Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Trip Continues..

July 20, 2:00 p.m.
Fenwick, Ontario
"Do you think this is the right place?" I turn to Jason and he nods. "I'm certain it is. I recognize it from when we stopped by here three years ago." We're standing on someone's porch, with our kids and bags, feeling slightly worn and travel weary and looking like the gypsy family we've become.  

Up since 4:30 a.m. we had arrived at Laguardia International Airport, New York by 6:00 a.m.. Our flight however was not as prompt as we were. With some kind of mix up at the airport, planes coming in and out were stuck on the ramp waiting to get to their gates. This caused confusion and delay for both arrivals and departures and we departed New York much later than planned.

Thankfully the flight itself was only just over an hour since juggling three squirming monkeys was never an easy task. 

Once in Toronto we soaked in the 'Canada-ness' of the airport. Instead of paying six dollars for luggage carts they were now free and readily available. Internet was also complimentary and the Custom Officials were most kind. (We were not treated like terrorists trying to infiltrate the country!)

Jason and I kept grinning at each other as we noticed more things that were typical Canadian. I felt like breaking out in the national anthem, but figured we were a spectacle enough the way we were, trying to herd our three ring circus through the airport and checkpoints. 

MAF had a van parked near there for us and after a quick stop for lunch we were on the road to Fenwick, Ontario. Sitting in the front passenger seat I admired the beautiful sky with its changing patterns of clouds and sunlight. 

Now with nine hours of traveling under our belt, and after getting lost a few times since the GPS in the van didn't recognize the road name we were looking for, we've finally arrived at what we think is the right house.

Jayden pushes to the front and rings the doorbell several times. "Only once Jayden!" I remind him. "Otherwise it's rude!" 

There is no response from inside however, and I start to have doubts. 

"Are you sure they are expecting us Jason?" 

Jason pulls out his phone and although it is not activated in Canada yet, he is able to check old emails. 

"Yup, they are expecting us!" he replies. 

"But it looks like no one is home." I reply. 

"Maybe the doorbell doesn't work." He leans over Jayden and pushes it again, all the while listening for any sounds. "Nope, I don't hear anything." 

Hmm.. now what. "Oh, here comes someone!" I see a child peeking through the window and a minute lady a woman opens the door. She doesn't look familiar at all and I look questioningly at Jason. After awkwardly chatting for a few minutes she tells us that the family we are looking for moved several years ago. 

"I can give you their phone number," she offers helpfully.  Feeling dumber by the minute I tell her that we don't have  a phone that works in Canada and if we could please use hers. Thankfully she doesn't seem to mind, and we quickly find out that our host family moved to a new place nearby. Off we go again! 

We arrive at our correct destination several minutes later where we are welcomed heartily and the kids quickly make new friends. 

That night is also our presentation at the Jordan church.  Travel weary we don't give ourselves enough time to get there, and with the GPS sending us in the wrong direction, and then making us double back we arrive at the church only minutes before our presentation is scheduled to begin. 

Thankfully, working together and with the help of some friends, we get everything set up at lightning speed, and before we know it we're at the front, addressing the crowd.

By the time we're finished, and driving home, the sun is already setting.

We fall into bed exhausted that night!

We spend the next day writing thank you cards, letters, organizing gifts we brought from Haiti, and calling and meeting with friends and supporters. 

When my head starts to spin, I sneak outside and soak in the beauty of God's creation. There are fields of wheat,

 and corn and grass..and beautiful flowers. 

They remind me of the words in Psalm 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. 

The following day we say goodbye to our kind host family and head off to Toronto to the Missionary Health Institute. There we spend the day getting our mental and physical checkups.  Thankfully we've done this before and it's really not as scary as it sounds. 

Dr. Westwood, who handles the mental checkup, concludes we aren't any weirder than we were before we left for Haiti (phew!), although he did warn us that our souls had grown bigger in the time we've been away. (Whatever that means!).

The kids handle the physical check ups like pros.

Besides, the fact that we could all gain a few pounds there are no real concerns. The results from various lab tests, are still pending.

By early afternoon we are finished, and on our way to Guelph, Ontario, where MAFs headquarters are located.

The following day we begin our debrief with them. We really enjoy our time at the office; sharing and reconnecting with the staff. 

After two days we are finished and head to Jordan, Ontario, to spend some time with Jason's Aunt and Uncle. We always love staying with them and they make us feel right at home.

There, the two youngest enjoy an afternoon at the park while Jason and Jayden go with cousin Mike and his wife and their oldest son to help at an outreach program in downtown St. Catharines. 

From Jordan we drive to Mitchell, Ontario for our next presentation and stay at another host family. This couple owns a farm, and the kids enjoyed seeing and playing with the animals.


As we speak and share with whoever we came in contact with God reminds me that what I spend my time talking about is important.  

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Since we haven't seen our friends and supporters for over 3 years it's easy to get sidetracked and talk about material things, but like Jesus said in Matthew 5:13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

After a night in Mitchell, Ontario, we are on the road again.

Jayden is positioned between the luggage in the very back..

While Justin and Alexander take the two middle seats.

Since Alexander is in a rear-facing car seat. This is all I can see of him.

We make multiple stops on our way to our next destination, Grand Rapids.. Sometimes it's just for a quick chat,

..while other times for a coffee/juice break.

Then we drive and drive and drive some more.

As we travel, I doze off and on and think about the people we've met, the beauty of God's creation we've experienced, and His faithfulness along the way.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:1

1 comment:

  1. She didn't mind you at her door. She told Arianna your family was soo nice she wanted to keep you :)