Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arrived in Paris

We arrived at 9:45 am in Paris yesterday.   No delays due to weather, passed through customs without delay also.  Discovering Paris subway and bus systems.  It was a bit challenging moving our very large heavy bags up and down the platforms and staircases.  Arrived safe and just a bit tired at our accommodations in the suburb of Massy, Paris.  Very nice young man helped us with our walk up.  Grateful.  Visited the supermarche yesterday for breakfast items.  Could not find the milk in the refridgerator section.  Spotted "lait" on a sign of a regular aisle.  They seal pasturized milk in plastic containers that do not require refrigeration.  This farm girl thinks this is just wrong.  Understand the need given the small refrigeration systems most homes would likely have.  Sorry, too tired to take pictures yesterday, plan to take out the camera today.  It is almost 3 in the morning.  We retired at 5 pm yesterday.  I think it will take us some time to get our bodies to adjust to the time change.   It is giving us time to reflect on our goodbyes and the journey ahead.  Reflecting on by whom we are called to serve and the people we will be serving with,  and the reason we are serving in Galmi.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Galmi Address

Here is our address in Galmi:

Hopital de la SIM Galmi
BP 44 Madaoua
Republique du Niger, West Africa

Unlike what we are used to there is no postal or zip code.

Our emails remain the same:
orest.pelech@sim.org

grace.pelech@sim.org

You can skype us at:

orest.pelech
grace.pelech

Blessings

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Name the Tricycle Contest

Some dear friends suggested we should name our trike.  So we thought it would be fun to make this a group project.  So until the end of January, we will accept submissions of names for the trike.  You may enter as many names as you wish.  We will make the final decision based on the most suitable name.  Please be creative and interesting.  You can go to the comment section below to submit you idea.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Whispers of Galmi, answered in Alberta

Early in November  we received an email, suggesting that a bike would be very beneficial for Grace's work.  Grace will typically be moving throughout the large mission residence compound daily.  We shared this suggestion with a wonderful couple P&S from the Garrington Community Church, and  their immediate response was to offer an adult tricycle. How perfect.  Thanks P&S.  They also shared how this trike was obtained in a load of scrap metal purchased by a brother who no longer wanted it. We then received a second email from Galmi reminding us that the bike should have a place for a basket and it should have a ladies style frame, because of the need to wear a skirt.  I looked at the trike again,  every detail is just as it should be.  It is a vintage 3 speed Sears, Free Spirit trike with power brakes on monkey bar handles.  Remember the banana bikes!!  On the frame behind the seat is an area to mount a basket when we arrrive at our destination.  Our friend and  former neighbor from Lloydminster just recently closed his bike shop amd has agreed to mount 2 inch tires and give it a tune up prior to being crated.   Our Lord is a God of details.

Surprises continue
We went to pick up the trike and the our surprises do not stop.  Gord re-evaluated the trike and made a decision that it would be better for us to take one of 2 bikes that they had not sold prior to closing the shop.  It would in fact also be a trike.  Also ladies style with a basket on the back.  And for the trike's long term care and maintenance, they gave us a bike chain cleaning kit and solution, with spare tire tubes and locking device.  Our Lord is a God of details.

We love how each gift was such a blessing and we pray we will bless many other people because of it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Time in Alberta is at the end. Heading to Manitoba

Today we packed up our van.  The bench is strapped to the roof of the van, and the back of the van in full.  We kind of look like the Hill Billies, going down the road.  We started out of Calgary at 3:30pm to day.  We quite at Medicine Hat.  Wind has picked up significantly and snow is drifting.  Thankful the #1 highway is 4 lane.  Pray for safe travels tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bible library on DVD

We had a wish list of things to take to our mission destination.  One of those items was a computer Bible reference library.  We knew that a person could purchase a bible reference library for the computer, but had not priced it out. We had figured it was too expensive and out of our price range.  However, we needed to get a quote for our budget purpose.  Orest spoke with our dear friend Chris from the Verses in Lloydminster.  To our delight and surprise, Logos had come out with a new edition, and the older version which could no longer sell was available to us free of charge.   HUGE thanks Chris and Verses for this Bible reference library - and all of that info is on one little DVD - Wow. It contains many different translations of the Bible and has awesome cross reference capabilities.

Answered Prayer

Over and over we can tell you stories of how God answers prayer.  This gives us assurance of what we believe and that our God is a loving, kind, and generous God who provides.  He is the God of the impossible and He delights in the details.  When people say it cannot be done, this is when He shines the very best.  We find ourselves overwhelmed with joy that cannot be contained.  It feels like Christmas morning over and over again.  It sounds like a football game sometimes around us.  We cannot not do no less but to cheer, shout, dance and sing.  We serve a most generous, sovereign God.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Take Off

We are leaving from Winnipeg on December 27, 2010 for Niger. 

That's right, going to Winnipeg for Christmas.  What could be better.  Going from really cold to really hot in a short period of time.  When you think of that you really have to believe how wonderfully made we are by God.

Blessings

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Faith

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us.
-Hebrews 12:1

The secret to falling in love with Jesus forever is to honor Him fearfully, keeping His promises faithfully.
-Dan & Dave Davidson

And without faith it is impossible to please God....
-Hebrews 11:6

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
-Philemon 1:6

C.S. Lewis said that we have the tendency to think, but not to act and to feel, but not to act.  If we go on feeling and thinking, but not acting, then one day we will be unable to act.
-George Verwer

I know that we have been called by God in the past, but we did not act.  We are over-joyed that God has given us another opportunity to respond to His call.  We continue to look forward to serve God and the people of Galmi.

