Happy 50th Birthday!!

December 20, 2011

If you’re looking for someone to hike with, talk to, and learn from, Papa’s your man. Papa is a real man, clean and honest and strong.  He loves to laugh at life’s funny moments; loves to catch the glimmer of light in the darkest trial; loves to watch the sun rise above the mountains and the grass wave in the wind. Years of seeking God and savoring God’s mercies have given Papa a solid foundation in God’s sovereignty and a refreshing outlook on life.

Papa is a down-to-earth guy. He never wavers in his commitment to Mums, and is quick to apologize when he is wrong. Papa has always seemed like the bulwark of our family – strong in body, keen in judgment, faithful in leadership, and professional in ministry. Papa cares for us – really cares. He understands the needs of his family, and doesn’t shrink from making decisions to guard his family that may garner criticism or disapproval from others. Papa takes time to talk with us, to listen to our hurts and needs and dreams. He’s a leader we can look up to.

Papa is an unashamed man of God – as he says it, “a blood-bought sinner.” He is passionate about God’s word, about bringing glory to God in every aspect of life. When we’re drifting spiritually, he helps us fasten our anchors in Christ. He takes time to cultivate his relationship with God, and gladly sacrifices his own interests for those of the Kingdom.

Papa is a family man at heart. He loves to go for a romp over the hills with us kids, to spend hours cranberry picking, to wage snowball battles, to jump in the car and drive a thousand miles to see relatives, to sit up late and play games, and to do everything else that a father could do with his family. And Papa loves to read, his voice rising and falling as the wind hums in the eaves, imitating the dialect of Scottish farmers, old maids, austere butlers, and evil villains alike. We’ll never forget these memories.

And so Papa is Papa. We’re proud to call him our Father and the leader of our family. We’re grateful for his humility and constant desire to grow closer to God, and we’re looking forward to entering the next year under his wisdom and direction.

 

Update on the Work

December 19, 2011

Here’s a quick sketch of what has been happening on the ministry front over the last few weeks:

Papa has been hard at work completing Field & Hearth administrative tasks for the year. He has taken several whirlwind trips to the mainland, meeting extensively with over two dozen families and individuals in Quebec and the northern United States. In addition to in-person counseling, Papa is handling a full schedule of counseling by phone, emails, and letters, including several crisis situations.

The results are very encouraging; there is no doubt that God is at work across our continent. Increasingly we realize that the question is not, “where is the work?”, but “where are the workers?”

Life among the French Acadians is going very well. A few nights ago we heard a knock late one evening, and went downstairs to find Christian friends from the small evangelical church who wanted to talk.

Recently, we had an opportunity to help out islanders by chopping up a pile of old wood into firewood and putting up a row of stands for drying seashells. We’ll be joining them for music and dinner this coming Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Prayers

December 19, 2011

It is almost 4 o’clock and darkness is settling over the Magdalens. A crockpot simmers on the counter, and I find myself looking out the window at the cliffs, now whitening with the first bits of ice. The rest of the family is out there at the base of the cliffs, following the frigid sea as it creeps up the sand toward the jagged rocks. This is the beginning of big-prayer season for me and I hope that some of you will join me: one parent, three sons, and two daughters on icy cliff rocks, often soaked with spray by the time they return from their daily afternoon outing, and I, here writing or cooking, often find myself at the window with the binoculars, straining to see if they are faring well…praying that no one slips into deep icy water, praying that the cliffside earth doesn’t slide (as it is wont to do), praying that God will bring them home without frostbite or worse.

Please pray for a snowy winter, with good weather exceptions on flight and ferry days. We have a guest coming on the 27th. Please pray that the plane will land without problems, and that all would be safe. All through the winter season. And beyond.

 

Happy 22nd Birthday, Austin!

December 6, 2011

Austin is a hard worker, faithfully completing the tasks he is given, steadily pushing towards his short and long term goals. Three years of law school has refined his work ethic and taught him the value of perseverance and grit. He knows his strengths and weaknesses. Austin has set high goals for himself – to be a solid Christian judge, an excellent photographer, a man of deep faith – and he is diligently pursuing those goals.

Austin is a man of integrity. He’s not afraid to stand up for what he knows is right, yet he knows how to do so in a way that persuades others to stand with him. He is quick to admit his mistakes, and is committed to positive, strategic growth. He knows the power of temptation and has set a course that keeps his mind and body pure and above reproach. He is a man’s man, and a one-woman man.

