"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

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On the farm in Brooks, AB...

Doing pre-field "Boda-boda" training...

A few fun pictures...

Jimmy loves baby...

A Godly Heritage

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.

British Columbia

Some pictures from our time in BC at Lake Louise.   It was cloudy, but still very beautiful. 

We have a picture like this of Eric and Timothy (when he was two), then Eric and William (when he was two) and now Eric and Benaiah since he is two! :)

Lots of hours in the car seat so far!

 We saw an avalanche fall from this glacier as we were driving past.  So pretty!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A few reflections on our last days in Salem...

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 days…hmmm… J)
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 too.
 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!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Container is packed!

I can't believe it is done! 

We spent the day

 holding babies...

Sitting in bookshelves...

Lifting bed frames out of windows...

Writing down items as they were loaded...

Pushing and shoving and then pushing some more...

And what to do with left over furniture wrap??

Wrap the kids of course!!
 Lots of them!!

(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! :)

Praising the Lord for an amazing day!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our Container is Here!!!!

Two days to pack!! 

boxes, boxes everywhere...

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...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Profession of Faith

"I have no greater joy than to hear
 that my children are walking in the truth." 
3 John 1:4

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.

While we were sleeping....

A post-it note pad exploded on our van...  I mean I'm sure no one would do this knowing there would be no time for revenge???  

Good thing we don't have Sunday School this morning!  Hilarious!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kids' video...

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...