as we transition back…

Just a couple more sleeps and we will be headed back to Honduras. For a while now I have been saying “home”. But in reality what is home? Home is in two places. My heart is in Honduras, but I also love it here in Canada. We have enjoyed our time here, although I think we were perhaps a little too busy. So much to do in so little time. Time went by fast, but at the same time it went by slow. I was really ready to go back after two weeks and I thought the day would never get here. At the same time there were still people I wanted to see and things I wanted to do. But, I missed Honduras. I missed our dog! I missed my normal routine. I felt a sense of being somewhat discombobulated.. Especially during the first few days. There were times when I did some “Honduran” things….like standing too close to someone in the Tim Hortons line and the grocery store. There was the time when I caught myself trying to barter with someone over the price of something Elisa had wanted to buy with her birthday money but she didn’t have enough… Even Dale has experienced this by honking his horn at people.

There are a few thigs off the top of my head and in no particular order that I am looking forward to once my feet hit Honduran soil.

Routine. Going up to the mountains and seeing the kids, teaching them, and their hugs!

Reuben, my dog. Letting him lick my face off.

Working out with weights. No way could I pack them and bring them to Canada.

Our church family CCI.

More counter space for cooking.

Reliabale internet that more than one person can be on at a time. Ha! Unbelievable the internet would be better in Honduras.

My mountain view

I can say that I am so excited to get home that I have actually lost sleep over it. At the same time my emotions are a bit conflicted. Dale and I were chatting about this yesterday after returning the rental vehicle that we used when we went to Kingdom Bound in Darien Lake. He doesn’t want to leave his mom who was recently diagnosed with cancer. That one is a tough one.

We have enjoyed and cherished what time we have had with friends and family and it would be very easy to slip back into life here again. Although we both know that it would get very old quickly and we would end up with that sense of not being where we are meant to be. We have enjoyed having our favorite treats, some of which we had forgotten about. We have taken advantage of some really good sales. It would be so easy to get caught up in all that…the need for more stuff, which I recently wrote about . I love to shop, and I am frugal but that isn’t always a good thing, especially if I don’t really need something. Did I really need that ten dollar dress?

Also there is a part of me that is actually dreading going back, if I can admit that. See, the two years we have been in Honduras have been the hardest two years of our lives. There were times when it would have been so easy to shake the dust off our feet, pack it up and just give up. Quit. God never said it would be easy though, did He? And I wouldn’t trade them but the reality is…it has been anything but easy.

Along with adjusting to a new culture, trying to learn a new language there were other challenges which I have wrote about already at some point or another.  Identity theft, issues with the Canadian government saying we owed over $20,000 because of some mix up with our taxes. We were robbed. Twice. I was hospitalized for four days. My mom was diagnosed with cancer. Our kids struggled. There were times when we felt so loney and weary, battle worn and emotionally done. Broken.

On the flip side of all that, it has also been the most rewarding two years of our lives. We know it is where we are meant to be. We know it is where God has called us. It’s where he has us. We love the kids in the schools and are anxious to get back to them. I’ve missed their hugs! It is so refreshing to see them eagerly learning their bible verses and the excitement when they remember the bible story from the previous lesson. They are getting it and it is so rewarding to see them”eating” up the Word of God, for lack of a better phrase. I don’t know how else to explain it but that they get excited and they truly listen. It’s exciting to see faith spark something in them. Seeing them come alive, and the joy on their faces even though they have so very little in the way of materiel things. I love hearing them sing with utter abandon the song “Hosanah, Ho Ho Hosanah!” I love seeing hungry children fed because of the feeding program. These kids are worth everything we have gone through. Every heartache and every trial. And I miss them.

Please pray for us as we transition back into Honduras. Especially for our children. We know it won’t be an easy time for them.  And prayer does work! There was one time not long before we came back to Canada that Dale was feeling lower than he had ever felt since coming to Honduras. There was a lot going on and we were having issues with one of our kids. He felt like throwing in the towel. He just felt so broken and empty. To be honest I was a little scared because I have never seen him like that. He is always so positive and can shake things off easily. Not that day. At some point during the day he had a FB message from Bev, a lady in the Stratford church. God had put Dale on her heart and she wanted to know how she could pray for him. And pray she did. That day she was a lifeline to Him. The burden lifted and the heaviness he had been feeling all day….gone! Prayer works!

Matt 11:28-30

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gente at heart, and you wil find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and the burden I give you will be light.

Lately this has been on my mind….

Lately something has been on my mind and heart so I thought I would write about it instead of keeping it all bottled in. All of this has nothing at all to do with our transitioning back into Canada. I also want to say that it is not my intent to offend anyone by what I am about to write. This is just my opinion. I may be naive in my thinking but so be it if I am. I don’t watch a lot of television. From time to time though I do read things online about what is going on in other parts of the world. And I am thankful that I live in Honduras, even though it is one of the most dangerous places to live according to what google says. I don’t live my life in fear.

I read a lot about the Isis and what they are doing to Christians or those of other faiths who do not embrace their culture, their way of life or their religion. I do think that they have an agenda. I do find it alarming. Disturbing. Does it cause me to fear? Not really. I think what they are doing is despicable. It’s shocking. Horrible. Heartbreaking. There are no words really to describe how awful it is. Beheadings, people put in cages and drowned. I also think that a lot of what we see today going on in the world was long ago foretold in the bible and is now unfolding before our eyes. Prophesy coming to pass.  People are watching in horror. Unbelief. I understand how it makes people angry. It makes me angry.

