Sunday, February 19, 2012

Farewells and Family Days

Although tomorrow is Alberta's official "Family Day", many people are celebrating it today already. My own family (husband and kids) are all off in different locations, so it's a good thing we had some family celebrations last week already.

One of the celebrations, the main one, was Dad Lagore's birthday. Now, his birthday fell on the same day that Dwight was scheduled to leave for Moz (Monday), so the birthday dinner was slated for a few days earlier so we could all be together for it.

His mystery age is in the candles, if you can see them from there.

Saturday and Sunday were a flurry of packing suitcases and getting things in place for Dwight's trip to Mozambique. The main purpose of this trip is to attend the annual general meeting, however it is also a good opportunity for him to follow up on a number of things on the field that need his attention.

But back to the story. By Sunday bedtime he was pretty well packed and ready to go. Between his personal items and a wealth of donated reading glasses for leaders and gifts for orphans, his suitcases were pushing the maximum weight limit of 50lb each.

On Monday morning, we headed to the Edmonton International Airport to say goodbye to him and to Bill Green. Bill Green is SAM Ministries' executive director and this is his first trip to Mozambique, so it was quite the occasion.

Amanda (our daughter), Dad Lagore, Dwight, Mom Lagore in the airport parking lot.

Once we got them checked in, we had a bit of time for coffee before their 12:40 flight.

Discussing something either very interesting or very important.

When the time came for them to go, we said farewell and they headed for the departure lounge as we headed back home. Two hours later, I received a call from Dwight saying their flight had been delayed. We hoped it wouldn't be delayed too much since there were 4 legs to their journey, 3 connecting flights yet, and much more than an hour or two would mean missed flights.

At 5:00 p.m. I got a call from Dwight asking if I could come pick them up because their flight got cancelled outright. Thankfully, they were able to rebook the same flights for the following day. So on Tuesday, we got to repeat all of Monday's activities...more or less. That was a rather tiring and stressful day. And funny enough (although not funny in the really funny sense), as it turned out we could have had Dad's birthday dinner on his real birthday date after all.

So that sort of brings me to today. Today I accompanied Mom and Dad Lagore to attend church at Heimdahl. This is the small country church that conducts the Global Care A Thon that raises funds to assist needs in several different countries...SAM Ministries' school child feeding program in Mozambique being one of them.

It was snowing and cold outside, but warm and friendly inside!

After the service, we got to enjoy each others' company around a good pancake brunch in the church's basement. I also got to meet some of the youngest "walkers" from last year's walk a thon. All these girls, and yes even this littlest one, participated in raising funds to feed hungry children far away.

What a privileged position I'm in. Not only can I watch the school children in Moz enjoy their platefuls of good food (and see their bodies become the stronger and healthier for it), I also get to see the smiles and eagerness of those who play a part in helping to make it all possible.

Thank you, Father.

And Happy Family Day everyone, wherever you are.

PS: Any recent news I missed can be found here, on the website's blog.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Time and connections

Edmonton night shot (from Chateau Lacombe)

We've been in Canada for over a month already and although things are feeling more familiar, it seems like we're in a type of time warp. It's not like jet lag since we've long since been sleeping and waking on Canadian time. (Though it is extremely difficult to shut things down for the night when there's no generator force-quitting work at 9 pm!)

The time warp we've been experiencing is getting used to the changes that have taken place while we've been otherwise occupied in Africa over most of the past 24 years. Yes, we've been back here on other trips before. And I'm sure we felt like this those times too, but each subsequent trip home presents a few more years' change heaped on previous ones so there's a cumulative effect.

The top photo was taken a week or so ago from the La Ronde (restaurant) at the top of the Chateau Lacombe. A friend of ours treated us to supper there and it was a great time to get reconnected. La Ronde used to be a favorite dining spot of ours when we were dating, though we've hardly been back since. So it was a very special experience. The view is still beautiful, though there are more lights and highrises. And apparently there are more major changes to downtown Edmonton yet to come.

Otherwise, life has just been plain busy for us. Weekends we visit churches and share our hearts and recent developments in Moz. Midweek it's work interspersed with getting together with family, friends, supporters, contacts, etc. Wow. So many people we want to see and our time seems so little!

Suzanne, Dwight, Andrew, and baby Emmitt.
(thankfully I remembered to dig out my camera for this one!)

It was so great to see Suzanne (who has led several teams of student nurses to do their practicum in our neck of the bush in Moz), her husband Andrew (who's also done a volunteer term in Moz), and the new bundle of joy in their lives, baby Emmitt.

This past Sunday we were in both Westerose and Calgary. They're about a 3 hours drive apart, so it was a bit of a marathon.

Yes...some things don't change.
The highways still look the same. But that's ok. I like that there are no pot holes.

I remembered to dig out my camera again at last night's meeting. This is with the Mercy Tech group (Todd Green pictured above) sharing the vision for Vocational Training and construction of a Maintenance Facility in Moz. Good people. Good times!

And last but not least in last week's activities was the D.I.Y. cupboard Dwight put up in our "bedroom" (curtained off section of the front room/dining room). Our quarters are pretty tight down here, and improved storage seemed a wise investment in our (my) sanity :) You can see a bit of the chaos as Dwight and Amanda figure out which panel goes where.

And yes, that's our gigantic Christmas wreath behind Amanda on the couch. Once we re-arrange things a bit, I may just find an empty space to put it. If not, well, everyday is Christmas right?

Next week today, Dwight will be boarding a flight back to Moz to attend the annual general meeting and to get some important things tended to. We're excited that Bill Green, SAM Ministries' E.D., will be accompanying him on this trip. On their way home, they'll stop in Brazil to attend the annual general meeting and to connect with the mission there as well.

One of the things I'll be busy with while he's gone is attending Missions Fest 2012. We'll have a display table set up for SAM Ministries (location: K-9), so look us up if you'll be attending.

Anyway, I'd better run along for now. It's 10 pm and I'm slowly learning the discipline of force-quitting myself--even though 24 hour power and high-speed internet invite me to do otherwise.


PS: If you're interested in more news from Moz, check out the SAM Ministries news blog.