Saturday, May 29, 2010

Atlantic Baptist Women's Convention

"Time to SOAR"
2010 Atlantic Baptist Women

"But those who trust in the Lord will
find new strength. They will soar high..."
Isaiah 40:31

Erica with our CBM colleague Linda Naves

This weekend we are participating in the annual Atlantic Baptist Women's convention at Crandall University, Moncton. We are joining our CBM team mate Linda Naves and several other missionaries like Dan & Melody Grove and Diane Friesen, who are also taking part in this years gathering. The theme speaker for the convention is Brenda Mann, the executive director of Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec. Diane's opening presentation "Surrender" set the tone for a great weekend.

2010 is also the 75th Anniversary of Canadian Baptist Women. Over the past decades, CBW has worked to promote a sense of unity among Baptist Women across Canada and provide opportunity for Baptist Women in mission and ministry to partner with women globally.

ABW incoming president Linda Scott
welcoming everyone to the 2010 convention and
introducing theme speaker, Brenda Mann.

Rev. Cheryl Ann Beals introducing the conference theme:

"Together, as Atlantic Baptist Women, we are going to learn how to SOAR! We will learn to surrender our lives and circumstances to God. We will learn to lovingly obey His word. We will learn to intimately abide in Jesus and how to rise by the power of the Holy Spirit above our circumstances. We are going to SOAR for God's glory!"

We were delighted to meet our colleague Tim Bannister's sister, Marilyn Rogers, and mother, Myrtle Bannister, during the evening ice cream social.

Erica with our friends from Middleton Baptist, Nova Scotia,
Muriel, Leslie, Diane and Ellen

Tristan's 11th Birthday

On Friday afternoon, we celebrated Tristan's 11th birthday with family and friends at Crystal Palace, Moncton. We want to thank everyone who came and made this such a special day for Tristan.
The birthday boy!

The kids awaiting Tristan's time in the "Birthday Blower"
Leah Myers; Elliot & Dublin Able; Lauren Myers; Cecile Able; Ava; Penelope & Ezabella Able; Emma; Carter & Colton Allen; Tristan; Kyle & Nicole Clark; and Meagan Allen
Let the fun begin!
The girls ready to hit the rides at Crystal Palace

The screams were wonderful!
Dublin Able has got the Dance Fever!!!
The Lazer Squad!

Watch out boys... here we come!

Grace Memorial Baptist Church

Erica and Emma with Julaine Palmer
at Grace Memorial, Fredericton

On Wednesday, the missions group at Grace Memorial Baptist Church hosted a gathering for us with members of their congregation and other area churches. We enjoyed a great potluck dinner and time of sharing about the ministries we are a part of in Kenya.

Pastor Doug slipped out during the dinner to be a part of the closing basketball game for a Special Olympics team that practices in the church gymnasium. It was wonderful to learn about some of the ways that the church is opening itself to its community and of the blessing of seeing God at work in the lives of others.

Another highlight of the night for us, was meeting some friends we had not expected to see in Fredericton, like Rob & Sharon Vance who moved from Charlottetown, Diane Bannister's parents, and our CBM colleague Brian Malcolm, who was visiting his parents. Among the gathering were also several CBM alumni including Charlie and Fran Harvey who had served in Africa for many years!

Aaron with pastor Doug and CBM alumni Charlie Harvey

More Canadian Baptist Missionary Alumni with Bob Malcolm and his three sons who grew up serving in Angola and Zaire (Congo).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mud glorious mud!

Hanging out with the Waddell family

On Victoria Day, we travelled to Coles Island to visit with our friends Michael and Melanie Waddell and their children Kyla, Carter, Shawn and Ally. It was fun see our kids playing together and enjoying the river/river bank free of hippos!

Canadian Geese along the river

Go Emma!

Erica and Melanie enjoying a wonderful
sunny afternoon in Coles Island, NB

Ava, Shawn, Emma, Kyla, Carter and Tristan

The kids having fun in the river mud!

"...I love how mud feels
and I love how mud smells.
Oh, I love being a pig!"

Just as Lost!

Emma setting up the Lost viewing rules...

We had a fun night celebrating the series finale of our favourite television show -- Lost on ABC. By now, I think real lost fan have found a way to watch the final episode, BUT if you haven't seen "The End" and don't want to be spoiled then stopping reading now...

...Okay, I warned you. The mysteries were not all answered. The island is just as mysterious as it was in the beginning of the show. But it was good to see resolution for most of our characters. Many of the sub-plots ended abruptly and with very little closure. I think Kate ends up with both Jack and Sawyer in a weird way. And as Tristan predicted Jack dies (Way to go TK you totally called it!). The ah ha reveal was that the flash sideways world was actually purgatory, but the island was real. Jack and our favourite characters move on into "the light" but Ben Linus and other missing villains seem left out of this redemptive end. Interestingly, it is Ben's choice to stay out of the church and follow the "Christian Shepherd" character into the light. To be honest, it wasn't the ending we had hoped for, but I guess Lost never does anything neat and tidy.

