Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Very Special Family

Let me introduce you to a very special family that we get to hang out with most Sundays on Boys Road. They are Antoinette, John, Dante, Charlize, Bronson and Piper-rane and a new little brother or sister in December. Lillian and Glenn were at the river swimming when we took this picture, but I found some other ones I had of them. This brave family has made a decision that the enemy of our souls is not pleased with. They have made the choice to hang out with people who believe in and follow and speak about Jesus. So they need us to pray for them. I asked them if I could blog about their family and put their pictures up because that way they could be sure that people from Alberta, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and perhaps even the United States and Brazil would be praying for them. They need peace in their household, they need a complicated situation with one of their children resolved and mostly they need to know first hand how much the Creator loves them and how valuable they are in His kingdom and His plans for Boys Road and the Cowichan valley. The Kidzone van sets up literally right on their doorstep every week, so they are on the front lines and they need the support of other believers all over the world in this battle.

So, I am asking all of you who read this to please join us in praying for this family. I would love it if any of you who are praying for them and get any encouraging words or thoughts to share will let me know. I will be sure to pass your messages along.

Acts 4:24 - When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God, O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them...

Saturday, August 27, 2011


We got into a conversation with a neighbor in the park the other day and it turned to 'Christianity'.

"Do you go to a church in town?"

"Yes, we go to NewLife."

"Oh, so you are Baptists, don't they believe..."

"Well, I can't say for sure because we aren't really Baptists."

"Oh, well what are you then?"

I thought about it. "I guess you could call us 'Vineyapentaptists'."

Stunned look.

Unfortunately, I didn't really get to explain myself because at that point the person's child needed desperately to go home, so off went our neighbor, thoroughly confused, I am sure.

But the conversation had started me thinking. In the whole grand scheme of life, how would I explain our walk with the Lord? Who are we? It dawned on me then, how blessed we've been and what a rich walk we have been given, but at the same time, because our walk has involved relocating a couple of times, it makes us kind of poor in people who know our whole story.

A while ago, I don't think I would have thought that mattered, but in the 'aptist' part of our journey, there has been a lot of emphasis put on giving our testimonies for God's glory as well as the accumulation of a few 3:00 in the morning friends.
So I decided it might not hurt to give a Reader's Digest version of who our family is and where God has been gracious enough to bring us so far. Many of you will recognize your parts in this story and that will be fun!

And here it goes. A bit of the story of how we became Vineyapentaptists.

Koos was born in small Northern Alberta farming community of about 500 people, called Hines Creek. His Dad and step-Mom are still there. His Mom is in New Zealand. Koos has two brothers, two step-brothers and a sister from his Mom's second marriage.

I was born in Cranbrook, BC. Then we moved to Stettler, AB, then Yellowknife, NT, then Hines Creek, AB. My Mom is in Fairview, AB, also in Northern Alberta. I have one brother.

Koos' Dad's farm is about half a mile down a dusty gravel road from the farm my Dad grew up on. Koos' Mom and my Grandmother were very good friends. Whenever my family would show up to visit Grandma, there would usually be the pesky neighbor boys hanging around, so technically Koos and I have known each other since he was old enough to dirt bike over to my Grandma's by himself.

We officially started 'dating' though in my grade 12 year. Koos was my grad escort. Then we moved to Edmonton. He worked to support us and I attended the U of A and worked part time.

We moved to Bluesky, AB (in the Hines Creek / Fairview area) five years later and lived on a small acreage. I was working in a farrowing barn and my boss 'invited' us to a 'Bible study' that he and his wife attended. And this is where the craziness began.

My Mom's parents attended an Anglican church, but I only remember my family going if we happened to be visiting my grandparents for Christmas or Easter. Koos' Mom has a Catholic background, but Koos had only really been influenced for a year when he had lived with her in High River in southern Alberta during grade 11.

