I had a personal mission trip planned to visit Doug and Ann Snowsell, Alliance missionaries to Chile. It was one of those unforgettable trips. As the plane was coming in to land in Santiago, Chile, it was as if God said to me, This will be your new country, take a good look around. I had already planned to travel all the way south and north. Part of my visit was a side trip to Quito, Ecuador, where I met with Dr. Ron Gudarian and his wife Eleanor working in the Radio HCJB hospital. I went, as friends said, “to spy out the hospital there.” With Ron, I travelled to the jungle for a weekend and tested eyes with an Ecuadorian ophthalmologist, helped to fit glasses, took in the environment, and again heard from God. You can do this, but it is not what I have planned for you.
Returning to Chile and then Canada, I knew changes were again coming my way. God also gave me a verse from Scripture, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). God is the only one able to lead me, and the glory is all for Him.
Returning to Regina and Canadian Theological Seminary (CTS), I had no clue how God would organize everything. I was over the age limit for foreign missions, and I had not done a formal home assignment. There were two years of studies ahead, accreditation, and pre-deployment, etc. But I was sure God had me firmly by the hand. What He wills, He does.
Back in Mexico, counselling started to move forward. There was an empty space at the ministry centre where I set up a counselling room. One pastor approached me to say he was sending me all those who needed help. Many young people from the church came to me as they lacked orientation on how to go forward in their lives. It was amazing to be with them and encourage them. They have continued to contact me.
In December 2014, I went on home assignment, staying late to hand off the administration. I decided to live in Winnipeg and spend time with my home church. From there, I visited the churches inviting me. It was again great to be able to visit with so many friends through the years. During one of my church visits, a young woman came up to me saying she had come specially to see me as she had grown up in The Pas and remembered my visits when I was their adopted missionary. We don’t always know how our lives have touched others. Before my return, I had spoken with my District Superintendent, Al Fedoruk, about ordination. God again confirmed His call on my life as I was ordained at The Bridge Church in May 2015.
In late July of 2015, I returned to Mexico for what turned out to be my last term. With my counselling room ready, and people in waiting, I quickly became quite busy. I continued to visit and encourage in the Atizapán Church. One thing I need to do was to figure out how to hand off my counselling. I looked at so many possibilities, but none seemed to work. It is probably one of the laments of my time in Mexico.
People need encouragement many times in their lives, but they do not always talk with someone. My life revolved around conversations with them in the counselling room and elsewhere. I came to measure Sundays by the number of conversations of substance about how to walk with God amid life’s interruptions.
This is an excerpt from the book, On Mission Volume 3. Download your free copy today.