also getting some great exercise shovelling all the snow that - like God's mercy and grace - keeps falling and falling here in Toronto.