Blessings to all of you
Orest & Grace

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book those fights

We have reached the stage where we can start booking our flights to Niger.  While it seems like it took forever, we know that this was accomplished quite quickly.  We are still around $200.00 per month short of our goal, but we are close enough to make plans to leave. 

We are ever so grateful to all of our supporters who have made this possible.  Bless all of you, and we hope we get to see most of you before we depart at the end of December.

Blessings

Monday, November 8, 2010

How long have you attended?

That was my question to a lady "L" this morning at church.  Loved the response.  She used to go to a very large church, however, she likes this church because it reminds her of "Cheers" the sitcom TV show.  The place where everyone knows your name.  LOL  What a precious thing it is when everyone knows your name.  Reminds us how God knows each of us by name and wants us to be in relationship with Him and His Son.  Then He promises to send the Comforter to help us through life.  In good times and difficult.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grateful and joyful heart

We are so grateful again and again how generous and giving our friends and family have been.  We are humbled by how God works through them to encourage us and provide for His work in Galmi.  We know the blessing of the widow's might again and again, and are moved to tears.  We know that those with little have given so very much.  We know that Gods ways are wonderful and mysterous, and we rejoice that we are in His service.

On the road again!

This week our van required the front brakes and cables to be replaced, Ouch, that sure hurt the wallet!  We have been experiencing Gods protection and provision over our many miles of travel this past 5 months.  Please pray we will have an eventless travel to Lloydminster this weekend and back to Calgary.  We will be seeing many dear and precious friends.  Pray also for clarity as we share with a new church about how God is sharing in His work though us and what He is calling us to do in Galmi.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quotes

Don't allow fear of the unknown to cause you to miss out on what God wants to do through you.  Worse than failure is living with the regret of never having stepped out in faith to pursue your vision.
-Andy Stanley

First think WOW with God for missions.  The HOW will follow.  Never think HOW before WOW.
-Dave & Dan Davidson

We can definetly relate to these quotes.  It has been amazing how God has gone ahead of us on every little detail related to His mission call for us.  Crazy thing is that no matter how much God has been there, we still get anxious about details.  We just praise God for how good and faithful He really is.

With God all things are possible.
-Matthew 19:26

Friday, October 15, 2010

Winter

Here we are having breakfast, looking out our window, in Calgary, and there is a snow storm.  Yesterday the temperature was in the mid 20's.

Thoughts go to what it will be like in Africa.  Wondering what it will be like when the first sand storm hits. 

What an amazing world God has given us.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Needed in Niger

We have been told that we are needed in Niger by early January.  This means we need to get all of our support raised.

Orest has contacted several hundred churches trying to work up some partnering.  It's like working at a sales job.  There is a very low rate of response.  The good news is there are five new churches that want us to make presentations over the next 6 weeks.  Plus others that have some interest.

Grace is working hard at researching charitable foundations that might have some funds available for missionary work.  It is a lot of work to go through books and research what these foundations fund and what they require.

Please pray that we can get our support raised very quickly.  We need the full support so we can also start arranging visa's, airline tickets and shipping our belongings.

Thank you and blessings to all of you.

Orest and Grace Pelech

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On the move

We are on the move.  This time to Calgary.  We will be calling Calgary home for the next 2 months.  We are housesitting at the home of Grace's cousins.  We are so grateful for this opportunity.  We look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with Orest's nephew and Orest's sister who is coming to Calgary from Winnipeg.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thanks

Thanks for those who helped, baked and participated in our spaghetti supper.  We are a little bit closer to our goal.  Thank you.  God Bless.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Missionary Quotes

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

"Believers who have the Gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. -- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

"Not, how much of my money will I give to God, but how much of God's money will I keep for myself." -- John Wesley

"Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work." -- A.B. Simpson

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Newsletter

Below are highlights from our latest newsletter:

Niger is threatened with total crop failure in some areas and approximately 8 million people will be affected by the drought this year. There was a serious drought in 2005 and this current one is expected to be much worse.





Please pray for the people of Niger, and the
surrounding countries, that are suffering
through this drought.




Prayer Items:

- We need to raise the rest of our financial support.

- We would like more prayer partners.

- Opening of doors and relationships in future support.


God Moments:

As we travelled west, Orest received a phone call from his
sister, Bonnie. She suggested we do a brochure. The
suggestion was a surprise but we thought okay, that would
be great. So we came up with some ideas as we travelled.
Bonnie helped us to put the design together and then she got
the thing printed for us. All of this within one week. She
did a great job.
God has placed phenomenal people in our path as we
travelled. We have continually been blessed by others who
have helped us in various phases of our recent journey.

One Saturday, we left early from Toronto to head west
through Ontario. We were travelling north towards Barrie
on a 6 lane highay. Just a massive amount of traffic. As we
headed north towards Parry Sound we saw, amongst all the
vehicles, a familiar sight. There was a truck pulling a tent
trailer. The significant part was that the tent trailer had this
huge air conditioner on top of it. It was cousins of Grace
from Southern Ontario on their way to Parry Sound to
camp with some 30 other people to do DVBS with people
in the area. We were fortunate enough to offer help to setup
and cook that night. We were also able to share our
ministry that night.

Milestones:

We are excited about our fundraising to date. We currently sit at approximately 64% raised. SIM requires 100% support before we can leave, and our goal is to reach that amount of support by the end of October.

We have completed 10 months of French language training at Parole de vie Bethel Bible school in Sherbrooke, QC. The main emphasis there was on grammar so we will continue with training to become orally fluent in French.

It is great that we have had so many people offer us accommodations on our journey. We are doing a lot of house sitting while people are on vacation. What a blessing when people share their homes with us.

