I was sitting in the auditorium of my home church on the day of my missionary commissioning service. I closed my eyes and was taken back about 20 years earlier to the annual missions conference in the same auditorium. We had different opportunities to meet and engage with the missionaries throughout that week. I remembered while growing up that my parents would often have visiting missionaries over for a meal. I loved hearing their stories about how God was using them. I sat in awe in the auditorium next to my parents as the great commission was preached.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)
It was in that moment that I knew God was calling me into missions. I didn’t know what that would look like exactly, only being 9 years old, but I knew that I could trust God. He would make my path straight. I opened my eyes and was back to my missionary commissioning service. I went forward. The church leaders, missions committee, and my family all surrounded me and prayed over me. I am incredibly grateful for my home church. So many people over the years have loved on my family and encouraged me in my faith. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my church family.
It was good to be home and connect with many while I had a week off from school. When I returned to Canada, I hit the ground running. The month was busy. A friend of mine, Kendall, came and stayed with us for a few days. Kendall is a missionary to Québec City. It was good, encouraging, and fun time having her with us.
One Friday evening, Léonie and I invited some of the Bible school ladies over for an arts and crafts evening. I found a few adult coloring books with a Bible verse on each page. Guess what? The verses were in French! I thought this was a great find! It also happen to be Saint Patrick’s Day, Léonie and I made snacks fitting for the holiday. There was lots of laughter, snacking, painting, and speaking French. It was an encouraging time together, and we look forward to hosting more evenings like this!
Thank you for encouraging and praying for me on this journey. I ask that you specifically pray for my family. On March 23 rd , my grandfather unexpectedly passed away. We are heartbroken over the loss. However, we do not grieve without hope. My grandfather placed his faith in Christ. He loved the Lord with all his heart. I admired him for that, and he made a big impact on my life. I miss him terribly, but I know I will see him in glory! The service was on the day before the one-year anniversary of my other grandfather’s homegoing. It has been a difficult time for my family. However, I am thankful that my mom, brothers, sister-in-law, nieces, nephew, and I were able to be together in North Dakota celebrating and honoring his life. Please continue to pray for us as we process the grief.
~In loving memory of Eric Gilman Strand ~
(1945 - 2023 )
· Pray for my family as we grieve the loss of my grandpa, Eric Strand.
· Pray that I would be able to process French and grief well
· Pray for the final exams in my French class coming up at the end of the month that I would do well.
· Pray that I would not be anxious about French
· Pray for my dad, he is not doing very well. His latest MRI shows progression in his MS which leads to greater pain, loss of energy, and confusion.
· Pray for Léonie and me as we share an apartment
· Pray for patience and diligence as I study and learn the French language.
· Pray for an ASL interpreter for Togo – big opportunity for one!
· Praise God for my grandpa, Eric Strand, and the life he lived for the Lord!
· Praise God that the missionary commissioning service went well!
· Praise God for safe travels to and from North Dakota for my family
· Praise God for a fun and encouraging evening with the Bible school ladies!
· Praise God for the apartment!
· Praise God for progress in the language
· Praise God for the wonderful community here at Parole de Vie.
· Praise God for all my wonderful partners!
· Praise God that Jonas is doing well in school