Archive for November, 2008

The Goodness of God

November 30, 2008

The next “Letters Home” goes out Monday afternoon, which means that Monday morning, Todd or I will be writing it.  We are overwhelmed by the goodness of God — some of those thoughts are sure to show up in the letter…what we want to know is what you want to hear:  ministry update?, family update? lessons we are learning on faith and trust and living the good life in Christ?

Quick George Mueller update:  all’s paid, thank-you Lord!

Riches without Money

November 28, 2008

Here’s a quote from the book I mentioned in the last post:  “A truly rich man is one whose wife runs into his arms when his hands are empty.”

The Patience of God

November 28, 2008

Some Thanksgiving thoughts from one of our sons:

One thing I’m thankful for as I look at the last few months, is the enduring patience of the Lord. There have been numberless times I, we, or some of us have doubted God in our hearts, have given way to worry about the future, or have neglected to fulfill our spiritual responsibilities…not to mention the many times I know I have sinned, falling far short of my own potential, and grieving the Holy Spirit.

We’ve talked a lot about the blessings of God, the foresight of God, and the provision of God, but we haven’t spoken much of the patience of God, how He led us through month after month of the summer ministry, patiently preparing our hearts for the “desert” on P.E.I., looking past the little tensions and imperfections we experienced when we had what we needed, and patiently guiding us through growing financial concern as we came within sight of the islands. All in all, it’s hard to even begin to fathom God’s real mercy, compassion, and longsuffering. “For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee” – Isaiah 54.

I’m also grateful for the touch of God in the hearts of those back home:  God is at work among His own, stirring their hearts towards the Great Commission. I would love to be at the tip of the spear of a massive movement towards bringing light to the lost.

Another son wrote:

The thing that I am probably the most thankful for right now is the Lord’s goodness to us, and how He put us back on the Islands for another year in a way which clearly showed that we are definitely to be here.  This has been a tremendous blessing to me personally, as I now have no worries at all about God’s will for this next winter.  I am also grateful for family….  

Another said:

As for things I am grateful for, here are a few of the ones that come to mind:

  1. A fabulous family that loves to be together, and is totally sufficient in and of itself without a need for local peers to hang out with.
  2. Great friends that we can make memories with in the summer, and think fondly about in the winter.
  3. This amazing place where we live. (Today as we walked along the beach, there were some of the most incredible colours I’ve ever seen flooding over the top of the mountain and out past the lighthouse as the rays of the slowly setting sun lit up the majestically towering and crashing waves off the point.)

One of the girls shared this:

One of the things I’m really thankful for is our time at Yellow House, especially this year after our long period of waiting time, which makes it kind of like delayed gratification. This year I’m enjoying things like cooking in a nice kitchen and having a piano to play on again.  I’ve even been liking the feeling of having to be creative in coming up with meal ideas with a Co-op [the island’s grocery store] to work with. I’m also very grateful for all the wonderful people God has put in our lives.

            And finally, after sharing similar thoughts to those of all the other children about God’s goodness, His patience, his provision, and His leading, the youngest said she was especially grateful that back in September we got to spend extra time [Labour Day weekend] with special friends.

            I’ve just started reading a book called Making Life Rich Without Any Money, by Phil Callaway,  and this Thanksgiving, I hope we can all claim a richness in Christ that could never be bought with all the money in the world.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from the Adams.

 

 

 

Magdalen Island Photos

November 26, 2008
Sand spit leading up to our island

Sand spit leading up to our island

Havre-aux-Maisons

Havre-aux-Maisons

 On the second hill from the far right, you can see the cross above the home where we live each winter, and along the road which follows the shore are the village homes of Havre-aux-Maisons.

At the Foot of the Cross

November 23, 2008

Light Snow

When we were still a great distance from the islands, we peered through the ship windows across the dark sea.  In the night sky above the land, we could see the lighted cross, a welcome beacon. 

This is the cross which sits on the hill above the house in which we live.  You may not be able to see it in the photo;  if you can, you will see that it stands over 10 ft. tall  — either way, you will agree that it is fitting for our winter location to truly be “at the foot of the cross”, that place where our hearts seek to be through all the seasons.

Thanksgiving Day

November 20, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, including all our Canadian friends who celebrated Thanksgiving last month!

This is it, the last day of our summer circuit!  We woke to ice, wind, and light snow: it’s time to go home to the Islands.

Please pray for us today as we take a fairly rocking boat across windy seas.  The boat leaves at 2 p.m. Atlantic time (4 hours ahead of Pacific time) and we’ll be on the water for 5 hours.

We wish you all a very happy thanksgiving celebration, remembering most of all the goodness of God to each of us.  This is a really special day for the Adams’ family — thank-you from the bottom of our hearts to all who contributed to make this happen!!

We’ll post island photos tomorrow.

Taking the Thanksgiving Boat

November 19, 2008

Afternoon came and Todd came with it on the 1:30 boat from the Magdalens.  It was fantastic to see him and to catch up on so much that we could not cover by telephone the past 18 days.  We’re hitching up the trailer now and taking the next boat as a family.  That boat leaves Thursday at 2:00, Thanksgiving Day in America.   Say your prayers for calm seas please – Ibby just got over the flu.