Summit:

We were so glad to be able to attend the Global Leadership Summit in Edmonton, August 5
and 6, along with other members from our home church. This is a conference put on by the
Willow Creek Church headed by Bill Hybels. We found it very inspirational. We noted how
topics related to being a missionary.

We are excited to continue the race in service to God. We just
need to look forward and focus on our call from God to go
to Galmi. We have a passion to go to Africa and will continue
to work hard to get there.

Lots of talk at Summit about God's whispers - that is so
important to us. May 24, 2008 God called us to missions. He
continues to whisper to us.

Always trust in God, trust His call, and follow faithfully. He will not lead you astray.

Final Thoughts:

We are overjoyed that we serve such an awesome God. Our desire is to be obedient to His
call for us.

Thank you to all of our supporters whether it be prayer, financial, service or just being
friends. You are all a blessing to us. God bless each one of you.

Orest & Grace Pelech


Friday, September 10, 2010

Fundraising Pasta Supper

To be held September 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm at Southridge Community Church.

There will be live entertainment.

There will be a pie and cake auction after supper.  There has already been interesting cakes that have been promised.  Should be a lot of fun.

Tickets are $15.00 ($10.00 for children under 12 years of age).  Tickets available at Southridge Community Church and at Verses

For more info. call 780-871-1168.

If you are available to help with set up, or take down, please let us know soon.

Blessings

Orest & Grace Pelech

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quotes

There are no closed doors to the gospel, provided that, once you go through the door, you don't care whether or not you come back out.
-Brother Andrew

Do you reallize that you and I are God's gift to the world?
-Josh McDowell

Let us commit ourselves to the joyful discipline of honoring Jesus Christ by our actions.
-Bill Bright

1 in 5 people are Malnourished

Most people buy things they don't need
with money they don't have
to impress people they don't like.
-anonymous

Friday, August 27, 2010

A message

From the stories of others who have become involved in mission work, we learn that the initial inner urgings often seem very subtle, hard to discern.  In fact, for most of us, the message really doesn't become clear until we act.  It is the process of taking action in response to the Holy Spirit's urging that often provides the real clarity.  Without responding, you'll probably never know.

-Tetsunao Tamamori

There is so much truth to the above passage.  Taking the time to pray and listen to God's whispers is vital in our lives.  Along with that is the willingness to make a rapid, joyous response.  Trust in the Lord always.

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.  - 2 Chronciles 16:9


Blessings to all of you

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spaghetti Supper

I hope I spelled spaghetti correctly.

We are having a fundraiser on September 24, 2010.  The supper will be followed by a pie and cake auction. 

If you want to offer a pie or cake for the auction let us know.  Be imaginative in what you make.  Be traditional or not.  Have fun.  We appreciate any donations.

Hope to see a lot of people there.

Blessings

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Support a Missionary

We are in full deputation (fundraising) mode.

We need your help.

Thank you to our many supporters but we do need more of you. 

Our understanding is that, in general, for missionaries approximately 80% of supporters are individuals while the other 20% of supporters are churches.  So this means we need your help.

If you want to support us you can give a one time gift or a monthly gift. 

Monthly giving is just like you do when you adopt a child for $40.00 a month.  So if you want to give $25.00, $50.00, $75.00, $100.00 or more per month then please see the details below.

You can also make a one time offering of whatever amount you wish.

When you do make your decision remember to do so prayerfully.

If you want to make an online donation make us of this connection:

If you want to mail in a donation us this address:

SIM Canada
10 Huntingdale Blvd.
Scarborough, ON
M1W 2S5
1-800-294-6918

Please use the following information:
Missionary name - Orest & Grace Pelech
Missionary # 030699

We also need prayer supporters.  This is absolutely vital to this mission call.  If you want to be a part of our prayer team then please contact us.

The rest of our contact information is on the side panel of this blog.

We do know that we will raise our support simply because God has called us to go to Africa. We also know this because of the many special God moments in our lives since the call was made.  We also know this because of the many amazing people we have met since the call.

We need you to partner with us.  Come be a part of this wonderful mission journey.

Blessings to all

Orest & Grace Pelech
SIM missionary appointees to Galmi Hospital in Niger, Africa

Home in Lloydminster

After our long, slow journey west we are finally home in Lloydminster.

We are so blessed by the great friends who have offered up their homes to us during this stay.

Dan & Michelle have been gracious enough to not only let us use their place but also temporarily store some of our 'stuff'  while we house hop. 

The joys of being homeless. 

The joys of people being on holidays.  We can just go from one place to the next.  It does get a bit confusing.  One month on the road in various locations and now house hoping in Lloydminster.  Waking up in the middle of the night can sometimes leave one a bit situationally challenged. 

We love it because it is all part of our mission journey.  We do it with great joy because God called us to the mission field.

As the Bible teaches - keep running the race with your goal clearly in sight.  Our goal is Niger Africa.

Blessings to all.

Global Leadership Summit

August 5-6  we got to go to the Global Leadership Summit in Edmonton along with a number of other folks from our home church.

Every time we go to this conference we find it to be exceptionally uplifting.  It not only teaches great leadership skills but also provides an enormous spiritual uplift.

Some of the speakers included T. D. Jakes, Bill Hybels, Tony Dungy, Jack Welch, Andy Stanley and:

A prominent Chinese economist, Dr. Zhao Xiao was commissioned by his government to study the success of the American economy. He concluded that a moral foundation allowed the economy to flourish, argued that China's economy would benefit from the spread of the Christian faith, and embraced Christianity himself. He continues to be a respected scholar and government advisor, speaking openly about the influence of Christianity on economics. Our first non-English speaking faculty member, he will lean on a gifted translator to share his thoughts on the relationship between morality and a market economy, the state of the Church in China, and the challenges of leadership as a Christian in a secular Communist country. - I found this guy very interesting.

