Monday, November 28, 2005

Harts Full of Love!

We had the wonderful opportunity to say goodbye to one of our favorite families in the area this weekend. The Hart family is actually one of our favorite families on the planet! We will miss you all! Please come and visit us in Canada!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Boxes Galores!

I have been grieving the give-away of our last moving boxes these past couple of weeks. I know it's silly - cardboard, right? But these were professional moving boxes - the kinds for artwork and hanging clothes. I knew that we'd never be able to justify buying them for this move.

There wasn't any hits on the last blog post locally, so I was a bit discouraged thinking about scrounging dumpsters for boxes and having to make the rounds to the liquor stores and grocery stores begging for boxes. Then i remembered freecycle.

If you're not familiar with
, you should be. It's the most enviromentally sound, brilliant, global idea - it's amazing we all haven't been doing this for years. It's an email group you subscribe to for your area - if you have something to get rid of you send out an email, and others do the same. The first person to claim the item gets to go and pick it up - so simple, eh? We've passed on tons of stuff we no longer needed, and have benefited so many times from others doing the same.

It also works if you're looking for an item, say, like moving boxes. I put out an email asking for boxes or places that have been generous to others in the past. Really never expecting much, but the phrase 'you have not, because you ask not' kept running through my head. So, okay, I'll ask.

Guess what - a new subscriber to our local freecycle just got moved here by the government and they have EVERYTHING we need. Keith's going to pick them up today - closet boxes, dish boxes, packing supplies, everything! YIPEE!! God is good!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Alinea & Jacob in St. Stephens

Ali & Jake in St. Stephens, New Brunswick at the Ganong Nature Preserve, October 2005.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


"NEXT" is a big word in our family lately. Some of you may not even know that Keith has resigned his youth pastorate after almost five years at Chippewa E-Free Church. This was a painful, but important decision for us to make. We feel that it was for the best. We love "our" teens deeply and to loose contact with them feels like they've been surgically removed from our lives.

This decision has created a bit of an immigration glitch for us. Keith has been here on a Religious Worker visa. We had believed that after it's expiry at the end of September of this year, he would have met the requirements for citizenship (or so we thought).

When we arrived in the US five years ago we opted for the less expensive R-1 Visa. ($6.00) Instead of spending the $400 for the church (or Heidi) to sponsor him for Permanent Resident Status (a "green card") It was a no brainer for us at the time. We have since found out that an R-1 Visa does not convert to citizenship like a Permanent Resident Visa would. It was an expensive and time consuming mistake.

We have since approached our Congresswoman Melissa Hart to ask for her involvement in our situation to see if there could be any special circumstances that might apply to our situation. If there are that would allow Keith to apply for citizenship without starting the whole process over. So far the answer is "no". There is still a chance of a 'Hail Mary", but we're not putting a lot of stock in that possibility.

Needless to say, we are all fully enjoying Keith's sabbatical. It's been a time of growth, healing and figuring out exactly what it is we want to be doing "next." We've looked at every option - all the way from working with NGO's and various non-profits to pursuing a Masters degree in counselling or teaching. Each time our hearts came up short. We still both felt a deep call to ministry.

So we have been watching to see the open doors that will continue us on that path. As God opens some doors, and shuts others, He show us where He wants us to go. We continue to be willing for that to be anywhere.

To that end we have just returned from a whirl-wind tour of the east coast - 11 states/1 province in 8 days! The purpose of that trip was to visit a school in St. Stephens New Brunswick, Canada!!! There is a Masters In Ministry at St. Stephens University program that both Keith & I are looking to participate in. While up there we both had the sense that we had been there before. It was so familiar and warm. There is such a wonderful community atmosphere and we're so looking forward to the future God is arranging for us.

It is an enormous task to think about moving our family (again) internationally, but God has opened doors and been confirming this choice many times along the way. We are grateful for the direction and for having a 'next' to travel toward.

School starts for us all on January 9th. Keith & I will probably only participate in one class for this next semester, and Alinea & Jacob will be attending the public school up there. As a school, St. Stephen's is deeply committed to both exemplary academics and deep spiritual formation.

While it will bring great change we know that we're all up to the challenge. The kids are excited too - we've been making it quite the adventure along the way. Ali has already started her beach glass collection and we're all looking forward to whale watching in the spring.

The town of St. Stephens is glorious and located just over the border of Calais, (pronounced Kahl-is by those who live there.) Maine. It's right on the Bay of Fundy where the tides are the most dramatic on the whole face of the earth - moving in and out over 50 feet twice a day. Imagine bobbing in a small boat on water that is deeper than a five-story building, and then in six hours go back to that exact spot and walk around on the ocean floor.

Together the two communities support about 10,00 souls. The little bridge over the St. Croix River is only about 200 yards long and without any toll. The two communities share one life together - if you want to swim at the indoor pool, or go to the movies, you go to Calais If you want to go skating or bowling you go to St. Stephen's. there "crossing the border" is a way of life.

Heidi will be able to work in the US while we get the Canadian paperwork squared away.

Below we've posted our family picture from this summer's mission trip in West Virginia, if you could print it out and magnet it to your fridge as a reminder to pray for us we'd really appreciate it tons. We definitely have lots on the go right now, so we'd covet your prayers if you are the praying type.

And we'd love to hear from you, so leave us a comment below or shoot us off an email!

Please print our picture to remind you to pray!

Thank you!