Monday, October 26, 2009

On My Knees at the Church, News from Elaine Caruso and Upcoming Events

I've been on my knees at Church - ALL WEEK!

Ok, before you think I'm going through and especially super spiritual time right now, there's something I must confess. I've been on my knees outside the building. Somehow in this past two years I never allowed myself to fully see what was happening outside on the grounds. I don't know why but about a week ago I was startled to realize that all of the foliage on the grounds had been insidiously creeping and growing and taking over. Weeds have choked out shrubbery. Boughs have draped themselves over fences. Vines have pushed their way through slats and climbed and twisted themselves into the cedar hedges. Branches have pushed their sinewy arms out trying to block the sign out front. Debris has blown into every niche. Trash has secreted itself beneath and ontop and everywhere in an ever widening trail leading over to McDonalds. Why, when did this all transpire I asked myself?

Now, upon noticing I was compelled to take action. No, I am NOT a gardener nor a landscaper. I'm just a lady who has access to some sturdy farm and gardening tools and the Lord has been developing me for the past few years. You see, my husband and I moved out to a rural property three years ago. A truly beautiful spot which boasts orchard as well as pristine forest. When we moved part of our agreement was to help with some of the yard work.

The first few times I helped around our own place my friend did all of the pruning to the hedges and foliage. I was very content to provide muscles and willingness to carry and dispose of the trimmings. I was totally comfortable with this arrangement. Then, on one particular day, my friend placed the pruners in MY hands and insisted I could do the trimming. Was I beyond terrified? You believe it - I had visions of misshapen trees and gargoyle-like shrubbery. But I was fine. And whats more, after a while of working I began to make sense of what to leave and what to remove. Now, nobody is going to be hiring me any time soon to bon-sai their ornamental gardens but I must say I can do a pretty good transformation when I set my mind to it.

So, how could I know that the Lord was really pushing me along to learn a new talent? And how could I know that being obedient would lead to me being able to provide a good service to our Church? And how could I guess that one day I would completely enjoy gardening and find a certain satisfaction in seeing a dramatic metemorphisis take place at my own hands?

As I was 'on my knees' I was drawn to so many spirtitual conclusions. I had scripture tumbling over and over in my mind with each task I tackled. I found it all so PEACEFUL and RELAXING - even though I was working so hard and sweating.

I found a true significance when I pruned trees back to the bare essentials, weeding out the wiry offshoots and the branches which were crowding out the main stems. I feel this is where our church is at right now - we are pruned back, awaiting the first flushes of spring when they come - our foundations strong and ready to put out new and healthy shoots!

Another thing which stands out in my mind was that when I first began to tackle it all, I was kind of, soooort of grumping about all the trash strewn, from McDonalds. Truly I spent so much time picking up cups, bags, ketchups etc. There is a regular migration of people all day long heading to and from McD's and some of them make it two feet away from the conveniently placed trash can at the end of the lot, while others save their trash for right down by the building. But, by day's end I was actually THANKFUL for all the trash, and all the people. Why, our little church observes and is observed by people all the day long. One can't ask for a better security system than this!

I met some interesting people. I interacted with neighbors to our church. I am sure people are curious as to why our building is getting a foliage facelift right now? But mostly, I felt a deep satisfaction in having obeyed my instinct to set time aside to do this for our church. I felt wonderful to be able to be the one to make the outside as beautiful as the inside feels to me. I loved labouring there. I felt a connection with our Lord in a special way.

Ephesians 6:6

Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.


Betty shared the WORD on October 25th. A powerful message which condensed could be PRAY and OBEY. She reminds us to pray without ceasing. Her sermon was based in several areas of Acts. Pray WHEREVER you are, WHATEVER you are doing and for WHOMEVER you are next too or reminded of at the moment.


I received an update from Elaine Caruso to share with you all - it is as follows:

Hello Everyone:
Just wanted to let you know how we are doing here. We arrived late on Friday night. Although we were in time for the ferry they had cancelled the 5 and, 7 sailings. We managed to get on the 9. If you ever come to the Island, a tip is to really plan ahead as there is often a one sailing wait, we are generally in the line at least an hour and a half early. There has been an increase in ferry traffic since we last lived here and it seems that even through the week it is like that. Anyways, I guess the population is growing or something.
After we arrived we stayed overnight with the pastors Al and Verna from Colwood Pentecostal Church in Victoria. The next day we unpacked with some help. We have about 15 steep stairs into the loft type apartment. Good exercise. So I have mainly been home studying to finish my last course. It is a tremendous course load for 2 credits.
Jim is in the office Tue.-Friday and is helping Pastor Al alot until Dec. 31. He is doing pastoral counseling. Our future is still up in the air after that but God has been so good and I have peace about our future. Thank you all again, for the lovely farewell and gifts.

Love Elaine

~ I have printed off Elaine and Jim's particulars. If you would like a copy please grab me and I will give you a copy. We sure miss you both! I have a question for you as well, you say "loft type apartment" - ummmm, remember how you used to have ALL of us over to your place for Pasta Sunday's??? Will your new place fit all your new church inside? Haha!


Kaye - she`s been in and out of hospital suffering pneumonia and now the docs feel she may have contracted the super bug while in hospital. According to her family she might be home in a day or two, she is looking better.

Dale & Florence - in Calgary nursing David who is sick with cancer. May the Lord annoint you as you nurse him.

Jim and Elaine - in Colwood as they begin their new ministry.



October 27 - Women`s Bible Study at Isabelle`s - continuing the `Friendships of Women`series. For more info call Barb at (250) 495-3516

October 28 - OCC Women Online Chat on msn. Everyone welcome.

November 1 - Bart Thomas and the Away Team will be ministering to us. THANK YOU Bart and Park Drive Pentacostal from Oliver for helping out!

November 7 - Saturday Night Jam and Crafts. You`re invited for a time of fun, fellowship, music and crafts. Basic guitar instruction provided in the sanctuary. Bring your own guitar or instrument if you own one. Guitar donations gratefully accepted :) We will be packing shoeboxes downstairs for Operation Shoebox. Bring your own items and we can pool our resources!

November 8 - Guests Jussi and Leena Sievanen from Delta BC will be ministering in Word and Song.

November 29 - Bart Thomas and the Away Team will be ministering to us.


SPECIAL THANKS - to Bart and Park Drive Pentacostal for taking our youth along to the Gathering event held in Grand Forks. I have been promised a recap of the event from one of our youth, to share with you here in the near future!

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