Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Kitchen - a Working Kitchen

While the oldest member of Linwood House works in the kitchen at almost 94, we enjoy the ambiance and new appliances. We also love when people step into the kitchen, lean on the island, elbows resting on the new granite, sipping coffee, and sharing in the laughter and love that comes in this heart of the house. Posted by Picasa


Christmas Looks Like This

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Snow on the Sunshine Coast here in British Columbia is very rare and so being lost in this winter wonderland has brought our small communities up here to a halt. Those inside Linwood House are warm and cosy, and enjoying the tranquillity and silence that this snowfall has brought. Huge fluffy flakes have piled up and created top hats on the shrubs, blanketed the trees and caused them to bow down and caused the driveway to disappear for now! With the Christmas lights on inside, full of colour, and the white blanket outside, it really should be Christmas Eve tonight. At least from the snow perspective it would make a perfect Christmas Eve.

So for today our Happy Hour card making event has been postponed, the computer lines are down, the fires are burning and Linwood House and its residents are staying put until we can clear our way through this winter wonderland dump of snow!

PS - sorry but in the confusion of continuing renovations up at Linwood, we still have not located our digital camera and the cord to download the photos. Hopefully soon it will be found so you can see Christmas at Linwood


Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas

When the middle of November rolls around, and the usual West Coast rain storms are raging, we begin to unpack Christmas here at Linwood House. Boxes of decorations, bags full of garlands, wreaths, at least 21 Christmas trees, family heirlooms and treasures, and the full pallet of colour that comes with this celebratory season. Not to forget the tunes of the Season as well.

So last weekend friends and family joined us to play in the chaos that comes from all the unpacking and we had a lot of hard work, laughter, and sitting down to feast together.

Gwen always says, “As a follower of Jesus, we have the very best reason to extravagantly celebrate Christmas”. It is a time when those who are our “neighbours” find time to stop in. The Christmas Journey is so much fun when we celebrate with our friends from the downtown Eastside – carol singing, making wreaths, sitting by the roaring fire, and making new memories.

But you know – it just feels fun this year to think about the Light of the World and how much I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas over the next number of weeks!

We have photos all ready to show you but….the cord to download them has decided to remain out of site! Will have them up soon hopefully.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Looking Back on Bangkok

"It is officially one week since we returned from our journey to Bangkok. We are each trying to settle back into our routines, and adjust physically, emotionally and spiritually to all we saw and experienced. To those closest to us, thank you for your understanding, patience and grace as we go through this process.

As you read in our updates, there were many things that were difficult to witness in our time there. The bondage and oppression of both women and men, as well as children, was evident everywhere we went. But there were also many "God moments", moments of light and color in the darkness. The beauty and sacredness of the Home for New Beginnings. The women who have stepped out in great faith and courage from the bondage of the sex trade towards healing and freedom. The dedicated partners who work together to support, guide and extravagantly love each of these women. A true celebration where over forty women laughed, sang, prayed and shared the stories of their lives with each other.

There is much work to be done to bring freedom to sexually exploited women and children in Bangkok, and around the world. But we are believing in faith that chains were loosed, and God's purposes and plans were furthered. We are also so grateful that we have deposited into a partnership between Linwood House Ministries and Home for New Beginnings, and we are filled with anticipation about the ways that God may bring us together in our shared passion and work.

You have each been so faithful in your support and prayers while we were in Bangkok. Please continue to pray for Home for New Beginnings, for Roy and Bonita Thompson and for the important work they are doing in the red light districts. Pray for staff and volunteers with a passion for this work, and for good working relationships and partnerships with other ministries in Bangkok. Pray for new vision and energy for Bonita specifically, as the ministry grows. Pray for the relationships that Bonita and her staff are developing with the women living at the Home, as well as with the many girls they connect with on outreach into the bars and clubs.

One of the most striking observations we made in Bangkok was how disconnected and "vacant" both the women and men appeared. In the bars, many of the women seemed distracted and almost bored, simply going through the motions of what was necessary in order to get paid. Many of the men we saw, either in the bars or on the streets had a similar appearance; caught up in all that was going on around them but with the most vacant, lonely looks on their faces. One can only imagine the disconnect that has to happen between body, mind and spirit in order for either a woman or man to be part of such exploitation. Ecclesiastes 4 reminds us that "a three cord strand is not easily broken" (NIV). We often think of this verse as a call to relationship with others and God. But in these last two weeks, we were challenged to consider body, mind and spirit, and that the integration of the three into one is what is necessary for healing and wholeness in Jesus for all who are caught in the bondage of sexual exploitation.

Please continue to pray, then, for a "holy reconnect". That each woman would know her worth and value in Jesus, would see the impact of her choices and have the courage to choose something different, would be reawakened to the hurt that is inside so that healing can come to those places. That each man would see in the woman he is buying, not just an object, but his own mother, wife, sister or daughter. That he would become deeply aware of the consequences of his choices, and would come to know that it is only Jesus who can fill the empty places inside his heart.

We cannot thank you enough, each of you, for your financial support, your words of encouragement and your prayers for our team. There was never a day that we felt alone; we knew and could sense that each of you was with us praying, wondering where we were and what we were doing, and eagerly awaiting the latest updates. We are so grateful.

Be blessed, as you have blessed us.


On behalf of Jen, Gwen, Krista and Maureen"

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