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With Gratitude

September 4, 2011

I had trouble putting this post together.  A lot has been going on and I couldn’t seem to write something that said what I wanted to say without leaving those who would read it with a whole lot of unanswered questions, questions that I am having difficulty answering for myself.  After rewriting it a couple of times and deciding that the result was very unsatisfactory, I opted instead to express my heartfelt gratitude to some of the people who have made this visit to the Okanagan special.

To Bari, my minister and dear friend:  I thank you for always making me very aware that you love me and accept me as I am.  I thank you for always listening and encouraging me without giving advice.  I thank you for sharing your earthy wisdom with me.

To Margaret, who has for years now has helped me make sense of my life when it becomes painful and confusing:  I thank you for showing me that I already have the answers to many of my questions and for guiding me in finding those answers within myself.  I thank you for your sense of destiny for me, for always being able to see God working in my life.  I thank you for your enthusiastic and extremely generous support for me and for what I am doing.  I thank you for always being there for me and for always being more than willing to make time for me.  Thank you for declaring yourself “part of my team.”

To Darryl, who has been my constant and loyal friend.  Thank you for your belief in me and for your compassion.  Thank you for your assistance with so many things over the years.  Thank you for your honesty.

To Bill:  Although you may not know it you have taught me a great deal.  Your openness to share yourself and your struggles with others, your willingness to be transparent, has been inspirational.  You possess wisdom, my friend.  I pray that God will show you who you really are.

To Darren.  I have watched you grow since meeting you and have appreciated that through the troubles in your life you have kept God in the forefront.  You have the stuff to do great things.  Thank you for your friendship.

To the men of my “breakfast club.”  Aaron, from the time we met I have been impressed that though you are a young man you possess an incredibly deep wisdom.  When I consider the truly godly men I know, you are among them.  I thank you for your generosity toward me, and your constant forgiveness of my shortcomings.  Dan, I appreciate your inquiring mind and your appreciation of the fact that God is big enough to allow for our doubts and our questions.  I thank you for frequently asking questions that encourage me to explore the deeper levels of my faith.  Thank you to both you and Bev for the wonderful evening in your home.  Rod, although I do not know you as well as the others, I appreciate your contribution to our little group and the insights you bring to it.  I hope life gives me the opportunity to get to know you better.

To Mona and D’Arcy:  Thank you for welcoming me into your home at what was a very busy time for you and making me feel very much at home.  I truly appreciated your hospitality.  D’Arcy, it was a treat to get to know you a bit; thank you for some very enjoyable conversation.

To Louise:  Thank you for letting me invade your home on almost no notice so that I might have a place to stay for the unexpected extension to my visit.  Thank you for your comfortable hospitality and for being so gracious as to volunteer to get out of your bed at an ungodly hour to take me to the airport.

To Anne, who cheerfully receives my mail, separates the important from the unimportant and attends to what needs attention:  I thank you for your help, your personal interest in me, your encouragement and your willing ear.

To Zoe:  For a relatively new Christian you display remarkable insight and I see by your life that you really “get it.”  I encourage you to continue being who you are. Although I wish we could have met in person, I so much enjoyed our conversation.  You are remarkable.

To Iris, who despite everything, still takes an interest in what I am doing and tells others about it.  I see things in you that it might have been good to have seen earlier.

To Kim:  I am so grateful that you keep yourself in my life.  It’s always such a pleasure to be able to talk about what is on my heart and know that someone really understands.  Your constant support touches me very deeply.  You are, and have been for some time, truly “my sister in Christ.”

To everyone I worked with in the dining hall at the IPE on Saturday:  Working with great people can be so much fun.  You are a fantastic bunch.  314 meals for supper and we managed to finish early.  It has been wonderful to have been able to play my little part in such a great history – 108 years of serving the best food at the Interior Provincial Exhibition.

To Synece:  I’m so glad we were finally able to find each other at the IPE.  Thank you for your sincere good wishes.  You are a true friend and always will be.  You will be a priority on my next visit.

To all my friends at Zion United:  Thank you for your interest in me and your support both for me and what I am doing.

To Sharon and Otto:  Thank you for storing the few worldly possession I retained when I first went to Haiti.  I will go through them when I next return.  I know now that I no longer have use for most of them, just as I found that I have no use for much of what I took to Haiti with me.

To Lana:  Thank you for your generosity in providing transportation necessary to collect a few of my things to take with me on my return.  I will think of you every time I use them.

To the RCMP officer, whose name I failed to get, who opened up the detachment on Saturday afternoon and provided me with documents I needed to take back to Haiti:  Thank you for the warm support you voiced during our brief conversation.

To all of you and to those I have not mentioned specifically but who are certainly not forgotten:  Whether you realize it or not, it is you who make what I am doing possible.  I couldn’t do it without you.  You too are working in Haiti.

I am truly blessed that in addition to my “Okanagan team” I also have a “Manitoba team” and a family who are gracious and supportive.  I know that all of you have difficulty understanding me at times.  That has always been one of the paradoxes of my life:  on one hand my deep desire to be known and on the other how difficult it is for one to know me.

To God:  Thank you for creating me the person I am.  Thank you for preparing me for years to serve You in a way that brings joy to my heart.  Thank you for bringing so many wonderful people into my life.

God bless you all.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Zoe Webber permalink
    September 5, 2011 1:10 am

    A heartfelt thank-you to you Barry… I feel honoured that you included me in your blog. I pray that you return to Haiti with a refreshed spirit, that comes from being with your friends, and family. Blessings to you and the people of Haiti!

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