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Showing posts from 2014

The Power of a Hug

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So I've been mulling this over for awhile....and I even wrote the idea for this blog a few weeks ago on a grocery list and I've had to hold onto that outdated grocery list ever since.  I finally have a nice quiet morning to sit online and I really want to throw out that piece of paper today, so here I am blogging.  I've shared with a few people the awkwardness of moving back to Canada and trying to figure out greetings again.  In Venezuela I'm used to greeting people with a quick kiss to the cheek....well, more of an "air kiss"....and if it's a friend, that's usually followed by a hug. Of course, coming back to Canada, there's no better way to alienate people than by going around kissing and hugging everyone.  Now I'm confused; do I hug? Shake hands? Do nothing?  When I was talking about this with a friend, they mentioned to me that they felt people don't even shake hands very much anymore.  And I think that might be true, I've had my …

Dreaming of a White Christmas...and hallacas.

As many of you know, I'm now back in Cold Lake, Alberta for my home assignment year.  It's been interesting getting used to being back for more than a week or two of holiday!  The local Walmart and Canadian Tire stores are still quite overwhelming but I'm definitely loving the short amount of time it takes to get around town!  It was a beautiful fall, and it was great to enjoy my first fall season in 4 years!  However, fall leads to winter and winter leads to snow.  There has been snow here for a week or two now and I'm getting re-acquainted with shoveling and  scraping car windows...Winter has lost a bit of it's romanticism for me!  I do look forward to celebrating Christmas with snow, and I pulled out my decorations yesterday in hopes of getting some decorating done this coming week.

Sometimes I look through the Venezuelan news headlines, and this one caught my eye today:  A group of women made the world's largest hallaca!  This is like a tamale, filled with …

Countdown

Good news for the week:  we got our cedulas as well as the ID needed to sell our vehicles!  Thank you so much for praying!! Our paperwork is now all in place and the last few hurdles to jump are packing, moving my belongings to the Hieberts, Meetup group tomorrow, arranging to sell my car, a bit of last minute shopping and finally getting on the plane on Friday.  Still feels like a mountain of thing to do, but I'm thankful for a quiet day today to work on it.

Of course, I love all things 80's ESPECIALLY hair bands so you will forgive me for posting the following video that came to mind while I was writing this.  What would the day be without some cheeziness from Kelly?

Not an early bird, but I caught the worm.

It's been a find-a-worm-in-your-mango kind of week.  No, really....today I took a nice big bite then saw a worm meandering through the mango.  Thankfully, I hadn't swallowed yet! Blaaaaeeech.  Right now this transition phase is a bit of a beast, it's tiring, it's a rollercoaster.  But there are bright spots, and I'm thankful for teammates, family, and friends here and back in Canada who are walking with me through these crazy days, worms and all!

My great news for the week is that yesterday our passports were delivered back to us, with our visas stamped inside!! Woohooo!!!!!! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for this to happen!! That means that I am one step closer to home assignment.  My flights are booked and although there are still a few things to be done here (renew my identification card, arrange to sell my car etc) I can *almost* allow myself to get excited to travel.  Things are never set in stone here and plans can change in an instant so now we …

Visa Update

Just an update on the visa situation for those who are curious... I was able to renew my passport at lightning speed and got the new one in only one week! Today we were able to submit our paperwork to renew our visas.  I have a temporary visa for Venezuela, which means that I have to renew it every year, but the positive side to it is that I don't have to leave the country every 90 days like you would on a tourist visa.  I need to renew my visa before I leave the country for home assignment in Canada, because it was a pain in the rear to get in the first place and I sure don't want to lose it now!!  So now we wait for word on how long it will be, my hope is that it will be ready in under 2 weeks.  Right now we are sitting at just under 4 weeks until departure so it would really be great if God would speed up the hands that are dealing with our papers and passports!


Immigration Officers Gone Wild

It's been a bit of a stressful week for me here in Caracas....It's that time of year again, when I make the trek to the immigration office to renew my visa (which usually turns into 4 or 5 treks).  My last trip to the office yesterday included an officer who had no interest in answering any of my questions, who yelled at me (because he didn't understand what I was asking), and who walked away from me while I was still asking questions. I followed him out as he left the office, and he started yelling at another lady who had obviously been waiting to talk to him. I know that the Angers have also had some run-ins with him while they have been waiting for their ID cards but thankfully God gave me an extra helping of grace as I walked back to my car. It's been a rollercoaster, as we are still learning how things work here when it comes to our documents as foreigners but I'm thankful that it looks like things will work out so that I can arrive in Canada in August.  Would…

Habitacion

So, my favourite worship band right now is "En Espiritu y En Verdad" and they are from Spain.  Obviously I listen to more Spanish worship these days compared to English....but I suppose that is a part of being separated from the North American worship culture.  I'm just not up to date on what people up north are listening to!  But this is a great band, and I'd like to think that even if I didn't speak Spanish, I'd still enjoy listening to them.  Just thought I'd share a great song that I'm enjoying these days.


