We were looking forward to an evening with the Ikuras. The Ikuras are known for their incredible hospitality so we were anticipating something good to eat. We weren’t disappointed! Poor Michio spent part of the day chopping away at hedges and regrettably, after all of that work, I didn’t even notice. Ha.
Michio is Japanese and Lydia, his wife, originally comes from the Ukraine, so this is a real cross cultural, east meets west sort of couple. I love the eclectic and artsy feel of their house. Lydia has a real knack for bringing an interior together. She can also put together an amazing supper. Unaware, we took Lydia a bouquet of flowers only to find that she has flowers growing everywhere. The yard was as beautiful as the interior of their home. Michio is pretty good in the kitchen as well, so if he had not been busy trimming hedges we might have also had these stuffed grape leaf things (probably mediterranean) or sushi that he sometimes puts together. This time around we were served a starter of homemade soup, followed by salad, bread, a stack of succulent roasted lamb, asparagus, a marvelous (I’m running out of descriptive adjectives) mix of potatoes, carrots and onion in a brown sauce, then finally a swedish chocolate cake.
Years ago, the Ikuras were among the first to take a chance with this pastor and a fledgling church plant in Kanata. They were with us for about twenty years and in so doing raised their four children in our church.
We spent a couple of hours around the table reminiscing about the early days. I give credit to Lydia for inspiring us to believe God and purchase our first church building on Leacock Drive. I wish I had the time to tell the story. Even though the building had a buyer and we had no money, on her word we gathered and marched around it, praying that the Lord would somehow put it into our hands. As impossible as it seemed, within two weeks, the buyer went bankrupt, the property was offered to us for twenty thousand dollars less and someone had given us $35,000 for a down payment.
Miraculous outcomes of this nature bind people together in unforgettable ways. Some people say they don’t believe in miracles today. What they mean is, they don’t believe that axe heads can float, fleeces can have dew appear on the ground side, or that a sea can part so that two million people can walk across. Yet, for the expectant and observant all sorts of things happen that have to be more than circumstantial. I have simply seen too many things happen that could not have happened without divine intervention. This was just one of those incidences that can not be explained and a number of us can attest to it.