Memory Snippits

The Free Methodist Church in Smith’s Falls…

An old friend from Smith’s Falls bought one of my paintings for his wife Susan’s birthday so this gave me reason to stop in at the church where I started my formal ministry, The Smith’s Falls Free Methodist Church. Jeff had asked me to leave the painting off with his niece where he would pick it up when the date drew closer.

Of course, there are BIG changes in the last thirty-five years when the church was located on McGill Street in the town. The new church seats about 350 on Sunday morning and under Pastor Angel Valentin’s capable leadership most spots get filled. Just the month before I preached there to a receptive crowd and like to back when invited.

Dinner at Lori and Phil’s…

Phil and Lilly

On our last trip I took a photo of Lori’s daughter Lilly. From this photograph I drew her picture. You’ll find it posted on my art website, . This small act of kindness won a nice supper cooked by Lori’s professional chef and husband. The meal was stupendous and so I am going to draw their son to see if we can engender another invite.

Little Melanie grew up…

Katie and Joe

It’s quite interesting to have lived long enough to see the children of your oldest friends grow up and begin families of their own. On one of the warm evenings we drove some thirty miles to eat off from John and Melanie’s grill. They have just moved to another house so in some sense it turned out to be a house-warming as well.

Melanie’s mom and dad drove down for the same dinner and brought with them the children of another sibling, Jed. Now we had a house full of kids.

Our ministry week at Camp IAWAH

This is a classic Canadians at the lake image

Jeanne and I have a long and happy history with Camp IAWAH (In All Ways Acknowledge Him) near Westport. About twenty or more years ago, they provided a Monday retreat for Jeanne and I. On their days off, many pastors would wind up getting away from the office and the phone by going to the local mall and sitting there watching shoppers. It was their idea of a break and place to “hide-out” so to speak.

In those days, our close friends Ken and Linda were pastoring in Kingston and Camp IAWAH fell “smack-dab” between us and them. For this reason we would sometimes meet and walk around the two-hundred acre campsite talking about our issues and praying through them. If I remember, IAWAH never charged us anything. This left us with fond memories of the place and great appreciation.

I was surprised then when Jeff, the Director got hold of me with an invitation to be their Family (Splash) Camp speaker. At first it all seemed to be a long shot because it was in Canada from July 27 to August 4 and I was on my way to Europe on August 12 so it all appeared to be rather logistically tight. As I played with the details we became more inclined toward saying, “Yes.”

We arrived from Ottawa on a hot (as it turned out every day was hot) Sunday afternoon and after meeting forty or more adult campers and their families we settled into a week of morning meetings. I appreciate how they do things at IAWAH. They don’t wear people out with meetings. I have been to “FAMILY” camps where he was a hard run to make it to all of the meetings. In many camps every day there are three meetings – mornings, afternoons and evenings. People have little “family” time and leave more exhausted than when they arrived. They have a great time for the kids provided by the many volunteer young people who work there in the summers. This takes a further load off of the parents so they can relax and enjoy themselves. Many of those who attend do so every year so strong relationships have been established.

It was fun to run into Tim P. who the last time I saw him was only sixteen. Now he is in his forties, a businessman and one of the camp directors. I am pretty certain that he is no kind of fisherman but he did tell me that he landed a nine foot sturgeon in the Frazer River. This is an enviable accomplishment even for people who know how to fish let alone those who know nothing of the sport. When I bragged to him about my comparatively “puny” conquests he decided to take me out to see what I could do. In forty minutes of water time I landed the largest sunfish, the largest Rock Bass and a rather impressive small mouth bass hooked at about thirty yards away and enough distance to see him break water three times. There’s nothing like a small mouth fight. Pound for pound they turn out to be one of the most formidable opponents of the fresh water category.

Fishing with Jerry N. and Mark P. …

On one of the mornings I drove out to White Lake with Jerry N.. There in Packenham we met Mark P. for breakfast and then out to the cottage where we launched for a morning of bass fishing. Frankly, we’re never sure how this might turn out but the truth is, White Lake

All Large Mouth

has rarely disappointed me. Such was the case today as the three of us landed about ten keepers before 1 in the afternoon. When cleaning fish the trick is to act incompetent. This will mean that Jerry and Mark will take over which they did. In the end I took back to Jeanne and the skillet about three pounds of dressed largemouth bass.

Just several days before a violent storm blew across the lake knocking down huge pines and demolishing a number of cottages on the north shore.

Here’s a photo of some of the damage it caused.

Ministry in Hyde Park, Richmond

When I was last here in May a few of us met to think about a series of outreach events in Richmond, Ontario. I was invited to be the speaker at one of first meetings in the series and so I did.


It was incredibly hot on this Sunday afternoon and almost nowhere to hide in the shade. The event was planned around a group of about fifty school aged children and their mothers. All of the kids were African immigrant-refugees marshaled together by a local pastor. Since this community is designed for retired and independent living we had another forty in attendance so it all made for a good congregation. The children sang about ten songs and then I offered my twenty minute message to what seemed to be a good reception.

The Garden Party

Wood-fired pizza making

About a month ago (See an earlier blog) we were hosted by Elvira and Gustavo, Italian-Canadian friends in Ottawa. At that time they invited other guests, Charles and Diana. We weren’t told ahead of time but Charles turned out to be, amchievements, a Cordon Bleu trained chef with an entire area in the basement of his home devoted to what else, cooking and baking. That’s not all they have donated to cooking and baking. We arrived to a first class evening as they had manicured and decorated the entire backyard set-up to entertain about eighty people for dinner. In a sense, we were the “party crashers” as we knew none of the others except Elvira, Gustavo and the hosting couple.

Nevertheless, we were treated royally and met some very nice people through the course of the evening or should I say “courses of the evening.” Charles began all of us around his pizza oven handing each a ball of dough with instructions on how to make our own authentic, wood-fired, thin-crusted pizza. You can imagine that we enjoyed this event and then went on to just things as salmon, beef, home-made breads, salads, and a scrumptious whipped potato item. The weather was ideal and the setting splendid. Everyone should do something like this in their lifetime.

Chris from Ljubljana visits in the US and Canada

Chris and The North Street Band in Perth, Ontario

Perth on the Tay

Chris called from Atlanta and said that he was in the country and on the way to Virginia and wondered if we had a bed. It’s always great to have missionaries stay with us when passing through. I am always his guest when in Ljubljana so it’s nice to return the favor now and then.

He only managed to stay a day before he was in the car, roaring off across America for a month. He had just come from New Zealand and Australia. Since he was also headed to Canada we made arrangements to meet up in Ottawa for a few days.

On July sixteenth he called to say he had arrived so we spent a few days showing him Ottawa and the area. This meant that on Saturday we attended North Streets concert at the Perth Folk Music Festival.

I’ll be showing up on his doorstep on August 13 so we’ll see each other some this year.

Here are a few pictures of North Street Band who come to Europe in September and October.

Alysha, our grand daughter in Ottawa

With Alysha at Chapel Ridge

A lovely and unexpected connection. Our granddaughter, Alysha is now more than eighteen years of age, finished with high school and on her way to college. We don’t always have the privilege of seeing the Hedrick family of Thunder Bay. This means that Alysha has done some serious growing up since the last time we visited Thunder Bay several years ago.

Every year she makes her way to Ottawa where she stays a couple of weeks with her other grandparents, Pete and Pauline. It turned out that this time we were in town at the same time so we managed to have a couple of visits. Here we are at Chapel Ridge Free Methodist Church. See what I mean? Alysha has grown up.