Together, we’ve biked through blizzards, hiked mountains on both sides of the continent, jumped slippery ice pans in the Atlantic, played music across America, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Have a great Birthday, Austin!

The Foot of the Cross

December 3, 2011

With each passing day toward winter, the days grow shorter. Night comes quickly, and lingers long. The sun hangs lower on the southern horizon, giving feeble warmth to the homes tucked into the shelter of the hills.

Daylight wanes at 4:00, sending us hurrying up the mountain for our daily exercise activity. We reach the top, breathless in the howling wind, and marvel as always at the beauty of our slim archipelago lying upon the vast cold blue of the ocean.

It’s good to be alive, to be on the islands, to look forward to the whirling blizzards and long winter evenings ahead, to feel your encouragement and support from afar, and to remain, as always, at the foot of the cross.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2011

We’re so grateful for everything that has happened this year since last Thanksgiving, and wanted to give you all a few highlights from this past month on Les Iles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picking wild cranberries on the sand dunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, Papa, Austin, Isaac, and I came back from a whirlwind trip to the Global Medical Health Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference was a powerful event, discussing the vital use of medicine in the spread of the gospel, and calling for a life of total surrender to God’s calling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Answering God’s call.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Mobilizing churches to fulfill the Great Commission.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Each card on the map represents one attendee’s commitment to follow God’s call)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aboard the boat home.

We hope this Thanksgiving finds you with much to be grateful for as you celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Montreal Update

September 7, 2011

On Monday, we crossed the border into Quebec. It has been a joyful homecoming, and a very smooth one. We are in the Montreal area for a few days, and soon will head to les Iles de la Madeleine.

We believe that God has woven your prayers into His good plans for us. Typically the return to French Canada is accompanied with experiences of spiritual oppression; this time there has been none of this.

We began to prepare our spirits and our minds many weeks ago, having learned that it is not a good or wise thing to come here spiritually lax as to battle armor and weapons. Yet I believe also, that it is the specific and focused prayer support that is making the difference.

We have renewed our French familiarity, and imperfect translations of road signs, Bible verses, and the like can be heard frequently within the family.

Thank you to those who have helped secure a replacement trailer for us; it is working marvelously, and providing a traveling office as well as a home.

Thank you for praying. Please do NOT let up; now that we are here, we need this partnership more than ever. And don’t forget to write!

We thank God for the infinite grace that has saved and sustains us as we begin our seventh year of Gospel witness to the precious, yet darkened land of Quebec.

Todd

P.S. Please pray for Curtis as he takes his MCAT exam in Montreal tomorrow (Thursday).

Rolling House News!

August 7, 2011
It is with great excitement that we are writing to let all of you know that a huge prayer has just been answered — we finally have a new trailer!God is so good, and His plans are far beyond our control or imagination. The wait for this trailer has been faith-stretching, to say the least. We have been praying for years that He would lead us to a replacement trailer, knowing that our beloved Wilderness, old friend that it was, was growing creaky. As many of you know, there have been seemingly open doors, like the possibility of a trailer in Georgia, that have not worked out. These points have been tests of our faith and conviction that God will provide in His time.

 
And God has provided, through a series of events we could not have foreseen, in ways that have been a huge blessing. Not only did the trailer dealership give us a price far below market value, but they also let us stay for free for several nights while we packed and organized the trailer for the road ahead.Looking back, we wouldn’t have it any other way. God’s blessing, in God’s time, is always worth waiting for.

We are so thankful to all of you who have stood with us in emotional and financial support. Your thoughts, prayers, sacrificial giving and notes of encouragement have kept us focused on God and committed to the path He has set before us. We are deeply grateful for every one of you.

The Adams

2011, Chapter Three: The Catch-up and the Big Drive North

July 23, 2011

Perhaps that title should read “The BIG Catch-up and the Relatively Short Drive North”. We were given a few days on the coast after a fruitful counseling chapter in Texas. The coastal days are full from sun-up to dinner, with accounting paperwork (the accountant has been very patient), with blog-writing and newsletter production, with letter-writing and lodging arrangements, and with vision refining for the French Chapter ahead. Dinner time is our work cut-off hour and the beginning of core family enrichment and development needs.

