Pleasant Places (Ps. 16)

Every now and then I have this moment where I'll look up and say, "Wow, I live in Canada." Even now, twenty-one months into this, I still feel this occasional amazement.  Right now I am sitting in the dining room of a house not far from an old Mennonite village in Neuenlage, Saskatchewan, a few miles north of Saskatoon. I rode out with some friends on Thursday morning at 6, crossed through BC's high desert, crossed through the Rocky Mountains and Jasper National Park in Alberta, got to see some elk (one from very close), and spent the night in Edmonton, Alberta, with a couple who had listed themselves in the Mennonite Your Way book as willing to accept travelers. On Friday we had breakfast with them, then set out across Alberta through rolling fields, and I learned a lot about farming terms and methods. I saw wolves and bison, and I had my picture taken with a huge buffalo statue in Wainright, Alberta, where the American bison was saved from the brink of extinction.  We crossed into Saskatchewan and visited with several different people, and I got to talk to the youth group about missions. Pretty amazing. The last two days I've been learning about Mennonite culture. Yesterday evening about thirty-five people were at the house for vaspa, which is a light evening meal designed for Sunday visitors, consisting of lunch meats, home made rolls, home made pickles, cookies, and chips. It was amazing. All of these family members got together and laughed and played with one another, and they stayed for about five hours. I've loved being here; it's pretty amazing how welcoming these people have been. I feel like I'm back in the South. When I was at church people were greeting me first (!) and introducing themselves and intentionally making conversation.

One thing that has hit me here is the amount of light in this place. I don't just mean the bright prairie sun, though that is wonderful; I mean the spiritual light. This area functions as the Bible Belt of Canada, and it really feels different here. The church is still interested in foreign missions (sending long-term people), and people support and help one another.  They place crosses at accident sites on the road, actually mentioning the name of Jesus, instead of the sad, hopeless, plaintive memoirs in BC. I'm really grateful to have this time in the prairies; I hadn't realized how oppressive BC was until I arrived in a place where many people follow Jesus.

  • Praise God that I've been able to get away and see different areas of Canada and to be refreshed by the people here.
  • Praise God for His preservation of generations and generations of believers in the heart of a very lost country.
  • Praise God for people who are excited about missions.
Prayer requests
  • Please pray for our drive back, starting tomorrow morning. We're in a loaner van, and the muffler has taken a big hole, and the pipes are all mushy in the bottom. Dan's getting it fixed, but a little protection would not go amiss.
  • Dan, Mary, and I are talking about another religion tonight, dressing up and discussing ways to reach the people. Pray that we'd say what needs to be said and discuss what the people need to hear.
  • Please pray for me as I go back into Vancouver. It's a really dark, oppressive place. Pray for light to shine in my life and in the lives of others. Pray that God's light would penetrate the darkness and that the light of life would come.

Thank you,

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