Friday, June 29, 2007

Hoping for Summer

We are all dreaming of summer here on the Sunshine Coast! There were a few days of summer early this month but that has been about it.

There is a lot of working happening around Linwood to make it very beautiful as there are several friends using Linwood House as the place to celebrate their wedding. Next weekend our friend Jeni will be married here. She has often been here as prayer support for The Journey, and now she will be coming to celebrate her new life. Flowers have been planted and they are well watered due to all the rain! There will be two more weddings in early September, one of which is my own, so for summer to arrive and linger here for a few months would be a most welcome arrival.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ponderings for Today

My Lord,
Draw aside these veils I have made
Interwoven and fashioned with the many fragments of my fears.
That I might glimpse Your Ancient Form upon the inner road of mine.
Where Wisdom reigns and Silence guards the Way to heavens gate.

May my heartbeats walk with a measured step.
May I see with Inner Eye.
Those gleaming forms of radiant Light upon this
Holy Way.

And perhaps at Journeys end when I turn to look upon the bitter and the sweet.
No vain regret will dim my eyes or diffuse the Light, upon
this my
Damascus Way.

raleigh michael smith - 1987


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reminder on Community

If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community liveable again. Isaiah 58:10-12(TM)

Thanks Dwight for this reminder.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Delicate Blossoms

She lives on the streets, works the streets, and carries her defenses in a tough outer shell. At "the spa", part of the Journey program, her nails were cleaned and painted while being held in tender hands. Her hair was cut and trimmed with care by one who has suffered her own losses yet poured in love as she worked. Then she sat down and had her make up applied by one who loves to help women find the beauty within. As she took the mirror and gazed as her new hair, her eyes took in the reflection and she said "Oh my, I feel like a beautiful woman- not like a tramp". Mine were not the only eyes that filled with tears as we saw a beautiful pure blossom open up for us all to see!
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Final Thoughts on Bangkok

Dear Friends,

It has been several weeks since the end of our adventure in Thailand. Most of us are through the jet lag (thankfully!) and are now process and sifting through all of the experiences, faces, stories and heart deposits made during our time there. It was a life changing time for us all.

Two things have been rolling around in my mind and spirit since coming home, very simple words yet deep in meaning. The first is the idea of "the one". We saw time and time again the power of connecting to one woman at a time, investing in each relationship one by one by one. I'm reminded in the Bible of the many times that Jesus fought through crowds of people to get to the one person who needed his love and grace. Relationship is surely one of God's favorite places to hang out, and a place where much healing and transformation happens.

The second is the concept of "go". We spent so much of our time during those two weeks going into massage parlors and bars, going into the streets to where our friends were. Go is an action word, it requires something of each of us. I was reminded over and over again about the importance of find the lost, to invite to the banqueting table, to bring to the party, to welcome home.

I received an email from our friend Bonita, the director of Home for New Beginnings, and she shared some reflections about the "fruit" of our time in Bangkok, and affirmed again the power of "going" to "the one".......

'You really can't know how significant your time here with us was. Two major things: 1) We have continued to have girls register for English that are a result of your "blitz". We have even opened an afternoon class for five girls from one bar! We have had eleven girls register -- just this week! While some of these are massage girls, some are beer bar and go-go bar girls and we have not had anyone from the bars register for a long time. The word spreads more easily through the massage parlors and it is easier for them to come in the morning but it is thrilling to have the others there as well. 2) Probably even more significant than that is the comfort with which Pu, Si and Jeed now go to the bars with us. Pu. Nit and Si are particularly comfortable and they weren't before. They made some friends and are always interested to go back and see them. They are beginning to see the value of relationship as well. While they wanted to go before - they wanted to help and they knew that others should be at Beginnings, they felt awkward about making contact and making conversation and all of that is gone. When they go to 7-11 to buy a phone card, they will now stop in a few minutes and talk with the girls they began a relationship with. It is AMAZING!! That would have taken us months to accomplish - if then - with only a one night a week experience. You can't know how significant this is!! and what it means to me - and to all concerned.'

What an awesome privilege it was to be "go-ers" for such a time as this. Thank you to each one of you for equipping and supporting us financially and prayerfully to be part of this incredible experience.

Blessings on you,

Sue Todd


Monday, June 04, 2007

Reflections for this week

Thoughts to ponder from Thomas Merton

The Merton Reflection for the Week of June 4, 2007

"The progress of the person and the progress of society go together. Our modern world cannot attain to peace, and to a fully equitable social order, merely by the application of laws which act upon humanity, so to speak, from outside ourselves. The transformation of society begins within the person. It begins with the maturing and opening out of personal freedom in relation to other freedoms-in relation to the rest of society. The Christian "giving" that is required of us is a full and intelligent participation in the life of our world, not only on a basis of natural law, but also in the communion and reconciliation of interpersonal love. This means a capacity to be open to others as persons, to desire for others all that we know to be needful for ourselves, all this is required for the full growth and even temporal happiness of a fully personal existence."

Thomas Merton. Love and Living. Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart, editors. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979: 155.

Thought to Remember

"How does Man attain to a real union of love with his neighbor? Not merely by abstract agreement about truths concerning the end of all things and the afterlife, but by a realistic collaboration in the work of daily living in the world of hard facts in which everyone must work in order to eat."

Thomas Merton. Love and Living. Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart, editors. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979: 143.


Friday, June 01, 2007


One of our friends from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside died last week. We will miss her and right now there are not words to put down to share what her friends feel. There is an empty space - it will take a long time before we are not watching or waiting to meet her in her neighbourhood, wondering how she is doing.
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