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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A True Missionary Heart: Eva Tonui

Mrs. Eva Tonui (click on the link below to read her story)
Kenya Missions of Hope: Missionary Eva: Hello friends, I have some words to encourage you this week. At 59 years of age, Mrs Eva Tonui is a self-sponsored missionary to an ...

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Little Bird Came to Visit

Little sparrow come
Splish and splash, and dunk again,
Delight in your bath

{me, May 28, 2012}
 






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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Patio Make Over Unveiled

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, 
food and medicine for the soul. 

~ Luther Burbank 

The garden is not fully planted but these container pots will remain more or less the same. The blue pot is a newer addition to the grouping. I've planted some colourful geraniums in them. I can't wait for the proliferation of blooms.
 The repainting of the patio table and chairs was completed during this week of sunshine and warmer weather.  Just in time too as it is supposed to rain tonight and for much of the week.  The metal parts of the set used to be hunter green. Now they are a dark milk chocolate.The patio cushions won't be left out in the rain for at least this first year of wear. They last a little longer that way even if I have to remember to bring them in out of the rain. I purchased a chair cover for the winter months when we get even more rain. I've never used one before. I hope it works!



I will try to post more photos later if my garden "takes".
It would be nice to be surrounded by healthy gardens this summer if we ever get the right balance of sun and rain. I need all the help I can get ;-)


I also have some wonderfully awesome news.  A friend of mine in NC has been dealing with cancer for over a year and has tumours in various parts of her body.  The prognosis didn't look too encouraging but just yesterday she wrote and told  me that the tumours in her kidneys and liver which were to be removed surgically are now gone!!! That's just the most awesome news I've heard in awhile. God is good and I continue to pray for others who need a healing touch. May God bless you and encourage you if you are reading this and are in need of healing.  Keep on praying and believing.


I also found this awesome daily audio bible podcast which makes it easier to get into the word. If you'd like to try it, please go to dailyaudiobible.com

Happy week ahead to all of you.




Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday Sky in May

This is a shot from my patio looking straight across to the North Shore Mountains.  I like the fluffy white clouds and the sliver of blue peeking out from behind. That little dark clouds looks out of place in front.
We've had a lot of rain this year. It is always nice to see the blue sky however small.

You can click here and join others to see more beautiful skies.

Summer Daze

Hi friends, I hope you are all enjoying your week. I thank those of you who left messages of encouragement and prayer for Kenya and those affected by floods, famine or just general lack. I thank you too for leaving me birthday wishes. I'm one of those who would rather not have a birthday, lol but we can't help but grow another year older each year. Hopefully we are making the best of the time we have. I know I'm trying to live a meaningful life and do things beyond myself that will  make a lasting difference for someone else.

I have been home from my recent travels to visit elderly relatives for about one week now. I have been trying to take it easy and catch up on rest. At the same time, I have busily been trying to move forward on my action list.

I've been reading a great new novel, Half a Yellow Sun and studying my Swahili lessons which are already coming to an end. I've been searching around for a Swahili tutor and thinking about continuing with classes in the Fall. I found a tutor at the university and I found another longer and more expensive class out there too. However I want to do a lot more study on my own to build on something in whatever class I decide to take.  These are all ideas I have.  No decisions have been made yet.



The blue pots are new. I wanted to plant geraniums. I can't wait for them to bloom.
I've also been catching up on cleaning around the house; mostly in the kitchen and my bedroom. I'm thinking of getting the carpets cleaned. Right now there is a deal with Groupon that I might buy (two thirds off the regular cost).  It's amazing how dirty they can get even when you take care. I suppose it doesn't help that I have to carry bags of dirt throughout my apartment to get it to the patio garden. I've brought in bags and bags of dirt and new containers for container gardening. All of these were heavy.

New brown colour for the patio furniture.

These are the new patio chair cushions.
The patio furniture is getting a make over and the new patio cushions are waiting to sit on the revamped chairs. The cost of the spray paint ended up being a lot.  Equal to the cost of one new chair or one new cushion (about $40. Canadian), but still a lot less than buying a new patio set.  It has been raining all week so there is a delay in getting the table repainted. 

I'm still working on container gardening too.  I had to get a few more pots and was able to find these dazzlingly beautiful blue pots.  I looked and looked to find a good price. I've learned that container pots are amazingly expensive, even the plastic ones that are made to look like stone or ceramic. I don't like to use plastic outdoors as the pots crack after being left out in the sun, wind and rain. Also, they don't biodegrade.

My little bird bath is a delight. It is a cast metal so it withstands the strong winds we've been having. I've been wanting one of these for years and years. I finally got one at about one third the usual price.  After the patio furniture is ready and the garden is done, the patio will need a general cleaning.  I had to move everything out onto the patio when I was getting the new washer and dryer installed. Stuff is still sitting out there because I've been so busy these past two months. I can't believe how much time has gone by.  It feels like yesterday when the washer and dryer were being installed. I've had to buy so many things for the household this Spring. Hopefully I won't have to buy anything more for a long time to come except perhaps a new patio set if rust weakens my chairs (hopefully that won't happen).
I love my new bird bath but mostly it's attracted crows so far.

