After what we hope is our last time apart for quite a while, June saw us reunited in Vancouver. Though our stuff has left Poland, we are still processing this change and all the change that is coming.
The Price Post
The Price Post
Hi there <<First Name>>,

whenever you enter a city or town across the EU, you are welcomed by small green signs displaying the name. As you leave, you'll see the same green sign except with a red line through it to indicate you are crossing the city limits. Last week, Matthew passed this sign on his way to be reunited with Amber and Daxon.

It is wonderful to be back together again. The simple joy of tucking Dax into bed as a couple cannot be fully expressed. That said, it's been an intense time. The morning after Matthew arrived, we were at the doctor's office where we were told Dax had Scarlet Fever (yeah, didn't know that was still around either). Later that same day during Amber's regular prenatal check-up, the doctor noticed an arrhythmia with the Tater Tot's heart. So it was off to the hospital for tests. Thankfully everything is just fine, but it was a very medical first day in Canada for Matthew. Boredom is not something we struggle with.

Now we enter a short season of connecting with partners, seeing friends and family, organizing, details and plans, before the Tater Tot arrives. An immediate highlight will be celebrating our nation while actually in our country; because we are blessed to be Canadian. Happy Canada Day in advance (July 1 for you non-Canadians).

It is not "do widzenia" (goodbye) but rather "do zobaczenia" (see you later)

Leaving Poland involves leaving part of ourselves there.

When we think there is lots of time we are slow to act. Then with a time-limit imposed, we realize we need to act. This is how Matthew's last weeks in Poland went. They were exhaustingly fun. There were concerts in the most random of venues, there were great conversations with students in the classroom and in cafes (marriage was a huge theme and Matthew was able to share honestly about our marriage and the role faith plays in it), there were laughs with friends, stories with colleagues, and even a few tears (Matthew was a rock though). It was humbling as conversations delved into deep territory and it was totally a result of God opening relational doors.

There were new experiences from boar pâté to teaching in the small, nearby town of Brześć Kujawski (where Matthew was viewed more as an alien than a foreigner as not many non-Poles had visited). A great Polish tradition is giving teachers gifts at the end of the school year. Matthew was able to stress-eat most of the chocolate. Other highlights include a hand painted mug with Matthew's name on it, a swanky thermos set, and a jar of pickled mushrooms that were hand-picked and preserved using "dad's secret recipe". Though these are little things, it was a huge affirmation for us and the time spent investing in relationships with students.

There were some powerful, leave-you-speechless, make you self-aware, humbling moments as well for Matthew. He was able to share one more time in Chełmno (where they are baptizing 2 people this coming Sunday) and reflecting on the growth of the relationship there was intense. That community did more for us than they realize. At the staff party for the language school, Matthew was sto lat-ed ("sto lat" meaning "100 years" and is the celebratory song used for almost every occasion). Imagine 30 people standing and singing as Matthew sat there. This is followed by people coming up to you throughout the evening, taking you by the hand, looking you in the eyes and giving you "wishes" (wishing you all the best, sharing what they appreciate about you, reminiscing). It is incredibly moving and took affirmation to a whole new level. We see God's faithfulness all over this.

Our time in Poland did not look like what we expected. That old F-Word (failure) wants to creep into our thought process sometimes, but then there are moments like that. If that is what "failure" looks like, then we are alright with that. You cannot go wrong when you invest yourself in people. Now, we trust God to see through to completion what we were a part of starting. For more of our thoughts on this, check out our blog.
The last few weeks were filled with great connecting points and rich conversations with neighbours, students, colleagues and friends.
Paintballing with the staff of the language school as part of our end-of-the-year party. Paintball + long-haul flight = bad idea.

Reminders, Scheduling, and Logistics

A review of some of the coming details.

