Before we made to beautiful Kirby-Lonsdale, we experienced another miracle. We had no GPS (too expensive) so we relied on prayer and luck. We can’t be sure which played the bigger part but by “hook or crook” we wound up in the lap of where we needed to be. Over email and the phone I had connected with old friend, S.V. His security requirements will not allow me to mention his name or where he works. I can say, however, that he is a chaplain in a prison. S came into our lives thirty years ago when he took an interest in our son Sky during a very difficult period of Sky’s life (and subsequently our lives as well).
S met Sky when he was about fourteen years of age. S was a counselor at hockey camp. When Sky returned home he continued to talk about S and what a neat guy he was. S stayed up with Sky by calling and writing notes of encouragement. Even though Sky went through a very dark time he never forgot S. Later, after Sky came to the Lord, he found S on Facebook and reconnected, finding out he was now situated in England. We owed him a big thank you and wanted to stop around to see him in the Liverpool area.
Finding the Starbucks in the center of Preston was no easy task, but we didn’t miss it by far first time around. Racing through the mall to meet him at one o’clock, we looked through the window to see his big frame straddling a small chair next to a little round table. He looked up and immediately flashed his big smile. S is one of the cheeriest guys I have ever met. He always has praise for God upon his lips. With hugs we gathered around the table telling our life stories. Jeanne ordered up a little pastry called “Eccles Cake” (recommended by the son-in-law). After a visit that was entirely too brief, we (without a GPS) made our way back on to the highway on the way to Kendal. After a brief look at Kendal we went on to one of the most beautiful villages in The Lake District, Kirby-Lonsdale.
Once you get around Liverpool and if you drive in the proper lane at the proper speed you will finally make it to “The Lake District” without the sound of horns honking and people giving you dirty gestures. I finally figured out the rules and you will too.
My oldest grand daughter, Alysha at thirteen. The Hedrick’s took me out for my birthday supper. Here, I caught Alysha charming her dad. She is able to sap him of all strength.
Regrettably, the Sky and Angie Hedrick clan of Thunder Bay, Ontario didn’t make it down for the reunion so I went up to see them over the weekend and in the process of having a good visit, preached at Grassroots Church where they attend.
One of my all time favorite people. My grandson Justin at fifteen. He is a very likeable and principled young man.
Sky and Angie oversee a “heart of the city” ministry in downtown Thunder Bay. They reach out to the homeless and marginalized, many of whom are First Nation peoples. Every week hundreds of the hurting and disenfranchised drop in for coffee and encouragement. They are doing an amazing thing and real pioneers!
I have known the Grassroots people for almost six or seven years. Pastor Chris and his wife Shawnee are among my dearest friends. They began with a handfull of friends and in a few years have managed to grow to a congregation of nearly 140 people.
The new home of the Grassroots Community on Balmoral Street.
They, for a period of about six years hosted a residential training school called “Great Commission Bible Institute” where I have taught on many occasions. They took a “Through the Bible” approach and produced some exemplary believers. Just recently they were able to assume a large and well equipped building where they hope to begin the school again. I am glad to have been a part of their work and hope I continue to contribute to their influence and growth.
Interior Sunday morning view of Grassroots at worship. I preached there on Sunday morning to a crowd of about 100 or more. Simple, relevant and Authentic. If ever in Thunder Bay, Grassroots is a good place to hang your hat.