Blake Mycoshi who is the founder and "chief shoe giver" of TOMS shoes.  This company gives away a pair of shoes for every shoe sold.  To date they have given away over 600,000 pairs of shoes.  Blake was very inspiring.

For more information check out the following site:

http://www.willowcreek.com/events/leadership/2010/

Highly recommend the conference to others to attend in the future.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The long and winding road

It is July 28 and we are now in Waldheim, SK.  What a journey this has been.

June 24 was the last day of language school.  Since then we have spent time in:  Montreal, Laval, Ottawa, Gattineau, Port Hope, Toronto, London & area, Parry Sound, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Winnipeg, Pinawa, Swan River, St. Rose Du Lac,  Bakers Narrows, Nipawin and now Waldheim.  It was great to visit family and friends along the way.  Tomorrow we have a couple of visits in Saskatoon and then its home to Lloydminster for a short while.

We have been overly blessed in our travels.  God has supplied us with some great new supporters for which we are extremely grateful.  We are so thankful for all of the people who have given us room and board.  They were amazing.

As we travel west, in our van that is riding low with all of our wordly possessions, we can do nothing but praise God for how He has watched over us.  We praise God for the beauty of His creations.  We praise God for the love and support of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Still amazing is the recall in the French language that we seem to be experiencing.  We are suddenly using the language more and feeling more comfortable with it. 

The last month has gone by swiftly, but onward and forward.  We will continue on with our quest to be ready to leave for Africa by the end of the year.  All of this, of course, is in God's hands. 

We now look forward to seeing friends and family in Alberta.

Blessings to all of you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

June 2010 Newsletter

Hello to all our friends and family
Bonjour, mes amis et la famille

We have loved Quebec and Sherbrooke and will miss the character and culture here.  We have come to love and appreciate our fellow sojourners and students in the work of Our Lord who are going to many different places throughout Africa.  The question often raised is: are we bilingual now?  Being fluent in a language cannot be accomplished in one year.  Can we generally make our needs and wants expressed and can we understand much of what the other person says, yes it is coming.  We have been taught international French and not Quebecois French so there are different expressions.  And as it is with languages throughout the world, they change and adjust in each region.

You can see pictures on our blog taken on May 2, 2010, just after we did our first French presentation at a French service at Sawyerville Church.  This church has been historically English, but they been praying to reach out to the French community. Following the service we shared in fellowship with these folks.  We then attended the English service and joined their potluck lunch.  We had a great time and met great people who loved God.  We felt our presentation was well received.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

We know the truth of these verses, God uses the weak and least likely, like David slaying Goliath, to demonstrate God's might and not our own.  This has been our experience this past year.  This year has been a learning year not only in the French language but also about us.   Grace fully expected to struggle in the language as she has had throughout her school life.  She was fully prepared and willing to experience the hardship to be obedient to the call placed on our lives.  However, being more mature, we recognized the struggles were not due to a lack of intelligence but a learning style problem.  With the help of a dear friend in Sherbrooke, Grace was able to get some testing and shed light on the problem and solutions.  We are amazed with how well she has done despite this problem.  It is a testimony to God's grace and provision, hard work and determination.

Our original plan was that the fall months would be for continuing with our support rising, but this will now also includes working on finding skills and tools for Grace to help her with learning style and continuing with our French language learning.  In Niger, we will have another language to learn and it is not necessary that she experience the same level of stress and frustration as she has experienced this past year.

Praise items:

·        We needed a replacement vehicle.  God answered our prayer and we were able to purchase a 2000 low mileage van from a gentleman from our Church in Sherbrooke.
·       We have accommodations in Calgary for the end of September, October and November
·       We had 2 successful French language presentations, at a French Churches.
·       For God's provision and protection over the past 10 months while we have been studying French here in Quebec.

We need your help

Can you give us ideas of how we can attain our goal?  We need 100% of our support raised by October 31, 2010 so that we can make final preparations to leave for Niger.  We are currently at 53%.  We also want more prayer partners for this mission journey.  We are open to suggestions.  We are attaching a tentative itinerary of our travels if you have some ideas that would work while we are in your area.  As well, we are open to invitations during our travels.

Current (tentative) schedule:

July 2-July 8                Southern Ontario and meeting at SIM head office
July 9-12                     travel to Manitoba
July 13-21                   in Manitoba
July 22-28                   Saskatchewan
July 29-Mid Sept        Alberta - we would like Lloydminster to be our base
Another area that can significantly help is the current Aeroplan promotion through a number of products.  Here you simply collect the PIN labels off these products and give these labels to us.  Details are on our blog site.
Prayer items:
  •         We need to raise the rest of our financial support.
  •          We would like more prayer partners
  •          Strength and wisdom to complete the final session of language school
  •          Wisdom as we plan our post school schedule
  •          Opening of doors and relationships in future deputation                                                     
  •          We are looking for some accommodations from July 29th to mid September in the Lloydminster area, during our travels,
Orest was excited to receive an email from a nurse at Galmi Hospital expressing how they were looking forward to us coming there.  There is a lot of work to do and they are short handed.  Nurses have to do extra duties, such as covering accounting, which is currently unmanned.  God has called us to this vital missionary hospital in a severely poor part of the world.  God has called us to serve in areas that allow others to do their work more effectively.  We eagerly await the moment that we can get on an airplane and fly to West Africa and serve our awesome and glorious God in the mission field.
Telephone:  780-871-1168
Email:  orest.pelech@sim.org ;mailto:orest.pelech@sim.org;
Email:  grace.pelech@sim.org ;mailto:grace.pelech@sim.org;
Skype:  orest.pelech
We greatly appreciate all of your love and support.
Blessings to all of you
Orest and Grace Pelech
SIM missionary appointees to Niger, Africa
# 030699
Permanent mailing address:
5507-37 Street
Lloydminster, AB.,  T9V 1J4
SIM Canada
10 Huntingdale Blvd.
Scarborough, ON.,  M1W 2S5

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It is Finished

After almost ten months, today is the last day of French school.

