The 11th Province of Canada
Snowbird in Florida! Is it true that the most popular destination for Canadians 55 and older is sunshine state? I can understand why! I am so thankful that I got to jump the border for a week and join the half a million Canadians who make their "home away from home" in Florida every year.
The ocean, the sunshine! It's so great to feel normal again! And after a 24 hour drive from freezing Quebec, my soul took a deep breath of relief mixed with joy!
Situated within walking distance from Juno beach, I was delighted to swim in some of the best temperatures I've experienced to date! Beach sands, palm trees and an ocean breeze - bliss! Thank You God for Florida! And for the wonderful family I joined on this journey south. Feeling privileged to be a snowbird for a week!
And there is nothing quite like reading about the harsh conditions of pioneer life in Canada, while sitting on a beach in Florida! #ilovesunshine
As I browsed the book shelves in the condo for something to read, I came across a short historical view of Canada. I was intrigued to find written within it's pages, mention of the Methodist Circuit Riders, who I had just found out about through a chat with a fellow YWAMer.
"Methodist Circuit Riders, with their fervid camp meetings and personal methods of prayer and redemption, made their denomination the dominant force in frontier religion." p35
A Short History of Canada, Desmond Morton
Today, there is a modern day movement of Circuit Riders bringing God's love to North America! These pioneering, itinerant evangelists seek to make God known in this generation!
And talking about pioneers, I welcomed in the New Year with fireworks on the West Palm horizon line, and the last half hour of Onething 2018. Thankful to be an hour ahead of Kansas City, I got to celebrate new year twice!
"We are the church
We are the bride
Love makes us strong to lay down our lives"
Earlier in the day, I had managed to tune in for part of one of the sessions - a generational conversation about turning the hearts of the fathers to the children! Charged to "own my place of belonging in this (spiritual) family and own my sonship", one of the fathers, David Damien, shared about the lonely road of the pioneer, but the undeniable truth that we may be lonely, but we are never alone. I'm so thankful for all those who have trailblazed ahead of us!
Listen to a "Canadian" spiritual father, David Damien, 2 hrs 16 mins
Pioneering requires sacrifice, and the story of Eric Liddell and his family is such a vivid reminder of this acute reality. He was, "the son of Scots missionaries who was born, shortly after the twentieth century began, in the port of Tientsin. The sprinter whose locomotive speed inspired newspapers to call him "The Flying Scotsman." The devout Christian who preached in congregational churches and meeting halls about scripture, temperance, morality, and Sunday observance. The Olympic champion who abandoned the track for the sake of his religious calling in China. The husband who booked boat passages for his pregnant wife and two infant daughters to enable them to escape the torment he was enduring in Weihsien. The father who had never met his third child, born without him at her bedside. The friend and colleague, so humbly modest, who treated everyone equally." He sacrificially served in China, where he eventually died as a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp. Such an inspirational read for my week in sunshine state.
Additionally, the family I am part of in this season have been pioneering the way in their family regarding international adoption, sacrificing comfort and an early retirement to raise three Colombian siblings. And you sure need humor to stay sane in the process of raising three adopted teenagers! They say it takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes, it does. With uncles, aunts, cousins and all - we went to watch this timely and comical release.
Sobered by the reality that the reason we were here in Florida was because of the generosity of a couple who were not with us, because of a battle with cancer, we still continued in the family rituals. Church in West Palm on Sunday and dinner at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant, a favourite stomping ground of the grandkids. We brought in the new year with a bbq, games and some Canadian hockey on TV. And maybe this is obvious, but you must be Canadian when your family is the most multi-cultural family in the condo complex?
When our cross border driver, the African American who had just become a permanent resident of Canada was asked how he was connected with this Caucasian Hispanic family; His response was - "They're my in-laws." If Canada is a mosaic, this family represents Canadian diversity well.
It was over as soon as it had begun. Back to Canada - one of the quickest border crossings ever! Oh, how I love being Canadian! No more delays, "waiting" rooms and strange looks from border officials who just don't understand that you can be white and African!