After watching one last Hawaiian sunset, we took an overnight flight from Honolulu to Vancouver, where we re-entered Canada after our five-month pilgrimage. One more flight to Calgary had us eagerly greeted by some of our children and grand-children, who had waited very patiently, as we came through the airport terminal. Our family was elated. We had been on 12 planes as part of this journey and the last two flights were both the bumpiest and had the poorest service. I found myself hoping and praying that this was not a harbinger of our time at home.
As we came through the airport gates we also re-entered the world we left more 5 months ago. Not exactly, there are changes here. Of course the biggest change for me is that I don’t have jump back into the car and struggle through morning traffic to get to work at the University of Calgary.
As we reconnect with family and friends we give thanks to God for the gift of modern technology that has bridged the miles and weeks. Some have followed along through this blog, through email, Facebook, LinkedIn & Tumbler posts, through Twitter feed and through Instagram, and Skype calls. Others have heard some of our journey, some barely noticed that we have been away. Interestingly, the most common question we have encountered is “What’s next?”
Yes, I started this post back in March 2015 when we first returned from our YWAM Crossroads Discipleship Training School. Where have the months gone…
Back at home, those first few mornings when looking in the mirror I wondered whether I had changed at all, it looked like the same Andy looking back at me, and unlike some we had journeyed with there had been no Damascus road moment for me. However, as I have responded to ministry opportunities since being back on home turf, like Cursillo, hospice visits, men’s ministry, preaching, etc, I am amazed at the changes in the way I think and respond. I am quite shocked at how much unbelief I had before CDTS and how much greater my faith is, how much bolder I am in sharing it and how much more aware I am of the spiritual world around me. When I had the opportunity to share our journey at our home church, I am so glad God had me wait two months before sharing.
Glenda and I were introduced to English as a Second Language teaching while in Hanoi and we realized that this was a ministry that we could both become involved with. We took an Oxford Seminars 100 hour TESL/TESOL/TEFL course, it was hosted at the University of Calgary with 60 hours of classroom teaching followed by 40 hours of on-line grammar class. We were now wondering whether we could apply this training and experience in Okotoks. Kelly Johnson, a chaplain at the University of Calgary, introduced me to Cooperative ESL Ministries in Calgary, next thing we a running a pilot ESL Conversation class out of our home church, Saint Peter’s Anglican in Okotoks. What a joy this has been! The pilot is due to finish this week but all the volunteers and students want to continue meeting. Giving thanks!
We had several offers to serve with YWAM – in Hawaii, in Vietnam and even some back at home, but we have discerned that God wants us to assist the next Crossroads DTS by staffing so we will return to the University of the Nations in September to take staff training classes followed by helping to disciple the “first-timers” through the lecture phase and then lead a team on outreach. We expect to return to Canada at the end of February 2016.
We have 3 weeks to get ready, to say farewell to friends and family, to get the apartment ready for Curtis to move in, etc, etc. Prayers are much appreciated during this time. Thank you all.
We will be posting more frequently as our pilgrimage takes us away from home again…
Be blessed and be a blessing, A&G