The day ends with a chapel service with graduation for the language students.  Orest will be doing his French presentation for this service.  Then there is one last final oral examination and school is over.

We have greatly enjoyed our stay in Quebec.  Quebec is a unique and marvelous culture.

We have been blessed to spend time with so many other missionary folks who were studying French.  All were also heading to Africa.  Time spent with these folks was the best part of this time.  We pray for them as they continue on their journey and calling from God.

We stay here pretty much until the end of the month to clean up the apartment and to pack.  Then it's off we go on a long road trip spending time along the way with friends and family.  We will also spend time doing deputation (support raising).  It will be a long journey going to multiple locations in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and finally Alberta.

We would like to have all of our support raised by October 31. If you can help please contact us.

Our draft schedule looks like this:

Ontario - July 1 - 9
Manitoba  - July 13 - July 23
Saskatchewan July 24 - Aug 1
Lloydminster - August 3 - Sep15
Calgary - Sep 15 - Dec 15

If you would like us to do a presentation while we are in your area please let us know.

God bless all of you.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Drumondville

Friday June 4, 2010 was time for another school field trip.  So we headed north for a one hour drive to Drumondville.  The self proclaimed centre of the universe.  I guess this claim comes from their self proclaimed status as inventors of poutine.

We spent the day at a park set up as an historical french village.  The site had historical buildings and actors in costume acting out the roles of the original inhabitants.  In total there were 52 buildings.  There such things as a church, school, woodworkers, metal smith, general store, antique equipment and automobiles, sawmill, and many others.  The weather was very nice for the outing.  There was approximately 20 of us that went on the trip.  Again, it was another opportunity to see french heritage and to practise the french language. 

There is a slide show with 83 pictures.  Enjoy.

We had fun.



Drummondville was founded in June 1815 by Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick George Heriot. The purpose of the town was to provide a home for British soldiers in the War of 1812, and to guard the Saint-François River against American attack. The town was named after Sir Gordon Drummond, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada between 1813 and 1816.

Notable Drummondville natives
Louise Bédard, dancer and choreographer
Serge Boisvert, professional hockey player
Alex Bourret, professional hockey player
Yvan Cournoyer, professional hockey player
Michel Cusson, musician and composer
Gilbert Dionne, professional hockey player
Marcel Dionne, professional hockey player
Jessica Dubé, olympic ice skater
Patrick Lalime, professional hockey player
Yvon Lambert, professional hockey player
Bernard Lemaire, businessman
Daniel Lemire, humourist
Eric Messier, professional hockey player
Louis Morissette, humourist
Lester Patrick, professional hockey player
Mathieu Perreault, professional hockey player
Kim Poirier, actress
Karine Vanasse, actress
A Perfect Murder (band), musical group
Kaïn, musical group

Language Population Pct (%)

French only 62,710 95.43%
English only 710 1.08%
Both English and French 175 0.27%
Other languages 2,120 3.22%

Monday, May 31, 2010

Murals

We took some time this Sunday afternoon to go see some more of the murals in Sherbrooke.  Once again we marvel at the realism in the artwork.  See for yourself in the slideshow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Walk

The other day we discovered a new walking area in Sherbrooke.  Actually, it is just an extension of one of the usual walks we take.  On Saturday we walked the 8.5 Km route.  Very nice walk.  Here are some of the pictures.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 16 Picnic

After Church we went out with a couple from school for a picnic at a near by park.  Here are some pictures from our adventure.

School Outing – May 21, 2010

We had a treasure hunt on the streets of Sherbrooke. They broke us up into five teams and sent us out in search of answers to eleven questions. This mainly meant that we had to stop people on the streets or go into businesses and ask question in French. This was a 2 ½-hour task. During our trek of walking up and down the streets, our hardworking teachers sat at a coffee shop and waited for our return. Bless their hearts.

Orest was on a team with two men who are pilots and serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Grace was with two other women. One is with Mission Aviation Fellowship and the other is with Pioneer Bible Translators. Overall, there were 15 missionary language students involved.

By the way, Grace is competitive.

It was a fun outing and an opportunity to use our French language skills in a different setting.

There is a picture with two men sitting with a sign that says ‘Expresso/Cappuccino’ just above their heads. The man on the right is the French language instructor. The man on the left volunteers at the school, and provides additional tutoring to the men.

In a couple of pictures there is a child writing in a book. That is the head of the school making plans for the next year. Yeah, I am obviously kidding.

You will see a picture of each of us with our team.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friday was a busy day.

First, we had an official French activity day at school. This was a trip to the Cathedral St. Michel, followed by a foot tour along the river and the power dam in Sherbrooke. By the way, a school tour includes a four page questionnaire to be filled out and responses given after the tour.

I have attached pictures of the activity.

Later that day we went for our final rabies shot.

After that, I, Orest, had to revisit the dentist because of a loose tooth. I waited in the office for one and a half hours before I could see the dentist. I was grateful that they made the time for me on a Friday afternoon. All went well.

Blessings to all of you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

We Did It

Sunday, May 2, 2010, we did a 30 minute presentation at the Sawyerville Church - all in French.  Have to admit we were a bit stressed but we did very well.  

