We had a very good trip through Canada. The first few days we stayed in Winnipeg, a city in the centre of Canada. Family Life Centre, a missionpost of Union Gospel Mission, hosted us. We participated in some of the activities of this mission work among First Nation drop outs in Winnipegs North End.
It is very sad to see drunken people laying on the pavement, living without hope and seeking ‘refuge’ in alcohol and drugs. Society still has no answer and no solution. It is one thing to take care of the drop outs in the big cities. It is something else to find a structural solution. We heard people mention this problem as a ticking bomb.
After almost a week in Winnipeg, we drove to Edmonton. A good choice to experience how big a country Canada is. In stead of flying for a couple of hours, we drove two whole days! One farm with meadows and fields after another, long trains with grain- and oil wagons, once in a while a village with a gas satation (and coffee J).
We stayed in Morinville, a village near Edmonton, where we were warmly welcomed by a very friendly pastorscouple of a baptist church. Our goal for this trip was to attend one day of the Native Youth Conference of NEFC (Native Evangelical Fellowship of Canada). Over 300 teenagers from the western region of Canada attended the Youth Conference. Next to this very inspiring visit, we shared with several people and groups about what God is doing in the jungles of the Amazon.
After our visit to Edmonton we met with the director and the president of the board of NEFC in a meeting in Winnipeg. It was worthwhile to meet each other and lay a foundation for our relationship in the coming years.
One Saturday we decided to drive to the Rocky Mountains. We enjoyed the views and were suprised by an encounter with a black bear on a parking place. Ipomadi enjoyed walking in the snow after a ride up the mountain in Jasper. He was suprised that families with their children just were walking in the snow…, so cold!
Our last day in Canada we spent in Toronto. Different meetings in the World Team Canada office with as highlight of the day a dinner meeting with Chinese candidates who plan to leave for Lima, Peru in the coming year. Marco met them before, during the Missions Conference last November in Paramaribo. We met another Chinese couple who are assisting in maintaining relationships with the different Chinese churches in Canada. A beautiful network of churches is formed to support the work in Lima, Peru.
After four very busy weeks we were very happy to fly back home. On our way it seemed that we would miss our connection to Paramaribo in Port of Spain. Luckily the other plane was delayed also. It turned out to be stormy day in the Caraibean…. Finally we arrived late Friday night in Suriname. During the weekend there were again a lot of appointments to meet. Two services on Sunday, one of them an Indian service with more than 80 people attending. It is a blessing to see the growth of this small Indian city community.
Last Monday we flew back to Lawa. After 15 minutes we returned to the city due to low oil pressure in the engine. Again waiting for things to come. The company decided to accomodate us in another plane. So happy to be back home again. So much to share about our trip to the States and Canada, so we held to meetings in the church on Tuesday and Wednesday night, presenting photo’s and Ipomadi telling the stories.
As a result of this one couple came to us to inquire about possibilities for a bible school education in French. We’ll see what will come as a result of this trip.