Hi all! Lesley here. We hope our beloved readers are all keeping in good health and being challenged day to day to live in the incredible Mercy of Christ! We know, we are.
Thought I’d drop a line of some details and reflections, as we prepare for departure here in Singapore. With our school system starting in August, and ending in May, that means we have only 2 more weeks of school (many of those days filled with special events, and year end wrap ups.). The end is near. Officially, we remain on staff and in country until June 2, and if by then, all our departing tasks are complete, we are completed with school.
But we will have a little more time with Singapore! This is a blessing. We plan to stay in our condo for most of June, to enjoy the “lasts” this incredible city has to offer us, plus cross a couple more travel bucket list items to cross off: with inexpensive Asian travel probably out of reach for us in the near future, we decided to spend a few days in early June in Phuket while it was cheap to get to, (Dean’s list), AND we’ll be doing a (glorious) 5-day stopover in TOKYO on our way home! (June 25-30, Lesley’s list!). Doing the math, we arrive luggage in tow at YVR, the morning of Saturday, June 30. Canada, here we come (Maya’s list!).
Thanks to the generosity of SO MANY of our loved ones, we have temporary housing for almost all of July covered!
- Week 1: Kleiber’s basement suite.
- Week 2: A timeshare week in Whistler.
- Week 3&4: borrowing Jim and Carrie’s condo, while they are away.
Isn’t that miraculous? I sure think it is. Plus, there’s more offers if any of these need to change. It is so peaceful to know we won’t be scrambling once in country—amazing.
Plans: June 30: land, eat, sleep, pray. Probably cry.
July 1: Canada day parade in Abby!
Rest of the first week: FIND A PLACE TO LIVE! Ha. Let’s just pray together that this is a task accomplishable. I’ve been more than convinced, since this departure journey has begun, that God has something already prepared for us—we just have to find it. Ideally (in my human mind,) an Aug 1 or 15 tenancy would be great. And yes, at this point we are planning to rent for a year. We’ll be looking seriously at relocating slightly closer to Langley and my (Lesley’s) job, but there is some flexibility. We’ll see what’s available and what’s best for all of us.
Depending on how fast or secure we can get housing, I’m hoping to spend some time in Manitoba visiting all our family in early August. Then, it’s off planning and preparing for a new school year, and Maya for high school at MEI! Cool. Dean is as well back in the MEI system where he loves the staff and kids.
So what about all our “stuff” you ask? Well, we find ourselves in a very trusting predicament; we have church friends who are moving out of Canada, and have a household full of their “stuff” that needs a home. I’ve laid claim to a number of kitchen and household items similar to those we either gave away or sold, and will now have again! And to top it off, we are even able to buy back some of our exact furniture we sold to them not but a year ago! I’m still shaking my head….
Our needs are already being taken care of, which is quite God’s style. I love it.
A few weeks back, we enjoyed visiting with our friends the Friedbergs (Matt & Casey) with whom we shared a great 3 years in Phnom Penh. They are completing their 10th year of serving as missionaries in Cambodia, and are now returning home permanently to California. Seeing as we are returning as well, it was a great week to not only enjoy a renewed friendship and sightseeing, but also to process and debrief.
Of all the things we did, we attended one of our favourite church services on the Sunday evening, where wouldn’t you know it, the sermon was about Abraham’s journey: specifically when he “left” the Negeb/Negev, wandered slightly (off track?) to Egypt (during a famine) but then, went backwards, returning through the Negev route, to between Bethel and Ai, where they had previously pitched their tents and built an altar. Even though this route is a 180 degree in direction, a “returning” or “going back” if you well, it is specifically referred to in the bible, as “continued,” (NLT) or “journeying on“(ESV) depending on your version. (Gen 13:3).
This message seemed so specified to both us couples, as when we feel in our hearts like we are “leaving” (Cambodia/ICS/Singapore/Missions, etc—pick your poison) or “going back” (to Canada/US/safety—pick your comforts…) we were affirmed that actually, we are (and that’s the proverbial “we,” meaning you too!) really “continuing traveling” or simply “journeying on.” The road is not done, and even though it’s being “retrod,” the Lord sees it as a continuation of something He is doing. I hope this can be as meaningful to you as it was to us, no matter what your circumstances. It’s been so helpful.
We’ve enjoyed the tropics for a full year, lived in a resort style, high rise condo, walked our park by the ocean, not to mention have had access to some of the most gorgeous architecture, lifestyles and food, while living here. Top of the world experience. This year has been one a HUGE gift! And my students?… don’t get me started. Absolutely love the children I teach.
So, for all the challenges of moving away for a time, there are positives and much joy and thankfulness for this experience. And not to mention the best rewards: a return to Canada to the open arms of our free country, good friends, closer to relative and loved ones, and to once again engage in our work and church communities to continue (hopefully) “Blessing those we come in contact with.” Ultimately that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Being present.
So for now, will sign off with a bit more news. If you have not heard, our Steph will also be returning to the lower mainland, to attend a nutrition school in the Vancouver area, for one year. She will be arriving just days before us. Also, Julia plans to continue her 3rd year at CBC, as captain of their volleyball team. She will remain in residence there for the year, as she is settled there and has an excellent situation living with her peers. God is Good, all the time.
Much love to you all and will update you as/when things change. Please feel free to drop us an email with a sketch of your summer plans, on the hopes we can cross paths and visit.