2012 Review In Pictures

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Looking Back At 2012

So much has happened for us in this past year.  There just are not enough words to tell all the stories and to convey our joy over what God has been doing in our lives as a family and through our lives in this work of Bible translation.  Let me share a few pictures with you then to try to capture the highlights of 2012.

Translation Checking in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

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Working with a team of national men from Papua New Guinea in January along with their missionary translator, a good friend of ours who is also a Canadian.

Glen Graduating From Basic Training With Canadian Army

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After four months of Army Boot Camp, Glen graduated in February 2012.  He was one of three recruits chosen to march in the flags, and he had the honor of carrying in the Canadian flag.

Translation Checking in the Lowlands of Papua New Guinea

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Most of March and April, Norm worked in Madang where our field office is for Pioneer Bible Translators.  He worked with national men from two language groups and checked the books of the Gospel of John and the book of Daniel.

Home in Calgary Enjoying a Canadian Summer

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In June, our family celebrated Jill’s birthday (with Glen’s picture in the background); Norm enjoying freedom on his electric scooter; and visiting the Calgary Stampede in July.

Visiting and Preaching in Prince Edward Island

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After being away for three years, we visited three churches in PEI and Nova Scotia to tell about the great things God is doing through the work of Bible translation.  On an off day, we would go spend a day together on the red sandy beaches and cold Atlantic waters.

Together Again

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We were thrilled when Glen was able to come home for two weeks in September.  We had our family together, including a special meal time with my mother, and my brother and his wife.

Time in Dallas and Illinois

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For the benefit of my health, and to work on translation projects, I was going to be in Dallas for two months away from Jill.  We were able to have a short holiday of fun before I headed south to work at the center where our International office is for PBT.  In the middle of this, a trip came together to visit four of our supporting churches in Illinois.

Home For Christmas

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Christmas with family.

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Happy Birthday Jesus!

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Psalm 151 – Written By My Son

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Did the title of this article catch your eye?  As you may already know, there are only 150 Psalms in the Bible.  But when my son wrote and sent this poem to me (copied out below), I felt like it should belong in the Bible as an additional Psalm.  🙂  I hope you will enjoy reading it and find it encouraging to your faith.

As I read it, I was so impressed by his poetic style and his command of good imagery.  But I also saw that it showed throughout his positive faith in God and his Christian character.  Which is amazing for two reasons: 1) In previous years, Glen wrote many other poems.  He has exercise books full of them.  But so many of them were dark as he went through some difficult months of feeling lost.

And 2) Glen is currently training with the Canadian military, which is not a godly environment.  As you read the poem, you can see the “potential enemies” around him, and yet his faith is carrying him through as he works within a very strong non-faith environment.  I am very proud of him, as well as being proud of my other son, Eric, and his wife of 3 1/2 years, as they all remain true and fast to their faith in Christ and their devotion to God the Father.

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Psalm of Glen

Am I your child God?
Do I have your favor?
Do not abandon me in your anger.
Do not throw me away in your wrath.

How high do the wicked climb,
Trampling the honest and holy ones?

Who is left that Believes?

Father you are gracious.
Your love endures forever.
I, a lowly creature, am not worthy.
 

You have bestowed me gifts and abilities,
That which you have given to me
You have blessed my life and wrapped me
In your love and safety.

In times of trouble, to you I turn.
When I am blessed, to you I give thanks.

Oh Lord, Creator of all things,
You bent low and decided to create me.
I am your humble servant.

Teach me, oh Lord, that I may be,
Holy and righteous in your eyes.
Lead me in the steps of everlasting life.

Thank you Father, for this life.
You have given me much.
Much do I choose to owe,
Yet you hold no debt over me.

I am free, by your blood.
So let me be free in your power.

Rise up, Oh Lord and come to my aid
I am surrounded on all sides.
My enemies bare their teeth,
They wish to devour my flesh.

Oh Lord, My Rock, defend me, your humble servant
I will perish under the weight of their foot
On the rocks I shall be dashed to pieces
Rescue me from my imminent Death, Oh Lord.
Be Merciful to me.

For you are the everlasting God
There is none before, there is no end.
You took me into your arms
Called me like I am your child.

Father, my God, how majestic is your Name.
The mountains tremble at your voice
The trees shake their branches
Even the rocks cry out to you

Forgive us Lord, For our blindness.
We are a Deaf, Blind, Dying race.