 

One of the things we did was review God’s goodness to us over these past many days of waiting.  What did we learn?  What was He teaching us?  Are we as surrendered to Him as we want to be – how much of “me” is there still in each of us that is holding on to material things, or distracted by needs that only He can fill, or discontented when things don’t go our way? 

 

A few of the things we’ve learned from this experience:  1. That we desire God, and we desire Him to be in control of our lives, 2. That though He does not promise us wealth, He promises His presence and peace to those who put their full trust in Him, 3. That He wants us to rely on Him and communicate our hearts to Him all the time, not just in times of trial, 4. That He does not want us distracted by things, 5. That He wants our full attention, 6. That He will supply in His way and in His time, and 7. That He wants to get us to the point of contentment regardless of the where/how he takes us in life.

 

There is much more that we talked about, but we also left a good chunk of time to play board games and to get out the stringed instruments.  My favourite moment of the day:  Todd home, oldest daughter cooking a birthday dinner, youngest daughter drawing pictures next to me,  birthday boy and brothers playing a classical rendition of The Old Rugged Cross on guitars together.  Thank-you, Lord, for your sovereignty, for your compassion, for your guidance, and for your many fine children across this country.

 

And thank-you, friends, for standing by us in such a powerful way.  We need your continued prayers as we return to a difficult field. 

 

George Mueller Report:  all the ministry bills are paid!    Phillipians 4:19 …my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus…Proverbs 23:26 …give me thine heart and let thine eyes observe My ways.

 

 

Blessed be the name of the Lord!!

November 18, 2008

Dearest friends,

We are out of the woods!!  I cannot even begin to express to you how full our hearts are.  We are praising God, with tears of joy!! 

Thirty minutes ago, Todd walked on to the ferry to come pick us up, and we are anticipating a wonderful reunion when the ferry docks this afternoon.  And tonight, there will be many, many prayers of thanksgiving around the table.

To all who wrote, encouraged, telephoned, gave — we deeply treasure your words, your prayers, and your gifts.  You have been terrifically supportive!, and we thank-you so very, very much for your genuine care.

Much more to come in writing of this experience, but for now, just this quick update.  It is our eldest son’s birthday, Todd is coming to pick us up, and we are brimming with joy.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!!

Monday’s Peace

November 18, 2008

Though we’re not out of the woods yet, we feel like we can see a thinning of the trees.  Your support, your emails, your encouragement yesterday and today have been tremendously uplifting.  Thank-you from the bottom of our hearts.  Tomorrow is decision day, and we will post by evening.  Please keep praying.

Tuesday’s Deadline

November 15, 2008

There is a huge decision looming in our not so distant future. 

November lies at its halfway mark. Winter is on our doorstep.

 

If bills are paid by Tuesday (when we need to give notice to our landlord regarding December), we will know that we are to stay here; if bills remain unpaid, we will know God wants us to head south to earn sufficient income to pay them back to zero.

 

As soon as we came within 300 miles of our destination, we began to experience our driest month in ministry support. Now we find ourselves on the cusp of change:  either the change from our current circumstances will be reuniting our whole family for another term on the Magdalen Islands or it will be having Todd come off-islands, picking the rest of us up from where we are staying on Prince Edward Island, and heading for an extended season in the United States where it is legal for Todd to work for wages.

 

There are many logistical considerations:  the weather will soon bring snow and ice, prohibiting safe travel with the trailer;  our landlord will have to make alternate arrangements for her own income if we suddenly leave;  the personal belongings we have left in the rental house will need to be brought to a long-term storage facility;  and the children (who are earnestly longing for their winter home) will have to face the gut emotions of saying a final goodbye to the place  they had anticipated for so long.  Todd will need to wrap up the intensive work that he has picked up again these past two weeks back on the islands, and trust the work to God’s hands.  We recognize that we are not indispensible;  this is not “our” work but His, and He will not abandon His people (neither us, nor the French who live on the Magdalen Islands).

 

We’ve learned a lot about trusting God these last four years. God provides when He decides to and how He wants to, and when He keeps us in one location when we planned to go to another, He has reasons we will not understand until we see Him face to face. We do know we do not see the whole picture as He does, and we know from these years of experience that when we keep our eyes on Him, He gives us peace.

 

Our heart is in this work here, but more than this, our heart is in doing the will of God

 

Pray that the Enemy would have no strength to put up a temporary hurdle to our staying.

Pray that we would have God’s peace whether He calls us to stay or to go south.

Pray that the children would deal with this emotional time with grace and comfort beyond their years.

Pray that I would have the strength to handle the insecurity of our future.

Pray that Todd and I would wisely make long-term decisions as we face rapidly approaching deadlines.

 

And thank God with us that the primary decision of whether to stay or to go on Tuesday is a black and white decision, completely out of our hands and not influenced by the desires of our hearts.