It’s not every day that you move into the home of a stranger. Seven years ago, this fall, Melody and her husband, Sandy, offered us their home as we moved to Cambridge to serve at Heritage. I (Linda) had met Melody on the Via Rail train heading to Ottawa. While I often speak to strangers about Jesus, it was Melody who years later “showed hospitality to strangers” (Heb 13:2), offering us the use of their newly renovated Stratford home. How does one adequately say adequate “thanks”?
On Thanksgiving weekend, seven years ago, Rick publicly resigned from the Metropolitan Bible Church. That afternoon, we experienced Quebecois hospitality with friends (and with tears).
Our step of faith towards Heritage after two sets of sevens at the Met (fourteen years) was tentative but trusting. God’s call to Rick at Mt. Hermon and the sense of changing circumstances moved us forward. By faith, we put our home up for sale, seven years ago
this week. We bid on the very home we now live in and struggled when our Ottawa home did not sell quickly. In the final hours in late November, God sent along our first and only buyer. It was then Stratford became our transition place, a beautiful context for reading goodbye letters near a warm fireplace.
God is faithful: our home sits across from a beautiful forest. As we look over our years at Heritage, we’ve found new roles, enjoyed Christian higher education, and watched our children transition to kingdom servants. Most recently, the debt demolition and recent gift of ten million dollars to build a new seminary building, along with freedom from cancer have made these years “exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine. . .” (Eph 3:20).
To Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever” (Eph 3:20-21). Being “in Christ” is also taking on new meaning. With Him dwelling within, we have new freedom (Rom 6:1-11), great power for ministry (Acts 1:8), and the ability to be thankful in all circumstances (I Thes 5:18), even in the more challenging times.
Thanksgiving this year is a time for reflection over seven great years. We’ve been personally blessed and would love seven more here at Heritage (or more). And thank-you, Sandy and Melody, for “showing kindness to strangers.” We’re truly thank full.