A Balancing Act – October 8-10, 2018

Foreword: This post is a culmination of the last days of our trip to Lebanon as on January 15, 2019 my sabbatical concluded. My next task is to organize the over 7000 photos we have and post them for your enjoyment. **************************************************************** Sunday, October 7, 2018, we arrived at my sister’s place after 7:30 p.m. exhausted from the horrendous traffic that took us over three-and-a-half-hours to get home instead of an hour and fifteen minutes; but we were exhilarated by the  beautiful day spent with family, friends, with overflowing conversations, and nevertheless witnessing another beautiful sunset while descending from the … Read more

Lost and Found – October 6-7, 2018

Saturday, October 6, 2018, we got picked up by my niece, to go to her house in Zahle, the third largest city in Lebanon with a population of about 120,000. My niece lives there with her husband and two daughters. The distance from Beirut is about an hour but with traffic and winding roads, it is a good two hours and a half. She showed to us a new highway is being built and told us, next time we would use that road. We were grateful that she came all the way to Beirut to pick us up to spend … Read more

Music that No Darkness Can Take Away – October 2-5, 2018

October 2, 2018 is the day we returned to Lebanon. Thank God our flight was at noon and we did not need to get up in the middle of the night to get to the airport. Davit came and took us to the airport with his right arm in a cast. We are so grateful for the gift of Davit’s commitment to help us get where we needed to go all through our week-long visit in Armenia. When we arrived at the airport, Davit pointed out the old airport to our right and the new one that we had already … Read more

Love, Perseverance and Grace – September 30-October 1, 2018

As I write this on Monday, October 1, 2018, I think how fast this week went by. It is our last night in Armenia. Tomorrow noon, we head back to Lebanon. Tonight, I look back to this seven-day adventure that was full of Grace, Joy and Lessons Learned; and appreciate how many beautiful people we have met, wonderful places we have visited and many lessons that have made us, me, stronger. I cannot thank God enough for this gift called sabbatical offered to me, by a little but a mighty in love, pastoral charge in rural Ontario, called The Elgin-Portland … Read more

From Darkness to Light – September 28-29, 2018

Friday, September 28, we had an unexpected schedule change suggestion by Davit, our driver. Our original plan was to go visit the town of Etchmiadzin, an area close to Yerevan, given the fact we needed to come back for an evening event at the Opera House. You see, after we had booked our flight to Armenia, we found out that the Armenian Missionary Association of America was celebrating their Centennial in Armenia the same week we would be here; so, this was one of the events we had been offered to attend and we gladly accepted it. Davit suggested that … Read more

Broken Crosses: Sign of Life – September 27, 2018

Thank God for Davit, our 25-year-old driver, whom we met two days ago, who has become a friend to us. He confessed that he has never driven tourists outside Yerevan, so he warned us that he will not be able to tell us much historical details as a tour guide would.  My response to him was, “No, worries, Davit. I am not looking for more information to absorb, I just want to see and be in the sacred places of my heritage and let them speak to me in their silence. My mind is full already, and this sabbatical is … Read more

Tunnels of Life – September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 26 began a little sluggish as Gary and I were still recuperating from our early flight from the day before. Our driver, Davit, had arrived at 10:00 a.m. as agreed, but we were only able to get out of the B&B by 10:15. The plan for the day was to begin from the furthest point and make our way back “home”. The drive to Dilijan is about one and a half hours. It is found in the northern part of Armenia – some call it the Switzerland of Armenia, because as soon as travelers go through the last … Read more

The Language of the Heart – September 25, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, we left my sister’s apartment at 5:00 a.m. when it was still dark, but the moon was bright and guided our path. We arrived at the Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport in about 18 minutes after leaving the apartment. Those of you who have read my blog titled: Praise be to God, You are Here Safely – September 12, 2018, you know that it took us 3.5 hours to get to Bourj Hammoud from the airport and not 18 minutes – what a difference the time of day makes! Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived at the airport … Read more

Protection, Perseverance, and Peace – September 22 – 24, 2018

Saturday, September 22, was a truly refreshing and a rejuvenating day. The local ministry in Tripoli had planned to take Gary and I for a walk through the forest of the Cedars of Lebanon, in the Kadisha Valley (Wadi Kadisha in Arabic: وادي قاديشا ), also known as The Holy Valley; situated 2,500 meters above sea level. The Cedars of Lebanon have always been dear to me not just because they are also referred to as the Cedars of God, or that they are mentioned so many times in the Bible (Google tells me 75 times) – They are dear … Read more

“Every Breath A Resurrection: Can These Bones Live?”  – September 19-21, 2018

September 19 was a slow day. The heat and humidity continued to press upon us. I never remember experiencing such heat and humidity, in Lebanon, in the middle of September. Maybe global warming is not such fake news after all, as a few politicians disregard this reality for their own financial gain. I am so glad that by some wisdom beyond my capabilities we had decided to make this day an unpack and pack day. Unpack what has come with us from Canada and pack what needs to go with us to the schools and the church community in Tripoli. … Read more