The Church has been an English Church but has now started French services.  We did the French service at 9:00 in the morning.  We then attended the French Sunday School and visited with the attendees.  After that, was the English service and, of course, the potluck lunch.  We were grateful that another language school student couple came with us for support.

God was surely with us on this day. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

Extra Pictures

Here are some miscellaneous pictures recently taken.  Some are from our trip to a maple sugar farm, some from a visit to a covered bridge and some just from walks in the local park.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Round Barns and Covered Bridges

Saturday April 24, 2010


We went on a countryside tour of covered bridges and round barns with our conversation partners Ray and Kay Lesperance. They have been a true blessing from God.  They have helped with the language and other things. Ray used to work for Quebec Hydro and knows all the country roads and where they lead.

We started by going into the U.S. to have lunch at a favourite restaurant of Ray and Kay. It was a beautiful day and we were able to sit on the deck beside the lake and have a good lunch and time of fellowship. After lunch, we started touring the Quebec countryside. Rather cool going to the U.S. for lunch before touring the Canadian countryside.

Below is a picture of Ray and Kay.




Below is a slide show of some of the things we saw.




Time Out

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We, and another student couple went out to celebrate the end of the second semester of French school.  The couple that joined us is from Missouri.

We went to Boston Pizza and then went for a walk around the Hydro plant dam site, on the river, and strolled past some murals.  The falls are lit up at night and have well developed walking trails.  The murals display exquisite art work.

Here are some of the photo's from that evening.








The picture below is of a garage door.  However, the glass pains have been painted to represent a reflection of the building across the street.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Awesome God

What a great week.  Yes, I (Orest)  had an inner ear infection and was feeling pretty miserable.  However, we put out a couple of issues to prayer and, praise God, they were answered.

First of all, our vehicle was on a lease which comes to an end next Wednesday.  We now needed to find inexpensive wheels to handle our futures travels.  Travel which includes driving from Quebec to Alberta, with numerous side trips for visits and support raising.  We talked to people in the Church about praying for this item.  Very shortly thereafter, a man from the Church comes up with a used van that is perfect for our needs.  He reduces the price by over 20 %.  He is a mechanic and proceeds to put new tires, fix some electronic problems and make sure the brakes are alright.  He also says we can call anytime there might be a problem.  Now that man, named Christian, is a man who looks after others.  He is a true blessing from God.  He is an older gentleman who has been a Christian for only 4 years.  He also speaks very minimal english.

Second, we were planning our travels across western Canada and praying about our journey.  We prayed that some specifics would come into play, such as where to stay.  Again, within a couple of days we find out that a relative has a house in Calgary and was looking for a missionary couple to house sit during the fall.  This allows us to see friends and family and to do support raising in the area.

God does indeed answer prayer. Praise God.

One more thing.  Here it is a beautiful morning on April 16 and there is a beautiful heavy snowfall.  I love it.  I am not so sure that some of our U.S. friends are as excited.

Blessings to all of you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

God's Grace

Grateful for the grace extended me yesterday.   Also the blessing of a friend calling us from Burkino Faso. Felt so loved, how great is our God.

We have started our last series of immunizations, which is for rabies, in preparation for our departure to Africa.

Hard to believe that in approximately 2 months we are finished our French studies.

  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

French French French

Yesterday we enjoyed an awesome speaker Tony Anthony, author of Taming the Tiger.  Yesterday there was cause for the angels to rejoice!  The event was in english with a french translator.  Always impressed by the individuals who translate from one language to another, sentence by sentence, at such events.

I hope we both just experienced 'the Click' people having been talking about in language learning.  Last night  Orest was reading our English Bible but started speaking all the words in French.  This morning (I) Grace woke up thinking every thought in french, and when Orest spoke to me in English I translated it to french.  How strange! Pray this will continue.

And we celebrated Orest's birthday yesterday by going to class, despite getting permission from fellow student to take the day off.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter

                                       About Easter


Jesus Christ died on a cross on a Friday almost two thousand years ago. Christians believe that on the following Sunday, Christ rose from the dead and, in doing so, proved that He is the Son of God. The day Jesus died and was buried is known as Good Friday. The following Sunday is Easter.

Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God each year between March 22nd and April 25th (the first Sunday after the vernal equinox).

Religious celebrations include family gatherings and special Easter church services.

                          Jelly Bean Poem (Jelly Bean Prayer)
                          written by Charlene Dickerson


• Red is for the blood He gave.
• Green is for the grass He made.
• Yellow is for the sun so bright.
• Orange is for the edge of night.
• Black is for the sins we made.
• White is for the grace He gave.
• Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
• Pink is for our new tomorrow.
• An egg full of jelly beans, Colorful and Sweet
• Is a prayer, a promise, A loved one's treat!!

Charlene Dickensen, 1997

We then put a jelly bean of each of the above colors in a plastic egg to take home and tell of Jesus' love!

Grace Loves Baking Bread

Look at the happy expression on her face.  She was having fun baking with a friend.

It was a good break from studies.

Friday, April 2, 2010

DaySpring E-Cards

DaySpring E-Cards  Happy Easter everyone.  This takes a minute or two

Baking

This past monday morning Grace had the opportunity to do some special baking.  She was invited by a friend from the Church to go to a local elementary school.  There they baked bread with some 23 grade 2 students.  She had a great time.

This Wednesday she decided to bake some paska.  She made a full recipe which is a lot of paska.  However, she did share it with others.  In addition, it will be well used this Easter Sunday when we host a Seder supper for about 20 friends at the school.

