"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18
We have been blessed with visits with Eric's grandmothers. It has been wonderful to see them again and to re-introduce and introduce them to our children.
First Grandma Tuininga in Edmonton.
In Edmonton, we stayed with Eric's cousin and wife, who also happen to be good friends of ours. They have 6 kids and two are adopted from Uganda. We also have other cousins in Edmonton...here are all the second cousins...
Then we drove to Brooks, Alberta to visit Eric's Oma.
Once again, we had a precious visit with her.
We visited outside for a while and then went to her room to sing and pray together.
I think this picture is precious. Talitha was fascinated with Oma speaking sweet-baby words in Dutch to her.
We are officially “on vacation” now.After two days, I realized I need to tell
myself that I actually am on vacation and then start acting like it.After the rush and work and stress of packing
the container and finishing packing for four weeks on the road and
who-knows-how-long without our container (3-4 months or more?) and the high
emotions of saying goodbye, unwinding doesn’t come easy.But…take a deep breath… we are on vacation…
(or something like that…when we are sleeping in 11 different places in 30
By God’s grace, we jumped in over our heads…and by God’s
power, he is bringing us through.It’s a
great position to be in, really…For the
last couple weeks, I went to bed every night, feeling like Gideon, begging the
Lord for strength and help for tomorrow…knowing I’m completely inadequate and
unable to do all that is required of me. And yet, like with Gideon, God worked mightily
in our weakness to show forth his glory.Because of God’s grace, our last weeks in Salem were a time of
thriving…not just surviving.
In March, a friend of a friend called.Rose Elena, who is a homeschool graduate and
a wonderful organizer and babysitter, was wondering if I wanted help in those
areas before she left for Mexico in July.Help?Oh my, yes please!!She spent most of her days this spring, at
our house!Wow!I didn’t even know we would need her help,
but the Lord knew…and provided before I even asked!
Last week, another friend of ours spent the entire week with
us.She worked and packed and helped…we
wouldn’t have gotten everything done without her: another gift the Lord gave to
us, before I could even ask or think of it.
With all the business and manual labor, one would think I
would have burned more calories than I took in, but no… people brought lunches,
suppers and cookies and cookies and cookies.Moving is not a good weight loss program with all these dear friends
around… And paper plates, bowl, spoon, knives and forks…yup…they thought of that
And starting on the
Thursday before our departure, I believe we had at least 20 or more dear ones
at our house wrapping, packing, sorting and folding.My primary job the last few days was to pack
only what no one else could and to direct the masses.
So thank you dear friends for praying for us!God certainly answered our prayers above all
that we could ask or think.Please do
not let up in praying for us.We are
still in need!
::Pray for safe travels for us!We are driving our 12 passenger van and
pulling a 10 foot trailer.So far, all
is well.I just figured out, with the
help of our techno-savey cousin, how to hook a microphone to my computer and
then my computer to the tape deck so that I can talk to the kids over the
speakers of the van without having to YELL MY BRAINS OUT!!!It’s great…now I really feel like we are in a
bus…this time, a tourist bus…”and on the right you will see fields, fields and
more fields of Alberta…”But it really
does make reading books easier…
::Continue to pray for good “good-byes.”Saying good bye to our church family was
really hard.By God’s grace we have
loved deeply (not perfectly, I’m sure…but deeply…) and now it hurts deeply…as
it should… but that doesn’t make it fun.We look forward to heaven where God will wipe away our tears and we
never have to say good-bye again.We
have more “good-byes” coming…more friends and family across Canada and the US.
::Pray for health on the road.Every year that we have made this cross
country trek (three times now), we have been sick by the third week and super
ready to go home by the fourth.I’m sure
you can see where I’m going with this…there is no comfort of home waiting for
us after four weeks on the road…that’s when we take off for a whole new
world…Feeling like Gideon again at the
thought of this and trusting the Lord to help us.
Thanks for praying for us! Vacation pictures coming!!
(And then organize races for them, watch them jump around the yard, and laugh hysterically as you make them lie down, then wriggle around like inch worms trying unsuccessfully to get up...cruel...I know! :)
It's busy around here! 252 items...packed and labeled...ready to be shipped. Our container arrives tomorrow...earlier than we thought, so hopefully we will be able to get some of it loaded tomorrow and finish it on Saturday.
Today the kids kept busy playing with friends whose parents and older siblings came to help
building the world's coolest train made out of moving boxes...
Last Sunday, we had the privilege to hear and celebrate Timothy, Katelyn, Matthew and Rebecca make public the faith that the Lord has worked in their hearts.
All of their lives Eric and I have earnestly prayed that the Lord would show them their sin and cause them to believe that Jesus died on the cross for them and place all of their hope in that great exchange: that Christ gave to them His righteousness and took their sin on himself.
In addition, we have sought, by God's grace, to teach them diligently, and talk of Christ when we sit in our house, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise. (Deuteronomy 6:7) And we will continue to do so. It certainly doesn't end here! Though we fall short as parents all the time, Christ forgives and has chosen to bless our feeble efforts - what grace!
We praise the Lord that he has remained faithful to his word and has continued to work his Covenant grace in the lives of our children. Should it surprise us? When I look at how unworthy of all this grace we are, it does! But when I look how amazing and faithful Christ is, it really doesn't.
Please pray that God will bless their child-like faith. Pray that God will add wisdom and knowledge to their faith as they grow. Pray that they will continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling as God works his good pleasure in them. (Philippians 2:12-13) And finally, please pray for us...that we will remain ever faithful to the vows that we made at their baptism to raise them to follow Christ and be mighty warriors in His kingdom.
I just made this video of the kids for my parents to show at their church's VBS. If you only watch one part, watch the very end...especially the look on Talitha's face...I'm sure she wonders at times what kind of nuttiness she was born into...
Last night our church gave us an a.m.a.z.i.n.g farewell dinner. I will post stories, pictures and video later. But first I wanted to get these pictures that I took of Talitha yesterday morning on the blog.
I forgot to switch out her blankets for a while and sweet girl just decided to attach herself to this blankie...
Doesn't she know we are moving and we already need to pack a box of soothers and now she's asking for a box of blankies too??
Daddy...don't make me give it up!!
I think she's got him with her eyes...don't you?? :)