Sometimes we think stewardship is just about money. My apologies if I have ever given you that impression. Money is certainly a part of it, but it is so much more holistic – “whole”-istic – than that. One of the many other things that we are called to steward are stories. We share the stories of our tradition, certainly, but also our own story, of how God has moved, and continues to move, in our lives.
In addition, we sometimes think that stewardship is all about giving. However, it is just as much about receiving, trusting in God’s goodness, love and providence.
In light of those two things, I have to tell you that this week I had a list as tall as I am, and wasn’t sure how everything would come together. Into that space I receive an email out of the blue offering a story, a reflection, a testimony to the goodness of God, for and for the wider parish. Therefore, in the Spirit of stewardship, I say thank you to God and thank you to Paul and Danusia for sharing a piece of their story with all of us. May you be blessed by it.
I was nearly murdered in our home in Cape Town and 6 months later a few weeks after the election in 1994 we left for Canada.. Having never really been outside SA before and still having a few doubts, I made a deal with my wife, Danusia. I will immigrate as long as we can do a major bicycle tour. Deal made and we arrived in Toronto Canada, put our bikes together and together with our 2 boys aged 12 and 8 we headed west. All we had was a map. No GPS, cell phones. Just cash in the pocket and knowing that McDonalds gives free top up of coke. Danusia and oldest son on their own bikes and the 8 year old on a tandem with me. Behind the tandem we towed a kids buggy to carry the stuff. It all looked like a train. Matthew was so short we had to put blocks on the pedals so he could help me pedal. We went all through Ontario but bussed the Prairies as the distance between towns was too long. Picked it up again in Calgary and rode through to Vancouver. A total of approx 2700km. When we arrived in Vancouver we were interviewed by CBC where we thanked all the people for their help along the way and how they invited us into their Church's. So no work and cash running out (especially when we handed over our last travellers cheque, I, (the grey accountant) took to cleaning boats. We ended up at the Lynn Valley Full Gospel Church a few weeks later. You need to understand we were desperate. I had lost 10kg due to stress and not eating properly as we just did not have the money. At the "meet and greet" during the service, Rex turned around and greeted and asked if we were the family that had been interviewed. We said yes and his next words were so memorable that I cannot say or write them without tearing up. "We heard your interview, have been praying for you to come to our Church and just knew you were the family when you walked in.". I just stood there and this 40 year old man just sobbed. (still does). God had a plan (always had). A few weeks later I got a job as Business Administrator at Pacific Academy, a large Christian school. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. We are now retired to Squamish. The boys live in Vancouver and Fort Langley. We still love our bikes (and so do the grandkids) and been so blessed that all of us are still involved in the Church. It was tough but we are grateful to Canada for taking us in and to the Lord for showing us the way in our almost 43 years of marriage. Thank you for allowing me to share our story.
-Paul & Danusia