The Dueck 6 had a great weekend in Emo this weekend. We were blessed to be able to stay at Henry & Beth Petkau's place, where our four kids had a wonderful time playing with their four children, as well as playing with Buzz the dog, the cats, the rabbits, and checking out the forts in the bush. We also really enjoyed visiting and praying together as adults, and the amazing Mexican meal we had on Saturday night was a highlight. Being at church for the Sunday School Kick-off was a special gift for the kids, as they had a chance to meet some of the children at Calvary Baptist and make some friends. Lois and I also attended the men's and women's Sunday school class, which was encouraging for both of us. It was probably the first time in almost a decade that we both attended Sunday School on the same Sunday, without having to look after any children, ours or others!
I preached from Matthew 6:25-34, reminding the congregation and myself that Jesus calls us to a worry free life. He does so by reminding us that worrying is a sin, that it is futile, and that worrying is a sign of a lack of faith and trust in God. He also provides a remedy for worry, by calling us to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" and promising that if we do, "all these things will be given to us as well." We need to constantly "cast our cares on God, for he cares for us" (1 Peter 5:7). Pastor Andrew Hall closed off the service by pointing out that a key to trusting God is to remember how he has been faithful in the past. He also summed up what I said by reminding the church that we need to "pray, and then obey." I was blessed in preparing the message, and from the feedback that we received, it seems that God was at work in the hearts of the people. In fact, even Lorianne said it was a good sermon! (The kids age four and up stay in the service at Calvary, so our four kids will be hearing a lot of their Dad's sermons if God continues us down this path!)
After church we spent a great afternoon visiting some members of the church, having great meals, enjoying the beauty of the country side, and driving around on 4-wheel ATV's. (Nothing like driving 60 km/hr in the bush on a new quad to convince a dad and his three boys that Emo is a great place to live!) The whole weekend was a blessing, and as we travelled back Lorianne asked us if we still felt peace about God's calling us to Emo. We said that we did, and that we were trusting in him for our futures. There don't seem to be any red flags on either side, and Lois and I have really been thankful for the way the search committee has been upfront and honest with us, and has allowed us to be real with them.
We look forward to the next step in the process, which will involve the church discussing whether they want us to come for a more "official" candidating weekend some time in the coming months. If that is the case, they will fly us (or some of us!) back to Emo and we will have the privilege of getting to know them better, and they us.
God has been more than gracious, and we are truly humbled by his goodness. Thanks for your prayers on our behalf. God truly does know "what we need before we ask it." Mt 6:8