Dec5ThuDecember 5, 2019
There is a time for everything.
Solomon talks about this in Ecclesiastes 3. In that same book he also shares how there is nothing new under the sun. Since 1985, Solomon and this book have come to my mind many times. I do believe that both of these statements are true, that there really isn’t anything new under the sun. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, man has toiled. We all sin and struggle as we attempt to pick up our cross daily and live out our Christian lives.
As we know, Solomon started very well, but like so many who came before and after him, not all have finished well. As I write this blog, it is with tears in my eyes - tears of joy that for the 34 years that Sandy and I have been involved with TWR we have seen that God has had his hand on us from day one. I’m teary-eyed also because this will be my final blog for TWR Canada. When I started writing these, I never imagined that God would keep inspiring me to write as many blogs as I have. I didn’t think I had that much to write about, but God has continued to inspire me to write and give me the words to tell not only about my story with God, but also stories about the ministry of TWR and of God’s goodness in other peoples’ lives.
If you are not on the TWR mailing list but read my blog, I need to let you know that TWR Canada welcomed a new president on November 8 (you can watch the change in leadership event here). While I will still be involved in the ministry for some time, it will not be in a leadership role, so I felt this would be the most appropriate time to end the blog series.
As part of this final blog I want to thank Gary Roebbelen and Lisa Wilson who inspired me to start writing my stories. I would never have tapped a key on my computer if it wasn’t for their encouragement. I also need to thank Lisa and Colleen Shoemaker for being my primary editors. They made sense of my words and made me look like a gifted writer. Over the years there have been many times I’ve said this blog was too much work and wondered if I should continue writing. Every time I considered ending the blog one of my readers would say or write me an encouraging word. You are the reason I kept going.
I am also thankful for my guest writers who took pressure off me from time-to-time to give me a rest when the words simply were not there. As well, our entire communications team helped to make telling the stories possible. Like everything we do at TWR Canada, this blog really was a team effort.
Writing these last few blogs is my attempt to finish well. As I wrote them, I realized it was God that made me the leader I am. It was not anything that I had in myself, but God smashing the clay over and over again so he could mold me into something that would glorify himself.
Thank you again for beginning the journey with me and finishing the journey with me. My story does not end here. I am still young and have lots of energy. I am simply ending one missionary journey to begin another. I do hope that through the years my blogs have encouraged you in some small way.
Let’s finish with a final story:
We were in Angola in a remote village. Denis, the Thru the Bible producer, was with us and the situation was less than ideal. We were in a classroom, literally sleeping on the floor—no beds, no conveniences. People had come from many miles away to hear the message of hope. One of those men that came shared on the first day how sad he was. I could see it in his face, his posture and his slumped shoulders. He spoke with Denis and shared how confused and sad he was. Our day ended and he left filled with sadness. The next morning we saw the man again. We expected him to be sad but that was not the case. His smile stretched from ear to ear. We asked what had happened overnight that caused his change of mood. He told us that he had accepted Christ as his Saviour—that he was a new creation. This man was being trained to become a Catholic priest and when he heard the gospel, he realized he didn’t want to just be religious, he wanted to have a personal relationship with Christ. He truly was a new creation.
Stories like this one are what have kept me going. I am thankful to have had the privilege of witnessing and hearing of many instances of God’s faithfulness and love through TWR over the years. Testimonies like this are what will keep me going until the day when, as Paul says, I will finish the race and join a choir in heaven. I haven’t been able to sing well on earth, so I look forward to singing from the mountaintops in heaven.
Thank you for joining me in this race!!!