Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hello Again

I've been thinking about you lately; thinking how I have abandoned you and how much I used to love talking to you here. (Maybe because I got to do all the talking and you always listened so well).

So I'm back. It was kind of you to wait. I want to say though that I don't get time very often to write but I will as often as I can.

Paul & I are enjoying driving truck together. We have been getting experience on the mountains and building our stamina on the long hauls. This month we did about 19,000 miles which isn't a huge amount but its good work.

The most exiting news is that God is speaking to me about an area of my life that has brought me consistant pain. I can be going through a day, happy when suddenly its there washing over me. Taking away my breath and peace.

I was reading 1 Cor 13 and it was the same as always until I came upon this phrase, "keeps no record of wrong." Me? keeping a record of wrong? The Holy Spirit put his gentle hand on the truth of what was there. Yes, I was keeping a record of wrongs done to me by a varied group of people. But is not that easy to get rid of something you tediously collected and came to treasure. So now I am working on cleaning out my attic. As those memories come back to me I stop the emotional tsunami by repeating and remembering, "keeps no record of wrong." I speak out loud, "I forgive you. Jesus taught me to forgive and gave me the right to forgive by forgiving me."
Little by little, memory by memory the sting of death is being emasculated by the power of forgiveness.
Working on becoming a beautiful old lady, denise

Monday, March 31, 2008

The New Adventures of Denise & Paul

I said goodbye to Paul 10 minutes ago. He's heading for Delaware and then will be out on the road with Hendric, his over the road trainer, for 11 days. I wait here in the Schneider National Operating Centre to meet my over the road trainer, Bonnie. I have no idea where I will be going but we will be out for the same period of time.
Since Easter Sunday we have been training here in Aberfolye, ON at Schneider. Our goal of driving as a team together is closer than it was yesterday. So many people here have helped us to move forward; Rick, a generous and gregarious classroom instructor; Mario, a patient driving trainer; Kim, a super encouraging range work trainer; and everyone else who support us as we train. Thank you to all!
Schneider has overwhelmed us with support, care and generousity. We are working for a great company. I want to make them succeed in return for the way they wanted us to succeed in our training.
So many trucking companies are in need of drivers but won't take anyone without experience. Schneider however steps up to the plate and puts money (approx. $8,000/driver) on the line to train their drivers. We are so privileged to be part of that program.
We also want to thank everyone who prayed for us to get on with Schneider. Those who spent their whole holiday praying for us whenever they spotted a big orange truck on the road! Thats a big commitment especially when you go into the States for your holidays! We still need those prayers.
Driving a car well is not easy. Driving a truck well is harder yet. That 60' of truck/trailer carry up to 80,000 lbs of potential. When you pull out in front of an oncoming truck you are really in much more danger than you could ever guess. Please give drivers lots of room and lots of time...it might be your grandmother driving :)
Today we read in Matthew when Jesus sent his disciples out into the boat and a storm came up, so he went to them walking on the water. We are trusting the Lord as he sends us out on the road to keep a close eye on us.
So, as Diane used to say to me as I stepped out of the RV, "See you down the road!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hello Again Friends

Hello all, not that anyone is out there reading this ignored and dusty blog. But some of you might have put on a feed alert and be surprised when you see my new blog pop up!
NOTE: We only have dial up internet at home and are not able to include photos on the blog unless we drive at least a half hour into town and sit in a coffee shop with wireless. It took me at least 20 minutes to get to this screen. So when I can I will include photos but not alot...sorry.

So what have you been up to lately? Well, I have been stepping into a new and unfamiliar experience...Paul and I are at truck driving school. We have spent two weeks in class and two weeks in the trucks learning, learning. All together though we really have only spent a small amount of time behind the wheel on the road. I felt that I was doing pretty well and confidence was growing until today!
Our trainer Pierre is a great guy who has a wonderful french accent. He grew up in Kapukasing and loves the outdoors. He has been training truck drivers for at least 10 years and most of that with the military and colleges. Unusual for the school they put Paul and I in the same truck to train together. We are so happy with that and are enjoying our training.
Today however I got behind the wheel first and Pierre said that we were going to "play in traffic" today. I really didn't do well. After a four day holiday from driving I somehow left my brain at home or forgot to connect my head and body. I missed almost every shift - EVEN UP SHIFTING! Down shifting...well nevermind. I cut corners and ran over curbs (that could have had a person standing on it). Then a supply air hose got a huge leak. We could hear it in the cab and we made a B-line for the shop. I was under alot of pressure, as was the governer that had to keep resupplying the air tanks as the air evacuated out of the ruptured airline. So as I took the last turn on to the road where the shop was I forgot to flip the paddle down to low and ended up in 10th gear and promptly stalled it while my cab was over into the oncoming traffic. No one was in any immediate danger just held up but I had overshot my turn and I was facing a snowbank. I had to back up! Pierre was so great, and Paul is so encouraging. I am praying for help to learn this profession. I would really appreciate ANYONE'S prayers for me (don't worry about Paul he's doing really great :) What I wouldn't give to borrow a tractor and trailer and get on a private road to practice. All my friends that own them live 36 hours away.
So tomorrow I am going to, "turn down the sucks and turn up the awesome," as Andre another trainer says. But only with God's help.
Depending on Him to get me home (in more ways than one), denise

