I think I mentioned something about life getting back to normal in the last post? That was possibly wishful thinking 😀 Right now we’re getting ready to head to Fort St. John for a week, and a couple weekends ago (is it that long ago already?) we were in Edmonton for Missions Fest Alberta. I’m going to keep things simple right now, and link to our Wiens Wanderings Newsletter that has some more stories from Kenya, as well as info about our upcoming trip – more details to follow.
I did want to take some time to talk about Missions Fest though. It’s too big an event to gloss over, and it was a great opportunity for us to connect up with some new volunteers, some former volunteers and interns, as well as some of the other ministries . . . but today I want to focus on the kids . . .
We took Talia & Kaisa up to Missions Fest. The Alberta Missions Fest has an absolutely fabulous children’s program, and we figure the geography that they learn from a weekend there is well worth pulling them out of school for a day. But – after having already done the “booth thing” at Missionfest Vancouver, I didn’t expect the kids to be thrilled about the “in between” times when programs weren’t offered. I should know better – God had it all worked out. We arrived Friday morning, and the kids helped set up the Engineering Ministries International booth. (They were thrilled to discover that we were right next to the Place of Rescue booth . . . eMi has done work for them, and “Grandma Ens” had also spoken in the Children’s Program last year.)
It didn’t take long for all the booths surrounding us to “adopt” our kids . . . Kaisa got to try reading out of a German-Hebrew Bible at the one booth, Talia made friends with the lady across the way, the one gentleman always made sure to find some chocolate for the kids when they came by . . . it was great!
And then, while I was trying to keep the kids occupied, I sent Talia off to find a booth that works in the Philippines, and Kaisa to find one that works in Ethiopia (the countries correspond to where the girls’ “sponsor kids” are from). The lady in the booth opposite ours decided to help out, and took them to the computers in the back, where they happened to run into a missionary who had spent many years in the Philippines, and he taught the girls how to say some words in Tagalog. Kaisa took me back to the computers later, and the gentleman there was so happy to have someone try out the new computer program that he printed out a page for Kaisa of all the booths that work in Africa and do children’s ministry. Kaisa spent the rest of the weekend between children’s program activities happily going from booth to booth to find out what each ministry does and whether they work in Ethiopia. She got into loooong conversations with ministry representatives (and so far has decided that her best option is SIM 😉 ).
I wonder if these Ministry Reps have any idea what kind of an impact they’re having when they take the time to share their mission with a kid. It’s so easy – for all of us, I think – to focus on those who might be ready to go next month or next year . . . or at the very least, who might be able to make some sort of contribution. Kaisa’s 7 – she’s got a while yet before she’ll be signing up on a missions trip. And yet, her heart has been tugged towards Ethiopia for a long time already and God is very definitely softening her heart towards missions. Who knows what plans God has for her? (Right now, she’d like to become a zookeeper in Ethiopia 😀 ). Maybe I’d better start praying that I’m willing to release my kids into God’s plan when the time comes!!!