So when we got this 'invitation' from my boss, neither of us were too excited. But God works the way He will and I was really concerned that if we didn't attend, I would get fired. I just wasn't sure how those crazy 'God people' worked and we now had a mortgage to pay, so I definitely couldn't get fired. We decided we'd just go hang out and smile and nod at the crazy God people so I could keep my job. My boss had mentioned that they had snacks after the Bible study, and at that point in our lives, free food was a bonus.

Thus began the 'Vineya' portion of our walk. The fellowship turned out to be a Vineyard church plant, with the planting church in Calgary. Koos gave his heart to the Lord at a conference the Calgary church had put on for us in Fairview. I held fast for another six months or so, but soon I too succumbed to the wily ways of those crazy God people. All that prayer and love and stuff. Man, it was brutal. Our time with the Peace Vineyard Christian Fellowship gave us a passion for worship. Obviously. That's what they do those Vineyardites, they rock worship. We also learned pretty much everything we needed to know about spiritual warfare hanging out with them. They don't put up with much nonsense from the enemy.

Brooke was born while we were in Fairview.

Then came the call to Hay River,NT disguised in the form of a 'job opportunity', which I fought and resisted with all my might. I was very comfy with all my friends, and our fellowship was awesome, so why on earth would I move? Because God said so, that's why. So off we went to Hay River to begin the 'Pente' portion of our upbringing.

Delaena was six weeks old when we moved to Hay River.

Pentecostals believe this, "It is better to be road kill trying to do something for Jesus than to sit and rot in some pew." Well, at least our Pentecostals believe that. We were blessed beyond blessed in Hay River to receive an eight year Bible school education for free. Our fellowship there at its max was around 12 adults, but our Pastor is one of the most gifted Bible teachers on the face of the planet (in my humble opinion). So at the Oasis Homechurch, we got to sit comfortably in couches, worship to great live tunes (because our Pastor's wife just happens to be an outstandingly efficient worship leader too) and most importantly, dive deeply into His Word.
Our Pentecostals also made seeking and using spiritual gifts a reality. There is nothing odd or strange about words of wisdom or knowledge, discerning of spirits or speaking in the tongues of angels or men. You ask for the gifts and you use them for the betterment of the body. Period.

Calahn and Kael were born while we were living in Hay River. We picked up our fantabulous tag-along, Caitlind, while we were up there.

And now here we are at the 'aptist' stage of the voyage. The first thing that comes to mind as we've observed how NewLife works so far, is that they believe that when it comes to things of God you either 'go big or go home'. Now granted, we have only participated in small fellowships, so that may skew our view, but it seems that nothing gets done here on a small or half scale. One is either all in or not in at all. And that includes, no sorry, is foremost, when it comes to dedication to Jesus. Pretty intense and we kind of like it. No sorry, we really like it.

Now, please don't take it that any of these fellowships only had one thing to offer us. All of them are complete in themselves. It is just fascinating for us that at each stage in our travels, God had a specific thing He wanted us to learn and He had just the right people in place along the way to teach us.

So there it is. How we became Vineyapentaptists. We have to admit, when it is all summed up...

Worship like there's nothing else that matters. Don't put up with any stuff from the devil. Stay grounded deep in the Word and don't be afraid to be road kill for Jesus.
Ask for His spiritual gifts and use them unapologetically to better those around you. Give glory to God by telling people what He's done in your life, have 3:00 am friends. Be all in or not in at all, go big or go home when it comes to the things of the Holy Spirit. is a pretty impressive package. And it was just given to us, freely, by God, through all of His people. So thank you to all of you out there who were part of it and thank you Creator for the winding, yet wonderful path. With both trepidation and anticipation we wait to see what's next!

PS I actually wrote this a couple of days ago, but I usually leave these things for a bit and then revisit them. This morning - during the parts of the sermon when Pastor Mark didn't have his face in the kleenex box - he made an exceptional case for the practice of becoming a member of the church body and I thought it goes along nicely with the spirit of this particular blog. So I encourage you to have a listen at this NewLife site!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Camp Qwanoes Saga Concludes

This pic is from Qwanoes Family Retreat in May. Kael the eagle!