On the flip side of that, I also read on Facebook hate filled posts towards Muslims. There are those that have only horrible things to say about them. Well, here is what I think….Just because a person is a Muslim does not mean that they are Isis. All Isis might be Muslim but not all Muslim are Isis. I honestly feel sick and hurt for those who are Muslim and read such hatred in the posts of others. I personally know and care about people who are Muslim. I worked with them in Toronto. Wonderful , amazing and gentle people. People I call friends. I think it hurts the heart of God as well to see those who are claiming to be Christ followers speaking in such a way about another group of people that He loves. People that He gave his life for. People that need Him and are searching for Him even though they may not realize it. Because, God loves the Muslim as much as He loves you or me. Jesus died for us ALL. Even the Muslim and yes even for the Isis. He does not want anyone to perish…he wants everyone to repent and come to know Him. To know His heart. To be with Him for eternity.  So instead of condemning the Muslim and saying they all deserve to die… ( is that not true of us all? Because none of us are perfect and none of us are without sin and all of us at one time or another have grieved the heart of God by our actions or our thoughts.) Why not love on them, show kindness to them. Why not be Jesus to them? We may be the only “Jesus” that they will ever see or meet. And how does it speak to them if the only words out of our mouth are condemning them to die? How will they ever meet our Jesus that way, or want to for that matter? Let’s be his hands and feet to a people that need Him. Don’t be afraid of them. Because they are no different from you or I really…at least not on the inside. Culturally yes, and skin colour yes. But a couple things remain true of us all. We all need a saviour. Christ died for and LOVES us all.

The first couple weeks….

I’ve been feeling the need to write for quite some time now. But the the problem has been lack of time for one and two….what on earth do I write about? Things have been crazy busy since my last blog. However I did write one after our first couple weeks here that I never got around to publishing because of the internet here being so sketchy and I also forgot. Anyway, below is that post…

One thing my husband has always been really good at is finding us deals online for fun things to do and places to stay. One of those places was Toronto. As a family we love going there for a weekend. We love walking around the busy downtown, riding the subway, shopping. We spent a couple days there. We stayed two nights in the Comfort Inn, directly across the road from the Woodbine Center mall, where I worked when we lived in Toronto fifteen years ago. It was great to be able to walk in my old neighbourhood and walk across the road to the mall. I stopped by my former work place and visited with a few friends that still work there. Amazing that none of us have changed in the last few years!

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Dale was able to find cheap tickets for Medieval times. The original plan was to treat our dads to the meal and show there for a Father’s day gift. However, with Dale’s mom being sick, they were not able to make the trip to Toronto. My parents and brother did though and what an adventure that was. My dad; like me is directionally challenged and got lost even though he was following us. I guess a lot of cars look the same as the one we are driving. It was a very stressful few minutes trying to talk to him to get him back on course after he turned off where he shouldn’t have. Actually, truth be told…stressful is an understatement. Thankfully they made it and we did not miss anything. It was a great experience! The food was good and so was the show. It was the first time our family have ever done anything like it.

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We also went for a ride on a tall ship. It was a beautiful day. We parked at Yorkdale mall and took the subway downtown and did a lot of walking around until we found where the ship loaded. Downtown Toronto on the water front would be a great place to live if one could afford it. You wouldn’t need a car because everything you need is right there. There are all kinds of cafes and restaurants, and even a grocery store. It’s a little too busy for me though- I am not sure I could handle the hustle and bustle of big city living. Even though I live in a city of 1.7 million, things move at a much slower pace.

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Also for dinner the day we went on the tall ship we went out for dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. It’s a family tradition whenever go to Toronto.

On Sunday we spoke at New Life church in Brampton. Two services. We shared about our journey and what God is doing down in Honduras. It’s only God that I was not that nervous to share. I remember back in the days when Dale and I were first married. I was afraid of my own shadow and I don’t think I said two words in front of the congregation. Seriously. That is not an exaggeration. Those that were in Royal View or Howard Park back in the day can attest to that. I was painfully shy and did not fit the typical pastor’s wife mold. Not sure I ever have to be honest. And normally I would be more inclined to let Dale do all the talking because he is good at it. But God has given me a peace inside and the strength to get my words out when it is more my nature to be quiet. It’s the only way I can explain it. He is equipping me and helping me not to be so scared of talking in front of people. He is helping me overcome my fears of public speaking.

One thing I will say is the weather has been FREEZING! We did not come prepared for such chilly weather. I am thankful I stopped by my mom and dad’s home and that I brought some warmer clothes back with me. A sweater, a cardigan and a fall/winter vest; and I have used them all! I told someone that it feels like a cold day in Honduras and it’s so true. I have told people that during Hope camp last year I was so incredibly cold that I actually went shopping for a winter coat. Didn’t buy one though…too expensive for length of time I would actually need it.

Also We spent Canada day with our friends from Bright’s Grove near Sarnia and their church family. It was held at Pam’s house. She has a beautiful beachy home right on the lake, and she also hosted us for the evening There was a bbq and Fireworks and Dale shared for a little about the work in Honduras. But like the rest of the week, the weather was cold. At one time Pam gave me a blanket that she warmed up in her dryer….and below is Elisa trying to keep warm.

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Until next time….