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


This is Paul & I moving to the Ottawa Valley, Golden Lake to be specific, to live with our son Josh and his wonderful wife Becky. We are in Sudbury tonight and will be making it to Josh's tomorrow.
This move has come after many long hours of tears, prayers, and counsel. It is our desire to walk an authentic spiritual life and God has been doing a great work in our marriage. So we are following what we have come to believe is God's will for us.
The path to this place has been through some very dark days of emotional and spiritual turmoil. Our church in Melfort was very supportive and kind, even though they couldn't understand what was happening they allowed us to leave with their blessing. We regret all of the hurt we have caused anyone due to this life changing decision we have made. We do pray daily that God will bring His best from these events and that Satan will be hindered in his efforts to destroy.
Today, I was driving (for the first time) the rig you see in the photo above. We were just starting into Lake Superior Provincial Park which runs along the shores of the largest body of water in Canada. It started snowing, and accumulating on the road. The other factor was that I was negotiating some really long steep hills that included in sharp curve with a 50 ft drop to the water on one side. I told Paul, "I wish you were driving." and then, "Oh well we will just pretend that God is driving." So I called out loud to the Lord, "Could you help me here?"
Then the phone rang, (NO, it wasn't God calling!) but since we were in the park the call was dropped due to a weak signal. When I retrieved the message it was from Burkina Faso!! Pastor Michel had called to say that he was praying for me! How I needed his prayers right at that moment!
Isn't God amazing! He not only heard my prayer for help driving but He let me know He was looking after all the details of getting someone to pray for me....someone who doesn't even really know what snow is, and for sure has never driven in it! It was 41+ degrees when we were there three weeks ago.
Thank you Lord, I know you will look after all the details of our life on the uncertain road ahead.
ps I know I promised more Africa photos but the cds are packed in the UHaul...later ok?
pss I did an interview with CBC Regina today at 6:40 am. Another opportunity!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

There and Back Again

Our Burkina Team at the Boa-boa (pronounced bowbow) tree.
First snow welcomes us home! Looking out our balcony door.

I probably shouldn't "borrow" this title because you might think you have before you a piece that is as well written as Tolkien could write...not at all. I simply want to say that we have been to Africa and are back again.

Upon arriving in Burkina Faso the gracious welcome began with a visit to the VIP lounge at the airport while our documents were expedited through customs in the hands of a police officer assigned to us. Pastor Michel met us and led us out into the night where over 100 children from the village formed two double rows and marched in unison along with a brass band playing "Onward Christian Soldiers", cheerleaders leading the way we walked down the streets of Ouagadougou in a parade fashion! What an overwhelming welcome we had. During our stay in Africa we were introduced to many political officials. The first was the King of Burkina Faso. His role is one of tradition and formality but his genuine concern for his people was evident.

He was very grateful and sincere. I felt very privileged to be able to present the necklace I wore on the walk to him with my prayers for his country. He accepted both the soccer ball our whole team had signed and the necklace with grace.

We also were granted audience with the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso. This man is one of the men who will make changes happen in that country. He is a committed Christian man who sees the needs of his country as those of the heart. While we met with him we prayed together for the country and for his leadership. What a blessing to meet this man and to be congratulated by him personally.

We also met the Minister of Territories and the Governor. Both of these men were very kind and grateful for the walk and the work that Pastor Michel is doing there in Burkina for the children.

Paul & I worked at breaking the ground for the new highschool. The school needs to be ready for next year as the first grade 6 class is going to write their government exams at the end of this school year. Their teacher has set the goal for 100% of the class to achieve 100% on their exams. He brought the class back a month early to get a head start on studying. Our sponsored child is in grade 6 and seems to be doing very well. What a blessing to have watched him grow from a little fellow to the young man he is now.
I will post more photos and write more soon.