Psalm 23
O my son, give me your heart.
May your eyes take delight in following my ways.

Camp Qwanoes!

What a story this is! Back in March or April, some reps from Camp Qwanoes showed up at DCS and did a presentation about their camp. As soon as the video started, Koos and I knew we were in trouble because there were kids jumping off tall structures to scream through the forest on zip lines and being launched into the ocean off massive inflatable blobs. And sure enough about two minutes into the thing, Delaena had turned around in her place with her class and was madly waving her arms and gesturing at the screen to make sure Koos and I were paying attention. Then we found out her best buddy from school and her family were going, so we were sunk! Off to Camp Qwanoes we go for Family Retreat weekend in May.

Now, we back up a bit. Just prior to the beginning of the Camp Qwanoes saga, Koos and I had had a revelation. We are in over our heads with this whole 'giving our lives to the Lord' thing. We told Him we would do whatever He asked of us and He took us at our word. Most of you know that story. We figured it would be a fun adventure, and so far it has been, but we didn't realize at first how complicated adventures could be. Neither of us come from long lines of spiritually enlightened saints or ministers or missionaries or anything like that, so basically, we have NO idea what we are getting into with all this Godly adventure stuff. So we just decided to be honest and tell God that (because He didn't already know). So our prayer went something like this, "Dear God. We have no idea what we are doing. We are 'small town kids' in this booming metropolis of Duncan and there is all this amazing spiritual stuff going on here and we don't know how much of it to get involved in. We would love to do it all, but that would probably burn both of us out and drive our children crazy, so we are leaving it up to You. We won't do any of it unless You bring it to us. If we are approached by anyone from any of these amazing places of ministry, we will look into it, otherwise we are standing still. Amen."

So, back to Family Retreat at Camp Qwanoes. The staff at the camp prepared an amazing dessert evening just for the adults, and the children were kept busy by all the other staff who have more energy in one of their thumbs than I've ever had in my entire life. The youth and young adults out there are phenomenal. I was busy doing what I do best, enjoying the desserts and Koos was off doing what he does best; I call it 'schmoozing', but he calls it 'being relational'. Anyway, he was 'being relational' with Scott and Julie Bayley, the camp directors. I am not sure what all went down in the conversation, but by the end of camp, Scott had approached Koos and mentioned that the camp was always looking for staff. Oh oh. That just fit the 'have them approach us' criteria. So, we had to keep our end of the bargain and we began to pursue the situation. And pursue the situation, and pursue the situation and pursue the situation.

It was so weird, and that is why we dubbed it the 'Qwanoes Saga'. First off we couldn't quite get sorted what 'position' Koos would fill at the camp. We would get settled on one then it would change. Then when we finally got that decided, we needed to get references sent in and the people we asked to do them couldn't get them sent via the internet. Only one of them got there and we couldn't go ahead without three. Then the staff administrator tried to get in touch with one of our Pastors figuring that would work instead of the other two references and they played telephone tag for a week. Then we finally got a week settled and realized, oh crumb, that is the week of Brooke's baptism. Now that is the short version, but seriously, this went on from the end of May until mid August. Koos and I at several points went, okay, we think we've pursued this enough and just 'gave it up' but then God would say, "Nope, keep at it," and would do something to revive the whole situation again.

Now, a little more back story. (I apologize to those of you who are like me and can't handle all those 'time travel' and 'parallel universe' movies, for bouncing back and forth here, but that is part of the oddness of this story!) There is still this whole Brazil possibility in our future. I am getting old and rickety and told Koos that we should start praying that if God really wants us to go to Brazil that He would somehow put us in contact with a young, energetic Brazilian couple who would maybe be interested in pursuing this crazy adventure with us.

