Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mama George's

Mama George's Restaurant,
Midland, New Brunswick

Today we were able to take some time to drive out along Belleisle Bay to see our old home in Kiersteadville. Tristan had one of his "Canadian wishes" come true when we revisited his favourite childhood restaurant -- Mama George's. It is the only restaurant we know of that has Crosby's Fancy Molasses on every table. Returning to Mama George's we were able to run into several old friends from Midland. We are looking forward to being back for Young at Heart on May 11th.

Hmmm. Hot Turkey Sandwich!

For Tristan, being back in Canada is all about the food. We don't know how he packs it all in -- He never stops! I'm sure if he wrote a book it would be called "Eating My Way Across Canada" or something like that. He has a little private contest going with our friend Terry Smith from the CBM head office on the number of fast food restaurants he eats out at during our family's travels: Watch out Terry, this boy is on a mission!

New Doo!

Emma with our friend Shana at the
Village Hair Salon in Hampton, New Brunswick.

Today was an especially fun day for Emma as she had a dream come true when our friend Shana gave her new coloured highlights! Over the past few days we've a great chance to connect with family, friends and supporters in the Saint John and Sussex area. This morning we travelled out to Hampton to visit our friend Shana and were blessed to also run into our good friend Michael Waddell.

Emma excited to see the results...

Wow Emma! Cool new highlights!

Dial 911

Ava with Auntie Lana

Auntie Lana and uncle Jamie both work with the Saint John EMS Ambulance service. After Lana's shift, she gave our kids a fun lesson on being a first responder -- always be prepared!

Emma and Tristan going to work on their patients

Emergency Response!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Andrew and Ava playing catch

Over the last two days, we've enjoyed a wonderful time with our friends Andrew & Kelly Myers and their daughters Lauren and Leah. One of our highlights was a chilly campfire last night as the temperature dropped and we bundled up. Ava kept warm as she was busy playing in the yard.
Lauren and Emma cuddling on a cold evening

Kelly and Andrew whipping up a McMyers' breakfast!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Shana and Erica at Midland Baptist

On Sunday, we joined our friends at Midland Baptist Church near Norton, New Brunswick, for worship. It was a great time of connecting with pastor Alden Crain and all of our church family there. We shared about our ministry in Kenya and new responsibilities with Guardians of Hope in Africa.

Emma and her best friend Lauren Myers reunite!


Coleen Steeves presenting a gift to our family on behalf of the Midland Baptist Church. It was so encouraging to be with our friends in Midland and to know how they have been uplifting us in prayer throughout our journey in Africa.

Andrew, Leah and Kelly Myers
The service began with a dedication of our friends Andrew & Kelly Myers' baby Leah. Leah was born July 21, 2009. Aaron had the joy of sharing the prayer of blessing for Leah and the Myers family.

Leah resting after the big day

Sharing our story with friends


Lana and Jamie Masocato

We arrived in Saint John on Thursday afternoon to a warm welcome. It was wonderful to see some of our family and friends and incredible to see how much their kids have changed. Over the weekend, we stayed with Erica's sister Lana and her husband Jamie in their Saint John home. On Saturday, the Clark family gathered for a mini Christmas-in-April making up for the past four Christmases that we've been apart.

Nana Clark (Mary) carving the Christmas turkey

Lori and Sylvain

Mary Jane, Meagan and Erica

Nicole and Emma

The Boyz -- Colton, Kyle and Tristan

Aaron celebrates his 35th Birthday

Who knew that Christmas Eve in April falls on Aaron's birthday.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Heading East

Our family visiting with our friend and colleague Sharlene Craig

We enjoyed our last night in Toronto visiting with several friends over supper with Sharlene Craig. It has been a great week here in Ontario but we weren't able to connect with everyone we had wished to see. We were very glad that on this last evening we were able to enjoy some time with Katie Carline and the Rowely family. Katie is the daughter of our team mates Paul and Kelly Carline: She moved to Toronto to study at Tyndale University where she is a second year history student. Katie will be returning to Nairobi next month with three of her friends on a short term mission trip that will include a week with the Iftin program at the Eastleigh Community Centre.

