Friday, February 21, 2014

Faith about the Future

Sometimes we walk on a well-lit path, a place we can see clearly what's ahead of us. We live in a sense of routine and normalcy that feels safe and known. We feel comfortable with our job and ourselves. We know what needs done, and we spend our days doing it.

Other times we walk in the dark, unsure of where our feet will land, unable to see past this moment. We wonder what will come next and if we'll have what it takes to do it. We aren's sure what God has in mind, and life simply doesn't fit into tidy boxes.

These days we are in the latter. We have seen God do amazing things, and we know He will continue to work. We know He chooses to allow us a part in HIS epic plan, and we trust Him to give us that place. Yet the tangible parts of that are very unclear. We have finished what we were doing, and we aren't yet sure what is next.

So we wait. Sometimes patiently, sometimes impatiently. Sometimes with faith and sometimes with doubt. And while we wait, we do what is closest to us. There is still a lot of clean-up going on after our trip to the Philippines. Tax time is before us, and we've enjoyed sending out calendars to many who have helped us in this journey. School. Kevin is visiting a friend in Lethbridge this week. Garry is planning a trip to Spokane to help with an audit of Moody Aviation.

Pray with us, for eyes of faith, clarity, and patience. Thanks for journeying with us.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kaleb's work

One of the things Kaleb did while we were in the Philippines was man the camera. He did a great job of capturing some of life and work there on the logistics end of the relief stuff. Here's what he put together.... click on the photo or the link to watch the short documentary he put together.

Click here to  see more about   Our time in the Philippines

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Home in Manitoba

We arrived home in the very early morning hours on Thursday. We got a few extra security checks, and extra flight, and a detour for our bags out of the weather issues in the US. Things didn't go exactly as we'd planned, but they went according to God's plan. So much of life is like that. Unexpected to us, planned by God. What a comfort when we face big decisions and challenges!

It's really cold in Manitoba. I'll leave it at that.

Kevin arrives home from nationals later today, and we are looking forward to all being home for a while. Some of our friends in the Philippines say the family is "complete"... that about explains it!

It really is good to be back at this home. I'm so looking forward to church this morning, to worshipping together and reconnecting. I've missed it. I've also missed having our own place... the Philippines has great guest homes, but it is nothing like a nice country home in Manitoba.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, rebuilding continues. This is home that people are trying to rebuild from available materials. Decent for a weekend of camping, maybe, but to live in, to raise your children in? I'm so thankful we can help people like these rebuild! Missionaries are also working at repairing or replacing fishing boats as needed. The job there remains unbelievably large, but what a privilege to invest in the ways we can!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Flying Home...

We are on our first of 4 flights, a trip of over 30 hours that will end at home in Manitoba! We've already been through 3 security checks and we'll do at least one more, plus customs and immigration before we get home. We've been gone exactly 60 days... we've stayed in 3 guest homes on 3 different islands, flown on 8 domestic flights (Garry enjoyed 10), seen many friends and made some new ones, and learned a lot we never even wondered about in regards to disaster relief. It's been an incredible journey, and it's not over yet! As I ponder some of what's happened I cannot help but be awed and humbled by all God has done and that He has allowed us a small part in it. Yes, God, You are incredible!

Yesterday I met a guy who is a photo journalist who came to do some work in Tacloban and other affected areas. He said that even in the hardest-hit areas people are well-supplied with food. However, rebuilding houses and businesses is barely beginning. Another organization told us they plan to be in the Tacloban area for about 3 more years, Lord willing, focusing on rebuilding schools and libraries so children can receive an education. 

This is very similaar to areas where we've been involved, and we are blessed to be in the rebuilding stage. God has provided amazingly, and projects are under way to help repair or rebuild houses as needed, boat repairs or purchase of new boats is beginning, and farmers are tending their seaweed, hoping for a harvest much, much sooner than they believed would ever be possible. 

At the same time, we've heard amazing stories of how investing in this relief work is changing those who give. It's challenging thinking, moving us out of our norms, and sharpening focus on what really matters. Only God could put things together so everyone involved is blessed, encouraged, and brought closer to Him. And that is exactly what we all need!

As people who have moved out of our norm to be part of relief efforts, we personally have enjoyed the journey. We have loved the opportunity to help those in need and to coordinate efforts of those who are willing to invest. We've been blessed by the incredible people we've worked with... and been sad to not meet others involved in the effort. Our family has grown and changed in ways that are still becoming clear and some values we've held have been reinforced while other have been challenged. 

Yes, God. Only God. At the close of one stage of a journey, it's an easy response to have, at any stage in the journey it's the best response!