Here are some pictures from the school baking



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Covered Bridge

The other day we went to hear one of the missionary students give their testimony at a breakfast event.  We went to a smaller community outside of Sherbrooke.  Along the way we passed this covered bridge.  Everything was made of wood.  Lot's of wood.  Amazing structure.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Update

Marrch 19, 2010

We are about to embark on another class field trip.  This time we go to a maple sugar farm.  Should be interesting.  Of course, everything will be in French.  There is about 30 of us going.  The weather is supposed to be great - a high of 15.  We have been told that it will be very muddy.  I hope to have pictures on the site later.

Right now we are in a very busy time. With exams, and preperations for French presentations, there is a lot of work involved. Not to mention the ongoing influx of homework.

We are also at exam time.  They seem to come often.  Written and oral.  They start on Monday.

We also have to have our testimonies written up, in French, by Easter.  Not as easy as it may sound.  Especially when the final presentation is made at chapel in front of francophones. 

We have really had to rely on our faith during this time.

Just so people know, we are in the French program until the end of June.  We will leave for Niger when we have all of our funds raised.  We cannot leave until we have raised 100% of our support.  At this point we still need to raise a lot of support.  We are in the process of planning our post French school schedule. 

If you would like us to make a presentation to your Church, or some other group, please contact us soon so we can add it to our schedule.

Blessings to all of you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Michaels Cathederal

Our recent activity was to go to a cathederal in Sherbrooke with a number of other students.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aeroplan Miles

One way we are asking people to help us in support raising is to pass on the PIN from product purchases that are eligible for Aeroplan points.  We can use the miles to help reduce costs as we prepare for our mission to Niger.

For instance, Nestle Canada is now offering Aeroplan points on the purchase of some of their products. In total fifty-two products offer rewards of 10 to 50 points on specially marked packages.

If you would like to assist by forwarding these points on to us please contact us for details. We would need the label with the PIN in order to use the points.

You can see which specific products qualify by going to the following website:


Within the above website there are tabs you can click on (ice cream, chocolate, or pet food) to get details of the products that qualify in each category.

There will be a special Aeroplan label on the exterior of each product to indicate if it is part of the plan.


This also applies on purchases of certain products through Tropicana Tropics juice blends, Quaker Life Cereal or Tostitos Tortilla Chips.  You can get mile rewards towards Aeroplan. If you buy these products, but do not use Aeroplan, or would like to donate these miles, then please contact us.


Go to this site for more details
 

Your assistance in this would be greatly appreciated. Our contact information is in the sidebar of this blog page.




Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wellington Street, Sherbrooke

Same day we were at the carnival we wandered down one of the streets in Sherbrooke.  Here are a few pictures.  You will see part of a Cathederal in the pictures.  We will be going on a tour there this coming week.






Sherbrooke Carnival Feb 27th

Enjoyed the local carnval. Lots of activities, ice wall climbing, zip-line, dogslide rides, horse and sleigh rides.  Venders offering up hot apple juice to keep you warm, firepits to roast a marshmellow,  maple syrup drenched mini donutes heated over a fire(Yum). Great Quebecois style entertainment.  And snow scupltures.  There was an area for familes to pack their own snow in barrel like devices to make their own snow scupltures.  Like watching families at the beach making sand castles, except with snow.

The weather was very nice (plus 4 degrees) which made walking difficult because of the slush.  Unfortunately, at least one snow sculpture collapsed. 

As you  view the slideshow please note that early on we are showing sculptures still in the construction stage.  We went back in the evening to get more complete photos.

There is a field where families could build their own sculptures.  Early in the slideshow you will see a few sculptures.  The very last slide is that same field later in the evening.  It was covered with sculptures.

Hope you enjoy the slideshow.


Sherbrooke Carnival

We just found this sign really interesting at the Sherbrooke Winter Carnival.  Did not try one, but they had smokies wrapped in bacon.  Looked pretty good.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Field Trip

On February 19, all of the language students went to the History Museum for Sherbrooke. This was one of our scheduled French field trips. We listened to a tour guide explain the history of Sherbrooke. He talked for about two hours.  I don not know when I have ever had such an exciting time!!! Although he could speak English, he was not allowed to do so by our French instructor.











From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sherbrooke (2006 population: 147,427)[1] is a Canadian city in southern Quebec. Sherbrooke is situated at the confluence of the Saint-François (St. Francis) and Magog rivers in the heart of the Estrie administrative region. Sherbrooke is also the name of a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of Quebec, coextensive with the city of Sherbrooke.


Part of a region historically known as the Eastern Townships, Sherbrooke was first settled in 1793 by American Loyalists, including Gilbert Hyatt, a farmer from Schenectady, New York, who built a flour mill in 1802. The village was named "Hyatt's Mills" until 1818 when the village was renamed after Governor General Sir John Sherbrooke at the time of his retirement and return to England.

The city grew considerably on January 1, 2002, by the mergers of the cities of Sherbrooke, Ascot, Bromptonville, Deauville, Fleurimont, Lennoxville, Rock Forest, and Saint-Élie-d'Orford.

In 2007 Canadian Business Magazine Magazine ranked Sherbrooke as the top place to do business in Canada.[4] The report cites large increases in commercial building permits, strong exports, a highly educated workforce, and low unemployment rate.

Sherbrooke is also the centre of an important agricultural region with many dairy farms. An important business is the manufacturing of ice hockey sticks: more of these are made in Sherbrooke than anywhere else in the world.[citation needed] The city has a concrete truss bridge, the first of its kind in the world.[citation needed]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Niger Update

Clip below is from BBC News at  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8527442.stm


Niger coup leaders promise fresh elections

Mr Ibn Chambas said the coup leaders were keen to return to normal duties

The leaders of the military coup in Niger have promised a "return to constitutional order", three days after overthrowing President Mamadou Tandja.

A spokesman for the coup leaders said they would draft a new constitution and hold elections, but did not say when.

