7 weeks in

It’s been 7 weeks in Canada, specifically in Calgary. Even though we grew up here, both Linda and I had a sense of trepidation stepping back into our passport culture. We  have had some hiccups but God has been faithful as we walked through some cultural changes. We had a lengthy ‘to-do” list and most of it is getting done. Unbelievable! We were provided a basement suite by a retired Wycliffe missionary and that has been great. Though I was thinking today (while driving), many of the days we have been here have required driving, alot of driving. Maybe not comparable to the typical Calgarian commute but in comparison to driving in a small country like Costa Rica….in CR the difference is mucho time for minimum distance while in Calgary less time in the driver’s seat but you see a lot of country. Whether it’s been visiting churches or spending time with the kids, it’s involved a lot of time. Now with being involved with the CMA response to the Slave Lake fires, I envision seeing alot more of the country. More about that later, probably in the next blog.

One major item on our “to-do” list has been downsizing our “stuff’ in storage (including our kid’s items) and moving from a pay-for storage area (thank you to the couple who has paid this for 4 years) to my sister’s garage where I built a more secure area. We had a lot of fun with our kids going through the memories.

Linda said to me yesterday we have been blessed by being able to spend time with “the cream of the crop”. We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with people and building relationships with the churches in the Southern Alberta cluster though we regret we have not been able to have the level of contact that we wanted with all 18 of them. There is just not enough time; though we did see many leaders at the Western District Conference. We have had many meals with people that have touched us personally. Yesterday over Vietnamese food, we listened to a couple that had escaped from Iran and had arrived in Canada 6 weeks ago. Their story was filled with intrigue and interrogations but more importantly it was a story of God’s blessings and  sovereignty. We walked away both humbled and blessed.

I was able to complete a DART (Disaster Assistance Response Training) course sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. This was a God appointment. I had not planned on this.  In taking this  training, I was thinking that there is a large potential within this partnership for our justice and compassion ministry in Latin America. And then…during our course, the fires that devastated the community of Slave Lake where over 7000 people were evacuated and around 400 families were directly effected happened. I was asked by the Western Canadian District leadership to get involved heading a church response. Linda and I head up to Slave Lake this Thursday where we are working with Samaritan’s Purse’s response team.  There is so much to pray for. We ask that you think of us as you lift up your requests.

1. For the people of Slave Lake. The feelings of despair and frustration. For the town and provincial management teams as they try and work out a response that is best for the townspeople. For our response, that we can direct the Alliance church body in such a way that God’s love is shown to be real. For Pastor Tracy and his family, the pastor the the SL Alliance church.
2. For continued safety as we continue to meet with churches and their leadership about our ministry of justice and compassion in Latin America. It involves much traveling.
3. For continued support, both prayer and financial. Thank you for giving to GAF which support international worker in ministry all over the world. We have about $6,000 left to pay for our ministry vehicle. Also, we were told our transmission gave out as other CMA missionaries were using it. That’s about $1300. We had a couple in one church walk up and give us $500 towards the repairs. God is good! Donations can be given and directed to the Doell Vehicle fund.
4. Praise for much answered prayer.