Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Blog

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Cottage Pictures 2010

One of the several Ticket to Ride games we played. :)

Dad telling us how big the fish that got away was.

A big game of "Tip Curt over". (Also known as wrestling.)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dominican Trip (only slightly overdue :) )

Just tonight, I wrote an update regarding my recent trip to the Dominican Republic for the Oak Glen church "paper". And so I thought since the work of writing it out was done, I would include it here as well, for your interest.


As many of you know, this past January I went to the Dominican Republic for about a week-long trip. The purpose of the trip was to help build a medical clinic in Hato Nuevo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (If you have a very good memory, you might remember an article in the Christian Renewal about this very clinic a while back.) The two-story clinic is the project of Ministries In Action (MIA) and Dr. Silvia Martinez, the local representative of the Luke Society. It will replace Dr. Silvia's current clinic in Santo Domingo, which is very crowded and badly in need of more room.
Our group was 19 strong, 18 of whom came the Edmonton Orthodox Reformed Church (a URC). When I was in Edmonton this past summer for an internship, they kindly invited me to come along with them on this trip. We were quite the crowd of people all told! The local kids would always shout out upon seeing us, "¡Gringos, gringos!" To which we would reply, being Canadians, "No, ¡canadienses, canadienses!" :) But we were there to work, and work we did. Our main job was to paint, and so we were very thankful to have a professional painter along to direct us.
On one of the days, we made a trip to one of the bateys. (The bateys are some of the poorest sections in the Dominican Republic.) There, after a small VBS program, some of the girls who were nurses helped Dr. Silvia in an impromptu clinic while the rest of us were busily occupied playing games with the kids.
By night we were invited to come to different churches in the area. I had originally been told that I would be asked to preach once, but as I soon found out, I would have to preach five times in four different churches! I was quite nervous about preaching in Spanish and also was quite worried that any grand ideas they had of a Canadian preacher would soon prove to be reversed. But I found the congregations were very encouraging and appreciative. It was a very different experience, but I am so thankful for their warm welcomes given to our group.
Other highlights from the trip included late-night 5-inch spider-killing, as well as forming a mid-night fire brigade. (Ask me if you want to hear the story.)
All in all, it was a busy, tiring, yet very encouraging trip. What was most special to me was the bond we shared with the D.R. Christians - the bond of being Christians joined together by the body and blood of Christ.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland of Hoarfrost

I recently had the opportunity to preach in Forreston RCA, Illinois. Great was my surprise to see a beautiful hoarfrost! Unfortunately, I missed what would have been the most beautiful picture of all (the town church where we were with the surrounding trees), but here you can some that I took on my drive back to Indiana.

Job 37:9-14 - Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north. By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud: and it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth. He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy. Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

Friday, November 27, 2009

On a different note... Solzhenitsyn

One of the professors at school referred us students to an address given at Harvard a while back (1978). Solzhenitsyn was a Russian who lived during the Communist times, lived at a labour camp for years, and was finally exiled because of his views. I believe that he became a Christian. He died just last year.

Here's a very short version of his speech and here's the whole shebang. It's a fascinating critique of Western society, written from a Christian perspective and also from one who grew up as a Russian communist.

Thanks for the link, Brian! (In case you're reading this.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quick fish post...

I have to make this quick, as I really should be studying, but... the Swets took us out for some fishing on Labor Day weekend near Dan's work. We caught a lot of sunfish and I caught this nice catfish. It was maybe around 7 pounds or so?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Samuel de Champlain Fish Roll

We just got back from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park this past Tuesday. We had a great time. Curt, Jen, Phillip, and Ruth came up for one of the weekends, and we really enjoyed our time together. There is some great snorkeling and rapids-on-an-air-mattress at the park.

And of course for any camping trip, there is the small question of fishing. It was incredible! Never have we caught so many large fish in such a short time. You will have to ask for the stories that go along with these fish some other time.

We started out fishing quite a bit on the Mattawa River just below the rapids. There we caught a number of smaller small-mouth bass. But the highlight there is a 14.5 lb catfish - 31 inches long, 18 inches in girth that I caught. No picture unfortunately, but that's the official family record for catfish to my knowledge (aside from Dad's unofficial cat in Jordan Harbour, and aside from any picture-less fish that Jer remembers catching. :) Just kidding, of course.)

After Curt, Jen, Phillip, and Ruth left, Dad, Mom, and I discovered another place, outside of the park. The location is classified... we might let you in on it for a price. :)

First of all, I caught a 3.8 lb large-mouth bass there.

Then soon after that I caught a 4.4 lb walleye! This fish actually broke the line right next to the shore, whereupon Dad jumped in and caught it with his bare hands. So the credit goes just as much to Dad as to myself. Here you can see the two fish. We let the bass go, and made a fish-fry out of the walleye (cut into pieces and fry in egg and bread crumbs).

Then on the following day, Dad caught a 1 lb largemouth, and then I caught a 5 lb largemouth! This was my biggest largemouth ever, though Jonathan still holds the (unofficial?) record for his Florida bass.

Actually, this bass has a bit of a story as well. We decided to keep it, and left it tied up on the shore. But we came to get it just before we were going to go, and a turtle had been chewing on it! :( All in all, we probably lost a pound of meat to the turtle (though the 5 lbs measurement was taken in the pre-turtle era.) We ate this one as well (deep fried with batter). Here is a picture so you can see the turtle effect a little better. (The other side was worse.)

And finally on the next day, Dad wrestled a fish out of the one location that we had been trying for a while. It was a 4.2 lb largemouth. (Dad's biggest?) We let this fish go, as (needless to say) we had just had two very big fish dinners.

I've never seen fishing like that before. Incredible, eh? Too bad Curt and Jen and Ruth and Phillip couldn't have stayed a bit longer!