Greetings from rainy, Saskatoon ( and exception to a long hot summer)! We have been back in Canada for almost five months now. You heard from us in April, shortly after we landed! Some of you have written and wondering… Where are Richard and Hazel at? Are they settling in and did their belongings make it across the ocean? Do they feel at home in Canada? How has God met them in this new phase of life?
It is hard to explain what a transition like this is really like… but we will share honestly with you.
- Yes, we are settling in. June 2nd, our container arrived! You have no idea what a joy it was to unpack our personal belongings and furniture. It felt like our Austrian home had arrived. Everything was in perfect shape. Nothing broken. Thank you for all who prayed! The past weeks we have had a lot of company. Both of us had some of our family drop by and stay over for a few nights. This was wonderful. Our daughter Christie flew in from Austria. She was with us for two weeks. Later our son Nathan and family, flew in from Surrey, BC. Daniel, Alisa, and their boys, live just 5 minutes from us. What celebrations we had!! It helped us settle in. During the family time, we were very aware that Andrew and his family were missing. They could not come from Austria.
- Do we feel at home in Canada? We have been asked this question many a time. In some ways, yes, we feel at home. In other ways… no, we do not feel at home. We enjoy the city and much in Saskatoon, is familiar to us. This was where we lived before leaving, 34 years ago. We are very thankful to be back in our home church at West Portal. We feel loved and welcomed there. But at times we feel like we are still looking for the things we could find in stores 34 years ago. Richard was looking for WD40 the other day. He was so frustrated as there were at least 10 different kinds of WD40. He burst out saying, “I just want the brand that I use to buy!” Our minds and thoughts must still be in our home in Leonding at times. I, Hazel, woke up one morning, saw the clock, 6 AM, and was sure I heard the church bells. No, there are no church bells in our neighbourhood here, but my mind was back where the church bells next door, started ringing at 6 am each morning. We are grieving! At times we don’t feel ready to let go of all that we left behind, but also not sure that we are ready to cling to life here. Some transition books would call it the “neutral zone.”
- How has God met us during this time? We are so thankful for the verse from Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He remains the same, no matter what we experience or feel. He does not change. He is our foundation during this transition. God has met us while reading His Word, in prayer, amid tears, through friends and family and during walks as squirrels run across our path. Yes, we have squirrels living in the neighbourhood!! God is good and we are blessed.
Praise God that He remains the same
For friends and family who are helping us settle in
For Skype and Zoom to let us stay in contact with family and friends in Austria
We are making plans for a trip to BC, visiting our Multiply office for debriefing. We are planning to leave at the end of the month, however, we hold plans tentatively, as Covid infections increase, and restrictions could be implemented.
Wisdom for our Member Care leaders, as to when and where we should debrief as a team.
We would love to visit many of you this fall, to express our thanks and appreciation for the years of prayer and financial support. We need much wisdom in planning this.
Thank you again for your part in our lives these many years. If you have any questions, just write or call. Remember Hebrews 13:8.