Sunday, November 22, 2009

Family time: August 15-22

Our party on August 15 was also the spark for some lovely time with family. Pauline and Greg came the night before the celebration, and stayed to spend a week with us in Toronto.

After he got used to the feel of the grass James just loved to move about, fast, on all fours- almost always a happy smile on his face

But he got tired too. Greg comforts James as we get ready to set off for the Willowdale CRC

Long after she would normally have been in bed and fast asleep Gracie was still alert and ready to be the life of the party

It was wonderful to have some close relatives join us; Wendy's brother Andy came from Cambridge with two daughters, Marcia and Stephanie

And Adrian's brother Hans came with Hennie, from Ottawa

Sharon took time to catch up with Hennie that evening

David was a big help that day, taking photographs; this one was on him!

We stayed close to home the first few days after the party because first Chris came down with flu, and a significant fever, even though he did not complain much. Opa took some special time with James - not hard to please as long as we had some food he could eat!

By Monday Gracie also came down with a flu, and that one was more persistent; it took about three days before she felt better. It was actually pretty warm those days while Gracie was sick in bed, but for Chris and James, a perfect time to have water fun in our backyard.

By Thursday everyone was well enough to enjoy an outing to Black Creek Pioneer Village, where there was much to enjoy, games and crafts to try out, old machinery to watch, animals, and more. Gracie loved running around; she was clearly over the flu by that time.

Both Chris and Gracie loved the animals there

James spent much of the day in the baby carriage,

and was happy for the most part

But really enjoyed getting out to crawl about too!

Thursday evening was pretty special: Greg and Pauline wanted to watch the Boston Red Sox in a game, taking Chris with them, and found it easier to get tickets for a game in Toronto than in Boston itself. Adrian and David joined them, while Wendy and Sharon had fun babysitting Gracie and James.

A special benefit of all of us being together was the opportunity for a family photo

Two sisters on Saturday morning (in front of our home), and time to say farewell. We admired Pauline's efficiency in getting all the goods and children packed into the van!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Celebration August 15

"Great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:23)

Saturday, August 15 was a special day, a day of celebration for Adrian's 65th birthday, and thirty-five years of ordained ministry; he started as pastor in Terrace (BC), 1974. We also celebrated twentyfive years of overseas work in missions, the first ten years in the Philippines with Christian Reformed World Missions, as we taught and held Bible studies first in Bacolod City (Negros island), and later in Manila. We had an interlude of several years while Adrian earned a ThM in missiology (at Calvin Seminary) and a PhD in ecumenism (at the Toronto School of Theology). After that we served for fifteen years under the auspices of Christian Studies International (the Canadian branch of International Institute for Christian Studies), in partnership with CRWM: seven years at Moscow State University in Russia, almost seven years at the University of Jos in Nigeria, and finally a semester teaching philosophy at St. Augustine University in Tanzania. We have so much for which to give thanks!

Colorful flowers to help us celebrate

To mark the occasion we invited family, friends and colleagues, many who had faithfully supported our work over the years, to come and celebrate the day with us. The party was held at the Willowdale Christian Reformed Church from 4-6.30 pm. that Saturday. We are very thankful indeed for the many who turned up at the Willowdale CRC to join us in celebration.

The Willowdale CRC social hall is a lovely venue for such an occasion

As with any good party, there was lots to eat and drink!

We were honored by the attendance of Dirk and Rie Jongkind, former members of Toronto First CRC, now residents at Holland Home in Brampton

Fred and Jane Reinders in conversation with Wilma Bouma, who was among the first board members when CSI was newly organized and joined us all the way from Vancouver

A number of guests helped us remember the reasons for this celebration.

Fred Reinders, longtime chair of the board of CSI, brought words of appreciation on behalf of CSI

It was great that CSI colleague David Hallett, currently teaching in Beijing, was able to join us for this occasion

Trish de Jong of CRWM (Burlington office) brought greetings on behalf of our denominational mission

Bob vander Vennen, former executive director of CSI, reminisced about the years we worked so closely together

We really appreciated the contribution of Hanneke Cost Budde, missionary colleague working with AIDS victims in Tanzania, where we taught these last months

Wilma reflected with us on the many years of Adrian's ministry, beginning with pastoral work in Terrace BC, and later in the Philippines - she was one of few who actually got to visit us in these locations!

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration. We are grateful for those who joined us in person, as well as those who were unable to be there for various reasons, but who did send their best wishes. Our daughter Sharon deserves much of the credit for preparation and organizing the event.

Sharon also helped care for one of the babies in attendance

We are especially grateful to our friends Jack and Martiny Van Meggelen who hosted us after the reception to provide our out-of-town guests with an outdoor dinner.

Wilma and the two of us, with Jack and Martiny

Our thanks is extended indeed to all those who helped make this such a memorable day. Above all, we praise God for his faithfulness to us throughout these many years.