Friday, February 27, 2015

Hi all,

I've been blogging over at Leadership in View

Friday, January 4, 2013

O Canada

Sitting in Tim Horton’s with a friend and beside us was a table filled with six elderly women, all at least 70 years of age, deep in conversation. One lady had an oxygen tank with her and it looked like she had some trouble with it when they first sat down. We get up to leave and one lady breaks from their conversation to address us and ask if we know about the hockey going on right now. She is speaking of the World Juniors in process right now. Canada screwed up and lost quarter final to USA and Russia did the same with Sweden. These ladies were arguing over who was playing who for bronze, silver and gold. My friend and I were to set them straight.

We chatted and laughed a bit and I was glad to have had them play a part in my day. As we started to leave the lady with the oxygen tank asked if I knew anything about it and if I could fix it for her. I told her that I would not be that helpful in that regards but reminded her that she was at Tim Horton’s and someone that would know something about them would probably be along shortly.

As I left, I smiled with the thought that only in Canada would you find a group of six older ladies arguing in a coffee shop over hockey. I was also reminded of my departed grandma. She would have loved to have been at the table with these ladies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Responding In The Moment

I find it interesting in my role at the church the number of times I get an email or a word in passing on a Sunday morning asking the church to rally behind a cause, an individual, or a project that they have encountered and have been so impacted by it that they recognise the enormity of the situation and have started to seek out help for the solution.

So when Kathleen and I were exposed to some orphans that have HIV/Aids and a very compassionate man who is attempting to stop the HIV/Aids tide in the Nkonya area, well, it’s easy to come to the same conclusion. One wants so desperately to help solve the problem it’s natural to begin to think about all the resources you have or may have access to, the greatest being the church you attend. You have an overwhelming urge to call the church and ask it to rally and then anyone else that will give you their ear.

I have no problem accepting the reality of God calling some of us to a greater level of ownership on an issue, and along with that, provide you with the creative means of rallying others to the table. But I think that for the most part, God just wants the individual to just do the simple part that is staring them in the face. Do with the resources that God has given to you personally. Do it well and be generous. Then trust God to take care of tomorrow for that which he showed you today. For me, for Kathleen . . . for you, I think what God really wants from us is to just do our part. Whatever resources he has given to you, ask Him what He would have you give, then just do that part. It is so compelling to take the whole problem upon ourselves to try and fix things and forget that it is now and always has been in God’s hands, and he is the one bringing his resources to bear on the issue. We just happen to be asked to participate with Him today.

My personal rant: It’s not necessarily the local church’s responsibility to own whatever He tugs at your heart about. He is asking you to participate, don’t miss the opportunity. You are the church, so be the church. What is CrossRoads responsibility? Two things I think. First, do everything we can to equip you to be the church. Secondly, be listening to God and asking him what we are to do for him as a local body of Christ. We currently have some key focal points that we sense God has called us to participate in and so we will be diligent about those things. You can read about them on our web site.

Together we can change our world for the sake of Christ.

No matter where you are, whether at home or in Africa or Lebanon, if you and I are listening to God and then responding to his call on our hearts to participate in the moment with what we each have, then I think there would be much more done in our own local communities and around the world.

During these weeks away Kathleen and I have been asking God what is our part in the work here in Africa and in Lebanon. Perhaps we are done; perhaps there is more. But I am sure he will tell us and we will make ourselves ready to respond.

Are you listening? Have you responded lately?


Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Cedars

I wentr to the cedars today here in Lebanon. The forests here are almost gone and this tree is mow protected. They are absolutely majestic. I blogged a couple times on them last time I was here. I'll just post the links here and let you read what I wrote at that time.

Cedars of Lebanon

A Cedar of Lebanon, His Cedar

Kathleen had a hard day in northern Ghana. Pray for her, that she would have a good rest tongiht. She will be flying back to Accra in the morning.


Friday, December 3, 2010

In Lebanon

Friday Evening:

So I finally received my luggage this morning after being without for a day + the 27 hours the airline had me in their clutches. A fun time was had by all. I’ve tried calling Kathleen for the past day and have yet to connect with her to see how she is doing. Hope to try her in the AM again.

My time here in Lebanon is mostly used up with Matthieu and his family, encouraging them and speaking to Matthieu about the challenges of the organization that he leads in the Bekka Valley called Bridges of Love (BOL). The other family that is getting some of my time is Rahal’s family, who leads the Bedouin village in the valley that the CrossRoads team served last September and that BOL is currently supporting. You can read more about that village and the work there by going back into my blogs during that time frame. There are many.

I was going to upload a blog here on the wonders of airport life and let you in on a little of my fun getting here from Accra. You would only read it if you can handle my sense of humour for there is little substance outside of that. But now I think not. It's just a little long once I started to finsih it. I suppose if enough of you asked I might recant and upload but I don't think you'll miss much.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Catching Up

So here is a little catch up for you, since I was unable to upload any blogging over the past few days. I've got one that continues from this one, but I'll post it sometime in the next few hours.

Probably scroll down and start reading from where I last left off before this blog. I think it’s called Village Life or something like that.)

