Shannon Falls, August 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

GASP!! An update...

I'm sure some of you think I've fallen off the face of the planet, but in reality, life has just been filled with changes. Some of those I'm at liberty to discuss, some I don't care to, and some would just make me sound like a very petty, immature person. So...let's move on to more delightful topics.

September will be a month of evaluating where things are for The Common Place; don't misunderstand me--that doesn't mean things are bad. It simply means we are seeing where we are and what our future is once Christopher and Shannon return to the States. Wilson and his energy have been missed, and Shannon has been a fantastic addition to our family this summer. Christopher sure knew how to keep us laughing. But come September, the three of us (plus Hayden) have to take a serious look at how we plan to continue reaching not only our immediate neighborhood, but Coquitlam.

My parents (the Nana and Papa) just stopped for their first visit. My mom arrived about 9 PM Monday night, and my dad flew into Seattle Wednesday mid-morning on his way home from a work trip in Japan and then drove up. So it was closer to about 1 PM before we saw him. We had a full day with my mom Tuesday to show her where we live and our "hang-outs," then we hung out at home and chilled while David had football practice. Wednesday was a late breakfast at IKEA, a bit more sight-seeing around Coquitlam and then waiting on dad to arrive for a late lunch/early supper. By the time we showed him the area, his jet lag was severely starting to set in, so we called it a night. Thursday was Whistler; well, more the drive up because by the time we actually got to Whistler, we had just enough time to eat a late lunch and check out a bit before we needed to head back for David's football practice. Hayden, mom and dad and I killed time at IKEA across the street from the practice field. Friday was downtown and Stanley Park and then mom and dad left mid-afternoon for Seattle to stay overnight for an early Saturday morning flight.

The staggered arrival times made doing everything we really wanted impossible. It was still a great week, though, and now I seriously need to clean again! Hayden did not want Nana and Papa to leave. I think he acquired eight new airplanes this past week thanks to them! We are working on a visit to the Gulf Coast with a special surprise for Hayden thrown in. Hayden has mentioned a few times that he misses our house, but overall, he seems to really like living here in Canada.

In some ways, it feels as though we've been here forever. But there are times I'm greatly reminded that we're still finding our way. Hopefully, it won't be as long before I update again!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's New with the Ainsworths!

(This is a large portion of our most recent newsletter that went out. For those of you that didn't get it, here's what's going on in Coquitlam. This was written by David in case third person references made you wonder!)

"Our apartment here is about as much of home as this particular apartment will be. We know we are only in this one for just a year so we haven’t gone overboard on decorating but Jamie has done a great job of making it feel like home for the season that we are here.

Hayden is really starting to finally find a routine. We had a rough few weeks there, but we made some changes and put more of a structure in for him and it seems to have done the trick. Jamie has found some awesome learning activities for him to do each day so everyday when he wakes up now he wants to do “school” so Jamie spends the first couple of hours each day teaching him, doing crafts with him, and just spending some time just the two of them. It is really cool to see him glow with pride as he completes crafts and certain tasks. We have a pretty smart little boy and I am so thankful he has a great mom that takes time to help him sharpen his mind everyday.
      On the church front things are moving along. We have had 2 teams come through to spend time with us. The first was First Baptist of Biloxi. They were here around the middle of July and they helped us prayer walk our ministry area, and then came back another afternoon to put on a Family Fun Day. We had to scale things back quite a bit at the direction of the city, but we had a really great turn out here in our local park that the whole city uses. It is an awesome facility and I think many of the FBC Biloxi crew got a little jealous that we get to use that as a place of ministry. We also had a college group from Heart of Life Church in Kansas City come through. They spent a week with us and we did a day of service projects in the City Centre area, we served at a local Christian Based Drug Rehab Center, a local food bank/soup kitchen, and they spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the same park FBC Biloxi did the Family Fun Day. Our goal is to be consistently out and about in the community, and they did a great job continuing the work that we had already started when we first arrived.

We are going through a stage of learning, planning, and discerning God’s call for where we go next. We started a very informal gathering on Wednesday night and we just need to know what direction to go with that. One of our biggest needs right now is a core group of people to come along side us and help us. One of our interns has already returned home to Mississippi. Wilson did a great job for us this summer; he is an energizer bunny and I don’t think he ever runs out of energy. He was such a blessing because he was a self starter; many of the relationships that have been formed at the park are due to his consistency and willingness to be all things to all people. I am so proud of the guy he has turned out to be and can’t wait to hear what God will do with his life going forward. For now he is back at Mississippi College and I know God is using him on that campus. He was a huge help and a vital part to every single thing we have done this summer.

     As the summer is coming to a close things will probably not slow down much for us. I am coaching a football team here; it is nowhere close to American football and definitely nowhere close to football played in Mississippi, but it has been really cool to connect with my fellow coaches and the players on our team. Being from an area where football is king to so many, it’s almost like I became an instant go-to guy for questions and things. I am praying and seeking for ways to expand my role there with some possible bible study huddles or something. I am not sure what will happen if anything so please join me in prayer for open doors there if God wants me to be used in that capacity with the football league here.

     Adjusting has gone well overall. We are so confident of our call here, but we do miss all of you and having the ability to just call and get together at a moment’s notice. Life here is very different. It looks alot like home, but it is amazing how refreshing it is for us to drive 45 minutes and go to Washington to go grocery shopping or something. Believe it or not, we have found we save so much money by doing that; we do not do it very often, but when we are doing a big shopping trip, it is worth is to drive over the border to get what we need.

     We still have many prayer needs that need to be addressed. God has blessed us so much throughout this journey so we do not doubt His power and His timing in making things happen. We are still working on Jamie’s Visa issue. The Association here is helping us get it all worked out so that she can seek a tutoring position or something to help make ends meet. We know and God knows exactly when it will be an absolute necessity for there to be some external income coming in and we have full confidence that she will either find something or God would raise up more financial partners to help us make this ministry possible.

     Another prayer need of ours is just that the transition/seeking stage that we are in at The Common Place would be one that makes us stronger. We are definitely seeking the Lord for direction on some things and it is my prayer that HIS plan become what is important and nothing else. This community around us is a great one: awesome people, open minds, and big hearts. We just have to figure out the best way to serve those people and help them see the truth, love, happiness, and life that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to be ready to move and we need people around us to help us move. Pray for both of those things if you would.

     Lastly I will just say that we miss all of you. Please know that our doors are always open for a visit. I hope that finances will allow us to come back home either for Christmas or Thanksgiving and we will get to see many of you but anytime you may want to venture to Vancouver, let us know and we will be happy to host you. Please lift us up in prayer. Some days are tougher than others and sometimes it is definitely lonely, but the power of your prayers is what will help keep us plugging along. I am trying to figure out the easiest way to send out another email with some pictures from what has happened so far so be on the lookout for that. For now I will wrap it up. We love you all. Keep praying for us."