Finding Good in Sickness

Susan Damon

READ : Isaiah 38:15-19 Dina is not yet 35, but already she has endured seven major surgeries due to intestinal disease. A couple of times Dina was desperately ill and nearly died. Sometimes, Dina says, she would lie in agony and pray, “Lord take me now. But if it is not my time, just help me get through the next minute.” Before one of her surgeries Dina and her family prayed fervently for complete healing. “I was so disappointed when …

Building Community Takes Effort

Susan Damon

READ : Hebrews 6:10-12 Berend and his wife Wiechertje (Wee-cher-tyee) were the first in our church to immigrate from Holland. They attended a Reformed church some distance from where they lived, but longed for fellowship closer to home. One day there was a knock on Berend’s door. It was a “field man,” a representative of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands, hired to help Dutch Reformed people resettle in Canada. This man told Berend that he was planning to settle …

God of Healing, God of Grace

Susan Damon

READ : Psalm 103:1-5 Jean’s husband, a lawyer, had been suffering from depression brought on in part by business problems. When he took his life, it was Jean who found him. He had left her, at the age of 30, with three small children. Before going to sleep the first night after her husband’s death, Jean asked God for the two things she knew she needed in order to go on. The first thing she asked was that God would …

Music to Grow By

Susan Damon

READ : Ephesians 5:15-20 Soon after marrying, Arie and Corrie immigrated from Holland to Canada. They had very little in the way of money or material possessions. But, since Arie so loved music, they bought a small organ. Arie and Corrie had no radio, and T.V. was not yet available, so to pass the long evening hours during their first winter in Canada, they would sit together at the organ and sing hymns. “We sang through the hymnal from beginning …

Not Religion but Vibrant Faith

Susan Damon

READ : Psalm 51:15-17 Glynis had never been particularly religious. But during a time of crisis, she and her husband Gilles began attending a small church in the town where they were then living. Glynis became an active member, even teaching Sunday school. But deep inside, Glynis still felt a gnawing emptiness. One night, unable to sleep, she lay anxiously tossing and turning. Suddenly she heard a voice, as though someone right in the room were speaking to her. “Go …

No More Need to Escape

Susan Damon

READ : Joshua 1:1-9 With an alcoholic and physically abusive father, Gilles’ childhood was filled with pain. He remembers standing in the woodshed when he was seven years old, thinking about taking his life. At 15, already the family bread-winner, Gilles began drinking. “I looked old for my age, and could easily get into bars. I would work all week and drink all weekend,” says Gilles. After his first marriage broke up when he was 21, Gilles, desperate to escape …