Kath and I came back to Accra with Wes and Katie on the Wednesday and then headed out west of Accra the next morning. We went to see an old castle that was used in the slave trading from the 1,400s to the 1,800s. About 578 years in total. (For the most part, I usually speak in roundabouts for those of you that need details. You have the internet.) It was profound and moving. These Ghanaians have reason to be angry, yet I find them all full of grace. Interesting.

Kathleen was not well, so the next day I went on a little excursion on my own and went to the rainforest where I was able to walk on top of the canopy on a swinging bridge about 350 meters long. Then a walk under the canopy. I think I blogged on this already.

Then Kathleen and I went to a small beach resort for some R&R where we saw turtles hatching and running top the water. It was something else to see. I guess not too many people get to see that. We did. Cool. I ate some bad chicken here and ended up with food poisoning which put me out for a day. Not a good thing. Lots of upchuck and fever for a day, then all was well. We headed back to Accra yesterday and caught up with Amanda, a friend from Red Deer and did a little shopping and visiting.

I left Kathleen alone this morning to catch a flight. She will take a flight up to Northern Ghana tomorrow and see some elephants and monkeys and a few other such animals in 38 degree plus weather. This will take place in one of the game farms that her cousin has developed. She will have a great time, I’m sure.

I’m currently on route to Cairo via Egypt Air. I’ll have a 2 hour and 5 minute stop over before continuing on to Beirut. My flight was 2 hours and 45 minutes late. You do the math. I have no idea what that means right now because everyone I ask talks funny. I’m hoping that someone has got it all figured out at the other end. I have not been able to speak to Matthieu and my cell is not working anywhere I go. I’ll probably still post this if I can catch some air time in Cairo, and then fill you in later once I land in Beirut.

Another day . . . . on a plane . . . . where is a transporter when you need one!

The little screens with the flight updates on them don’t help me. It’s telling me that we land at 11:34pm which is 24 minutes after my connecting flight leaves. So it looks like I’ll miss that fight unless something is broken on the connecting flight that keeps it on the ground for a while. (See how warped my brain thinks?)

No, wait a minute. The little screen says we have a 54km head wind. The time to arrival keeps slipping away. 11:34pm, now 11:35pm, now 11:36pm, now ... (of course I’m speeding up time here at about 5 minutes for every 12 characters)

Tap . . . tap . . . tap.

We are now at 11:42pm for arrival. The head wind has picked up and the little picture even shows that the plane is fighting a head wind but a bit from the side. The line was straight from Accra to Cairo but now it’s starting to form a “V”. The plane is not pointed straight at Cairo but at a 45 degree angle. The plane is actually trying to skid into Cairo. I know it’s not, but the picture looks pretty real. I wonder if they have a preloaded plane crash that comes up on the little screen if you’re going down.

I have to stop watching this!

I’ll not say another word till I’ve landed and figured out what’s next.


A Bug's Life

No shortage of bugs here. Back home we don’t tolerate any bugs in our lives. If we find one in our home we must drive it from existence. We will go to all ends of the earth to get rid of the ant hill that’s beginning to form outside the walls of our house. Here in Ghana, ants are considered clean bugs. You’d rather have an ant than some of the other critters that walk the halls. Sure, some bite, but for the most part, they are just a bunch of busy little animals going about their own business.

Here people just look at bugs as something that you coexist with. You don’t eradicate the species from your home because it would never be possible. The mosquitoes take their turns. The one’s carrying yellow fever fly around during the day and the ones carrying malaria fly around at night. Personally, I think they overlap a bit from what I’ve seen going on here.

Kathleen and I sat down for a nice breakfast at a resort here in Ghana. It was a 3’ square table. We sat beside each other in one adjacent corner and left the far two sides open. After sitting for a minute we realized we were not alone. There were about 100 little spider or mite type things running around in crazy circles in the far corner, probably lapping up something sweet from the night before. So we asked the waiter to take care of our little problem and all he did was take a paper napkin and swipe it across the table and said, “There you go.” We were happy. But then over a period of about 5 minutes, one by one they started showing up and before long there was a full chorus of the little guys again. We decided they needed to eat too, so we each kept to our corner and they to theirs and we all had a good breakfast.

We moved around a lot from night to night and came back to one place where I noticed three little sawdust piles neatly lined up under the runner on the bed frame. I didn’t have a clue but Kathleen thought they were termites. Wes sided with her, so we had termites gnawing on our bed while we were gone. Most of the bed frames are made of mahogany here. Termites love mahogany. At another place, I’m laying in bed at night with my head on my pillow, and I hear something digging almost like a little minnie power drill. I lift up my head and the sound goes away. I press my head down again and I can hear it again. I press down harder into my pillow and the sound is just resonating now. Cool. Termites!

When you wake up in the morning you get to see all the bugs you killed during the night. So you either swatted in your sleep, or just rolled over on them and squished them in the process. And then of course, when you go to bed at night you want to make sure the bed is at least starting clean. You lift up the sheet and sweep out the dead bugs from the day along with the odd live bug before you crawl under the sheets. For the most part, you just pretend they are not there.

We had it pretty nice here as far as bugs goes. I’ve hear worst stories from others that have visited Africa.

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