Thursday, May 18, 2006
Obviously, I've been back for over a week but I'm just getting around to actually writing. The driving part of the trip went very well and we made excellent time.
We arrived at the border in Houlton, Maine very early on Friday morning and had breakfast with the kids while we waited for normal business hours to be able to talk to an immigration officer. Aaron was able to talk with an immigration officer and we got good news! It's going to be much easier than we thought for him to get into Canada. He can move there without any paperwork done,get a visitor's visa and find an employer who is willing to fill out some paperwork to get a temporary work authorization. This is a big answer to prayer, so thanks to all of you effective pray-ers. You must be righteous!
We got into Fredericton around 1:00, and went to our free hotel room with the kids where my Mom and sister picked them all up and took them with them for the weekend. We had a nap and then headed over to Joe's (lead elder) to meet up with all the other visitors. There was Dave and Rosie, Don and Stephanie, and another couple from England who are planning on moving to the church next year (who I didn't get to really meet this time) Chris Maclean (who planted and leads the church in Oakville,ON), and a couple of elders from the New Hampshire churches I think. And of course there were some people from the church. It was great to see old friends and make new ones who will be old ones pretty soon. I can tell you for someone who has always felt like an outsider, it's a great experience to feel such a sense of belonging. It's a miracle really, and one I'm very thankful for.
Saturday was another day of hanging out with everyone. We went to the local farmer's market,which is only on Saturday and anyone who ever comes to visit us up there will certainly get to experience. Mike (the previous pastor) was there which was a little akward for him and some of us, but we got to talk with him for awhile and it was good to see him. Chris Maclean made a point of meeting us and we must have talked for at least an hour. In fact, I never did get to look around the market, which I don't regret in the slightest. He was very encouraging, and very prophetic. He told us that we have not been wasting our time, that we are in God's will, and we will begin to bear alot of fruit when we get to the place (Canada) we are supposed to be. He has a great testimony of how God brought him to Canada, and lots of great church planting/new believer stories. He is definately someone we'll want to be asking many questions from. He also said to Aaron "It's not just about you, it's about both of you (meaning me). " So that was encouraging to me. The grace of God never ceases to amaze me. I can tell you I definately don't deserve encouragement like that--with all my arrogant feminist attitude, I should be told "It's not about you , get over yourself" but God didn't do that. He draws us with kindness, and humbles us with lavish grace.
Next it was a nice walk with Angela (Joe's wife), Rosie, and Stephanie. This was a great time of catching up and getting to know Stephanie who I had just met. I have this nagging feeling I should have been picking their brains to get wisdom but it was nice just to be ladies talking about our children and grandchildren. Actually, it's impossible to talk to such godly women without getting something valuable out of it at some point. I hope God allows me to have more of these kinds of relationships on a more consistent basis. On Saturday night, we went over to friends' house, John and Leesa and enjoyed talking their ears off.
Then comes Sunday, the best day of the week ! I was actually excited for church. Aaron and I checked out of our hotel (yes, it was free!) and went out for breakfast together. I can't remember the last time we went out to breakfast. Then we headed over to the church and met up with my parents, my sister, and our kids who were happy to see us. It was so good of God to let us be there. We had worship, then Dave Felly preached a great great message to do with building the church and the role and qualifications of elders ect... very appropriate for the occasion. Next came the laying on of hands and the whole church gathered around Gary,Rick, Joe and their wives and prayed and prophesied over them. It was truly a historic moment for The Meeting Place, and we got to be there. Then we all sang O Canada together in English, then French. This sent shivers down my spine. We all headed over to a local restaraunt to eat together, and then we had to head back home. I really wanted to stay for the evening service, especially for Chris's sermon and the ministry time afterwards, but my poor exhausted husband probably wouldn't have made it home very well. So, we eagerly wait for the next opportunity, which will UNDOUBTEDLY come. Writing that word 'undoubtedly' makes me very happy and smiling.
So now we are home and back to big battles. It is beginning to seem like many forces of evil are converging against us to keep us from ever getting to Canada. That's a pretty good sign, don't you think? I know God has good things waiting for us there. But we have some things to finish us here too. So all of you who will pray, keep us in mind. We have some spiritual warfare things to deal with in Aaron's family and we need help. (Anyone with any experience in this please let me know. Maybe I could e-mail you and get some wisdom and encouragement.)
Well, that's my story. It's quite long and hopefully not too boring!