Monday, October 5, 2009


Wow, it’s hard to believe it is already October. September has truly been a whirlwind. We arrived home from our vacation just in time to attend Maple Grove’s 49+ retreat. What a wonderful bunch of people - what a wonderful weekend. We felt very loved, and appreciated all their encouragement, support, and prayers. Below is a picture of our kids sporting their new Maple Grove t-shirts.

After Maple Grove we came home for two days after being gone for 1 ½ months, just enough time to do some laundry, check the mail, and think about leaving again. Then it was off to Wesley Acres for the 50+ retreat. Again we received a wonderful welcome, many opportunities to speak and share what God has been doing in our lives, and much encouragement and support. A definite highlight for our two sons was when they got to participate in a high ropes course and zip-lining! But I think the highlight for us was at the closing service when Pastor Dave Dyer asked everybody to stand if they wanted to make a commitment to pray for us - nearly the whole room stood up. Many then came forward to lay hands on us and pray for us. What a wonderful
time of friendship, fellowship, and mutual encouragement!

Our next stop was the Frankford FMC, where we got to reconnect with friends we had just made at Wesley Acres, but also made many new friends. Pastor Brandon Shillington was excited that many things I mentioned in my sermon fit beautifully with what he has been preaching recently.

Though we had previously connected with some of the people from Bracebridge, our sending church, we finally met the congregation. On Sept. 27 we enjoyed a service of heartfelt and lively worship, and shared some of the amazing stories of how God has been leading us, and putting together the details in a way that gives wonderful confirmation. Through their partnership with us, this church is an integral part of those miracle stories - one of which is the fact that their treasurer, Jeanne Tucker, championed the idea of coming alongside us even before she knew that we were headed for Malawi. Amazingly, Jeanne herself has been a missionary to Malawi! It was inspiring to hear Jeanne say that our going to Malawi is an answer to her prayers for new missionaries there.

After a delicious potluck in Bracebridge, several of us headed for Barrie to meet with John-Mark and Loreli Cockram, who have been missionaries to Ghana, Africa. They shared so much good advice with us, and helped us to understand the administrative details better. They were also very encouraging. It was good to hear reassurances coming from those who have “been there and done that.” We also enjoyed connecting again with Sterling and Cheryl Cooper, whose church in Hausey’s Rapids is partnering with ourselves and Bracebridge in this venture of faith. It is so good to be part of the Body of Christ. We cannot do this by ourselves. And, indeed, we aren’t. We are grateful both to God, and to His people, for so many wonderful things that have happened.

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