Today I am meeting a friend for coffee but I see I am out of bread so I have a batch rising as I write this post. Hopefully I can have it baked and cooling before I leave the apartment. I am also thinking of whipping up some cookies to have on hand. I've been wanting to bake for awhile now but have been too busy. I like to have cookies in the freezer so that I don't go out and buy snacks.  Actually I don't have funds by this time of the month since I am trying to balance my budget to zero at the end of each month. This means all funds are allocated for the entire month and are paid out or assigned before the first week of the month has gone by. It leaves no funds for playing around with. I'm still working on being consistent about this as it takes care of first things, first. This way of budgeting is not that easy to do if you have real emergencies arising and your emergency budget doesn't cover it all.

I also have to go out to do some banking later and stop at one store if there is time. They are having a 50% off sale of already marked down items. It pays to get things when there are these kinds of sales if they have what you need and if you have set aside some funds.  That is always the catch. The stores often don't have my sizes in stock by the time they get to the clearance but sometimes they do and that is a happy moment.

I have a lot of people I'm praying for; many are in Kenya.  There are so many needs. Some of the people I am praying for read this blog. Please know you are loved and prayed for.  God bless.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Urgent Needs


Friends,

In my last post I wrote about the floods and how they affected the people of Rhoda Slums near Nakuru, Kenya.  I just got word that Jonah has been called home because his own mama has also been affected by torrential rains. Where she lives in a village near Kericho in the highlands it has been raining much more than usual.  Her kitchen hut has been badly affected (totally damaged by the rains and floods).  She has been cooking outside in the rain.  As you can imagine, this makes it not only difficult to cook but makes her prone to sickness.  Jonah has been called home from university studies and is trying to build a new cooking hut.

(Sorry for the lack of good photos but Jonah has lost his camera.  A new camera is another ministry need).


This is Jonah's mother's cooking area.

If you look closely you can see that the ran has gouged out the land where the corn is planted.

There are also other needs of the Missions of Hope at this time. We have been helping Elvis go to medical school in Kisii town but we cannot help to enroll him in his second year.

If you can pray and help with any of the missions needs, I'd love to hear from you.

Lord's Prayer in Swahili

Baba yetu, Yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, Yetu amina!
Baba yetu Yetu uliye
jina lako litukuzwe.
Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!
Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni. (Amina)

Our Father, Jesus who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Our Father, Jesus
Hallowed be thy name.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of
our trespasses
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven. (Amen)

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Kenya Missions of Hope: Floods Cause Loss of Life and Lots of Damage

There has been so much damage and loss of life in Kenya due to floods. Just this weekend, flooding struck near where Jonah from Missions of Hope is staying. He went to survey the damage.  You can read the story by clicking the link below.  As always, our hearts go out to these people who have so little and are struck by yet more calamity.

Kenya Missions of Hope: Floods Cause Loss of Life and Lots of Damage: "Three people are missing while close to 40 families have been left homeless in Nakuru town after their homes were swept by raging floods o...

Such a beautiful and dignified looking mama. She holds a lot of the experiences of a hard life in her eyes.

Happy Birthday

It's my birthday. I'm not into big celebrations or at least haven't been to date.  But I do like a cake now and then to mark the day.  This is the cake shared with a family member. It's my favourite cake because of it's light texture. It's made by a local Chinese bakery. It has real whipped cream, vanilla cake (so light too) and fruit cocktail.




Sunday, May 20, 2012

More Photos from My Journey

There are so many photos from my recent journey from Vancouver to northern Alberta and BC. I thought I would share more of the photos taken on the northward journey through the Rocky Mountain ranges since it is so beautiful.




 
The water looks so green.  The trees are nice and green too.


Everywhere you look there are mountains and lakes.



 
I was thrilled to see the Big Horn Sheep by the side of the highway. We stopped to capture these majestic animals.

Here we are entering the town of Hinton. Hinton is like most small towns on the prairies. They are not usually very picturesque and have one or two main streets with lot of signage.  Hinton is where we stayed last September on our northern journey.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant. Honestly everything that comes out of this kitchen looks scrumptious and the portions are very generous. Just the right thing for a break during a long journey.

As some of you know, we were on our way to visit my aunt and uncle (siblings of my mother) both of whom are facing cancer challenges.

On the journey I found out that cysts my aunt has on both sides of her chest do not appear to be cancerous. On one side, they are filled with blood. I don't know the reason for that but they have been leaking. On the other side the cysts hurt. The doctor has run some tests said that he will keep an eye on things but for now he doesn't suspect cancer.

