Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We were truly blessed in the month of September to have a house provided by the Oregon City Evangelical Church. We used this as our home base as we traveled around the area. Canby Evangelical Church is only about a 10-minute drive from Oregon City so we were afforded a few opportunities to shake hands with the people of this congregation. 

CANBY, OR September 26, 2010

Fun Fact: Canby is nicknamed “The Garden Spot”. 

Some of you may be familiar with the names Kevin and Lisa Hoffman. Lisa’s dad, Gary Schuknecht, is the pastor at Canby Evangelical Church. Lisa and Kevin served as short-term missionaries in Santa Cruz & Mizque, Bolivia and just recently returned to the states taking on the position of Associate Pastor in Harmony, Oregon. With the Canby E.C. having this connection, they already had some basic knowledge of Bolivia, but it was fun for us to share some of our personal experiences from Bolivia. 

We attended prayer meeting on Tuesday night, Bible Study on Wednesday afternoon, and service on Sunday morning. In each of these times we met welcoming hearts and smiling faces. We made some good connections and even met a fellow Iowan. 

I mentioned in our post from Yakima about meeting Shelly Fuehrer’s parents and brother. It is nice to meet the family of your friends and see where parts of their personalities come from. We were able to have that family connection experience again in Canby as we met Lisa Hoffman’s parents and grandparents. You can certainly see how Lisa is much like her mother, Linda. We found out, around the lunch table, that Lisa’s grandparents were Gordon Elliott’s (ECM Missionaries) youth leaders. I joked with them how they were the ones to blame for Gordon’s goofiness. They chuckled, but then you saw the pride in their faces as they spoke about how Gordon is so intelligent and a real stand-up gentleman. The conversation sparked my excitement to return and partner in ministry with Gordon and Niki. I will admit that the kid in me was thinking about getting back to play legos with Mark Elliott. 

I always enjoy hearing the stories of other missionaries and the ministry God is expanding globally. I had the chance to speak with Dave Green, a member at Canby E.C. He and his wife Julie, a native of Guatemala, have been involved in a ministry of building small homes for the lower class people of Guatemala. These basic four walls, cement foundation, and electricity help the people get on their feet and start a new life. Dave and I talked about ministry and cross-cultural experiences. Dave spoke about Julie’s son, Danny, who is an accomplished musician who works with Central America Mission (CAM) through their Mobile Bible Institute ministry. 

My favorite part of talking to Dave was when he shared a story about when he was just grasping onto the Spanish language. He was sitting around the breakfast table with Julie and her mother. Julie’s mother asked Dave to pray over the meal. He gathered up all of his knowledge of Spanish words and started to pray. He knew they were having oatmeal so he thanked God for the oatmeal and right then Julie’s mother started to laugh. Dave knew he must have said something wrong, but he uttered a few more words and finished his prayer. He then leaned over to Julie and asked what he had said wrong. Julie informed Dave that when he meant to say, “Thank you God for my oatmeal”, he had actually said, “Thank you God for my belly-button.” 

As a new missionary and someone who took French in high school it was good for me to hear that everyone makes mistakes. Dave told me that the most important phrase to learn is not, “¿Dónde está el baño?” which means, “Where is the bathroom”? He told me to learn to say, “Estoy aprendiendo español. ¿Podría usted ayudarme por favor?” which means, “I am learning Spanish. Could you help me please?” Dave told me that the people in Guatemala were so loving, caring, and helpful and really appreciated that he was making an effort to learn their language. This made me think about how we respond to new Christians. Are we loving and forgiving as they are learning a “new language”? Do we come along side them and tutor them in the ways of this “new culture”? Just some questions that crossed my mind that I hope you can meditate on as well.


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