Team

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I was going to title this post "Meet the Team"...but then the Flintstones theme started running in my head; "Flintstones, meet the Flintstones.....".  But what is done is done and I suppose I'll be singing that song for the rest of the day.  But I do want to share the most up-to-date photo of our team, and you will notice that we have gained 4 people!  The Angers family joined us here in Caracas recently and we are enjoying getting to know them!  Martin and Nadia have come all the way from Quebec, and have had Venezuela on their hearts for many years.  They have 4 children, 2 have also joined us here in Caracas; Eliana and Jean-Samuel.  On the right side of the photo is the Hiebert Family; Chris, Angela, Mackenzie (R) and Lukas (L).  And I am stuck in the middle, a great place to be with these 2 families who are my family here in Venezuela.  While the Hieberts and I head back to Canada for the next year, the Angers will be "holding down the fort" her…

Oh the Weekend....

I often find that weekends are the busiest time of the week for me.  During the weekdays, I'm usually at home trying to get some reading done, answering those elusive emails (oh...sorry to those who are still waiting!), grocery shopping, meeting/prayer with our team, trying to do some organizing and planning for home assignment, and other various "stuff"....it's different every week.  But come the weekend, I'm not home very much!  This past Friday, we had a team meeting at the Hieberts' house, then I went out for supper with the Angers, the new family who has joined our team here in Caracas.  It was a great opportunity to just spend some "fun" time with them.  Saturday morning I was up and drove over to Altamira in the rain to meet up with the English conversation group I'm a part of.  It's always great, and as usual, what is planned for 2 hours together turned into about 6 hours together!  We met under a big tent at the park in the rain, cr…

Missionary Bio: Dr. William Leslie

If you like reading missionary bios, here's a short one that I read today of a Canadian-born missionary who worked in the DRC.  Thankful for the encouragement gleaned from the pioneers.

Click HERE to read the bio!

Welcome Back, Transition

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Well, I have been silent here for a little too long I guess.  **Hello? Anyone still out there reading this?** Over these last few month, with the unrest here in Venezuela, I've had a hard time figuring out just how to process and share my thoughts....so I just didn't. People have asked me lately if things are "back to normal" here.  My knee-jerk reaction is to say "NO!!" but then I realized that although there isn't as much happening as a few months ago, we have settled into a "new normal". That doesn't mean that that the protests, blockades, and tear-gas have stopped; they still continue on in a few concentrated areas.  But we are learning how to continue on with life and work around things.  I have never felt in danger, but I have been slightly panicked a few times trying to find my way back to my house when roads have been blocked...for those of you who know how directionally challenged I am, you will now be amazed that I even made it h…

Prayer Request

Hello everyone and greetings from Caracas!  Today I'm just posting a short message to remind you to pray for Venezuela today and in the coming week.  Since Wednesday there have been protests happening all over the country, and here in Caracas as well.  It is a very complicated situation as feelings run deep between the two polarized political leanings in the country.  Here in Caracas there was some violence on Wed, but more or less things have remained peaceful since then with only some isolated incidents.  The protests continue today; please pray that things will continue peacefully, and for safety for the young people of Venezuela...this started out as student protests.  Above all, pray that somehow Christ would reveal himself, and that Venezuelans and our friends here in Caracas would recognize that it is only Christ who can overcome the insecurity here and bring true freedom to this country.  We trust He is already working.  Thanks for your support, love, and pray…

My Yes-olutions

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I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.Haven’t for at least 10 years I’m sure.There is something about making a promise that you know you will probably break come February.Or worse yet, January 2.So why am I feeling so inspired to make “resolutions” (I really don’t like that word) today?I guess it’s all the talk on Facebook and Twitter about fresh starts, and new beginnings. Good ol' January 1.Or maybe my perspective has changed in the last month.I’ve realized thatI’m in my final 11-or-so months of ministry here in Caracas before I head to Canada for home assignment (ie: furlough if you’re old-school), and I really want to make the best of this time because I know it will go by super-fast.And I want to land in Canada content to just be me and be where I am….not like a plane heading down for a crash landing, a wounded soldier dragging himself on one arm or a figure skater who’s quadruple jump has gone horribly, horribly wrong.I think this next year is going to determine how I land in C…