Sunday, September 18, 2011

An Ice Cream Scoop Then Facebook

It is a day for nostalgia. This morning on the way to church, Caitlind pointed out that it is the one year anniversary of our leaving Hay River. That caught me by surprise. A year, already?? Can't be, but it is.

We got in the truck and were all kind of wimping and whining about how 'chilly' it was this morning. The truck was telling us it was +18C. We have been wussified. Hay River would have probably been glad to see +8C today. I will admit, I don't miss Hay River much at all. The cold and wind and I never really did get along. But man, today, it struck me hard how much I miss the PEOPLE.

I guess if I am honest, I would tell you that probably until today, I have been kind of numb to that fact. We started this crazy adventure, and missing people is just a given. But today, a year later, I am not so numb. I guess the +18C has thawed me out. I miss my friends.

But I am glad to be doing this thing in the age of phones and Facebook. It takes a bit of the edge off I guess.

About nine years ago, a bouncy little
girl came to our door in Hay River to deliver an 'ice cream scoop' that Koos had bought from her for a school fundraiser. She must have chatted at the door with me for twenty minutes in -25C before I realized she wasn't going anywhere and invited her in. That was pretty much all it took. She became a fixture at our house. She would show up at my craziest moments and take the kids outside or sit with them while they bathed so I could have a breather. She was my 'rescue hero'. I am pretty sure I wouldn't have made it through some of Koos' shifts without her. And she was our babysitter. She handled pretty much everything our kids threw at her. She was more like a big sister than a sitter by the time we left. She encouraged me, even though she probably didn't even realize she was doing it. And then we left, and we all miss her. She's not a bouncy little girl any more, she's actually quite a stunning young lady now, and she managed to encourage me again. With a simple little message on Facebook. I was beginning to question God, feel sorry for myself. Why did He make us leave our friends, and in some cases, people who were more like family than friends? Then He used Kelsey to remind me that I should be seeing it as a blessing. We are in this age, where we can still encourage and cheer each other on, even if there are many, many miles between us. So those friends we left behind can still be a part of our lives.
A couple of days ago, we had a meeting with some people at New Life. And it made us realize that already, here in Duncan, we have the beginnings of a new family. God blessed us mightily with not only an amazing church, but a phenomenal school family in DCS. So quick, just like that, in a year. He knew there would be big holes in our hearts, leaving the people we love behind, and while the new people He has given us here will never replace the ones we had to leave, their care and concern for us will help ease the ache.

In fact, if I get really corny about the whole thing.
It looks like our hearts are going to have to get a whole lot bigger. To hold all the people He seems to be blessing us with.

We were looking through old Hay River pictures for a school project and that brought back even more memories. And then the day ended with a phone call with my best Hay River friend. And now, I will admit, I am crying. I really miss them, Tara and her boys and Kelly. And Bonnie and Randy and Colinda and Vee and Kierra and Mackenzie and Kellan and William and on and on and on.

So, I will be sad, and then I will be glad. That I live in this age. That He takes away, but that He also gives. I will be thankful for that ice cream scoop, which I still have, and all that it represents. But I will look forward too, and let my heart get bigger.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Investment Vs. Return

Hi it is Koos here, Aubrey has done all of our blogging since we started this blog and she has done a great job, but just the other day I felt I have to put a entry in so here it goes.

I am going to start this entry with a question for you all.

How many of you have done some sort of investment?

Weather it was something like Brex ( I got into that one and came up short), or some type of investment where you are looking for a return that you can cash in on and feel good about what you put into it at the beginning? Well in today's society we are all looking for that type of investment and we can miss the investments that really pay off in the end. What I am talking about is the investment in each other weather it is some thing small like a word of encouragement or investing time in someone. We all have the ability to make wise investments we just don't always make the correct ones. I am going to tell you about a investment that our family just made and it was well worth it and we know that it will pay off ten fold. We know this great Christian based rehab program that helps people over come their addictions and the program has God in the whole program.
It is called . we have made relationships with the men that attend this program as they are located just outside of Duncan a ways. The men that attend Teen Challenge can range from 18 to 80, what ever you age and what ever your addiction they are welcome there and are being helped by fellow graduates from the program and they have God on their side every step of the way. It is a great ministry and we enjoy being able to build up relationships with the guys that are here at the Vancouver Island site.

