I got home from a family visit to Port MacNeill to an answering machine message from an uncle I had not seen in over twenty years. Uncle David was going to be on the Island and, could we visit sometime? Each of our schedules were tight but we squeezed out a few hours that Saturday to share lunch and catch up. He drove two hours each way to meet us.
My last strongest memory of Uncle David was of my family attending the church where he was a Pentecostal pastor, and I accidentally put $20 in the offering (I thought it was $1! I was about 10 years old). I didn't know what to expect.
It was one of those visits you don't want to end. We clicked in a lot of ways that I think could only be God. On the surface level, we both have buddies in the Faith Mission, each of our families are nutty enough to homeschool.
More than that, the guy really oozed with a heart for God that convicted me and whetted my own hunger for the Lord. I could see that prayer is more than an occasional pastime for him. They have been involved for the last twelve years in the birth and follow up of one of the least known but most profound revivals in recent Canadian history - among the Hutterites of Manitoba. (You can read about it in this .doc file.) There are lots of people saved and eleven new churches as a result.
All their four kids are radically committed to mission. One of their sons is a missionary in Bolivia with his new wife and expected first child.
Half way through our visit I remembered David has a niece in town! I phoned up my sister and she joined the little reunion.
It was a rare treat to soak up the stories, the family history, the sayings, and the seasoned wisdom of a humble sage. When I'm with someone like that, I ask the best questions I can think up. There's nothing like learning from a road-tested man of God. I hope we see him again sooner. And if we're lucky he'll preach at Bay next time.
Thank God for those long lost uncles that turn up on your answering machine.