By this Wednesday, a few days into paper catch-up, we were wondering how we would get it all done. Then we received an offer to stay a few days longer, and without a doubt, it seemed that God had granted us a huge extension – trying to do this work on the road would have been impossible. Everyone we needed to contact ahead to make this schedule change was very encouraging, and as a result, we feel fired up to do what needs to be done.

So here we are, writing, typing, thinking, emailing. And after dinner, playing.

This weekend will find us hitching up to our aging trailer (the beloved home-turned-“u-haul”) and pointing the vehicle North for a packed several weeks of intensive meetings with families, churches, and leaders. There is excitement about the weeks ahead, as we look forward to seeing God’s hand at work; an anticipation that is coupled with the serious consideration of the challenges that we face as individuals – and as a family – during every intense new season.

George Mueller report: We haven’t had one of these for a while. We received the week’s forwarded mail yesterday with mission support of $130 – a very lean week, but a week full of good fruit and gratitude. Thank-you to all of you who have partnered with us this month.

Revisiting the Sabbath Question

May 26, 2011

I am sitting in the library writing the long-overdue missions letter. I open a book, the reading of which was intended to get my heart primed to write, but the topics of which have so overwhelmed me with thoughts that I want to share with you. Eugene Peterson writes:

“This Sabbath-psalmist [he is referencing the text writer of Ps. 92:5-9] is not off smelling the flowers, dreamily detached from the awful plight of the people. He is appalled that the wicked are “thick as weeds.” He is dismayed that evil-doers flourish. But he goes ahead and keeps a Sabbath of praying and playing. Pastors who keep a weekly Sabbath know full well the ruined state of the world. They play and pray anyway – not because they are heartlessly selfish or trivially giddy, but because they are convinced that these practices are God’s will not only for them but also for the battered world. There is a devil-may-care recklessness that sets the day aside for praying and playing despite compelling pressure to do something practical – and then discovers that this was the most practical thing of all to do.”

“…It is not a day when we do anything useful. It is not a day that proves its worth, justifies itself. Entering into empty, nonfunctional time is difficult and needs protection, for we have been taught that time is money.”

“Our secularized age is so fragmented that no consensus in the details of Sabbath-keeping is possible. We cannot prescribe a practice for each other. But les the command dissolve into a fog of good intentions, I will risk autobiography. The risk is that someone will try to imitate the details of my practice, or (more likely) will say, “That’s sure dumb; I don’t see the point of that” and dismiss the whole business on the basis of my inept practice. I excuse my example giving with Thoreau’s precedent: “I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.”

“Monday is my Sabbath. Nothing is scheduled for Mondays. If there are emergencies I respond, but there are surprisingly few. My wife joins me in observing the day. We make a lunch, put it in a daypack, take our binoculars, and drive anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour away, to a trailhead along a river or into the mountains. Before we begin our hike my wife reads a psalm and prays. After that prayer there is no more talking – we enter into a silence that will continue for the next two or three hours, until we stop for lunch.”

“We walk leisurely, emptying ourselves, opening ourselves to what is there: fern shapes, flower fragrance, birdsong, granite outcropping, oaks and sycamores, rain, snow, sleet, wind. We have clothes for all wether and so never cancel our Sabbath-keping for reasons of weather any more than our Sunday church-going – and for the same reason: we need our Sabbath just as much as our parishioners need theirs. When the sun or our stomachs tell us it is lunchtime, we break the silence with a prayer of blessing for the sandwiches and fruit, the river and the forest. We re free to talk now, sharing bird sightings, thoughts, observations, ideas – however much or little we are inclined. We return home in the middle or late afternoon, putter do odd jobs, read. After supper I usually write family letters. That’s it. No Sinai thunder. No Damascus Road illuminations. No Patmos visions. A day set apart for solitude and silence. Not-doing. Being-there. The sanctification of time.”

“We don’t have any rules for preserving the sanctity of the day, only the commitment that it be set apart for being, not using. Not a day to get anything done but a day to be responsive to what God has done. ….[in Sabbath-keeping], we all need to quit our work and contemplate his, quit talking to each other and listen to him. God knows we need this and has given us a means in Sabbath – a day for praying and playing, simply enjoying what he is.”