Erica and Zak Rowley

We were also thrilled to see Zak Rowely and to meet his parents. Zak had lived with us in Nairobi for a few weeks last fall and shared with us in the Iftin program where he was a huge hit with the refugee kids and Iftin students. Yesterday afternoon, Zak and Katie took Tristan and Emma to see the 3-D movie "How to Train Your Dragon" -- they loved it! While Ava napped at home with Sharlene, Erica and I had a chance to run some errands and drop in on a few friends.

The girls playing

Today we are flying East to begin visiting churches in the maritimes, we are looking forward to reunions with our family and friends. It has been a long journey and we can't wait to be back!

Ava with Katie Carline

Kiselo Missions Circle

Emma at the Kiselo Missions Circle, Niagara Falls.

On Tuesday evening we shared a wonderful time with members of two different missions groups in Niagara Falls. It was a great opportunity tell others about the lives being impacted by the generosity of Canadian Baptist Churches.

Erica checking on a newly found bird's nest
at the home of our host Ms. Helen Davis.

Ava peaking into the nest...

Robin's Eggs

Butterflies and Water Falls

The Niagara Butterfly Conservatory

When we started to talk to Tristan and Emma about their memories of Canada, one of their fondest memories of our time in Ontario is of an afternoon when we visited the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory in July 2006. Since we were going to be visiting a church in Niagara we left Toronto early on Tuesday to give the kids a chance to re-visit these beautiful places.

Emma -- the landing pad

Q: Do you know what a group of butterflies is called?

Answer: A flutter

Mommy attracting lots of attention from the butterflies

Tristan "the butterfly whisperer"!

Butterfly (English)
Kungu-urumu (Kiswahili)
Balanbaalis (Somali)
Billaacha (Oromo)
Kihuruta (Kikuyu)
Ikinyugunyugu (Kirwanda)
Papillon (French)

The Falls

Mommy and the kids getting a close look at the Falls!
It feels strange for us to think that it was almost four years ago when we last visited Niagara Falls with Tristan and Emma before departing for Africa. The falls may not have changed, but our two eldest children certainly have: Emma was only four years old then (Just a year older than Ava is now), but she still remembers wearing her rain poncho as we ventured out on the Maid of the Mist.

The observation tower over looking Niagara Falls

Daddy and the kids at the top of the horse shoe falls


Our children with Don & Joy Hepburn

On Tuesday morning, we said good-bye to our friends Don & Joy Hepburn after a wonderful week together at their Scarborough home. We are so thankful for the way they have welcomed us into their family and shared their home with our busy little family. It was a blessing to have such support and love as we got over our jet-lag and into our responsibilities with CBM.

Erica with Canadian Baptist Ministries president, Brenda Halk, at the CBM offices in Mississauga

We also finished up our meetings at CBM this week. It was a great time for us to connect with our Canadian colleagues and to discuss our new roles with Guardians of Hope and HIV/AIDS ministry. Please uphold our friend Brenda Halk and the CBM board members as they seek God's wisdom and direction in the oversight of CBM and the selection of a new general secretary.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Our little Rockstars!

We have had a great week staying with our friends Don & Joy Hepburn -- they have looked after us like their own. We have appreciated the ways that they have blessed us as we've overcome jetlag and adjusted back into Canadian life. Today Tristan, Emma and Ava visited the Toronto Science Centre with Don and Joy, while we had a long day in the CBM office. We say good-bye tomorrow morning as we leave for Niagara Falls.

Hair-raising fun!


Don Hepburn getting in on the fun...
The kids exploring the "tropical rain-forest"

Hanging out at the Hepburn's
Tristan, Daddy, Mommy, Ava, Emma, Jennifer, Tyler, Quinn, Sean, Aiden, Stephen and Yenny.

Ava and Tyler