When we lived in a Tadoule Lake 12 years ago, we really dealt with isolation issues: 300 people, 1 store, fly-in only (except if you count the 3 weeks of winter road access in February), winter 8 months of the year, etc. Here in Emo, even though it is called "the North," you have everything you need and a lot of stuff you want either in town, or a 20 minute ride away in "The Fort" as the locals call Fort Francis. And there is always the excitement of "going over," meaning going across the border to International Falls and getting cheap gas, groceries, and shopping at Menard's and Big Kmart. So God prepared us for small town life over a decade ago, gave us a love for the outdoors (which we have lots of access to), and placed us once again in the best possible situation that we could ever imagine.
Yet there are a lot of things that we have learned in the past month: many educational things, some humorous stuff, and the odd thing which is a bit annoying. For example, in small town NW Ontario:
So if you wonder if we like it here, the answer is a resounding yes! The more we meet people at church, and get to know the community, the more we realize how God has led us here and that this is the right fit for our family. We aren't the geniuses who picked Emo out, God did, and he deserves all the glory.
God also sustained our family when Lois was gone with Joseph to Winnipeg, brought him back up to full steam, and gave me insight and wisdom on how to do two sermons in one week (I am glad that I had preached on Palm Sunday way back in 1999, and it was actually good!). Thanks again for those of you who are praying for my adjustment into the lead pastor role, and I look forward to how God will lead this week as I lead my first service at the Golden Age Manor Seniors Home on Wednesday, Good Friday service on Friday and Easter on Sunday.
One final thing. Today is Lois' 36 birthday (she loves daffodils, and as a treat we all got to make fancy drinks with our Magic Bullet - Lois even enjoyed her very first "Shamrock Shake" (with soy ice cream) in over a decade!), and we as a family are again reminded how amazing a wife and mom she is. Through a year of transition and change she has managed to pack and unpack countless times, get to know new people, get her kids settled into a new school, and graciously support her husband in our new job. I am blessed to have a wife whose greatest joy is to spend time with God and seek his wisdom on how to live her calling as a wife, mother, and friend to many.