My uncle has finished with his tests since I returned home. His lungs are weak but his heart is strong so the doctors may go ahead and operate to take out the cancer from the colon. However my uncle who has been a life long smoker has been told he must stop smoking for 2-3 weeks to give his lungs a better chance.  He is balking at the suggestion. He needs prayer.

I hope you visit again soon. I will share more photos of Alberta.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Smile on Her Face

Mama Linet has opened a small charcoal business which has been struggling. Jonah visited her recently and was able to give her a small donation to help with school costs.  It made her happy.



Please continue to pray so that Mama's Linet's business will succeed and she can give her family the food and clothing they need as well as try and get some medical help for the little girl's cleft palate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We've Covered a Lot of Miles

Hi friends,

I am back from my recent travels to visit elderly relatives.


We started our journey at 5 a.m. on Thursday, May 10, 2012.  About 75 minutes later we came upon the scene in the photo below.  I felt it was a symbol that we would have a nice trip.

Entering Kamloops, BC where I visit my mother.

About one hour north of Kamloops and we are well on our way up the Yellowhead Highway.

You can see the outline of our journey on the map below.  Our northward journey took us north east from Vancouver to Kamloops on Highways 1 and 5. We continued along the route shown by the upper purple coloured line which is primarily along the Yellowhead Highway. The route went through Kamloops, Barriere, Blue River, Valemont and on to Mount Robson at Jasper.  We continued through to Hinton where we stopped for dinner.  After a delicious dinner of calamari and caesar salad at L & W's, we drove on Highway 16 east to Edmonton and spent the night in St. Albert, north west of Edmonton at the St. Albert Inn which was very comfortable.  The room rate was about $117.00 Canadian.  (You can click the link in the previous line, to see the hotel rooms and amenities.)

On Friday, we drove on to a small community near Calais, Alberta, along Highways 43 and 34, where we stayed with my aunt (more about that later). If you click on the map, it will enlarge. Locate Edmonton (about the middle of the map) and move your finger/eye along the line that goes northwest until you get to Valleyview. Calais is the first stop to the west of Valleyview.

On Saturday we journeyed north along Highways 16, 43, 34 and 2, to Hines Creek, Alberta, and visited with my uncle who has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer (more about that later). From there we drove along a secondary road west to the town of Ft. St. John, BC.  There we decided to have a late lunch and skip contacting more relatives to visit.  Instead we drove south on Highways 97 and 2, through a town called Taylor and stopped in the City of Dawson Creek, BC, to visit another uncle.  We then drove back to my aunt's place along Highways 2 and 34, in northern Alberta for one more overnight stay.

Early the next morning we drove back to Edmonton, Alberta, along Highway 43.  There we visited with a third uncle who I haven't seen for about 17 years. I've been wanting to visit him because both he and his wife have suffered a lot of health challenges in recent years and they are in their late 70s so you never know what happens. After visiting for a few hours we made our way south on Highway 2, turning west at Red Deer on a secondary highway.  We made our way to Highway 93 so that we could pass through the town of Rocky Mountain House and travel back to British Columbia through the Rocky Mountains.  We connected in BC with Highway 1 and drove back to Kamloops, passing through the towns of Field, Golden, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Chase and then finally Kamloops. We visited mom for several hours and then headed home on Highways 5 and 1 back to Vancouver. I was glad to get home as the long trip over a short period of time always tires me out.



This map shows our route beginning at Kamloops but we drove to Kamloops from Vancouver. It takes about 4 hours (includes stopping for coffee/gas).




We were surprised to run into snow just before we got to the Rocky Mountains.

You can see it is snowing at the mountain top.

Snow capped mountains are always so beautiful.

We are entering the Town of Valemount. We are still in British Columbia.

The town is in a picturesque area.

Another shot of the mountains at Valemount.

Here were are nearing Mount Robson which is on the border of British Columbia and Alberta. This day it was shrouded in mist and snow.  Apparently the top of the mountain is often obscured by clouds and/or fog.

A sign tells us we are now entering Mount Robson.

Here we are passing Moose Lake in Alberta. It looks so cold.
If you are a cross-country skier there is a wonderful ski trail through the Upper Moose Lake Loop and the trail is supposed to take you through some interesting terrain with inspiring views

In fact Moose Lake is still very much frozen.


These big horn sheep were grazing on the side of the highway.

I was lucky to be able to capture an eagle flying overhead.

The photos above end in Jasper National Park. The park is one of Canada's oldest and largest national parks.  Established in 1907, Jasper was once seen as an island of civilization in a vast wilderness. More recently, it has become a popular getaway from urban life, and a special place to reconnect with nature.  There are nearly 1000 km of trails in the park, thousands of campsites, tons of wildlife and the largest Dark Sky Preserve on the planet.

Our total travel distance was  2585 miles or 3514 kilometers in 5 days (excluding time spent driving around finding the places we were to visit or doing some shopping).  I will be sharing more scenic photos from other parts of my journey in future posts. Some of them are even more spectacular than those I've shared in this first post.


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