So through the wormhole we go and back to Camp Qwanoes: Koos' janitorial week (yes, the final position was janitorial, which they happened to be really short on that week, so it ended up being a big blessing to them). For three years or so, Qwanoes has been involved with a 'student work exchange' program with an organization from, you guessed it, Brazil. We were aware of this way back at the beginning of the saga, but we were not aware of the fact that the directors of this program were going to be coming from Brazil and checking out Qwanoes out for the first time, the same week Koos finally wound up volunteering for. Koos met them, came home and told me I HAD to meet them. Now, by this time, I had had my share of schmoozing. Remember, Koos can schmooze until the cows come home, but it is a lot of work for me. We had gone out to camp a few nights in a row and met incredible people and experienced the fabulous sense of community Qwanoes strives for, but I was tired and the kids were cranky, so I wasn't really feeling up to any more episodes of 'being relational'. But, he persuaded me, or rather he told the kids we were going and let them harass me until I went just to shut everyone up. That's how it usually works around here.

So we get out to the camp and I see Koos head off to chat with a couple I hadn't seen before and I'm thinking, "Hurry up and introduce me to the couple from Brazil so I can go sit back in the truck and read my book." And then he brings this incredibly young and energetic couple over to introduce to me and lo and behold if they are the program directors from CESE. I wanted to smack Koos for not telling me before that they completely fit the bill for the couple we had been praying for, but I could tell he was quite amused with himself for having withheld those particular details. Considering the project they are in charge of, I had imagined a much older couple with years of experience behind them, etc., etc. Anyway, our family hit it off with them right away! And now my prayer has specifically changed to, "God it would be really cool if we could somehow connect what we would be doing in Brazil with what Marcio and Caroline are doing in Brazil. Or better yet if they got the idea into their heads to go on a crazy God adventure in the Northern part of their country." (They are from Curitiba, a city in Southern Brazil). So we are going to stay in contact with them and see if God does anything exciting with this new relationship.

So that was incredibly cool thing number one that happened at Qwanoes. Incredibly cool thing number two that happened was that out of five hundred people one of the campers could have chosen to sit down and chat with, it ended up being me as I was hanging out watching the kids running around in the forest. The camper just plunked down at the picnic table and start chatting, so I started asking questions about them and it turned out that one of their parents had worked at the same diamond mine at the same time as Koos had been up there. Go figure. Anyway, this camper was struggling with having a parent away so much of the time and we knew exactly how they were feeling because we've been through the scenario, so we were blessed with the opportunity to pray for the camper and encourage them and pass the info onto the staff at Qwanoes for follow up. Who says God isn't in the little details?

This is from Family Retreat at Qwanoes in May as well. Waiting between challenges.

And now, the icing on the cake, the reason for the whole grand plan and all the pursuing!

The last night the kids and I went out, those incredible, high energy and very talented Qwanoes staff did a skit. It was quite similar to this: awesome skit. Kael sat through it and was riveted. When it ended though and the concert started, he wanted to go back to the truck. It was about 9:00 pm and he was beat, so I said sure, he and I could leave. I figured he'd just get comfy and fall asleep. But as soon as we set foot out the door of Q-Town, the questions started.

"Mom, why were those bad guys picking on the green guy?" (The main character had a green shirt on.)

"Those were the devil's bad angels, they didn't want the green guy to get back to Jesus."

"Why's the devil so mean?"

"Well, he used to be one of God's favorite angels and then..."

And on and on and on it went for a loooong time. But then we got to this,

"Mom, I'm going to want help fighting with those bad angels and I DO NOT want to go to the stinky pit without God when this world is done."

"Well the only way that will happen is if you invite Jesus into your heart and tell Him He can be the boss of your life."

"Well den Mom, I need to do dat! Jesus, will You be de boss of my hawt?"

And then we whooped it up. We were pretty excited about this most awesome decision. And then the sisters and Dad got back to the truck from Q-Town and we had to tell them all about the amazing news. Then Kael gets all serious,

"Dad, did you ask Jesus to be de boss of your hawt?"






"Bo?" (Delaena)




"Calahn, did you ask Jesus to be de boss of your hawt?"

quietly, "No."