Anyway here is our investment, some basic food supplies to make supper and some card games and the Wii and Super Nintendo and vast supply of glow sticks from the dollar store. You ad all of these basic things up and you get a investment that is light years beyond any money investment that we could do. Our family went out to the Teen Challenge property and made supper for the guys, it was simply chilli and caesar salad and bread and mashed potatoes. And to top it all off ice cream sundays. This simple supper was just what the man up stairs ordered. The guys came back from a hard days work of picking weeds at a blue berry farm and sat down and we all enjoyed a meal together. It was great to see them so happy to have some company over supper and they all just kept saying " Thank you for this treat". To us it was just a supper, nothing fancy, just supper but it was what they needed. So we finish supper and help with the dishes, which Delaena was happy to help with as they have a super industrial dish pit with stainless steel counters and a big hose that rinses the dishes off and a dish washer that takes about 30 seconds to wash the dishes. She was in her element and she told me that if we had a dishwasher like this as home she would do dishes for the rest of her life.

Then after supper and dishes we all go the the man cave and set up the video games and some people play and some people watch and some people are playing cards. It was a hour or so of complete fun. Then to finish the whole great night off Mark one of the leaders out at Teen Challenge says " Ok guys lets go outside and start a camp fire and run around in the dark with the glow sticks" well every one goes WILD. we all get ready and get out side and have some more fun for about another 45 min or so. Some people were running in the tree's chasing each other and some were hitting glow balls up in the air and some were sitting by the fire and watching all the fun going on. It was a beautiful night and we all had a great time. Then we all sit by the fire and Mark says " Well we should pray and be thankful for the great night" so we all came together and prayed and it was great to be part of that great way to close off the night.

Well here in one of the great things about investing and not worry about the Return. During the night we here two of the guys say some things that made our investment come true. One guy said some thing alone this " This was a great night and it was great to laugh and hear everyone laugh as we have not had laughter around here in a couple of weeks." Then Aubrey said to one of the guys, " we are probably keeping you guys up late as you worked all day". He replied " I am very happy where I am right now and am enjoying this night, I am very happy with the way it has turned out". Well there was the Return right there. All we had to do was show up and hang out with a bunch of guys and make a simple supper and invest some time with them and they paid us out double of what we put into it. All they did was say a simple thank you and our family was blessed back.
So how may times do we miss times like this?

How many opportunities are we going to have to do some thing like this?

We all have the ability to do this for someone we just have to take the risk of investing our time and love for others and our return will be more than we can imagine.

Are you willing to invest in something?

God is on your side, just make your move........

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just General Hysteria

Okay, so things are a little rough around here right now. We as a family have two choices when hit by stress and diversity. Roll up into a ball and cry; or laugh. So, we have chosen to laugh. As part of our journey toward serving in Brazil, I have had to come face to face with my worst enemy. My body. Long story short, it is a wreck. But God has promised that if I trust in Him and persevere, I will have victory. So the battle has begun and so far I am getting my rear end kicked. Badly.

I went for a walk yesterday and basically forgot where I had told Koos I was going and got lost, but came across a 'stairmaster' sitting on someone's lawn with a 'free' sign hanging on it. So, hoping that meant 'free', I hustled home to get Koos to load it in the truck. He agreed that it really was free and that it worked, so he brought it home and put it in the back yard. Anyway, I am still suffering immensely in my attempt to conquer this mountain, so my children and Caitlind decided to inspire me. So I laughed, and laughed and laughed and now my ribs hurt too, but that is okay. It will all be....okay.

Proverbs 17:22 - A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

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