There is a Purpose …

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Happy Tuesday friends.  This past weekend we spent the weekend with some really sweet friends.  We chatted about the future, the days and months ahead and the anticipation of what God is going to do.  Sometimes my mind can spin and often goes to far off distant lands of dreaming.  If you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big! We serve a big God!  I’ve shared my life verse before, “Commit your way to the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”

As I looked around on the weekend, I realized that we all had a common bond, common goal … and the fact that we were all leaving within the next couple of months.  There is a reason why our friendships bonded the way it did.  There is a reason why we are leaving at this time.  There is a purpose.  I truly believe that God has a plan for all us. A greater plan in God’s design.  Perhaps God is calling our family to Hong Kong to be missionaries.  Maybe He is putting into place and plan for us to plant a church.  If you’re one of the many people who have asked us, “Are you going to plant a church?”, please pray and seek the Lord if this is part of His will for us.

We often go through life without any real purpose.  We live our lives doing the same thing over and over again.  Some of us are caught up in the rat race.  Others are trying to “keep up.” As Christians we are told to “Make Disciples” … we are commanded to “Go”.  I often think and have asked, “How many of us actually listen and obey God’s words?”  What is God’s purpose for our lives?  The answer is simple, to give Him much glory.  However, there’s more to it than what we demonstrate in our lives.

And so, we “Go.”

This past Sunday, I was again, reminded of the calling … “To the ends of the Earth.”

If you’re reading this, and you’re not sure … perhaps, the one thing you should be praying about / asking God is “Lord, where do you want me / my family to be?”  For some, it could be next door, and others … it could literally mean … to the nations.  Be available to do God’s work.  One thing I’m confident about, God does not ask people to “Stay.”

For others who are reading this, maybe God is calling you to Himself.  You may not even have a relationship with God.  Perhaps you’re not aware of His love for you.  The fact that God would send His son, Jesus, to take your place on the cross.  He bore God’s wrath so that we may have life.  God loves you.  He desires to have a relationship with you.

Friends … are you living life with purpose?  Seek the Lord today.  Ask Him.  Be bold.

Don’t let people or material possessions hinder you from doing God’s work.

 

You are loved!

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God in the midst

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Today is Friday.  I’m at school … working on reports, cleaning my room and writing this Blog.  I sent a text earlier to let Gloria know that someone was on their way to pick up our couch and love-seat.  This is a big deal.  Our boys have only known in their short lives, the two couches we have ever owned.  We took pictures of the couches with our boys sitting on them as a memory.

I think some of you know where this is headed.  When the couches were on their way out, Gloria shared that our boys sat on the couches until the very last minute … quite upset, cried.  I was upset just to read about their reaction.  This is real.  As raw as it can get.  Our boys being only 9 and 7, are experiencing a trial.  A trial that they are going through … not because they asked for it, but because we decided to move forward with our relocation to Hong Kong.

Friends, I won’t deny it, there are days when I question whether we are doing the right thing.  Is God really asking us to move to Hong Kong for His purpose?  How are our boys going to do with the transition? How are we going to do?

I was reminded again, this morning, that God is in control.  I was encouraged again this morning to know that my new school and staff are praying for us.  Thankful to many who are on this journey with us.

A couple of days ago during our family worship time, we decided to sing some old school worship songs and hymns.  One of which of You are My all is all and This is my Father’s World. The words that really resonated with us, “You are my strength when I am weak … You are my all in all.”  We are trusting the Lord in this matter.  He’s all that we need, all that we have going forward.  My prayer is that God would continue to grow something new in our family, in our lives.  Pray that our boys would see God in the midst of all of this.

James 1 tells us that “trials is a testing of our faith.”  This indeed is true.  May we strive to keep our eyes on Christ.  May we lead our boys and even ourselves with much perseverance and with guarded hearts.

Would this be an encouragement to you, to those who find themselves in a trial.  Remember, that “this is our Father’s world … oh let me never forget … God is the ruler yet.”

I truly believe that God is at work.  In my life and in my family’s as well.  He is sovereign! Resting in His love and grace.

You are loved.

Deep Friendships

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This past weekend, our family had the opportunity to spend some precious time with dear friends of ours.  It was such an encouragement to both myself and wife. Our boys also got in on the action, and had some sweet time with their kids.  It was a reminder to us of the deep friendships and relationships that we have here in Canada.  Our friendship with this particular family goes deep, many years, but our common bond in knowing and having a relationship with Christ is what binds us together.  We are going the miss them.

