I thought it was high-time to write an update regarding what has been happening in our lives over the past few months. Our family has had some adventures and also some harder times and we are very grateful for your continued prayer for us.
Our first adventure was a trip to Edmonton. I (James) have a cousin who got married this summer, and we drove up as a family to attend the wedding. That in itself was an adventure as it was themed entirely in 14'th century style. Everyone was asked to come to both wedding and reception wearing authentic 14'th century costumes. Carolanne ended up doing quite a bit of sewing to make or customize costumes for each of us, and I think the end results were pretty fun!
Since we were in the area, we also took the opportunity to visit the West Edmonton Mall with the kids and see the various activities they had there. Even I learned something new, never knowing before that there is a roller-coaster park inside the mall as well as the ice-rink, water-park, seal show and apparently a petting-zoo which we never found. The kids of course were almost immediately attracted to the Disney store and Build-a-Bear.
We even ended up visiting the Edmonton zoo for free since our Fraser Valley zoo pass also works out there. The main zoo attraction for us was Lucy the elephant who apparently roams the zoo outside her enclosure for large portions of the day.
For the last portion of our trip, we went to Drumheller to see the dinosaur museum and attractions they had in that area. For a small town, they sure had some big dinosaurs... See the kids just between it's toes? :)
After returning from Alberta, my next destination was to be Hamilton, ON for our Power to Change Staff Conference. Normally this is something I am required to go to and is usually a great time of reconnecting as a team and being refreshed as an organization. We hear about progress and events from other ministries and are refocused in vision as an organization. This year however, was different.
I had already purchased my tickets for WestJet and had even checked in online so I would be ready to board, but the night before I was to leave I started having some severe pain in my side and back with what felt like a kidney stone. I had already had another batch of pain and trips to the emergency room a few days before, and they had sent me home with a prescription for pain killers, but I was hoping the pain had passed. However, the night (or actually early morning) that I was supposed to leave, I had to make the decision to cancel the flight, and instead go back into the emergency room. This time they kept me for several hours, took various tests, blood-work and a CT scan. Long-story short, I have several kidney stones, one of which is causing the pain, and several more tests and scans to complete over the coming weeks. ? ?
A Ministry Story:
A couple weeks ago, we received a message that was sent in from our issuesiface.com website in which a lady (I'll call her Sarah) shared that her relationship with her boyfriend was headed in entirely the wrong direction. She didn't ask for any specific prayer or information... just shared her concern with us, an anonymous online website.
Our system estimated that Sarah was from Kenya, and as such matched her up with another female mentor on our team who is ALSO from Kenya. After some discussion about the relationship with this boyfriend, the mentor asked Sarah about her relationship with God. The mentor shared that our relationship with God is broken as well and that He wants us to be committed to Him, just as we want commitment in relationships with others. She asked if Sarah had ever made a commitment to God.
Yes. I would like to make a commitment.
I really need God in my life.
Sarah's response was exactly as you see above. This gave the mentor an open invitation to share with her what it meant to be committed to God. Using her training and a template we provided as a starting point, the mentor was able to share a very clear message with Sarah about what it means and how to commit her life to Christ. Sarah has written back to her mentor and shared that she is "ready to begin a life with Christ". They continue the conversation to this day.
Please pray for us in the following areas.
- That the ministry would continue to grow in effectiveness as we form new partnerships and seek out new and more creative ways to reach people with God's love using the internet.
- That more people would be inspired to join our staff in reaching the world with the gospel.
- For staff and family health. We have several staff members (including myself) who are undergoing at times severe health issues and concerns.
- Wisdom, patience, unity and grace for our family as we will soon enter another year of homeschooling our kids.
Thank you so much for continuing to hold our family up in prayer. We really appreciate having such an amazing team of friends and supporters standing with us in this ministry.
James & Carolanne
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