Sunday, October 28, 2007

Water, Water, Everywhere

Marie's words were......

"I told my rebellious teen-aged son to move his stuff out of the basement because the Skeena River was threatening to flood its banks. He said, We have lived here for years, we've heard that before and it has never happened, and then he left the house. I moved as much as I could upstairs while friends came to sandbag, but it was no use. Helplessly, I watched the waters rise and seep into my basement and then rush in torrents under the door. What a hopeless feeling! "

"Days later I was finally allowed to approach my home by canoe. My basement was a mess of floating sewer back-up, water logged papers, mattresses, desk, clothing, etc." Despair.

MDS...Mennonite Disaster Service responded to this need. Teams of volunteers flew or drove to Terrace, B.C. to help the flood victims. John & I had just a tiny part in finishing the arduous job that had been done by many preceding volunteer groups, such as mucking out the soaked gyproc, carpets, wiring, plumbing, and walls, then reconstructing the framework, electrical, walls, doors, taping and mudding the new gyproc, then sanding and choking with dust.

My job consisted of filling nail holes, a bit of sanding and painting. Thanks to my encouraging friend, Dorothy, this task was actually enjoyable. John did some carpentry and finishing. He had to be quite creative in hanging doors into frames that had to be adjusted and fit into walls that were far from level or square.

Marie was so appreciative and pleased to see her basement finally finished, clean and new, after this long 5 months process. She could finally move down the displaced items that had been crowding her upstairs living space. She was so excited to do laundry again in her own home, after John & Peter connected her new washer & dryer.

A group of local dignitaries suggested a "wrap-up" event. With cake and gifts in hand, they came to the camp we were staying at, where many tearfully expressed their gratitude for the help and encouragement they had received... from utter despair to hope and a brighter future.

Special new friendships and good memories are a bonus gift.
We are to be Jesus' hands and feet here on earth. I pray that the testimony all of us left behind would have reflected God's love.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Keep Your Eye on the Mark

Call me crazy, but I love cutting the lawn. The lines must be straight so when the job is finished the pattern should be even, perhaps criss crossed or diagonal or back and forth.
This brings to mind what my Dad told me... It was a mark of great pride for the early Saskatchewan farmers to plow a perfectly straight furrow across an immense section of land. This, being done while walking behind a temperamental team of horses and a rickety plow, was no small feat. The secret was to choose a marker in the distance, keep your eye on it and keep walking straight toward it.
(I wonder if the modern day farmers, in their air conditioned,stereo equipped,computerized John Deere tractors still have to do that, or is it just a matter of pushing "cruise-control")

Jesus uses this analogy in Luke 9:62..."No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Wow!

The apostle Paul reminds us also to keep going, keep focused.
Philippians 3:14...Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward what is ahead, toward the goal .....
Hebrews 12:1 & 2 ...Let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us, and fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

We start on our journey with Christ, but get so easily distracted by things that cause us to lose sight of the goal and the finish line.
If we could see our "life-furrow" from the sky, I wonder what kind of pattern would emerge?