"Calahn!!!!! Did you know that the devil used to be a good angel and now......" And on and on and on it went for a loooooong time. The rest of us just sat in silence as the newly saved four year old evangelized (or harassed perhaps?) his sister and wrapped his summary up with this;

"You NEED to ask Him and den you can be His princess!" (We still aren't sure where that came from, but we went with it.)

And then we hear this from the back seat;

"Dear Jesus, will you please live in my heart and be the boss of my life? I want to be your princess."

And then we whooped it up some more and we knew that all the angels in heaven were whooping it up with us and despite the fact that we were all dog tired from the week, none of us went to sleep much before midnight!

A special thank you to all our friends who kept checking in on us during the whole Qwanoes saga and prayed it right through to the end- which turned out, I guess, to be an EPIC!!!

This was also from Family Retreat in May. Calahn with her 'sunset' face paint.

Psalm 45
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious
in her golden gown.
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king,
accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15 What a joyful and enthusiastic procession
as they enter the king’s palace!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Hate Money and Other Random Things

Okay, I hate money. That is the truth. Money is stupid. Not to mention the love of it is the root of all evil...etc., etc. I could blather on and on about why and how much I hate money. I could color my commentary with many descriptive expletives. But I will spare you that and suffice it to say I hate money. A lot. Actually, hate is probably a lame word, I despise money and I loathe money. There, that's it.

I have been asking God to show me why my blood pressure rises and my hands start to shake when I think about money and I believe He has given me a bit of an answer. I think it's because money seems to have taken a bit of centre stage in our world. I know that shocks none of you. I know I have not just given anyone a revelation.

But I wonder, as believers, if we have been oblivious to how the enemy is using the power of money against us? No actually, that is a lie. I don't wonder, I know. The liar has been convincing us that money has more power than it really does and maddeningly, we've replaced the power of God with the power of money. We have forgotten WHO the Master of the money really is. It is not the enemy, it is God. He controls everything in this world, including money and the people who have it.

So, is there a point to this tirade. Well no, not really except that I just want to get that off my chest and yes, absolutely, because I think right now the enemy has a foothold in a situation he has no right to and he is using money to control it.

We in North America say this, "Well, God doesn't just pour money into our hands because He wants us to have faith in Him and ask Him for provision." Again, venting here, I am sick of hearing that. Call me young (and thank you if you do) and impertinent or even idealistic or naive or whatever. At this point I am so freaking tired of money that I don't care what anybody calls me for saying this.

Do any of you have children? Besides providing them with food and clothing, do you have any other responsibilities toward them? Like their spiritual well being perhaps? I don't know if you've just cruised through parenthood, but I have not. Being a Mom has been the most brutal job I have ever had because I am completely inadequate to accomplish any part of it.

So, what do I have to do? I have to ask my Heavenly Father for provision. Provision of wisdom, provision of love, provision of patience (because some days, that is just not the immediate feeling I have toward my children), and on and on it goes. I could have the biggest bank balance in all the history of mankind and I would still have to go EVERY DAY to God and ask Him for those things. And EVERY DAY through the power of Jesus and His Holy Spirit, God will provide those things for me.

Therefore the question is: Does God need to provide us with money and material things to show us He is aware of our every need? NO HE DOES NOT. Let me repeat that, NO HE DOES NOT. In fact, it probably insults the expletive out Him when we use that as a measure of His goodness to us.

I am pretty sure scripture (Matthew 6) says;

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

There are many more such declarations in His word and you and I both know that.

Has anyone ever heard of Dubai? In Dubai, there are people with so much money that they just make islands. I am serious, they just walk around during the day and go, "I am bored, I want to make some more money to add to my gazillions of dollars, so I am going to make some islands and charge ridiculous amounts of money for people to stay or live on those islands." And I just happened to catch a TV show the other day that was dedicated to expounding the virtues of the newest 'gravity defying' monster skyscraper tower thing that was getting built in, you guessed it, Dubai. Bazillions of more dollars going toward something completely useless.

Guess what, I hate what goes in with money in Dubai.