  • the doctors have set Amber's C-Section date for July 23. Before our next update, we'll be a family of 4.
  • we still don't have an exact date yet, but we'll be transitioning to life in Ontario some time in mid-September.
  • just a reminder about PAOC donations: we will receive our last funds (both personal and ministry) in August.
  • our PAOC account will remain open past August and you will be able to donate towards our account, but those funds will not be forwarded to us until our Leave of Absence is over.
  • as such, we encourage you to start supporting other missional work beginning in September.
If you are able, we appreciate you supporting us through until August as we transition, want to ensure our account is in good standing before our leave, and as we do some itinerating here in Canada. Your financial support, prayers, and encouragement help make this all possible. Thank you.

What the End of a Season Looks Like

Last month we showed you our room on the day we moved in. Here it is as we left our apartment (and by then it was Daxon's bedroom, not ours).

5 movers showed up to take away our earthly goods in record speed. They moved so quickly they had whisked away the snacks Matthew had bought for them before he was done signing the paperwork. Even the To Do List on the fridge is now making it's way across the globe. It is an odd process having to catalog and pack everything you own - seeing your life reduced to an inventory list and some boxes is a very humbling reminder that it is just stuff. The ceramic airplane reminds us to pray for the kids in the Ukrainian orphanage, the picture frame from Ljubljana makes us smile at the memories of a great Christmas with friends, even some of the food goods are reminders of visits by people who could shop outside of Poland - the memories will endure without the stuff. Most of those items will not be un-boxed for years now.

In the same way we have experienced such extreme generosity, it was wonderful to be able to give things away. There is joy in giving and when people asked why we weren't selling our stuff, they were surprised by our answer: that there is greater value in giving than selling. This was a unique occasion (after all, we cannot ship any food items and most of our electronics would blow-up in Canada), but we don't want to be people of occasional generosity. We want it to be woven into our lifestyle. Generosity is a part of our faith and so must be a part of how we live. We hope that with every click of a lamp or splash of Canadian maple syrup, people experience the generosity of God.

What was most interesting for Matthew was being surrounded by all of the tangible things that should make him feel at home, and yet feeling so very out of place. Geography has not been a constant factor in our married life and circumstances have separated us more often than we would like. It is so clear to us now that we feel most at home wherever we are together. June 9th was our 6th wedding anniversary and we celebrated it on different continents (though we had a very romantic Skype chat). Somehow, it just seem to fit the last few years for us. Though we are entering an uncertain season, we are doing so together. Actually, physically together. This is God's goodness to us.

On Our Prayer List

Join us in talking to God about these things.

  • We are so thankful for how we transitioned out of Poland and we appreciate the prayers.
  • Insight as we speak and connect with different people here in Canada.
  • Our dear friends and fellow Global Workers Joel and Brandi Reimer lent us their car to use while we are in BC as they live and serve in India. Last week the Indian government kicked them out (we're not the only ones with visa problems) and they must return to Canada within the next 2 weeks. Please pray for them in this unexpected situation. Also, pray that we're able to come up with a car solution. We'll need one for the next 2 years so now the question is do we find a way to make due here in BC and then buy in Ontario or do we buy now?
  • Health for Amber and the Tater Tot in the home stretch of the pregnancy.
  • Health for Daxon as he has not been well for more than a month. Currently it's down to a runny nose and a bad cough, but we want total health for our little man.
  • Continued success for Eurasia and EMERGE. Even though we are stepping away geographically, we remain very much in their corner.
  • For the transition of setting-up life in Ontario in the fall. Our things will arrive in September and we'll have to adjust to life with 2 kids, as an MBA student, and readjust to living in Canada (it's not the same as visiting).
  • Matthew will be looking for part-time work in the fall. Our ideal is something flexible that would accommodate family life and studies. God knows what we need.
  • Last month we asked you to pray for the Caleb Project which was coming to WÅ‚ocÅ‚awek on June 22. This was postponed but for a great reason. After almost 3 years of searching for a pastor, someone has agreed to come to the church (a huge answer to prayer). Pray for Pastor MieczysÅ‚aw and his wife as they move from SÅ‚upsk to WÅ‚ocÅ‚awek, search for work, a place to live and take on a challenging ministry position.
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