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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Enchantment in the Old City

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday Morning at Church

Sometimes it feels as though we are already in a foreign country as we are living in Quebec City right now. If you want to talk about things relating to adjusting to a different culture, I think overcoming a language barrier is somewhere near the top of the list! Or maybe I think that now because it's all I really know about entering a new culture. On Sunday morning we busily ready ourselves for church as many of you are probably doing. We comfortably communicate with each other and gather what we will need to keep the children busy. We think about our church family back home, and are reminded once again, we won't be seeing them this morning.

Upon arrival at the small Alliance church we attend in Quebec City, we are greeted with many smiling faces and "Bonjour!" At times even a question about something... "What did they ask?" We think to ourselves. Quickly, we are reminded we don't understand hardly anything, and it will be a long morning of trying to piece together a very large puzzle. We have a few pieces, but many are still missing. Our brains are about to get a major "work-out.!" Some of the worship songs we recognize based on the tunes. And after quickly glancing around, we realize they are in mid-prayer. Shhhhh Kids! The worship service is a mixture of order and spontaneity. I'm positive I would appreciate it 100% more if I understood exactly what everyone was getting so excited or emotional over. However - I quickly remind myself, wait a minute. I serve the same God they do. Jesus, whom they are worshiping saved all of us. They are excited about that! I don't have to understand every word.

After two hours of catching perhaps 5% of the words, our minds are worn out. We drive home and ask each other about the service, if it isn't completely jumbled in our minds by this time. Again we're reminded that the only way we will be able to get through is by God's grace. Often we feel as though we will never understand what people are saying. And then there are few glimmers of hope. A few, "ah ha!" moments where a concept finally makes sense. Thank you Jesus for helping us to understand!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reflecting On Our Journey

I find myself reflecting on our journey to where we are now. Albeit, we aren't even in our assigned country yet, I am realizing what is happening is about more than simply arriving. Not to mention, when we do arrive in Madagascar, there will be a host of other things to adjust to and realize and learn! The journey will continue even after.

As much as we can become distracted by the journey and lose sight of the destination sometimes, perhaps it is important to reflect on our path and remember to thank God for what He has already done, and what He is doing!

In 2008, shortly after the birth of our first son we sensed a change was coming. Having no idea what that change was, we began searching. When God laid it on our hearts in the beginning of 2009 to see about serving with MAF, the passion for this ministry began to blossom. Neither of us ever saw ourselves serving overseas. As well, that seemed to be the farthest thing from our minds! Why would we ever want to leave life-long friendships, a wonderful church family, and our own extended family? Not to mention the life that we had begun to build together in our first couple of years married. Sometimes God's plans are very different from our own. Now almost 3 years later, we are even more convinced that this is what God should have our family do. We have seen Him provide a huge number of team members for this ministry. We have seen Him bring together people to help us prepare to leave. He has been our faithful Father providing to us strength for each part of this journey, none too soon either--just as we need day by day. We praise Him for His provision. And we are promised in His Word to us that He is the same yesterday today and forever! As we delight to walk in His will, we are also convinced that He will teach us and mold us and use us for His glory.

Applying for service with MAF in 2009

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth." The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Ps 46:10-11