Erica & Kelly ready to enjoy some Dharma Chocolate!

Yes... that is wild bore on the table
(along with the Oceanic Six gingerbread
--- they're all half-baked ... or are they?)

Tristan helping to decorate...
more than a little excited for the Lost finale

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Victoria Day Weekend

Visiting Rev. David and Carolyn Wellwood
at Burtt's Corner Baptist Church

Aaron speaking today at Burtt's Corner Baptist

For all our friends in Kenya, this weekend is a special holiday time in Canada in honour of Queen Victoria. The Victoria Day Weekend is a time that signals the beginning of leisurely weekends as many Canadians go camping or visit places in the countryside. Over the past few days, we've enjoyed opportunities to connect with friends at Burtt's Corner and throughout New Brunswick.

We were very excited to visit our CBM colleagues Malcolm and Patty Card in their new home in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Cards returned from Kenya at the end of April, but will be spending a lot of time in Toronto over the next few months as Malcolm serves as the interim general secretary for Canadian Baptist Ministries.

Erica with our friend Theresa Hickman in Knightville

Our children visiting with Emily, Philip
and Mary Gray in Midland

One of our highlights, was having a chance to slip back to Midland to visit with Mary Gray and her grandchildren. Thank you so much Mary for the way that you've made our children feel so loved. While we were there, Mary pulled out some drawings by Tristan when he was five years old. It was wonderful!

Erica catching up with our friend Jessie DeVos

Lost Finale

Where will you be this Sunday Night?

One of our highlights of being back in Canada is the fun of being with our friends Andrew and Kelly Myers for the final episode of LOST. Over the past five years, we have enjoyed our shared addiction to this mysterious TV show across the miles. If you haven't seen Lost, it is basically a science/fantasy/drama of a plane that crashes on a mysterious island. The castaways soon discover that the island has a complicated past/mythology and that some how their stories are interwoven into the fabric of the islands story/purpose. Spirituality, science fiction, compelling human characters, moral dilemmas and some much more make Lost a delightfully complicated and intriguing experience.

We have also discovered lots of other Lost-addicts out there. For our Lost finale party, we are having Wild Bore sausages a'la John Locke; Mr. Cluck's chicken wings (Thank you Hurley); and certainly something smokey for "Smokey".

Are any of you Lost fans planning something special for Sunday night? We'd love to hear any of your fun ideas for celebrating the end of one of the best television series of all time!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Crains

Ava cuddling with Alden Crain

This afternoon, we had a wonderful time visiting with friends in Keirsteadville at the home of Alden and Tracy Crain. The Crain family had served with Canadian Baptist Ministries in Kenya for two terms before being called to pastor the Midland Baptist Church. Under Alden's leadership, the Midland Church is doing some very creative ministry as it takes seriously social justice dimensions of the Gospel both locally and globally.
Jackie Crain and Barbara Sherwood

Tracy and Jackie brought our kids out to see their three day old chicks -- The kids had a great time catching the chicks!

Ava deciding whether or not to hold a chick

On the Road

Our journey through New Brunswick continued this week as we travelled north to Carleton County. Here are a few highlights from the week so far!

Emma answering questions at the Discovery Kids Club
at Grand Falls Baptist Church.

We were thrilled to join the Discovery Kids during their closing and to learn about how they have been working together to help people around the world from Haiti and Kenya to their own community. Way to go kids -- We are so proud of you!!

Ladies enjoying some "bead talk" at the Ortonville Baptist Church on Wednesday evening.

Ruth Ann Rhyno modelling her new Solidarity Necklace

Debbie Peters hanging out with Tristan and Emma

Tristan and Emma with their new friend
Noah at the Ortonville Baptist Church

Marysville Baptist Church

We have appreciated the support and encouragement that we have been receiving from the friends and churches. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Deer Island

Deer Island, New Brunswick

Erica and Lois

Yesterday afternoon we travelled to Deer Island to visit our friends and colleagues Dale & Lois Mitchell. We are having a wonderful time being in the salt spray and enjoying these beautiful islands in the Bay of Fundy.

Herring Weirs are a common part of life in the fishing communities of Southwest New Brunswick.
Emma had great sea legs

Captain Dale sharing the wheel with our kids

Tristan banding a newly caught lobster

Mmmm... Lobster!

Lambert's Cove Baptist Church
Last night we enjoyed a potluck and visit with people from area churches who joined us at Lambert's Cove. It was a fun time for our whole family to answer questions and share about the ministry of CBM in Africa.

Aaron with Rev. Maurice Hatfield