You are God Alone.

Oh Lord, My God, Have mercy on me.
Turn to me with Favor,
For all I have done for your children.
Do not leave me to be eaten by the dogs
Raise me up on wings of eagles,
To soar above my enemies.

I will have victory, over my foe.
For the Lord is with me.
Strength and power are his.
The world bends to his call.

“You are my child, whom I love”
Says the Lord
” Do not have fear as you walk among the wolves,
Had the Lord not created the wolves as well?
Is there any power greater than I?”
Says the Almighty.

“I will rescue you from your pain,
I will bring aid for your wounds.
Trust in me,” says the Lord,
“And I will guide your path.”

Let my life be an offering to you.
Let my sacrifice and burnt offering be a pleasing aroma to you.
May I serve you with integrity and excellence.
And may your Word ever be on my lips.

Till the last breath, I serve you.

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Allow me one more time to commend what is written above.  I am currently preparing to do the consultant check on 1/3 of the book of Psalms for a language group over in Papua New Guinea.  As I have been studying all I can about psalms, I learned that there are seven key elements found within what is called a “Petition Psalm” also known as a “Lament Psalm”.

These elements, which can be found in this or a rearranged order, are as follows:

  • Appeal: the Psalmist calls to God to listen and pleads for help in a time of trouble.
  • Problem: greater detail is given regarding the problem that he is facing.
  • Request: what the Psalmist wants God to do in order to help deal with the problem.
  • Confession: his claim of innocence and/or a confession of sin before a holy God.
  • Profession of Faith: a strong statement of belief in God, who He is and what He can do.
  • Promise: a vow to praise God, serve Him, and/or a promise to bring God an offering.
  • Praise: a final word of praise or trust in God.

So now that you know this, what do you think about Psalm 151 (Glen’s Psalm).  Can you see all these elements within his poem?  Pretty darn cool, don’t you think?  [“Way to go son!”]

Glen 2010

A Bible Translation Consultant

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Who Am I?  Part 24

In the last article of this series, we left off at the point in 2007 where we were able to reunite our family of four.  For about three months, we were actually split up into three places when Glen went back to Canada.  Jill and I stayed on in East Africa to finish our administrative duties, Eric had stayed in the basement suite of some friends, and Glen room-and-boarded at the home of some other friends of ours in Calgary.

But God brought us all back together as soon as we returned from Africa.  What was so neat was that in March when I brought Glen back to Canada, I overheard a friend say to his wife that he wished he could find some good tenants for his condo rental, and that led to us having a place to move into immediately when we returned to Canada ourselves.  And just as immediately, our two sons moved in with us and we were all together again.

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So that got our family settled.  Jill was able to get hired right back on to the same unit at the hospital (which happened to be directly across the road from our apartment).  Eric was going to take a year of classes at our local Bible college, and Glen had his Grade 12 year of online schooling to do.  And that gave direction for our boys.  Which kind of meant that I was left hanging, not knowing what I was supposed to be doing.

It turned out that the answer for what I should do next came rather quickly.  An invitation by email came to me from our Papua New Guinea Branch to consider coming over there in August 2007 so that I could attend a six-week course to be trained to become a Bible Translation Consultant.  This meant leaving the family again within weeks of coming back from Africa, but Jill encouraged me to get this training since we didn’t really know yet what lay ahead for us.

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The time went quickly, and it seemed like suddenly there I was, back at the mission base that we had so hastily evacuated as a family five years before when Eric began his cancer journey with leukemia.  (You can read about that story here.)  Now I am not known to be a real emotional guy, but I must admit that for many days I had tears in my eyes as I went around the mission center and memories came back to me of our time as a family there.

But those were tears of joy now, not tears of grief and despair.  And I knew that God was healing a part of me that had been seared with pain when I saw my son so sick back in 2002, and as I also realized that our ministry in PNG had come to an end.  But God is so good, and He not only healed me of the past, He also gave a brand new future to me.  I was there to become a Translation Consultant.

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Let me explain for a minute the importance of the training I was about to receive at this course in PNG.  The goal of everyone in our mission, Pioneer Bible Translators, whether directly or indirectly, is to get the translated Word of God into the hands of the local people in a language that speaks to the hearts of the people.  So we start the process by making an initial rough draft of the Scripture portion we are working on, and after a lengthy period of testing and revising, we bring that portion to the trained consultant for a final check before the Scripture can be published.

