Monday, September 28, 2009

School starts this week!

Voici! Our second blog since touching down here in the Great White North. Actually, it's not so white just yet. Of course, we know it's coming, though, as each morning gets a little brisker. We're excited for the winter, which is good, because we probably won't be for long once it sets in. But, hey, it's only September 28th, we got some good sunshine ahead of us before we have to cross that bridge. In fact, next week, our little house-church community, Curieux, is headed an hour outside the city for some apple picking at a monastery! That will be a really fun field trip. Not only will we be apple picking, but we'll also be discussing the future endeavors of our little community. Being a part of this church has really been a great experience for Lauren, Dennis, and me. It's definitely more of an alternative type of church, where sermons never happen, music only seldomly, the location changes each week, and there's always a delicious potluck meal to enjoy. The first time we went we fell in love because it was so easy to have Dennis there. It's very similar to a lot of communities across North America and Europe who are sort of experimenting with what it means to be a church and/or community of beleivers. Now that the founding members have moved away, the core group of us (about 12 to 15 people) have the exciting task of asking once again who we are, and where we're going. Curieux started as an alternative type of church that reached out to those in the arts scene. David Brazzeal, the founding member, saw a disconnect between artists and the church and so started Curieux (which means Curious {plural-adjective}) to reach out to artists of faith. Now, we're presently asking ourselves how we can maintain our natural, very social environment without compromising the impassioned faith that we all share and long to espouse in various ways. It's kind of like stripping down everything that usually means "church" to the western mind, keeping our foundation as Jesus-followers, and rebuilding something new from that common foundation. It's truly an exciting process to feel a part of and be able to contribute to. We'll keep you posted as things develop.
Our school starts this Friday. We've had a good month settling in to our new home for the next two years, and are ready to begin our work for this year. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers as God guides us, as a family, through this time of transition.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting Settled

So, we arrived Wednesday night at 11 after our flight was delayed for about three hours. In the end, it was a blessing because half of the flight got redirected to other flights so that by the time we reboarded we had 6 seats for the three of us! This made the flight a lot easier for Dennis, which, as all you parents know, made the flight a lot easier for mom and dad. The latest video posted will show you our home for the next two years. We're really happy with it, although it's really empty. Through our great friends Andrea and Julien, we have multiple connections around the neighborhood with people who are willing to just give us stuff to furnish our home. So far we have a fridge, a stove, a desk, a table and chairs, a queen-size bed, a futon mattress, and a rug (which is the only thing we actually have purchased thus far). So the last 3 or 4 days have been filled with organizing boxes and suitcases around the apartment, trips to the park, meeting new and old friends, and acquainting ourselves with our new neighborhood, Parc-Extension. The neighborhood, of course, is unlike anything Lauren and I have ever lived in. We're just beginning to learn about it, but we do know from our friends who have been here for three years that it's about 50% South-East Asian (meaning Indian, Bengali, Sri Lankan, and Pakistani) and the rest is a pretty even mix of Africans, Chinese, South Americans, and caucasians. The neighborhood used to be inhabited completely by Greeks, but most of them are older now and there kids have moved to other areas. Nonetheless, their influence still lingers as there are a few Greek Orthodox churches still alive and well. As with most very ethnic neighborhoods, it's not an upscale area, but the many immigrants here have many kids, which makes for a safe, playful feeling on its streets. We're excited to become a part of this community and learn from the cultural diversity that is unavoidable here.
Our YWAM school will be starting next month, so in a week or so we'll have our first few meetings in order to prepare for the six students who will be attending: 4 girls and 2 guys from France, Germany, Switzerland, and Montreal. Our little church, Curieux, met last night and we were welcomed with much enthusiasm by our closest friends out here. Of all the confirmations that Montreal is where we're supposed to be, our little church has been the biggest one of all. Over and over again we have been blessed by that community, and look forward not only to more blessings but also to what we can give back over the next two years.
So, things are off to a great start out here. Once again we find ourselves on the precipice of an adventure, now with the knowledge of last year's experience, our enthusiasm is bubbling within us as all the possibilities and potential present themselves. We continue to ask for all your prayers and support as we discern what God can and will do through us these next few days, months, and years. This is really fun.