Friday, October 26, 2007

On the way to Africa

Hello my friends and neighbours! Paul and I are getting set to leave for Africa on October 31. We will be working at the Village of Hope and will be symbolically presenting the proceeds from the walk to the children at the village. It promises to be a great time of closure for me. Although large sums of money continues to come in as recently as today someone dropped off a cheque at Careforce office for $3000.00!!!! Thank you my friends!
What is it like to be home?
Thats a question alot of people ask me and I don't think I do very well at answering the question. I loved walking and I felt very much at home the whole time-except for the fact that my dear husband was too far away. Coming home just seems to be natural and easy. I do miss Diane now and again.
Do you still walk?
I haven't been walking because of this Bell's palsy - my neck and ear are very susceptible to the cold now and I want to be well to get to Africa.
What is Diane doing?
She has a great opportunity to drive truck with her husband in the north for a couple of months. So she is trying to get everything ready to LEAVE again! I am so happy for her and Carmen.
What do you miss the most?
I miss being outside all day, everyday. I have been trying to think of a job that would keep me outside...not coming up with much. I miss meeting new people everyday. I miss sleeping beside trucks, grain bins, walmarts, train tracks (:) and streams. I miss morning prayer with Diane.
How did the walk affect you?
I can't mention all the ways that I was touched by the walk. But Ido know this, God intended the walk to do more than raise funds to build a school in Africa. He is ever pursuing my heart, ever molding my will, ever guiding my purposes. I am changed and in some ways that I don't even realize.
What is next?
We have no plans for more adventure yet...one thing is FOR SURE it will be with Paul along next time. We have played with the idea of walking from the Arctic ocean to the Pacific and then across to the Atlantic. One couple did it in 8 months and they are older than we are.
So, I will write again when we get back from Burkina Faso. God bless you til then.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Now for something completely new!

I woke up on Sunday with some strange pain in my neck (no, I don't mean Paul). The pain was also in my ear and was accompanied by dizziness and spasms of sharp pain. On Wednesday I went to our Dr. who thought I might have been grinding my teeth while sleeping. He told me to stop chewing. But by Friday morning my right side of my face had started to become paralyzed and my outer ear was swollen. We were visiting Amie at Caronport so we went into Moose Jaw to a walk in clinic. The Dr. there diagnosed it as Bell's Palsy. This is a result of trauma to the 7th nerve in your brain. The trauma was caused by a viral infection in the ear. The swelling debilitates the nerve and you loose control of your face muscles. Today the paralysis is worse than yesterday and my loving daughter and husband can't stop the peels of laughter at the faces I accidently make while trying to sip tea from a cup or even laugh. The photo below is one of me laughing at them laughing at me. Now that I know it is just Bells Palsy I am not afraid and can enjoy this funny time too. One web site we looked at says that about 1 in 5000 people get it. Funny enough, my father-in-law had it about 20 years ago! Maybe it runs in the family but it skips a blood line every 20 years. I should have my face muscles back under control within a month just in time to smile at the kids in Africa without making them run screeming, "What is that thing!"

Bell's Palsy makes my smile one sided.

So I wanted to tell you about coming home. The thought of walking into Melfort, was packed with the emotion of 1. completing a long term goal, 2. living with Paul again, 3. beginning a change of lifestyle (no longer living with Diane in the RV moving along the road everyday), 4. being welcomed home by friends and the celebration that ensued. When I spoke at Calvary Church in Saskatoon the Sunday before arriving home a little missionary lady, Flo Salaway (she and her husband Owen worked with NCEM in Prince Albert) told me, "dont worry honey, Jesus will be with you." She was so right. I was just blessed by all of the love and encouragement not overwhelmed. The job was done, Diane and I had kept the goal of getting home as the focus and let everything else fade into the background. We had done what God had asked us to do.

I believe we are at $133,000! Donations on the last day amounted to $17,000.00!!! Thank you Lord.

Wanna see where we live? This is one of the streets Paul and I walk on in the mornings.

And this is the Melfort Post Office.
And this is the door to our new place. It is apartment D - handy that our name starts with D too eh? And that is my bike that I love to ride around Melfort. We are happy to be together and I thank God for His great work in our lives.
Sorry it took me so long to blog. I am still trying to give away and pear down the stuff that clutters the little place. But living there feels so right.
Paul just bought me a new book that we started reading together on the way down to Amie's. The byline of the title is: Moving from Affluence to Generosity. I am looking forward to getting into this book as this is what I have been thinking about and Paul & I are working toward in our life. This book is an updated book first published 10 years ago.
Rich Christians in an age of Hunger, follow this link to more info about this book.What is God talking to you about these days? Ask and listen, its an exciting journey. Thanks for being my friend on this journey. denise