The problem is that we see more Scriptures being prepared for the consultant checking phase than there are consultants available to do the actual checking.  We have had a serious bottleneck over the years of backlogged material ready to go forward, but very few consultants to come check the translations.  So I was eager to get this training, not just so I could become a consultant, but because I saw the importance of doing what it took to help out to get this backlogged material through.

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I must say now as I look back on that training, that I think I felt more fulfilled in this experience and in the direction it was taking me than in just about anything else I have ever done.  All of a sudden I realized how all of the experiences of my life had added up to this moment of becoming a Bible Translation Consultant.  Obviously the five years we had done translation work in the remote village of PNG gave me excellent field experience to draw on.  But everything else made sense too.

The theological training from Bible college and two seminaries helped prepare me to do good exegetical inquiries into the translations.  The linguistic training helped me to probe the translations grammatically and semantically.  All my cross-cultural experiences helped me to ask good culturally sensitive questions.  And the 5 years of pastoral work back in North America helped me to see how the translated Word of God would evangelistically impact the people who would receive the translated Scriptures.

Certainly there have been a lot of things that I have thanked God for Him bringing into my life.  But I think the translation consultant training would rank as my  best experience of my entire life.  And after it was over, and when I actually got to use the training in February of ’08 back in PNG, I knew I had found what I had always been looking for.  So as I turned 47 that year, I guess I finally answered the question of what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Entrusting Our Children to God

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Who Am I?  Part 23

In the last article about our family and my life journey, we had all moved together in January, 2006 to live and assist with the ministry of Bible translation in a country in East Africa.  But very quickly, we all saw that it was not going to be the nice fit for our family that we had hoped for.  At least we would not be able to recapture the wonderful family times that we had experienced together while living in a remote village of Papua New Guinea.

Within a few weeks, our older son felt strongly that he would do better if he were to return to Canada and finish his last grade of High School there.  Meanwhile, I was loving the new country I was in, and learning the language and being fascinated by the different culture there as opposed to what I had seen and experienced in Papua New Guinea.

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So I tried to hold the family together and convince my son to stay.  I felt like David did in the Bible when he wrote words like these below:

8 O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the LORD, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

(Psalm 34:8-11)

The problem was that I was equating keeping the family together with God’s blessings on the family.  It took a few months, and many discussions in the family, for me to get to the point where I could see that the lack of social peers, the importance of my son’s schooling, and the pull on him of his Canadian culture meant being in Canada would be better for him.  I had to let go and entrust him into God’s care.

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In August of 2006 then, our first son flew by himself from East Africa and went back to Canada.  (God did provide a contact of a really neat Christian family who lived not very far from Heathrow airport who took care of Eric on his halfway layover in London.)  That left Jill and I with our younger boy, Glen.  Being only 21 months younger than Eric, and having traveled and lived all over the world with his brother at his side, imagine the impact of losing his best friend, his brother.

It wasn’t long before he too was asking us, even telling us, that he needed to return to Canada as well.  Now you think I might have learned something from having worked through the very same issues with Eric that I would have been more sensitive to Glen’s needs at that time in his life.  But no, I have to admit now that I came down rather hard on Glen, and even got overly spiritual with him and suggested that he was rebelling against his own father.

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I think I may have even thought of the passage below, and I figured that if my son would just admit his rebellious attitude toward me, then I could be just as forgiving as the Father above is to his wayward children:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

(Psalm 103:8 – 13)

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Well, I can tell you now how awful I feel about how hard I was on my own son.  I knew that it was my responsibility to raise my children to love the Lord and obey Him, and to respect and honor his parents.  I mean, that is what the Bible says, right?  But what I had forgotten was that along with this, there is a strong admonition for fathers not to be so over-bearing that the opposite effect than you want will result.

Read the two verses below:

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

(Ephesians 6:1 & 4)

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Thankfully, I finally got it.  And I had to ask forgiveness from my son.  And I actually flew with him from East Africa to Canada to bring him back and set him up to live with some very good friends of ours in Calgary.  He was 16 at the time.  I went back to Africa and Jill and I finished out our assignment there and then we too came back to Canada three months later.

