Five years ago today we began an amazing new leg of the journey of our lives.  We said goodbye to the people who are dear to us and packed all the things that were important to us into four suitcases.  Steve had the promise of a one year teaching contract with Taylor’s College in Malaysia and I had a draft and brief description of a missionary position with TWR- Asia to work with HR and media resources related to a health program in Cambodia.  Both of these have unfolded as God intended, with Steve now completing his fifth teaching year and a health program well underway in Cambodia.

Along the way we have had some amazing experiences and learned much about ourselves and the joy of serving in Asia.  We both came into this with a love of new places, cultures and people and a real joy in learning to understand what makes people tick.  We were unprepared for the extent to which these cultures and people would get under our skin and how quickly they would become a part of who we are.  Now when we think comfort food we think of dosa masala instead of steak and baked potato.

We have seen a degree of poverty and suffering that shocked us out of our complacency, and have gained an entirely new understanding of the difference between want and need and are often startled to find how little we actually need.  This allows us the privilege of living in such a way that we appreciate more fully the daily miracles of God’s love, provision and protection.

We have learned that a decision such as this demands a huge commitment on the part of our own family and that without the support and willingness of our children and other family members to pick up the slack caused by our absence this would not be possible. We have learned that you can miss your family terribly, and still survive the distance, and even find ways to be there when they need you.

We have learned much about friendship and the people we have been blessed to have as friends.  Some friendships span the years and some remain friends no matter where you live or how often you see each other, while others come into your life for only a short time yet have a huge impact while they are there.  We have Canadian friends, expat friends, national friends in various countries, each filling a very special place in our lives.  Our lives would be so much poorer if we had not had the opportunity to know each of them

We were reminded by our Pastor this morning that when our life is over we will leave four things behind: memories, souvenirs, trophies and legacies.  Memories will fade, souvenirs and trophies can be lost or broken but our legacy will remain.  Generations to come will reap what we sow whether that be joy and blessing or sorrow and havoc.

We live in an age where people are encouraged to do what is best for them and are led to believe there will be no consequences for their actions. This is so wrong; everything we do, both good and bad, plants a seed that will inevitably grow into something much larger and more lasting. We write our legacy with every action, every word. Five years on in Asia we are trusting that the Lord may continue to use us to plant more seeds for His glory here.