Wednesday, December 27, 2023

That time of year ~ wrapping up 2023

This is the typical time of year when one looks backward with hearts of gratitude, and then looks forward with hearts of waiting, anticipation, wonder at what the future holds.

For the ministry this marks the 11th Christmas season.  It has been a full one with the Advent Walk through (about 50 people signed up) and then with some retreaters.  And then we finished off the week before Christmas by giving me time to breathe!

Looking backwards, I see the changes that have happened since Covid.  I see that many more are coming to retreat, and working through so much emotional/mental health things. I will admit, I have not been immune to the fall out emotionally and mentally.  I have learned alot as I have sat with people, putting my Spiritual Direction training to "informal" use.

This was also the first year in 7 summers that we did NOT get a garden grant.  We just said this morning how grateful we were that it was NOT as dry of a summer as we had last year when our garden nurturer spent min 2 hours watering the trees.  However it also meant that there were more weeds than we would have liked there to have been.  It showed us that the garden is way to big for just Alvin and I to keep on top of.  Okay, at times I admit that I have to ask WHAT WERE WE THINKING!!  I am thankful for the fact that our son can supply fresh mulch every year to replenish the areas.   So if you pray for us - please pray we are able to secure a grant this year for garden caretakers.

Most of the year was slow. I also got some requests where I was thankful that during Covid, the LORD told me that we needed to go back to the basic of what it was HE called us to.  That was good because it made it easy to say no to some requests that were not within our vision.  

I think that the slowness of retreaters is also due to the fact that lets face it - financially, most of us are trying to make ends meet. (note: we are not self sufficient, even with our fundraiser and if you want to know more about what I mean, again, I invite you to meet me for coffee and a chat about ministry). But really -   I think that people are needing to decide.... 

Do I spend this $85-$100 on a retreat for myself, and to just breathe in the stillness 
Do I buy groceries for myself or my family ?

So the year was pretty slow. And then came August, it began to get a bit fuller on the schedule.  I had some groups which make life full for me, but that's all part of serving right?  And then there were people wanting to book more than one night, and a few more day retreats.  This year I had no one during this week between Christmas and New Year's.  (Last year I did have retreaters) 

And at this point, I have already been booking as far as August for some.  People do not want to be caught without an opening.  Of course, booking that far ahead means that I tell people, this is LORD WILLING, and we hold it in the calendar, but loosely.

As I also look backwards, I also think about the fundraiser event.  My daughter told me that it is very normal for me to stress, but this event felt abnormally stressful. I know full well why it was more stressful for me and those things I will keep off this blog post.  If you want to know, I encourage you to call me, and lets book a coffee and we can talk.

ANYHOW we did the event SHINE BRIGHT in September.  I am attaching the video here for you to watch.  We did the event IN PERSON, with a handful of virtual.  And we had the excellent friends @Kilcona Park Alliance Church do the audio/visual, so then Ashley my daughter put it together with music, and the different components.  

I want to again say a big thank you to the Sponsors of the event: $1000 donation
Allan & Janet Fast
Blue Jay Family Works:  Alvin & Joy Klassen
Dr. Phoebe Thiessen
World of Water:  Leanne and Rory Bochinski
Bill & Margaret Fast Family Foundation
Friends Funeral Service:  Danielle Froese & Jotham Koslowsky
Fast Insurance: Ryan Martens

as well as "Friends" donors of the event: $500-900
Waldy Derksen -  Lawyer, PKF
Fast Covers:  Neil & Lois Fast
Cheryl & Brad Klassen
as well as anonymous donors toward the event

And to Michelle Bloom, Three6Tea in Selkirk for supplying the tea table
And to Laura Wall, friend, for making the cookies that each person got

Our event brought 100 of our family, friends of The Well together for an evening of great desserts (so yummy) and good fellowship and the short program.
We are very thankful for the money that it raised towards our ministry.

Looking back, I am also thankful for the group of women who have been meeting (most of them since fall of 2013) for Bible Studies.  We do about 3 studies a year.  Unfortunately I do not advertise it any more as we are as full as we can be for a group study here.  We call one another "sisters loved by God" and I am thankful for these women who have prayed for me, the ministry, my family but also for one another, and have walked through some hard hard times.  

There are many things to look back on, and those things bring much gratitude.
I am grateful that I can still climb stairs to take up laundry.
I am grateful that I can still make beds in pretty record time.
I am grateful that I can still cook and people say it is good!!  lol
I am grateful for people who have come through our doors as strangers and leave as friends.
I am grateful for each new day and what it holds.
I am grateful to be able to pray for those who come, both in person, as well as via email, text or FaceTime.
I am grateful for being able to hold other's stories in my hands so to speak - like a treasure entrusted to me, to be a presence for the person.  Your stories have blessed me!