We were able to join the family back together at that point.  We bought a nice condo and set up our home and our family once again.  At that time, Eric was going to a Bible college (and got his 1-yr certificate) and Glen was just finishing High School.  We treasured the few more months that we had together as a foursome.  This was to change soon, as the next year Eric got married.  And then we were a fivesome.

Children are a blessing.  But we need to remember that they are on loan to us from God.  We are to raise them the best we can, encouraging them to have faith in God, but still allowing them to have their own personal space and freedom in life.  We found that when we entrusted them to God, He turned around and gave them back to us.  And my response is, “Thank you God!”

Shipwrecked Faith

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The following devotion comes from my email subscription to

Connection! Devotions for Every Day Life“.

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Shipwrecked Faith

Why, O LORD, do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance. Isaiah 63:17 

“Wander from your ways” is powerfully descriptive as we consider how easy it is to move away from a right relationship to God. It doesn’t take effort to drift. You just quit trying. You lose focus. Staying close to God requires effort. We’re not talking about earning our salvation…that is not dependent upon our effort, but upon God’s grace. Maintaining and nurturing the relationship will mean giving ourselves to prayer, the Word, fellowship, and worship.

How many have shipwrecked their faith, not by deliberate rebellion, but by drifting away through inattention? Wandering aimlessly through life, we miss the Lord’s presence and His power to transform. Might that even be a picture of the 21st century church today as we wander away from the firm commitment to daily seek His face?

Oh God, forgive my tendency to wander away from You. I get so caught up in daily activities, that I find myself off doing my own thing and not paying attention to You. Like the hymnist I find myself saying, “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”

–By David Butts, author of The Devil Goes to Church (Combating the Everyday Attacks of Satan)

Posted 3 Oct 2011

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This recent devotional thought from “Connections” has come at a very timely moment.  Yesterday, my younger boy, Glen, began the first day of his Army Boot Camp training.  Over the next four months, Glen will be subjected to all the brutal rigors, intense discipline and strict authoritarianism that goes with entering into the life of being a soldier.  He will need to be strong and also well-disciplined to keep his spiritual life maintained and healthy.

So am I concerned or worried about Glen?  Naturally!  That is, as a father, I will of course be concerned about his physical well-being and safety as he trains to be a soldier.  But I have committed my son into the hands of the Almighty God.  And I will be sure to pray for him every day, even as I also pray for my older son Eric, and his young bride Esther, every day.  As a Christian man, praying for my wife and all my children each day is as normal and natural as breathing air is, and is just as important.

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What is of greater concern to me is Glen’s emotional / psychological and spiritual health as he starts to enter into this world of the military.  In a number of conversations in the past with Glen, it became clear to me that God had placed this desire within him to walk this path.  I’m sure there will be some trying moments for him in the coming months and years ahead of him, but I do believe that Glen has a solid faith in God and a strong will to hold his ground if and when he is challenged.

But it is not so much the blatant and obvious challenges to his faith that I worry about for Glen.  No, it is more the quiet, subtle, slow drifting away from one’s “first love” for Jesus (as Revelation 2:4-5 puts it) that concerns me and has the possibility of causing a shipwreck to his faith.  But not just to Glen, to any of us who do not choose to place a high priority on our commitment to maintain a regular and healthy relationship with God.

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Let me restate one sentence from the devotional above that I think is the most important one:

“Maintaining and nurturing the relationship [with God] will mean giving ourselves to prayer, the Word, fellowship [with other Christians] and worship.”

This points to the importance of having an inner motivation to be proactive and disciplined about maintaining our relationship with God.  It will not be easy for Glen in some ways, since the Army will in many ways control every aspect of his life at first.  but he will get weekends off at some point, and he will have some personal time he can use to focus on his prayer life and devotional readings once he finishes Boot Camp.

I can say all this, because I once was where Glen is now.  The differences now are that I was a Reservist in the Canadian Navy for a year, while he will be in the Regular Army for the next four years.  But we have an agreement that I can phone him up or email him at any time and ask him if his faith is still “strong” and still “secure”.  (You can read my words to Glen in the article “Strong and Secure For God.”)

