Thursday, February 28, 2013

Frost & Faith

Just before Garry left on Sunday we went for a quick drive. Despite all the traveling we do and have done, we love to drive because it gives us time to talk and we enjoy the beauty around us. Since we've arrived in Canada the beauty is different, and Sunday morning it was amazing-- a world covered in frost, glittering in the morning sun. 

I love the hoarfrost, not only cause it's beautiful but because it happens so rarely (at least in my limited winter experience). It  can only grow into something beautiful at the perfect temperature. Faith, too, needs a combination of heat and cold to grow and become beautiful. The heat of God's presence produces a distinct kind of beauty when it follows the chill of struggle and pain.

Garry is enjoying his time-- meeting lots of people, having interesting conversations, and learning lots. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together into a story that makes sense. For now, there are lots of things happening and many pieces being put on the table.

Kevin has been doing more driving lately and getting more comfortable running around by himself. Kaleb has had fun opportunities to skate a bit, try some hockey, and check out curling. It seems the new adventures never end!

For my part I've been teaching school, cooking, catching up on some office stuff, and enjoying some bits of time with friends. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Brisbane and on...

Garry texted me that he was in Brisbane and boarding for Port Moresby a few hours ago. It's a long trip to Papua New Guinea! Since we dropped him off at the airport we've played badminton, had company, slept a short night, Kevin coached badminton, we've done school, and we're getting ready for an evening out. Meanwhile he's been flying, walking around airports, and flying some more!

Today I was thinking about the fact that God's Word does not return empty-- it grows, multiplies, and bears fruit. His Word, His truth, are what we need to be planting in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. And we have opportunity to plant those seeds as we walk through life with one another.

We are excited about the opportunities that Garry will have in PNG. We are excited to hear what God is doing in that country. And I'm excited to see what God has in store here at home while Garry's gone. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

To the Tropics...

Garry is headed back to the tropics again tomorrow.... Papua New Guinea this time! We are excited about what God has in mind for his time there. He is going to learn what he can about NTM's flight program there and see how we can help and encourage the aviation team there. We do know that the flight program there is a busy one, and is currently under-staffed. We know the challenges and opportunities this program faces are as unique as the country, and we're excited that God is allowing us this opportunity to get involved, at least a little.

While Garry's gone the boys and I will continue normal life here in Manitoba. Pray for us as we are separated, that God would grant each of us grace & wisdom to be involved in exactly what He has for us. Pray that we would minister from His fullness in our own lives as we continue to seek Him.

Yesterday we spent several hours in the city doing errands and playing badminton. Sometimes the routines of life seem like a waste of time, but yesterday we were encouraged again that it is within this context that we have opportunities to minister. Whether we live in a foreign country or our passport country, it's the same. As we ask God for opportunities to bless and encourage, He gives them. As we bring His truth to bear on our own lives and seek to do the same in our interactions with others, He gives us opportunities to plant seeds of truth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weathering Winter

It's freezing cold out there again this morning-- like -40 with windchill! I definitely prefer to be inside, staying toasty warm. But alas, you can't hide in your house for the duration of winter! So, I'm learning to be prepared-- to wear warmer socks, to don my mittens, to bother with a scarf. And it pays off-- instead of the wind whipping through me, I feel somewhat warm inside my layers. 

For some reason, that reminded me of life this morning. Reality is often cold, but it's much easier to bear when we're well prepared. Prayer, meditation, silence, Bible reading, and listening to God keep us focused on Him and less aware of the cold of life. When are hearts are focused on Him only, it's not so hard to bear the storms of life, though they still happen and still hurt. In fact, I think that is one of our primary challenges here on earth-- to stay steadfastly focused on the Father and His good plans.

We received several encouraging e-mails this week, news that reminded us of some of what God is doing. Tribal churches working their way to a Biblically-based culture. Churches standing behind friends (as ours does!) in amazing ways, allowing them to focus more on the task at hand. The Gospel being preached for the first time in remote areas. Pilots blessing missionaries by their service and their hearts. What a privilege to be servants of the Most High God!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Driving on...

Wow, God really did some cool things while Garry was in Arizona. People are what really matter, and our jobs are a context in which to reach them, a context in which to bring the truth of God to bear on our life and the lives of those around us. Of course, the stories aren't really mine to tell, so I won't share them. Suffice it to say, God is on the move and we get to be a part of it! And that, my friends, is the biggest blessing of being God's children, of being alive!

I can only imagine that you, too, are a part of what God is doing as you walk with Him, as you bring His truth and light and love to bear on the circles of your influence and interaction. Pretty amazing the privileges the God of the Universe gives us!

This week we are "cleaning up" things from Garry being gone-- decisions that we put off, catching up as a family, etc . We are also preparing for Garry's next trip-- he leaves next weekend for Papua New Guinea. His aim is to bless the flight program there by gaining a better understanding of their realities and finding out how we can best help them be successful in their job there. Yes, we are driving on in what God is leading us to do and be.

And on a sidenote-- Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Answered prayer...

Thanks to those of you who have been praying for Garry's time in Arizona-- he has had a very profitable week there! Meetings went well and he had good opportunities to interact with various people. I talked to him last night and he is headed home very encouraged about what God did during his time in Arizona. He feels God gave them clarity and unity during the meetings, a gift and a blessing as we work together!

I feel like the boys and I have spent the week on the road, running back and forth to Winnipeg for various things, primarily badminton. There, too, God has given opportunities to interact, to bless, and to be blessed. In between driving we've stayed busy with school and the normal things of life. This afternoon we're headed back to the city to pick up Garry and for Kevin to do some coaching. Somewhere in there I think we'll have to have a coffee....

Last weekend Kevin and Kaleb  played a badminton tournament in Steinbach. Part of the goal of the tournament was to connect with more local people who are involved in the badminton community. God allowed us to do that and Kevin has gotten a couple jobs and some coaching opportunities through people he met. We've also been able to get to know a family from our church who plays, and unexpected connection through last weekend's tournament.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Warm for a week

Garry's getting warm this week-- at least he should be in southern Arizona! On the other hand, maybe he'll be too busy to enjoy the warmth very much. This morning the Aviation Standards Committee is beginning a week of meetings. Their goal is to hash out some of the realities facing us as an aviation organization and how those realities relate to our daily operations and setting standards. They hope to come to some helpful conclusions regarding how to best help us as an organisation be both safe and effective. As a group they bring a lot of experience and expertise in mission aviation: it's really neat to be able to work with a group of highly qualified people!

The weekend was a bit chaotic with MissionFest, Garry leaving, multiple trips to the city, and a badminton tournament in Steinbach. People. Opportunities. Challenges. Good things, growing things!

I had an interesting conversation lately regarding culture and our desire to "fit in". As we discussed culture, I realized my friend thought I was competing with the proverbial Joneses to be a part of life in this community. My thoughts had more to do with not alienating the people around me, with interacting in such a way that we can be effective in this community. Alas, even when we think we're communicating we often find that what we think we're saying has nothing to do with what we're actually communicating. Which is why relationships are a process, I suppose!