On that note, I will wrap up for now.  This sun shiny day at the end of December ... as we inch towards 2024.  I will plan to write a New Years post.  But in the meantime - I hope you can take half hour to watch our video - and to pray for us.  Thanks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Pause and experience the beauty of Waiting


Pause and experience the beauty of Waiting:

This was the second “station” in our advent walk through.  And as part of the response in this room, people were asked to write down what they are waiting for.  Let me share the responses with you.   

This is what I am waiting on God for:

  • For my son and daughter to return to God
  • For my son to be able to see his daughter
  • For the salvation of all my grandchildren
  • Healing for my friend
  • Peace on Earth and within
  • Restoration of relationships
  • Guidance for the future
  • Joy above all concern and pain
  • Healing and freedom
  • Belief that I am worthy
  • Wisdom with decisions in regard to our son
  • My niece to come to Jesus
  • Healing and restoration 
  • Spiritual and physical healing for my family / accountability and apologies
  • Peace and healing for all, specifically those who are impacted by today’s tragedies
  • Acceptance and understanding
  • Rest and nerves that are not so raw
  • Calling for the next season
  • Rebirth of my marriage
  • My daughter’s future
  • My next baby.  For my family to be complete and our home full of peace
  • For life to slow down and time to become more abundant … For wisdom to know if leaving my job is the net step to take to get there …to a space where I have more time for the ones I love most
  • For peace in my parent’s marriage
  • For trusted leaders and friends, like I used to have
  • Breakthroughs for friends struggling with mental health
  • To know my purpose
  • Some of the prophetic words to be fulfilled - inventions ministry and healing of our son
  • God to show me what I’m supposed to do when I grow up and what I’m supposed to do now
  • I am waiting on God to bring healing in my marriage and in our family …. That relationships with our daughters would heal and grow … that we would see God do new things … that we would be able to look back and be a amazed at how God takes all the broken pieces and makes a beautiful mosaic from it!
  • For a pain free day
  • Healing and an MRI or surgery
  • Waiting for our daughter to see her true identity in Christ

This is what I am waiting on God for:

  • For our son to find a job
  • Waiting on God’s word, whether or not I should stay in my current job
  • To find my people: my destiny that is intricately connect to people ho share the same heart
  • The healing of my mom’s diabetes
  • My son to mature and grow into the man God wants him to become
  • For the LORD to change the hearts and minds of my family members who have walked away form the LORD, who have become influenced by todays culture - pray the LORD will silence the noise that speaks so strongly to them.
  • For another baby
  • Complete healing and wholeness for my marriage
  • Closure to some family ties
  • To truly know the words ~ The Way, The Truth and the Life
  • To feel freedom within 
  • Reunion with myself and my husband
  • Waiting for our son to receive healing in his mind.  Waiting for him to desire to do those things that he can do to help his body feel better and desire to push himself out of his comfort zone in different areas of his life.  
  • Waiting for salvation for nieces and nephews
  • Restoration in my family
  • Another baby and peace about my family being complete
  • Healing
  • The surrendering and the trusting to be easier
  • Healing
  • Freedom from fear
  • For my husband to have his faith and hope in God rekindled
  • For my own faith and trust in God to be strengthened to what it was in the early 90’s while my life was in the midst of crisis
  • For God to impassion my heart for the next step in serving him - discernment around intercessory prayer
  • The “firsts” to be over and life to feel more settled and somewhat “predictable” again
  • My future
  • My son to realize more fully his identity in Jesus
  • Wisdom in some career decisions
  • Healing from migraines
  • Healing my heart
  • My husband (ex) to come to Jesus
  • Ministry hurts to be headed and restored for my husband and kids
  • healing/restoration/revelation
  • Marriage: of the earthly and eternal type
  • True Peace Everywhere on Earth
  • Habitat for Humanity (Global Village) to do a mission (build) in Africa
  • My church’s next service (missionary trip)
  • All food-banks/shelters to close because they no longer have any need for them!