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This brings me to a natural concluding point and question here.  It is great when a person publicly declares that he is a Christian.  But is that person’s faith truly grounded well in God and in His Words, so that no external force would have the strength to knock them down in their faith? Or are they hiding in the crowds of people who appear to make them strong but are empty and brittle like the bamboo stalks can get to be.

And now it comes down to you, the reader of this article.  How would you say that your faith is doing?  Is your faith strong;  is it really secure?  Please, please do not drift slowly away from God, and risk the danger that you may experience having your Faith shipwrecked.  Amen!

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Faith Is Rewarded

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What Is Faith – Part 3

During the past couple of weeks, I have been listening to a sermon series on “Faith”.  My plan for the article for today was to continue writing out my thoughts and summaries of what I was learning from this sermon series.  But something incredible happened this week that I just have to share with all of you. It is a story about how pure and persistent faith can overcome the obstacles that stand in our way.

This story concerns my younger son Glen, and is the answer to prayers that we have been praying for many, many months. In a previous article ( which you can read here), I wrote about this strong desire that my son has had to be able to join the Canadian military, specifically the Army. And finally, two days ago, Glen found out that he had in fact been selected and will head off to Boot Camp as soon as they phone him and tell him what those dates are.

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To appreciate the magnitude of how great an answer to prayer this is, I will need to go back and give you a lot of the background details that led up to this moment. It was while our family was working in Africa in 2006 and ’07 that our son first entertained the idea seriously about joining the military. When we came back from Africa, and while Glen was doing his last year of high school, he was involved with the Army reserves.

He found that fascinating and really enjoyed those weekends when they would go out on squad exercises, but it was too difficult to manage schooling and involvement with the military at the same time. So he put the idea of the Army to the side, finished high school, and then went on and completed a year of Bible college.

As soon as he finished that one year certificate though, he went down and immediately applied to join the Regular Forces of the Army. There was the normal bureaucratic hoops and paper trails during that summer of 09, but by September, Glen was offered the opportunity to join at that time. And he knew that this was what he wanted, but part of him felt that he was not quite ready and so he passed up that invitation.

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One year later, our son was not only a year older, but just a little bit more ready to enter into the world of the military. He was told that he needed to start his application again, and all of us were quite surprised to find that there was a job freeze on the military and that he would be put on a waiting list. This began the long road and test of faith for all of us.

Now I want to pick up the story from my perspective as a father. When Glen first started talking about joining the military, as a parent I naturally felt very concerned and worried for him. After having many talks with him, and after much thought and prayer, I arrived at the place where I felt okay about his desire. In fact, there came a day that God not only gave me peace about this decision, but also a conviction and assurance that this was the right thing for Glen to do.

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Over this past winter and spring, all of us in the family were actively praying that God would open up the door again for our son to be accepted back into the military. And every time that I talked with Glen, both of us felt that we needed to believe that it would happen, even though it seemed like all the odds were against it happening.

It seemed like every time that Glen would phone the military, he would get different answers as to whether there were positions available are not. Then about two months ago, we got our hopes up when Glen was called in for an interview (which went well) and he also passed the medical exam. But weeks went by and there was no news.

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Finally, it looked like a breakthrough when a few weeks ago he was told that he was on the “Merit List”. The next thing we heard was that there were 80 applicants for the remaining 20 positions. What an emotional roller coaster we were all on, but again, we stubbornly chose by faith to believe that God would open the door and allow Glen to be selected.

Then I remembered something that I had just heard and written about in last week’s article on faith. The speaker, Leon Fontaine, presented the idea that there are obstacles (i.e. mountains) in our lives, and that by faith we should speak, literally speak against these mountains to be removed. Again, this is not the idea of using words like magical incantations. But rather, it is a bold proclamation coming out from within of the faith that you hold to be true.

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And so, when they told us last week that this Tuesday was going to be the final day of selection, I felt empowered and emboldened within my spirit to lay claim to the biblical promise of Psalm 37:4, “Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I knew that Glen had committed his ways to the Lord, and I also knew that God had given me in the past the peace and the conviction that Glen should join the military.

Throughout the morning of Tuesday then, I not only prayed to God, but I prayed out loud to God to let this be the day that Glen would be accepted. What a great relief and joy I felt then, when Glen phoned at two o’clock in the afternoon to let me know that yes indeed, he had been one of the 20 who were selected to be accepted.