But here's the thing. For years we have gone, "Oh well, that is just how the world works. People in Dubai have quatrillions of dollars to do whatever they want with and us pious little Christians are just going to scrape and grovel and barely make ends meet, etc., etc."

I hate scraping and grovelling.

We are the sons and daughters of the MOST HIGH GOD people! If you don't believe me, check this out: Children of God - Third Day. The Most High God is in charge of aaaaalllll that money in Dubai and everywhere else in the world. The people who think they are in charge of it are foolish. We need to believe that, and we need to start asking Him to transfer it out of the hands of the enemy, into the hands of His heirs.

Now, I can hear all the objections already. Money corrupts, people don't have enough self control to be able to cope with the pressure more money would cause...yada, yada, yada. And those would be correct statements if we were not the SONS and DAUGHTERS of the MOST HIGH GOD. We trust ungodly banks, investment companies and the stock market with the money, but we don't trust Jesus to give us the power to deal with it ourselves??? Is anyone else feeling itchy from the wool over our eyes???

We would still have to be dependent on Him every morning. Please God, give me wisdom on how to handle your money, please God give me self control to avoid wasting it, please God give me joy as I am sowing into Your Kingdom with it. He would still have to provide.

He says, "Go ahead, test me in this." Money is the one area we are allowed to test God in. And when I read that passage, I don't see this: "I will raise the window of heaven just a crack for you and sprinkle out a little wee blessing so that you can give a small portion away and keep the rest, which will be just enough for you to be content." It will be a blessing SO GREAT that WE WON'T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM TO TAKE IT IN. And so what will we have to do with it? That's right, give it away.

So that is the war. What is the current battle that has gotten me riled up this time? Well, it is this family. The Snells are a family from Ontario who have been called to Brazil, with the Xingu Mission. And if I understand correctly (and I hope I do, or I will come out of this looking rather foolish), the only thing keeping them from heading down there is funding. Man, I cannot believe how I much hate to type that.

Actually yes, I can, since after all that is the title of this blog.

So am I just going to rant and rave and vent about it? Well, as good as that feels, it would be selfish. What I am really going to do is ask all of you to help the Snells conquer this last hurdle. They are going to Brazil to raise up a new generation of believers to further the gospel. That excites me because that means we will be that much nearer to closing this chapter of human history and getting on with our real lives in our real home.

Am I going to ask you to give them money or send them encouraging words? Nope, although if you feel led to do that, by all means, go to their site and do it. I am going to ask you to pray with me. And then watch what God does.

Warning: This prayer is not for the faint hearted so if you don't mean it, don't pray it.

Father God. Unfortunately we are a people easily deceived. We are sorry Lord that we've allowed ourselves to be duped here and we state that in the precious name of Your Son, the liar has no power in this area of our lives anymore. We thank you though Lord that when we repent of our blindness, You are quick to forgive us. We ask that from now on Lord, you help us to be quick to believe in Your goodness and Your desire to see Your Kingdom furthered unto the ends of the earth. Help us not to worry about tomorrow or doubt that You will provide our every earthly need if we but believe that You will. Help us to be hardcore seekers of Your Kingdom. We come humbly but boldly before Your throne now Lord and ask for all of us, but particularly for the Snells Lord, for You to open up the windows of heaven. We don't know how you are going to do it Lord, but we trust that if You choose to send them a cheque directly from the hand of someone in Dubai, You can do it and You will do it. For all of us Lord, that are in circumstances that are going to require money Lord, we ask you to search our hearts. We are not lacking because you do not want to give, we are lacking because something within us is not open to receiving. So, correct us oh Lord, discipline us, mold us, refine us, amaze us. Here we stand Father God, we are testing You. In the precious name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.

There, take that satan. Maybe its you I hate after all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh, by the way...

We were blessed yesterday by a visit from Rick and Deanna Bergen. We showed them around our place, chatted and took them to our church. They were very informative and very encouraging and by they time they headed off, the fire for Brazil had been rekindled.

