Saturday, February 16, 2008

And everyone said . . .

Yes, it is official - we are now living in Emo!

This past Monday was the big moving day as the Dueck 6 packed up their belongings which they hadn't seen for 6 months and headed three hours east and one hour south to this truly beautiful spot in Northwestern Ontario. Jason and Bobby, two gracious friends from Calvary Baptist Church (CBC) drove to Winnipeg from Emo early in the morning with cattle trailer ready to haul our stuff (don't worry, they washed it first!). Then God provided us with a great team of help from GMC (thanks Larry, Darrell, Bill, Ray, and Esther) and my brother Paul (he couldn't come but he sent his hardworking and unsuspecting staff - thanks Luke and Chris!) and we loaded up the truck for about 4 hours.

Amazingly, we filled the entire 40 foot box of the truck. And I have to tell you, if you are going to ever move, a cattle truck is the way to go. Not only is it easy to load, it has these great gates inside that divide the truck into three parts, which really helps in keeping the load secure. However, I would recommend not moving in the dead of winter when it is 20 degrees below zero as it gets cold on the hands and stuff can freeze (I sadly lost one of my beloved coke bottles that adorned my GMC office for the last decade!).

After it was all loaded, there were some quick goodbyes to the folks and we then we headed out on the open road. I got to take my first ride in a semi-truck because there was no room for me in the van with all the stuff that we remembered could freeze. It was a great ride, and Lois enjoyed the quiet as all the kids conked out real fast.

When we arrived at our new home at 23 Roy Street, right down from the church, we were amazed and humbled to find not only the nice card above signed by the church, but 4 boxes of groceries, food in the fridge, and a pail full of some amazing stew that we had for supper on Tuesday. And the food just kept coming all week, and by Valentines Day we had an amazing assortment of desserts to enjoy (as Lorianne said we have more dessert in the house now than ever before in our lives!).

The food has been great, and the help we received in unloading on Tuesday night was even better. I won't even begin to mention who all helped (I don't remember them all but there were at least a dozen people in total), and some even stayed after the truck was unloaded to help build some furniture, including the boys new bunkbed and Lorianne's dresser. All the beds were set up by Tuesday night, and while we aren't sorted out yet by any means, the garage has been cleaned, the bedrooms are almost all organized, Lois has all her baking stuff out and baked today, Caleb has a shelf for his Star Wars LEGO and Lorianne has set up her Playmobile.

So how has the adjustment to small town life been so far? Well, to begin with, it seems that almost everyone here knows us, and now we just have to get to know them! Actually, the people are very friendly, and genuinely happy that we have come to join their great community. We put the kids in school right away on Tuesday morning, and they have done great (God knew what he was doing when he timed it for them to come to school during Valentine's Week and 100th day of School party time!). The people at Tompkins Hardware gave us their home phone number in case of an emergency, there is a great sledding hill 2 blocks away, the 15+ daily trains that go through town a block away are still a novelty, and we haven't needed to use our van (outside of hauling my 14 boxes of books/office stuff to church) all week.

One of the definite highlights so far has been having Kelly join our family. Kelly is Caleb's five year old German Shepherd dog that we were blessed with as a gift from some friends of ours. She is an amazingly well trained and kind dog, and is very quiet, loyal, and loving. I get to go for walks with the two of them every morning, and after school Caleb and her have some great times romping in the snow. She is allowed into the entrance of the house for her two meals (at our breakfast and supper) and today Caleb just hung out and read with her after she ate, because as he said, "I don't have as much time to read now that I have to spend time with Kelly, so I better just do the two of them together!" While Stephen's pet Hammie the Hamster is also providing fun by rolling around in his ball in the basement, we all never thought we would enjoy having a dog as much as we enjoy spending time with the special, beautiful, creation of God called Kelly.

So thank you for praying for us. We have had fun setting up house again (Stephen said to me on his day off, "Dad, we need to do some man stuff like drilling, and than we need to play!"), and meeting some great new people. We will still need much prayer in the coming months, both as a family, and as individuals. As a family, we need to re-adjust to living within a budget and juggling school and work schedules. And I would ask that you would pray specifically that Lorianne would find someone in her class with whom, as she says "I can can relate to." The public school here is very different than the mostly Christian/Mennonite school we had back in North Kildonan. I am thankful that she has had chances to make a stand for her faith, yet we pray that God will provide her with peers who can understand how important it is for her to live for Christ.

So here is our home:

Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 338, Emo, Ontario, P0W 1E0 (that is also the church mailing address - another small town life quirk!).
Our new phone number is: 807-482-9981
Email is the same (,, so however you choose to contact us, we would love to hear from you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Ups and Downs of living the Hobo Life, Part 2

It is a blustery Monday morning, 2 weeks and a day since we arrived back in Winnipeg. After having a blizzard wipe out our plans to move this past Saturday we are VERY eagerly looking forward to moving today (even if it is currently -31 outside!). Lord willing, the truck driven by friends from Calvary Baptist will arrive in Winnipeg from Emo sometime around 10:00 am this morning, and my brother, some friends from church, and Lois and I will start loading the truck with plans to head out early in the afternoon.

This past week we discovered that 6 months without a home, and two weeks of (sometimes) frantic running around to meet people, purchase furniture, get school supplies can make a person very emotionally, mentally, and physically tired. The need to plan what to do every day because there is no routine and no real place for your children to hang out has worn us down. I am grateful for the great job my mom-in-law did of hosting us, and the fact that my parents willingly put us up these past two days when we couldn't leave as planned, but the fact is that for 180+ days we have only stayed in the same place a maximum of 14 days and that just needs to end!

God knows our limits and he has sustained us when we felt like losing it. He knows what awaits us this coming week in Emo, and will sustain us through the setting up of our new home. He will provide for Lois the time alone that she needs, and provide me with the opportunity to read and spend fun time with our kids. God is trustworthy and our adventure with him continues to be an adventure of faith.

So I ask that you continue to pray for us. Please pray for patience and grace as we wait to get settled. Pray for our children who (if we all get to Emo today) will start school tomorrow in a new town, in new grades with new children. And pray that God will be glorified as we settled into the ministry and community that he has called us to.

And on a very happy note, Caleb is now the owner of a very kind, very gentle, and very beautiful German Shepherd! Kelly is currently sleeping in my parents breezeway, and will be making the journey with us to Emo today. She is a gift from some friends, and is another sign that God cares about our needs, and our wants. We have gone to visit her a few times these past weeks, and her and Caleb are becoming good friends. She will make a great addition to our family, and be a good friend to Caleb.

So I say bye from Winnipeg, and look forward to my next post, which will be coming to you from Emo, Ontario!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Poem

From Winnipeg
and down the coast of the west,
To Mexico City,
the Dueck 6 flew far from their little nest.

They trusted in God
and he helped them through,
all of their worries
and "what can we do's."

The 6 stayed at friends' houses
in yurts and hotels,
and please don't forget
those little motels.

Through many different climates
this family went
by oceans, forests and big moutains, that stood tall and proud
their craggy peaks bent.

This family struggled
like all familys do
with pride and selfishness, but for 5 months tried to fix those problems
and did pretty well too.

They had tons of fun
their smiles would shine
and I'm proud to say this family was mine!!!!

By Lorianne M. Dueck