Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Best XI: Canada

Here is a list of highlights from my time in Canada.

Best Canadian Food: Poutin. It is a dish made with French Fries, cheese, gravy, and seemingly anything else found behind the counter. It was surprisingly good.

Best Restaurant: Joe Dough's Pizza. The crust was perfect. Billy Joe (the owner) took good care of us, and we kept returning for more.

Best Coffee: Thai Iced Coffee at Mango's in Kingston. It was slightly sweet with a thickness that probably came from sweetened condensed milk.

Best Birthday Moment: My first birthday cake of the day. Two of my middle school students brought me a Hostess Cupcake with a two-tined fork and a three-tined fork in place of candles.

Best Day Off: July 22. We traveled from Kingston around Lake Ontario, staying in Toronto long enough to watch the U-20 World Cup Final, then stopped at Niagara Falls before crossing the border and staying in Buffalo, NY (We had a cool day trip to Montreal also).

Best Church Name: Church of the Good Thief. I could count the number of churches I passed in Kingston on one hand. Only one of them was evangelical (bible-believing, Jesus confessing). But the Roman Catholic Church down from where we lived had the best name.

Best Question: "Why are you here?" After we had established relationships, that question was sure to come, frequently followed by "Why Canada and not Romania?" or Why here instead of Mexico?"

Best Answer: "Jesus Christ has changed our lives; We're here to help and to introduce you to him." It takes a long time for Canadians to care about this answer. Some of our Kingston friends have watched the Christians with MFuge for 6 years and just now open up to our message. We had to be bold but patient.

Best Lesson: My students and my Canadian friends didn't need me to be cool or fun or passionate or convincing; they needed me to be real and to be open and to care deeply. Ultimately, they needed Jesus and I would do them harm if I didn't bring them to him and to his word.

Best Name: Jesus Christ, Yeshua, YHWH. In a country where everyone is familiar with comparative religions, the name "God" meant nothing because it could apply to any number of religions. These people needed to know such personal names, so that they would know exactly who we were serving and whose we were.

Best Quote: "The Gospel is only Good News if it gets there in time." --Carl F. H. Henry

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