During our conversation, Rick pointed out an excellent observation he had made. I haven't been blogging. Normally I would have just shrugged to myself and thought, "Nope, I haven't been blogging. Haven't really felt like it, truth be told." But then he provided me with another stunning revelation, something along these lines, "No one knows what is going on with you if you don't tell them." He didn't really put it that way, but during our conversation, the light bulb went on. I think the fact that my mother had called a couple days previously and asked, "Are you still alive down there?" and commented on the fact that when people ask her questions like, "So, do Koos and Aubrey still have all four kids?" she just has to shrug her shoulders and say, "I dunno. I never hear from them," should have been the first indication. Or maybe Bonnie's email entitled, "Long time no hear???" but no, it took one more nudge for me to get with the program.

I guess I am quite surprised to learn that people don't automatically know what is going on with us from my vague Facebook statuses. Come on people, can't you figure out from all the Lord of the Rings quotations what we are doing?

Well, apparently not. Or maybe you just think we are watching Lord of the Rings or something like that. So here, against my otherwise lazy nature and taking time from my Facebook Scrabble playing, is an update.

We are still in Duncan. And I think that is probably part of the problem. We really like it here. The town is great (except for the Trans Canada highway, I still have issues with that), the church is amazing and the people outstanding, we have family here who delight in spoiling our children, other family and friends come to visit. The kids are already asking to go back to school and Caitlind has pledged to make Duncan her home forever. We love Boys Road.

Danger, danger. We are getting comfy, maybe losing sight of why we came here in the first place. Time flies when you are having fun.

I guess it is time to refocus. Take an inventory. So here it is.

Since arriving in Duncan late in September 2010, the kids and I made a huge transition from homeschooling to DCS. It was emotional for all of us, but the kids pulled through with style and grace. DCS was very good to us.

Koos knocked down his Perspectives course in grand fashion, receiving 100% on his final assignment. I finished my TESOL and TEYL courses with distinction (although I still have to figure out how to get a practicum done).

Koos, Caitlind and I all attended Life's Healing Choices at the church. I attended the Voices of Change - Leadercast Conference and a seminar called "Daughter You're Amazing" at the church, we were part of small life group that met every second week for the winter season. Koos completed a training course called "Soul Journey".

Koos and Delaena are learning to play guitar. Delaena has written two songs. Brooke continued with her piano lessons and performed at her first recital. Koos, Brooke and Calahn performed "Trading My Sorrows" at the DCS talent show and Delaena performed a dance entitled "Dance Your Shoes Off" with some of her classmates.

We attended Family Camp weekend at Camp Qwanoes and that led to an opportunity to volunteer with the camp during the exact week a representative from a Christian Brazilian youth organization will be there. We are pretty excited about the timing of that, considering the crazy twists and turns the process of applying to the camp took. It was almost as if God stalled and maneuvered until we had no choice but to attend that week. If anything more comes of that, I will be sure to blog about it. Really.

Caitlind was baptized. Brooke was baptized.

New Life's work on Boys Road is going to be featured across Canada as part of the Global Leadership Summit at the end of September. The film crew was filming during Brooke's baptism also, there were 10 other people who were baptized in the river at the same time she was.

So there, that is a bit of what we've been up to. We also almost prematurely killed our cat, thinking she was going crazy, but then finding out she had fleas and we got a puppy. Who also had fleas. We learned that there are fleas on Vancouver Island.

Mostly though, what we think this first year has been about is meeting some more members of 'the team'. When this Brazil thing comes to pass, we are going to need a lot of support. When we stop and think about it, we have been blessed abundantly with supportive people through our entire walk. Edmonton, Fairview, Hay River and now here in Duncan. God truly is amazing in the way He can orchestrate such small details over such a large world.

We are sure each and every person we have met and are going to meet will have the opportunity to play a part in this story that appears to be unfolding. We look forward to it with much anticipation.

And I hereby promise to keep everyone in the loop. Really.

What's Going on Around Here?

    It is funny how the same period of time can seem like it rushed by, yet dragged at a snail's pace, or in keeping in the spirit of...