I hope this Christmas letter finds you well and full of hope. Think of this letter as a virtual Christmas hug. This is the season when we take time to reflect on the King of Heaven, Immanuel (God-with-us), becoming a man and wrapping His arms around the human race in the biggest GOD-HUG the world has ever seen. May this time be a reminder that no matter what we are going through in life, God is WITH US. We are not alone.
Becoming a “REAL” Canadian (again!)
This Christmas season finds me tucked away at my Aunt and Uncle’s cozy home in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. So far, December has been a mix of rain and snow. The weather can’t make up its mind yet, but I reckon the new year will bring blizzards, slow driving conditions, soggy salt-stained pants, stomping around in clunky winter boots and shoveling a billion tonnes of snow every day (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point). I’ll be straight up and admit that New Zealand made me a bit of a winter-wimp! I’d gotten a little used to “Christmas Barbeques on the Beach” and relaxing camping trips at this time of year! Canadians, don’t stone me! Be gracious to me as I adjust back into being a “REAL” hardy Canadian again! Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m actually really excited for this Canadian winter. It’s like a homecoming for my heart. I feel like a little girl again, with aspirations to play outside, and not hibernate. I have all these ideas forming in my head such as having an epic snowfight with snowforts and killer snowballs… Yeahhhh :)
The Surprising Kindness of God
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back in Canada for 5 months already! Looking back over this time, what stands out the most is how God has been the KINDEST FATHER to me through this surprising journey home. He graciously encouraged me out of a difficult transitional time in the Summer and brought me into an amazing Autumn and Winter. God divinely connected me into a beautiful, humble community of Jesus-lovers. I arrived just as a new young adults church was being pioneered and planted. This new church plant has grown out of a group of hungry young adults who have met in a home for the past 7 or 8 years, seeking God’s Father heart, having Holy Spirit-saturated worship jams, growing in sonship, sharing meals together and becoming a family who loves one another well. It’s been a real joy to invest my heart into this community, an amazing answer to my prayers.
Another surprising development is that there is a YWAM base being pioneered just down the road from me, by a family that I’ve crossed paths with in YWAM circles in Kona and New Zealand! It is wonderful to get to know this family more and see what doors may open in the future for discipleship and missions. Even in this sabbatical season, God is giving me glimpses of missions and ministry possibilities for the future. Let’s just say I’m open, available and excited for what’s ahead.
You’ve Blown Me Away
I am so thankful to all of you who have been such a source of strength to me in this transitional, sabbatical season. You have prayed for me, encouraged me, written me, phoned me, sent me care packages and supported me financially. Some of you have even increased your donations in this sabbatical season, which has blown me away and totally encouraged me in ways you will only fully discover in Eternity. The Father has shown His kindness to me through the tangible love you have given to me. I somehow believed (wrongly) that support and prayers would decrease as I left New Zealand and went on sabbatical, but God has proven to me that He sustains me and provides for me in ALL seasons. So, thank YOU for being the hands and heart of God extended to me.
2013: Looking Ahead
I am still praying about what 2013 will look like in terms of missions and ministry and life on the home front and abroad. I’m learning to stay in step with God, and not rush ahead of Him, nor try to control things. If there’s anything I’ve learned in 2012, it’s that the best and wisest thing you could possibly do is to hand control of your life over to a Kind Father, even if it involves interruptions, unexpected changes and surprise detours. It’s usually because He’s “up to something GOOD”. A pastor I know recently reminded us that we are to trust God, which means we are to “REST EASY in the hands of a Sovereign God.” So, while future details are not completely clear to me yet, I’m “resting easy” in God, trusting Him to show me the way forward step by step. In the meantime, I welcome your support through prayers, financial gifts, words of encouragement, snail mail, phone calls and visits in person!
Catch me up on YOU!
If you know me well, you know that I value one-on-one communication the most, so email me and let me know what’s new with you, or let’s talk on Skype: alison_lam or Phone: +1-705-646-9668 (EST)
Lots of love,