Tag Archives: University of the Nations

Catch up: leaving ‘Nam, summer in Alberta and…

Not really believing that I haven’t posted anything for 6 months!!! So before I start a new chapter “Back at the Crossroads” Again I should fill in the gap.

After the Tet holiday in Ha Noi we rented a 23 passenger bus with a driver and headed into the mountains NW of the capital city. We visited Sa Pa and some of the surrounding villages. The people were amazingly friendly and very resourceful, some of the villages are quite a distance from the nearest road capable of handling a 4 dsc_5826wheel vehicle. Everything is dsc_5815hauled in and out on the back – the back of a person, the back of a water buffalo or the back of a motorbike. All the materials used in the building in this picture were transported 4 kms (2 1/2 miles) on the back of something.  dsc_5841On the day we were there, hundreds of children gathered in traditional dress inside the building.dsc_5848dsc_6033
We were treated to a great display of dancing and singing as we exchanged our traditions and cultures.dsc_5980
Outside the building were many more people, parents and other villagers, observing all that was going on. We had a lot of great experiences among these mountain people. There are so many stories we would love to tell but this page is not long enough. If you didn’t hear the stories while we were home, let us know so we can share with you next time we are back.

The town of Sa Pa is at 1500m above sea level and it is nestled under Phan Xi Păng mountain the highest point in Viet Nam, at 3143 metres. It is the south eastern end of the Himalayas, and while it is in the tropics, at these elevations snow is not very unusual, while we were there it was just rain and cold, around 4C.

Our outreimg_0799ach team was able to img_0645purchase some items which we left with community leaders to distribute to those in need. 240kgs of dried fish; 3 grocery carts of dried milk products, & diapers; 8 bunk beds for a drug rehab house; and hundreds of pairs of socks and gloves were among the practical items that we were able to give.

After Viet Nam we headed back to Kona with our team for a few days of debrief, staying at Uncle Billy’s. We said ‘goodbye’ to the many new friends who had shared the journey with us then flew into Vancouver. We stayed a few days there visiting with our son, Bryan and his family before arriving back in Okotoks March 1st to very warm and dry spring.

We contacted YWAM Turner Valley and Andy spent many days throughout the spring and summer working in support of their training programs (School of Biblical Studies and Discipleship Training School) by assisting with maintenance and construction at the base.

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Renovating a bathroom; a stairwell; exterior painting; removing a 20cm (8″) thick concrete pathway; building a large deck using tree trunks for the posts and beam were some of the bigger projects.

Glenda was really blessed to be able to spend many days helping our daughters at Vicky’s Place Dayhome and with the many children in Joanna’s house.

img_1527During the first week of August we were able to participate in an Ellel School of Restoring the Healing Ministry at their retreat centre in Didsbury, Alberta. This was an intense week of training with many topics covered, it was excellent but in many ways just an introduction to healing ministry. We are sure that the future will bring opportunities to go deeper.

We both celebrated 60 years on this planet this year and were amazingly blessed to be able to gather together the whole family for a photo, oh and a party.

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We are now back in Hawaii, at University of the Nations, Kona where we are staffing the next YWAM Crossroads DTS for 6 months, after that… ????

Until next time, be blessed and be a blessing. A&G

 

 

 


Back at the Crossroads – Chúc mừng năm mới!

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It is the Lunar New Year here. VNYE mealSuper Bowl Sunday in the USA. In British Columbia it is the Family Day weekend. In Norway it is Fastelavn. This week also has Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday when many Christians begin the season of Lent. And next week will be Family Day in Alberta. So much celebration, so much renewal, and so much of it involving family and friends! Here in Hanoi, we have been invited to be a part of many peoples celebrations, including New Year’s Eve with the family of one of our english club VNY Breakfastfriends and  this morning we shared blessings with our landlords at their traditional Vietnamese New Year’s breakfast. Tết is such a busy time in Hà Nội, many people have left the city to be at their families’ traditional homes. In fact, the city is a bit of a ghost town as nearly everything is closed for the holiday. There is hardly any traffic, the streets are emptier and easier to cross.. Those who originate in the city have cleaned and decorated their homes and are enjoying Thanksgiving, Christmas and western New Year all rolled up into one great celebration. The generosity of the people in Vietnam goes above and beyond, they are giving people, they are amazing hosts, they are very loving and we are left wondering what compels them.

There is also a lot of religious activity, ancestors are being worshiped at the ancestral altar in the home and temples and pagodas are being visited. We have the chance to bless people with prayer and by sharing God’s love. In Vietnam, Ông Trời is the owner of all heaven, a bit like the Greeks in Paul’s day who had a shrine to the unknown God, just in case.

DSC_5576DSC_5485DSC_5496This week has really been all about visiting. Along with friends in private homes, we were also able to visit a home for handicapped people east of Hanoi. We met the Director of the centre a man of peace who really cares for the 360 people and 95 staff that are under his care. In Vietnamese tradition we shared tea and then were able to visit many of the people in their homes. As you can see from these few photos there was much love and joy shared.

IMG_0645This week we are heading to Sa Pa, a small frontier town near the border with China, for 5 days. We are hoping for good weather. Last year we were in the clouds and rain for most of the trip with a high of 4C. It was very cold and wet and hard to move around, traveling between villages in the mud on foot was difficult. Our team has purchased 240kgs of dried fish in 20 boxes along with socks and gloves which we hope to be able to give to the minority people who live in the Hoàng Liên Mountains around the town.

DSC_5645We have had a couple of beautiful sunny spring-like days. Yesterday, we were in a village north-east of Hanoi visiting the family of Yen our interpreter. The sun was DSC_5683shining and the sky was cloudless. It was a first time experience for us. It is not unusual to see streets lined with flags as the Vietnamese in this part of the country are very patriotic. On a sunny day the red and gold really stands out. After we return from SaPa we will have just two days to debrief, clean and pack before traveling back to Kona. It is hard to believe that our two months in Vietnam is already coming to an end.

Until next time be blessed and be a blessing, A&G

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Scripture from The Voice Bible unless otherwise noted.
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Week 20 – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – It is finished!

After all the goodbyes in Viet Nam last week, yesterday we had to say goodbye to all ourIMG_6519classmates, from our 5 month journey. We have debriefed and received a certificate to show that we are now officially YWAMers, our DTS has come to an end, it is finished! Or, perhaps, it has just started.

Some of our friends are staying on in Kona to take second-level courses or to join as staff. YWAM has over 20,000 permanent staff worldwide, in almost 1700 locations and no payroll. Most are returning to where they came from, some to pick up where they left off, others to find something else to do. We are taking a 3 day, 40th Anniversary vacation in Waikoloa as we wait for our next flight, which takes us home to snowy Alberta on Tuesday where we will reunite with our friends and family there. We look forward to catching up with all the exciting things that have happened while we have been away.

Summarizing our experience will be difficult, for many who have followed our blog regularly you already have an outline of our pilgrimage. But all that we shared about the time in the lecture phase, sitting under great biblical teaching and the time in Viet Nam on outreach is just a glimpse of all that happened to, for and through us.

This is the last posting on “At the Crossroads”, although I am sure there will be some mention in future reflections, as we journey “Beyond the Crossroads.” Our next posting will come once we get home. Thank you all for listening and taking part with us, we truly value your friendship and your desire to journey with us, this is not the end, it is a beginning.

Be blessed and be a blessing, A&G