All I can say now is, “Thank you, thank you God!”  Just like the parable of the persistent widow, You showed us once again that when we have persistent faith in You, faith is rewarded.

My Prayer To God

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I’m Heading to Dallas to Serve My Lord

Surreal!  That is the word that best describes how I feel right now.  I’m sitting in the plane at the end of the tarmac, waiting our turn to taxi forward and then take off on this flight to Dallas, Texas.  I have been on so many flights to places all over the world, but this one is very different.  This time I am going on an extended trip without my wife, Jill.  And I have said my good byes to my children (two sons and a daughter-in-law) not knowing when the five of us will be together again.

Let me back up for a minute and explain what is happening for all of us in our family, and then I want to write out a prayer to God.  Many of our friends receive either or both of our monthly ministry email updates and our weekly prayer & praise emails.  And there are a good number of people who read my blog and know what we are doing.  But for those who are reading this article and are not yet connected to us on a regular basis, I invite you to become a Subscriber to this blog (on the right-hand side), or write a comment to me to request to receive our weekly or monthly email updates.  (The Comment will be kept private.)

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It really is exciting what God is doing in our lives right now.  I will comment on my family first, and then tell you why I am on my way to Dallas.  Both of our sons are in their 20’s now, and are on the verge of stepping forward into their vocational choices of interest.  Eric has his Graphic Arts Design Diploma and we are all praying for and believing that he will find an entry job in this field.  At the same time, our second son, Glen, is just one phone call away from entering into the Canadian Armed Forces (Army).

I should stop here to mention more about this interesting direction that Glen is taking.  As far back as 2006, Glen has had an interest in joining the military.  There was an opportunity for him in 2009 to join but he was not feeling ready at that time.  But last year and this year, he really felt a strong conviction that this is where God was leading him.  Amazingly, there were no openings for Infantry Soldiers and many other trades during this time.

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Still, Glen continued to apply for a few different positions within the Army, and either the position would close again, or his paperwork seemed to get “lost”.  But Glen persisted, and prayed, and waited, and kept believing that this was God’s direction for him.  When asked by people why he wanted to join the Army, he would say, “I want to help defend the defenseless people of the world.”

About two months ago, we got excited that some positions were finally opening for real.  Then last month, Glen had an interview and passed the medical test.  Still we got no follow-up call that he was accepted.  I prayed that God would give Glen an answer before I flew to Dallas.  And can you believe it?  Five hours before the flight, Glen was told that he is on the “Merit List”, which means that he is basically accepted, and that within a matter of days or a few weeks, he will be called to go off to start his Army Boot Camp.  (Thank you God for answering our prayers.)

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This will mean that Jill will be the one who stays in our condo back home by herself.  I knew the day was coming when Glen would leave home, and I saw how God was lining things up for me to do my ministry work down in Dallas.  I have felt very concerned for Jill, and so I was very glad when God provided a neat solution to her situation.  In the midst of us praying about me going to Texas, Jill was offered a full-time position at her hospital and in the same unit where she is currently working.  And to fill the rest of her time, an opportunity has presented itself for her to do some studies in International Health at the Master’s level.

So what about me?  Due to my health (which you can read about here), it is clear to us that I am better able to live and function in hotter and more humid climates.  Summer time and the coming Fall in Dallas would certainly qualify for this kind of necessary climate for me.  And the blessing from God is that I will be able to do my Bible translation consultant work even better while living there.  And since the international office of our mission (Pioneer Bible Translators) is in Dallas, they have asked me to help teach some introductory linguistic classes to a number of our new missionary recruits over the next four months.

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In light of all of these things, I want to lift up my voice in praise and prayer to the Lord God, my King and my Father:

“Father God, I thank you for Your loving care and kindness that you show to me and to my family, whom I love dearly.  I thank You for choosing to use us to minister to the world through the careers that You are providing to all four of us in this family.  May we be Your hands, Your feet and Your mouth to all whom You cause to cross our paths.

“I do ask You Father to look after my family while I am away.  Be our Guide, our Comforter and our Protector.  As our family gets scattered to many places, let us hold each other up in prayer and keep us connected across the miles.  I know You will do this, and I praise You for hearing my prayer.  In all things, we give You the honor and the glory.

In Christ’s precious and holy name I pray.  Amen, and Amen!!!

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