There’s something to be said about having commonalities, being like-minded.  The openness of our conversations – 7 HOURS none stop this past weekend! – the depth that one can go is a precious gift.

As I get older and somewhat more mature, the value of being like minded is so important.  Working on a project, planning an event, raising our children, or Missions focused are examples of being like-minded, striving for the same goal!  On Mission!

We are down to about 50 days until we leave for Hong Kong.  We are still on Mission.  First to Go … but why?  To make disciples.  Our desire to be obedient to God’s leading and calling.  We are 110% confident that the Lord is directing our family in this direction.  When we arrive, land, settle into our 700 Sq ft room, we need to rest on this truth – that God is at work, that He has a purpose in our relocation, and we need to trust Him with all of our hearts … especially when we want to go home, back to Canada.

Our conversation with our friends did not really end.  We had to go home because it was late!  It’s in the plans to get together again!

Friends, may I encourage you to surround yourself with those whom understand you.  Those who will challenge you because they love you.  Those who will be by your side.  Be with people who will support you no matter what, without asking you questions that you’ve already thought through.  Cultivate relationships with those who will walk with you through life.

We are indeed thankful for our friends.  Praise God for lasting relationships!

You are loved!

 

 

Tears … It’s getting real!

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Last night during Family Worship, we were reading through Psalm 27 with our boys.  As a family we camped out a little bit on verse 11: “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path.”  We talked about what this meant, how does God teach us?  Our boys shared that we need to be in the Word, allow for others to speak into us, to listen carefully to Him.  We also noticed that the second part of the verse starts by saying, “Lead me” … it’s almost like King David asking God for direction … and where to?  On a level path.  I asked the boys what is easier?  Level path? or crooked? zig zag path?  Uphill?  Both said “level.”  I would have to agree, however we do know that in life, our paths are never always level.  There are seasons when we are constantly going uphill, sometimes down in the trenches, other seasons of life, obstacles are everywhere.  The one truth we can depend on – God is with us.  He is our Shepherd … to guide and direct.  We reminded our boys about Proverbs 3: 5, 6 – “Trust in the Lord … and He will make your paths straight.”

Which path are you currently walking on?

Are you on a level path?  Going uphill, constantly in battle?

As we ended our Family Worship, our youngest son, became quite quiet.  Then tears came, and he shared, “I don’t want to go to Hong Kong.”  He’s in a battle.  He doesn’t want to leave some of his friends.  Our family is in a battle – we can actually feel it.

As the day for our departure quickly comes, we are all feeling the stress, strain and sadness of leaving.  I reminded our boys to continually trust in God.   He has a plan for us.  The path that we are on may seem a bit shaky at times, however, God is in control.  He is the one leading us.  Like David, we have asked the Lord … “Lead me.” Like Samuel, we have also said, “Lord, Here am I.”

Thank you to friends who are praying with us as we heed the Lord’s calling / leading to Hong Kong.  We know that God has a plan for us.  We are going with great anticipation to do God’s work.  May we continue to strive for Christ – likeness and to lead our boys and family with much humbleness and dependence on God.

You are loved!

 

Delighting in the Lord

IMG_6477Thank goodness for Victoria Day weekend!  Having an extra day off from work is always appreciated.  This morning I woke up and went for run.  Yes, you read correct.  I ended up running 4km in about 25 minutes, with no resting – which is my personal best to date!  As I was running, a couple thoughts ran through my mind … “forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal  for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  My goal as I was running, was to complete my route without resting.  In our Christian walk, our goal / prize is Christ.  How do we obtain this prize?  I think it’s pretty simple, yet so difficult for many to accomplish.  We need to have a heart that beats after God’s.  Do we have the same passion that He has?  Do we love like God loves?  Are we pursuing that which God has place in our hearts?  Delighting in the Lord is to be in constant communion with Him.  To love like He loves.  To serve like He serves. To be sacrificial with our time and finances.  To be mediating on the things that matter.  The apostle Paul writes in Colossians, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.”

Recently, I was chatting with a friend and he asked me about the “why” are we moving to Hong Kong.  I shared with him that there’s more to this life than the mundane.  The comfortableness of life in North America.  I shared that it is our desire to be used by the Lord in any capacity that He may see fit.  We also desire to give our boys an opportunity to grow both academically and spiritually.  We desire to go on Missions trip with our boys.  We would love to return to Nepal one day soon with our boys and give them the rich opportunity of living and experiencing life there as well.

