Archive for April, 2009

The Arrival of the Summer Home

April 29, 2009

On Monday, the trailer left its sheltered winter home among the protective trees of the next village, and arrived in our driveway for the long preparation phase, a phase which is typically long only in that there is little time to devote to it. 

 

Our hearts remain  anchored here in the work; today we will visit a musician on the end of the island chain, one of the first people we met upon arriving here years ago. Tomorrow’s meetings are planned for another island, where a man is struggling to come to grips with the call of Jesus upon his life, and to surrender a boat-load of fears. A couple is beginning to contemplate what the Gospel and the truths of God’s Word mean for their family; they are beginning to wrestle with what it means to be in the midst of the culture yet not a product of it, an intensely difficult struggle for many young Quebecois Christians.  We praise God for the hope, the purpose, and the completeness of life we have in Him, and we are immensely grateful that the Lord is making this hope known here to islanders as well.

img_0014

Pied-de-Vent

April 28, 2009

img_0125

A ray of sunshine piercing the cloud bank to touch the sea:  pied-de-vent. 

Always beautiful.  Always turns our hearts upward, our thoughts to God.

In yesterday’s mail, there was a “pied-de-vent” for us:  all the money needed to cover March bills.  God, –a ray of sunshine piercing the cloud bank of our lives,–  the rock of our existence.

Thank-you, Lord.

April Gratitude

April 27, 2009

As April draws to a close, and the trailer days of summer approach, we are daily counting our blessings.  Anneliese is particularly grateful for a “real kitchen” with an oven and space to move.  It’s thirty-three days to oven-free meal-planning for the cooks (and the budding cooks) of the family.

img_5975

Persevering

April 25, 2009

I have great respect for the Acadian fishermen who toil long hours, often in inclement weather, to harvest the sea’s bounty. Their eyes are open to see the rich abundance God has provided, and when the sea seems empty, they persevere with stubborn determination. They have a strong sense of purpose.

Here, the fields are ripe. In His time, God will send more harvesters — people who have caught a vision from above, who will toil long hours, often under dark spiritual oppression, to faithfully serve Him. Their eyes are open to see that though the way seems hopelessly tough, and the harvesters before them have all left the field, there remain determined prayer warriors far away who, with their prayers and with their support, lift up workers’ tired arms to carry on and not give up. They have a strong sense of purpose.

I smile at the thought of the kindness God is showing us:  blue skies, scudding white clouds over a rippling sea, fishing boats crossing the harbour to harvest the mackeral they will use as bait in the upcoming lobster season.  We’ve made detailed calendars to productively use the time He gives us.  We have a vision from Him and we are trying, with sometimes faltering footsteps, to faithfully follow His lead.

The Report:  March bills are almost paid, and we have yet to start paying April’s, yet we feel immense joy — our Mueller Report is whispering hope based on God’s faithfulness throughout these five years.

Pray for this afternoon’s appointment (a man Todd has been discipling who is depressed at the thought of a summer without a spiritual mentor), pray for this evening’s appointment (a family visit with a transplanted couple with zero interest in the gospel and a been-there-tried-that approach based on their upbringing in a denominational church), and pray for continued wisdom/joy/contentment from above in all that we do and say.

Same week, two letters, same message

April 24, 2009

 

“You must be busy planning the summer…arranging the travel
schedule must be difficult. You already know something of the history at
each site and the problems you will once more be facing. The prospect of
facing extremely challenging questions as you approach each site could
affect your calmness, confidence and expectation. Humanly speaking, the work
is impossible,…but, remember that in all these things we are more than conquerors

through Him who loves us. Our labour is not in vain. We do not know what impact any of our lives have but one day soon that will be crystal clear…

It is a great work you all are doing and thanks to you, and your letters, I know a
bit more of the work involvement. It is harvest time.”

and this simple, straight-forward text message on our cell phone:

Rest in peace tonight, my brother, your work is not in vain. God bless, in Christ, …

 

How can they know what we are feeling, thinking? 

They cannot; God can.

 

 

Encouragement from the Past

April 7, 2009

From the journal of George Mueller, 1848:

 

“Work on the building was begun today. Finally, after I sought the help of God for six hundred and seven days, He has given me the desire of my heart….

 

Someone may say, “You are continually in need. No sooner is the one demand met than another comes. Doesn’t it seem like a trying life? Aren’t you tired of it?”

 

I am more or less continually in need in connection with this work. God has supplied me with money to continue, and I enjoy telling people how He has answered my requests. But money is by no means the chief thing that I stand in need of from day to day. Prayer is required for money, medicine, and guidance and wisdom from God….

 

I do not find that this work leads to a trying life but a very happy one. It is impossible to describe the abundance of peace and joy that often flows into my soul because of the answers I obtain from God after waiting on Him for help and blessing. The longer I have had to wait on Him, or the greater my need is, the greater the enjoyment when at last the answer came.

 

I am not in the least tired of this way of life because I expected difficulties from the very beginning. For the glory of God and the encouragement of His dear children, I desired to pass through them, if only the saints might be benefited by the dealings of God with me.”

The Mueller Report

April 6, 2009

March is over, March bills are not, and we are eagerly anticipating this week’s mail.  Hebrews 13:5…we are to be content with what we have AND we are to remember that He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

Are my spiritual eyes open?

April 3, 2009

Are my spiritual eyes open?

 

Even after they had witnessed so many, and such dramatic miracles, the disciples of Jesus still struggled with spiritual shortsightedness. They were easily confused, thinking He was scolding them for forgetting to bring bread for the boat trip, when it was spiritual food He was instructing them about. He said to them:

 

“Do you have eyes, but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And do you not remember?”

 

Jesus wanted them to “get” the point of the miracles. Yes, He had compassion on everyone, and He fed them and healed them of various diseases and maladies. But His mission was that of the Messiah, the Son of God come into the world to overthrow darkness and to set spiritual captives free at the cost of His life and blood.

 

Someone brings a blind man to Jesus to be healed. It is significant that Jesus leads the man out of the village. Then, “when He had spit on [the man’s] eyes”, He asked the man if he could see anything. The man saw only obscurely. A second time Jesus touched his eyes; then his eyes were fully opened and his vision cleared.

 

Am I willing to have the Savior spit in my eyes? And what if I do not linger, and allow Him, the Lord of Lords, to touch me again…and again, and again?

 

Do we have a savior-in-a-box, who demonstrates his divinity by making bread and fish, but leaves us more or less as we were, only with full stomachs?

 

Touch my eyes again, dear Jesus my Lord and God. Touch me with your cleansing blood and body until I am clean again, and until my eyes are fully open. I want to see you clearly, and I long to do your will.

 

Show me a path that is paved in your light and truth and I will follow you, no matter where you lead me.

 

When I can see you clearly, there is no darkness, and I am not afraid.   

More Ice-Jumping

April 3, 2009

img_8118

img_8102

img_8091

img_8097

Spring break-up has started;  ice is broken into smaller and smaller chunks.

img_8135

Muddy-Buddies

April 3, 2009

Ice-jumping is not for the faint of heart nor for the fashionably dressed.  There are muddy cliffs to conquer before arriving at the beach, and there is frequently a fall that puts the jumper in frigid water. 

In the photo:  Anneliese

img_8092