This is what I am waiting on God for:

  • Our son to return to his faith.  God is good all the time!
  • Restoration with my relationship with my parents
  • Dear LORD, I pray and hope for Harmony in my life and for my family
  • A husband, a man who hunters for the righteousness and holy fear of the LORD and to raise a family
  • Healing an deliverance
  • salvation/holy revelation for my family 
  • Healing, hopeful future
  • Freedom from fear and worry
  • Alive in Christ
  • For my son and I
  • Family city.  Love for one another
  • Spiritual and physical healing in our family
  • My great nephew who has so much happening in his life, and needs to let Jesus rule it
  • friendships/community
  • husband/family
  • True commitment to my family
  • Joyful harmony in my family
  • To hear from God to what is the next step
  • For healing, for negativity
  • For Jesus to work through my family for healing and wisdom
  • Waiting to see glory of God through my family and myself and kids
  • For vision, for God to move, for the next right step
  • Waiting on God to give me a friend that understands me
  • My mind to comprehend that my Mom is really gone
  • My brother to kick his addictions once and for all
  • Healing
  • To live my dreams … my dream to write and publish my book and my dream to pay off our mortgage and to pay off someone uses mortgage
  • The birth of a new grandchild
  • Treat results for a family member
  • “what’s next” for us

You may see that amongst everyone who wrote something, there tends to be similarities.  Oh that we would continue to wait on the LORD, and to expect His answer.  And in the meantime, to experience his hope and peace.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Some responses from our Advent Walk Through - the station on LOVE

On the second last station it was PAUSE to Experience LOVE.  Once people went into the room, there was something to read and respond to.  It was so interesting reading the responses.  

The question was asked - WHO DID GOD lay on your heart and the page was FULL of names.  And the second question was HOW CAN YOU SHARE GOD’S LOVE with the person you wrote down - and here are the answers:

  • Spend time visiting her
  • Hear her.  Pray with her.  Pray for her.
  • Write and encouraging note and send a gift basket
  • Words of affirmation in large amounts
  • Visit people to remind them they are not forgotten in the dark  
  • Remind them that you see that they are doing their best an that is enough!
  • Take a meal after hip surgery
  • Christmas gift/care package/chocolate/tea  
  • To be remembered when they are feeling forgotten by others
  • Impromptu visits with food
  • Share the gospel
  • Bring her flowers and send her a card
  • Pray for her and remind her that she is loved and valuable
  • For the person I can not contact - I WILL PRAY FOR HER
  • Be kind, friendly, understand, and be helpful
  • Pray for her
  • Be patient
  • Make time and effort to enjoy more of life
  • Drop by with treats and flowers and a card for their birthday
  • See her again before I go and keep in touch often after I leave
  • Be encouraging
  • Be positive 
  • Listen
  • Protect from stress
  • Have tea/coffee together 
  • Ask about her life
  • Express my love
  • Keep in contact 
  • Just LISTEN
  • I will greet (Name) in the morning and when coming home
  • Hugs and Kisses  
  • Have lunch with (name) and listen
  • Encourage 
  • Work as a team
  • Support
  • Connect through phone call, coffee visit and ask how they are and LISTEN!  
  • Pray
  • Kind words 
  • Being a safe place 
  • Doing things he wants instead of what I want
  • Spend intentional time with her and plan a day together
  • Inspiring faithfulness, child-like hope and trust.  Mid-day prayer
  • Be comforting and encouraging
  • Re-Focus on Him 
  • Involve Him in your ministry 
  • Be Kind and hopeful
  • Have dinner together
  • Bake something I know she likes
  • Keep regular contact
  • Invite for dinner
  • Take her a gift

Monday, August 21, 2023

Join us - for SHINE BRIGHT

Our Dessert Evening is coming up - and we hope that you will join us to celebrate together!  

The event is being held 

Tuesday, September 12th


Kilcona Park Alliance Church - 1977 Norris Road. 

(just off Lagimodiere between McIvor and Headmaster)

Doors open at 6 pm 

so feel free to come any time after that time

 there will be a coffee and tea bar; 

a memory lane to walk 

music by two very talented young women,

 as well as a photo booth area to capture memories of the evening.

It is a fundraiser towards The Well and all donations will be receipted.   

For more info - or to register for your seat around the table -

please email Joy at or 

call or text to 204-223-5467  

(if it goes to voicemail, please just leave a message)

please make sure to leave your name!!

See you then!

Monday, March 27, 2023

2023 Fundraiser?

 So when are you having your annual fundraiser?

We are praying, brainstorming 

and hoping to have an answer for you real soon.

Thank you for asking!

And thank you to those who have sent in donations

perhaps you were wondering too .

We hope to have an invitation soon, with details for you to 

join us to celebrate the ministry's 10th birthday!

Stay tuned its going to be good.