And so … as a family, we want to delight in the Lord.  We desire to have a heart that beats after the things of the Lord.  “Comfortable Christianity” is not the goal.  The Great Commission is not to “Stay, be baptized and get comfortable” as David Platt says in his book, Follow Me.

If we can be an encouragement to you or anyone else, we would say to you, step out in faith, trust God and know that He has all things under His control.  Delight in Him … and He will bring it to pass.

You are loved!

Psalm 37: 23

I was reading this passage last night.  I have perhaps read Psalm 37 hundreds of time.  My life quote is verse 4, 5 … “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and he will act.”

However, when I read verse 23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when we delights in his way.”  For the first time the word “WHEN” really popped out at me.  Took some time to really consider what this means.  The word “WHEN” would seem to indicate time.  So it’s possible to never delight, sometimes delight, when I’m done my work then I will delight, etc. You get the picture?

As our family walks through this time of change and transition, a couple of things really stand out.  1) In the midst of change, our focus, must continue to be on the Lord.  To be reminded of the mission ahead of us.  Yes, we are going over to Hong Kong because of a job opportunity at ICS, however, both Gloria and I have a sense that there is more.  One motto that I live by, “There’s more to this Life.”  Continued focus on His purpose, His desires. 2) If verse 4 is true, than the opposite must also be true.  For those who choose not to delight in the Lord, what does that mean about his steps?  Chaos? Confusion? Incomplete?

The desire of our family as we move forward is to continue walking with the Lord.  We want to be used as His instruments, for His purpose and His glory.  We trust that you would have the same desires.  Would we all strive to delight in the Lord daily.

You are loved.

 

2 Months and Counting

Friends,

We can’t believe where the time has gone.  It’s already mid-May and we are down to approximately 2 months before we embark on our adventure to Hong Kong.  God has been faithful, demonstrating much grace over this time period.

Our house is a disaster, with seemingly no end in sight, however, we are super thankful for friends who have come to serve us.  Your kindness does not go unnoticed.

As we continue to purge, we are learning and growing.  For example, we were able to get rid of a ton of stuff … and yet, we still survive.  The North American lifestyle of accumulating stuff is not healthy.  We trust that by going HK, downsizing from 2500 sq ft to about 700 sq ft will be one of growth and thankfulness.

We still have a ton of stuff to do.  We welcome your prayers and support. In the meantime, more cleaning, organizing and planning our next road trip as we take some time to say our Good Byes to friends all over Ontario.

You are loved!

3 months and counting

Well friends, we have about 3.5 months before leaving for Hong Kong.  We are super thankful for our friends, colleagues and family for their support and encouragement.  The last couple of months has been challenging – replacing brakes on our vehicles, tires on one of our cars, replaced a dishwasher, selling possessions, built a room in our basement, and the list continues.  Throughout this time though, we have seen how God has provided for our needs.  He is faithful.  As we go through this brief season of life, we are more confident in His leading / directing / calling of our family to move to Hong Kong this upcoming July.  We look forward to the days ahead … sad … yes … excited? Of course!  God is at work!!

You are loved!

Obedience

One of my favourite all time quotes was spoken by Elizabeth Elliot, wife of Jim Elliot, the missionary who went to the Amazon.  I heard her speak at Urbana 96 – a turning point in my life, a defining moment in my walk with the Lord.  She said, “Obedience is our task.  The results of our obedience, is God’s.”

As we embark on our journey to Hong Kong in less than 4 months, obedience to God, His calling and leading to Hong Kong is what’s driving behind our decision to uproot our family.  We don’t know exactly what His plans are, what ministry we will be involved.  All we know at the moment is … I (Dan) will be working at ICS teaching Grade 4.  We have yet to visit a church, but God is already moving.  We have connections in Hong Kong that seemingly require some of  our attention, connections with people who we have met over the past couple of months, and a strong sense on both our parts that God is preparing something for us.  Romans 8:28 says, And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purposes.”

Would we continue to be faithful, to trust Him and to allow God to lead us.  Our heart’s desire is to be obedient … to be available, teachable and humble … would we be like Samuel … “Lord, here I am.”

Welcome to our Adventure.

cropped-img_2034.jpgIt’s been 5 years since our family relocated to Hong Kong on July 23, 2017. Our BLOG highlights some of our experiences, lessons and insights. Our hope is that you get a glimpse of some of the joys and struggles of living in a different country … we too are real people; however, we also have our faith in God to help us through those difficult times – and we have experienced many of those days. Thank you for visiting, joining us as we embark on a new adventure. We truly are an ordinary family of 4 experiencing an extraordinary journey!

You are loved!