Mr Tandja - seized during a cabinet meeting on Thursday - was being held at a house in the capital Niamey, he said.

Delegations from the UN and the West African regional body Ecowas have been in Niger for meetings with the junta.

Calm

In the third coup in the West Africa in the last 18 months, troops stormed the presidential palace in Niamey during a cabinet meeting, seizing Mr Tandja and his ministers before announcing that they were suspending the constitution and dissolving all state institutions.

Mr Tandja is in a service quarters of the presidency and is being kept in very good conditions
Col Djibrilla Hima Hamidou

Military spokesman



Profile: Mamadou Tandja

Calling themselves the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, the coup leaders promised to turn Niger into an example of "democracy and good governance" and save its people from "poverty, deception and corruption".

A senior army officer, Col Salou Djibo, was named head of a military government.

After discussions on Sunday with Ecowas Commission President Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a spokesman for the military authorities said a new constitution would be created to replace the one amended in August that abolished limits on presidential terms of office.

Col Djibrilla Hima Hamidou compared Thursday's coup to the country's last one in 1999, when the then military leader, Col Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, was assassinated but civilian rule was restored in a year.

"This is not an army with a putschist tradition, that is not the case," he told reporters. "In 1999 we had a similar situation. We gave power back and we had 10 years of stability.

"We are going to do the same thing."



NIGER

Chronic poverty

Population 14 million, 61% live on less than $1 a day

Resource rich

Huge reserves of uranium, Chinese firms digging for oil

Politically unstable

History of coups, assassinations and on-off rebellion by nomadic Tuareg people in the north



Source: World Bank

Niger, where the army matters

Country profile: Niger


Col Hamidou said the president was being held in a house in the grounds of the presidential palace and that the Red Cross would be allowed to visit him.

"Mr Tandja is in a service quarters of the presidency and is being kept in very good conditions."

"For now, we are taking care of his security and his health."

By Sunday, all but three ministers - Prime Minister Ali Badjo Gamatie, Interior Minister Albade Abouba and Finance Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine - had been released from house arrest, he added.

Mr Ibn Chambas said the coup leaders had told him that they intended to return Niger to democratic rule and then return to their normal military duties.

"They have assured us there will be an opening for everyone here in Niger, for an inter-Nigerien dialogue," he said.

"It is this process that will lead to a new constitution and credible elections. They said they want a short transition that ends as soon as possible, but it is also the political dialogue that will define the timetable."

The BBC's Caspar Leighton in Niamey says the city remains calm and people are going about their business as normal.

On Saturday, thousands of people staged a demonstration in support of the coup, many shaking the hands of soldiers on the streets.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Niger Military Coup

Here are some related sites regarding the military coup in Niger:

SIM:     http://www.sim.org/index.php/content/coup-attempt-in-niger


BBC News Video:     http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8523324.stm


Please pray for a peaceful resolution to this situation.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quebec City or à Quebec

Went to Quebec Carnival on Saturday.  Had a great time.  Walked through old the part of the city for miles and miles.  Reminded us of pictures of the streets of old cities in Europe.  Mix of residental and commercial properties, unique shops and interesting archictures.

The weather was good (-5 degrees and sunny).  We went with a couple of other language students.

The Ride

February 13, 2010 we went to the Quebec Winter Carnival.

Grace wanted to go on the giant toboggan run at the Chateau Frontenac.  So we did.

Here is a view from the top of the slide.  We are going to be next going down.  The sled on the right was ours.  We came in second.  It was really close.  Not that it was a competition.  They have gravel at the bottom to slow down and stop the toboggans.


You pay $2.00 per person for a ride.  As people come down you get a sled and drag it up to the top.  A long walk.  You walk along the run and you can see people coming down yelling  "I am going to die."  Not exactly encouraging.  I stayed calm but Grace yelled all the way down.

This is what it looks like from the bottom with people coming down.




It was great fun.  Here is a picture of the hotel.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Auto Tents

One thing that has amazed us has been the prevalence of auto tents in Quebec.  A number of commercial buildings even use a version of them at their entrances to keep the snow out and cut down on the wind coming into the building.

We know of at least one appartment block where it seems that every vehicle has its own tent.

Below are some pictures.








 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Serving with Joy

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29)

But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:30)



We recently read a devotional based on this passage. It was by Chris Tiegreen out of his devotional called “At His Feet”.

In the devotional, he talks about how churches do not want to say that we serve God with a reward in mind. The fact is that when we surrender all, we do have a huge reward awaiting us. While it may hurt to give everything up, the ultimate benefits far outweigh the costs. We cherish our friends, family and things, but following the Word of God and living the teachings of God are of much greater worth.

Giving up the things of this world can be difficult. Obviously, it is opposite of what worldly belief values. Our world honours those who strive to be the very best they can be in worldly terms. In a large way, those values do not match what the Bible teaches. Especially in terms of whom we serve.

To quote Chris Tiegreen – “Remind yourself that costly discipleship is really to our benefit – an investment with unparalleled returns. We are to humbly accept the extravagance of His promises.”

When you serve God do so as if you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. When that happens, the things of this world seem not so important.
Who else, can possibly promise a guaranteed return on your investment? The answer is simple – no one – other than Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Change in weather

On January 28 I posted how the weather so nice in Sherbrooke.  I even took some pictures out our window.  Well, not thirty minutes later the weather totally changed.  I looked up out the window and I could hardly see anything anymore.

It was good to see this kind of change in the weather.  Some of the American students were thinking that the winter was already harsh enough.  I think they needed a jolt of reality.  I keep trying to convince them they need to put their tongue on a steel post outside.  They don't seem to believe me that nothing will happen to them.

Unfortunately, the blizzard was short lived.