God Prepares the Way

Shortly after Ruth’s first visit, Eugene and I were invited to go to Jasper National Park so Eugene could apply for work there.  The job was Accountant and Assistant manager for a Lodge, in Jasper.  We prayed fervently to be given a clear answer as to God’s will in this life changing venture. Eugene met with the Manager of the Lodge on Saturday. They had a very long interview, and at the end, the manager asked to meet with both of us on Sunday afternoon.

We were thoroughly enjoying our visit with our friends, Ralph and Norma, in Jasper and the “job” thing was just a good excuse to go to Jasper for the weekend. Norma was the Lodge Manager’s secretary, and she had suggested to him that he meet with us to just see if Gene might be a candidate for the job of Assistant Manager and bookkeeper.

Sunday afternoon came, we were a bit apprehensive about the upcoming meeting, but we had also given it to God and asked: “His will be done.” Again, we had a lengthy visit with the Manager. As we were concluding the “interview,” I asked the manager, “Do you feel Gene is the person you want for this job?” His immediate response, as he looked straight at Gene, “Gene, if you want the job, it is yours!” Wow, was Gene just handed this job, if he wanted it? Were we shocked? What on earth do we do now? Dozens of questions bounced around in our thoughts.

Back at Ralph and Norma’s house, Norma was especially interested to hear what had transpired with the Manager. We said, “Well, it looks like we better start the process of selling our house in Edmonton and find something out here.” Now, Norma was shocked! She said, “No, you must have misunderstood. This manager NEVER works that way. He has advertised this position in the major newspapers in BC and Alberta. He goes over all of the resumes submitted, sorts them out and calls the top four or so for interviews. Then he narrows it to the top two. Then he makes his decision. So, you see, you must have misunderstood him.” We shared our conversation with the Manager and how when asked if he felt Gene was who he wanted, he looked straight at Gene and said, “Gene, if you want the job it is yours.” What was in that response to “misunderstand”? Norma just shook her head in utter amazement, so NOT this Manager.

On our way back to Edmonton our eleven-year-old daughter asked her Dad, “Daddy, have you worked in a hotel before?” His answer was, “No, as a matter of fact, I have never worked in any capacity at a hotel.” Her next question, “Well, Daddy, then how come you are starting at the top?” Hmm, management experience, did we even remember that line in the letter from nearly three years prior when we sent our inquiry to the Mission board asking about the possibility? Truthfully, it never crossed our minds.

Both our bosses knew why we were going to Jasper, with no intention of quitting jobs we both loved. We were just going to Jasper for a fun weekend with friends. Oh yes, while we were there we would have an interview for a job that Norma seemed to think might be a good fit.

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God Works in Mysterious Ways

 

I listened intently as the guest Missionary; Ruth Ericson shared stories of her life in Zaire, Africa. Ruth talked about her work as a nurse and how frustrating it was to have to do the bookkeeping/accounting because there was no one else on the field to do that job. Ruth went to Zaire to work as a nurse, in the medical field, not to do bookkeeping!
After the service, Ruth and I had an interesting conversation. Ruth said, “So Lorrie, what line of work is your husband in?” I answered that he worked in accounting for The Steel Company of Canada, in Edmonton, Alberta. Her next question hit me quite by surprise, “Have you ever thought of going to Africa to serve?” I’m sure my mouth needed a little push shut before I could respond, “As a matter of fact since I was very young I have thought about missions, but nothing ever came of it. We do have four children, and now it  seems Missionary service is out of reach”. Ruth then began to express the extreme need for someone dedicated to the accounting, bookkeeping, and purchasing aspect of Mission work. She said, “If someone came out to do that job I could be a Nurse and perform the work I was actually called to Zaire to do.” She was torn between the two jobs she was presently responsible for at Karawa, Zaire (The Democratic Republic of Congo) Africa.

Watch for the next step in our process of getting to Africa.       scan0044-11

We packed barrels of supplies for Africa.

A daunting task when you have to guess how much your kids will grow in the next three years!

Letters Out of Africa

Not a palace but it was in the middle, more or less, of the Mission Station at Karawa, Zaire

Not a palace but it was in the middle, more or less, of the Mission Station at Karawa, Zaire.

my-book-coverAs I work on this “book” I struggle with how to tell you our story. Fifteen years of fond memories, some very trying events, frightening scenarios, fun times, tears, laughter, good-byes and about every emotion in a dictionary. Some say, “Write it as a memoir”. 

Without all the letters our parents kept I would be at a loss for important details. I have had input on my cover, mostly positive. Jerry Jenkins suggests more “Africa wildlife” type cover. We were not on “Safari”, we lived there. Lions, elephants, giraffe were never seen by us, so why use them as a “cover” picture?

I want the book to be REAL, to portray life as we experienced it, the good and the bad.

I would appreciate input from you, my readers and friends.