God is in the moments of our lives, the needs, the concerns and also our joys. He will care for each one who turns to him. For a couple of years, Lloyd and I have been praying almost daily that God would bring healing to my knees (osteoarthritis). We asked him to work either a miracle healing or to work through doctors and to set a time for surgery if that was his way of working. When May 4 th was finally given as a date for surgery, we felt God had chosen the timing. I began a new regimen of exercises and walking and riding the stationary bike in preparation. We went shopping for the equipment I would need: the anti-embolic stockings, the slider board for exercise, the walker, the raised toilet seat and special chair for showers and my unique cane. (This cane has been admired by doctors and physio-therapists and others. It has the broad base so the cane stands alone and it even has a little light in the handle.)
I went to the information sessions offered, the pre-op meeting and arrived at the hospital on the morning of the fourth. I was not worried: God had chosen the date and the manner of healing and I knew he was in control. I went into the operating room in peace. On the second night in the hospital while I was resting, I sensed God’s presence as though he touched me; he touched my spirit. I felt a wonderful peace and slept well. When I returned home, I tired easily and went to bed sometimes quite early (I still do). One night as I rested, I heard him say, “Be still and know that I am God.” He knows how long healing will take. He knows when I will be ready for a shopping weekend with Vicki and Dave and Lloyd and he knows when I will be ready for the mission field again
I am so thankful for God’s word which promises, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22.
What does a bible study have in common with an on-line auction?
Not much would be a good answer. Does it get even more complicated if the study is in Spanish and auction of property we are watching is in English? Yes.
Present at the study were three migrant workers, a former missionary, a pastoral couple and a couple with their baby. On the huge screen were details of properties selling on line for the missionary whose husband recently passed away. Each time someone bid, the new bid was posted and we constantly refreshed the web page to see how things were going. First, we had to explain to everyone how the process worked. Each time the bid went up there was a scream of delight and especially when the bid hit, then passed, what was a hoped for price.
For four weeks, the group had been praying with Sonia that the properties would sell and she would no longer feel the burden of the property. Sonia explained that every night for a month she had been asking God to facilitate the sale. Squeals of delight interrupted the singing of choruses but each bid was like an affirmation that God was in control and answering prayer. The Bible study began with prayer and ended with a prayer of thanks to God for the results. A really wonderful sense of fellowship blessed the evening as we watched Sonia praise God for his goodness and faithfulness to her.
What do an auction and a bible study have in common? Answers to prayer and an amazing presence of God and fellowship within a group.
Looking back, I have many precious memories of mission experience in the Dominican Republic.
I participated on my first team in 1989 and from then on was the team leader for many years until I stepped back a bit and became a facilitator for teams from churches other than my home church in Sarnia. I remember puppet dramas we recorded and Bobby and Larry from Veggie Tales in costumes that I sewed and balloon stories and balloon for Zacchaeus flying away over the fence as it was caught by the wind. I remember when I had enough Spanish to understand the jokes the youth were telling. There were construction teams and teenagers who seemed to put more paint on themselves than the wall. There were special events – sad one a funeral for a much loved pastor, and happy ones participating in weddings and baby presentations and seeing twenty people baptized in a river on a Sunday afternoon.
There was the photography team with Pastor Doug Standing on the cab of the truck to get a special picture. There are photos of the beautiful flowers, in bright reds and yellow, photos of children colouring their VBS page while they knelt on the floor and used the chair as a table, photos of a typical meal with chicken, rice, beans and salad. There are photos of people climbing trees to knock down the coconuts or to pick mangos. And of course, there are photos of aire libre (open air) evangelism services in the street or at a ball park.
Then I became pastor of a Spanish language service in Sarnia and had less time to travel to the Dominican or help churches plan for a mission or prepare a team. But now as I retire from the church, I will be able once again to come alongside churches and help them generate interest in a mission trip and be a resources person for a team and its leader as they plan a team
My husband and I will be facilitators for teams while they are in the Dominican, meeting them at the airport, providing local transportation, arranging for housing and food. The Dominican Republic is a great place for a first time mission experience and an even better place to develop a long terms partnership with a Dominican church.