Fifteen years ago Clyde and Kelsie came on a short-term outreach to visit us. A friendship started. Seven years later they moved to Brazil. Clyde and Kelsie are especially passionate for the very poor, the forgotten, and the hard-to-reach.
Their four children’s names, from left to right: Maddie, Mackenna, Hanna (front) and Nate.
They are in Oregon on furlough until June. They have made so many Canadian friends during their past eight years in Brazil that they decided to come visit us in our native land. It is so fun meeting people in different contexts.
Here are some photos that include Ross and Karin’s family too.
We arrived back in Abbotsford early this week, travelling through the Roger’s Pass and the town of Golden, where Deanna lived until she was 12.
Deanna’s relatives often gather from miles around to celebrate almost anything. They have an old schoolhouse at the ranch, which was built in the 1800s, fixed up just for these gatherings. I always wish I had more time to get to know people better, like a year or two would be nice.
I am very proud of Deanna’s heritage and to be married into this great family.
This particular party was fun because Cecilia, the newest member, just turned one. It was also sad because Bryant, in this first photo, just found out his terminal cancer has returned and is advanced. He appreciates your prayers.
Hank and Lena helped me immensely when I was 17 and 18 and 19, between when I left home and when I left for the Yukon. I remember eating a dozen or more fried eggs for breakfast every morning and then working very hard all day. They always had a huge table of people passing through or staying for awhile. Hank and Lena were the mentors I needed when I really needed some direction. They now live on this ranch, a couple hours North of Calgary. Thank you so much for your help when I needed it, and for all your good council over these past 33 years of friendship.
Four years ago Tyler and Allison travelled around the globe visiting missionaries. While they were in the Xingu we travelled together on a survey trip, and they did some “Ropes” exercises with the missionary youth. They have been living in Calgary for these last few years and are now feeling God has them in a time of transition. They are praying about when are where and how. It was great spending a few hours together. Thanks for the great coffee, breakfast and conversation.
We had lunch with Dick Thiessen in Edmonton. He lives by himself in a small apartment. He just got a cool motorized armchair. At half speed someone can keep up at a brisk walk beside him. He let our girls try it out in the hallway.
We are honored to be your friends Dick.
While we were in Edmonton Bella got a new lamb for her little lamb family. A couple of years ago Bella bought the Mamma Lamb from this same Build-A-Bear store. Can you tell which lambs have lived in Marabá for a couple of years, and which one is the newbie?
This is Chuck and Rachel’s daughter Elli, holding a pysanka. (Rachel is Dan Thiessen’s daughter).
I spent several hours early one morning with Chuck. I arrived as the family was waking up and Rachel was heading off to work as a nurse in Edmonton. Chuck is now teaching at a university in Edmonton and working on his second PhD.
I first became friends with Chuck when my brother Henry converted his huge old cadillac to run on propane. The three of us drove from BC to Texas and back, hunting for places to refill his propane tank all the way. Many Americans had never heard of cars running on propane back in the 80s. It was three weeks of out-of-control laughter and deep bonding.
I first met Murray Fredlund in Texas, at Bible School. He was Ross’s friend, and played bass on the worship team. We did not imagine what an extraordinary family he was from. His parents travel together around the world, always trying to be part of what God is doing here on earth. After teaching for 35 years at the University Del now mentors PhD students for a job. In 2005 Del received the Order of Canada award from the queen for making an outstanding contribution in his area of geography and for giving significantly to charitable organizations.
Del and Joanne’s stories and the wisdom gained along the way are very helpful. He always seems to speak just what I need to hear. “When people ask me for a character reference I only share strengths. It is not helpful to share areas where people need to improve. Share strengths. Always be encouraging.” This sounds a lot like Apostle John he wrote 1, 2 and 3 John in the Bible. John was an old man when he wrote those books. He used to be known as one of the “Sons of Thunder”. As an old man he concluded, “Love one another. God is love. Love one another”. I met several people on this trip, men and women in their 70s and 80s who have loved the Lord for most of their lives. They all told me what they had learned, “Love one another. Do good. Be encouraging”.
It was great seeing Murray and Barb again too. Murray had box seats at a hockey game as a fun evening for the guys at his company. Del and I were invited too, as he had a couple of extra tickets. One of the guys that work for Murray has a PhD in math. He says it gets easier when you quit using numbers.
I went to the gym with Del. I had forgotten this Northern Canadian custom. Everyone takes off their snowy or muddy footwear at the door, and puts on their inside shoes. And your shoes are still there when it is time to leave. I wonder if this custom is other places in the world?
Rachelle worked with the Mission in Porto de Moz, and also helped us for about six months when we lived in Altamira. She has moved back to Saskatoon and is now married to Jonathan Hutchenson! Rachelle is as bubbly and happy as ever.