Hanging with my bro.

We spent Christmas Day in Saskatoon with my family, and we had mostly a good day.

We decided to stay overnight, so, in a fit of inspiration, Lauralea went to stay at my sisters place for the night, and I went to my brothers place. Jeff and I had a good time although it was to short!

We watched a movie (Clue: "That's his ffaazzzher") and laughed our guts out, if that's possible!
Then we went fishing in a cool piece of software. I never really got the whole fishing games on the computer thing, but this was very cool. You can almost smell the gas burning in the outboard engine! And after you fight and bring in a big one, the big disapointment is that you can't fry it up with some butter and seasoning and eat it. But I'm sure that will come along eventually.

Anyway, I had a great time at Jeff's.

So, now we are off again. I'll try to blog more later.

Party at the Pastor's

I'm Tired, beat, knackered (if that's how you spell it!) and generally pooped.

We've been getting ready for our open house tomorrow, cleaning, fixing, baking, baking, and baking some more. I think every night for the past 7 nights have involved some kind of baking, and I should confess that it's all Lauralea's baking, not mine!

I've been washing the walls, vacuuming, and tonight, if you can handle the picture, I've been cleaning behind the toilet. Yup, she sparkles now. The kids don't often clean behind there, so Laura or I (Mostly I because she's vertically challenged and so can't reach back there ... she says ...) get back there once and a while.

Ah, it's ok. I get a clean bathroom, Lauralea gets all her baking done before Christmas, and we have a party! It's usually a pretty good time too. Lot's of people, cider, sweets and cheeseballs.

This year I'm going to try to get a fire going in our new fire pit for the evening so people can be out there too if they want. Last year it was around -26 C and very cold, but this year looks like a temp of around -7 C, nice. I've just got to convince them not to park in the alley near the pit but rather park on the street, that way there'll be lots of room for everyone, and no cars will get ashes on them.

So, if you're in or near Prince Albert, Sask. tomorrow between 6pm and 9pm, do stop in, really, I mean it, come and join the fun.

But, if you're far away and wish you were here, just click on http://www.friesenworld.com/ and I'll try to have the webcam up and running a new shot every minute. That way you can see what is happening, at least in our basement anyway.

It's all quiet and I should be off to bed. Here's a live shot of our Christmas Tree Cam ....

Christmas Tree Cam


See you tomorrow
g'nite.

Zhiras story

I am a pastor a shepherd, a caregiver, a spiritual director, kind of a guy. It's my calling, but it's also who I am and what I do. As such there are days that the stories I hear are simply overwhelming to me. It seems that many nights I go home saying, "That's it, I just heard it all, there isn't anything anymore that can shock me, surprise me or hurt me."

And then comes another day with another story, like yesterday.

Her name doesn't matter and her story isn't secret, but it happens hundreds of times a year. The only difference is that these stories happen far away, in another land. Far away from where I live. Her story began in East Africa, Somalia to be exact. Now, she has brought her story to us, she worships with us here at Gateway.

Six years ago and half a world away, her and her husband and seven children were trying to live through difficult times. She was a nurse and her husband ran his own business in town and they were doing ok.

One day without warning, armed men burst into her home and began shooting. Her husband was killed right in front of her, and she tried to hide four of their children behind her back but the gunmen began shooting at her too. She was hit a number of times, but as the men moved on through the house, she got her four little ones out the back door, while her sister-in-law ran out the front door with the younger three children. She's never seen them since.

Over the next seven days they were able to reach the next town, becoming beggars because they had nothing to eat. She met a friend of her husbands who took care of her and they lived in a tent, begging, scraping to get by. Eventually she married him.

All the while they tried to find the three lost children, always searching and never finding any answers.

One day a government official came to town, looking for families in trouble. Her little family passed all the tests and she and her four children were shipped off to Prince Albert, Canada. Her new husband remained behind and continued searching for the three lost children.

When she arrived in Canada, she received word that the three had been found alive and were with her husband.

Shortly after that, in January 2001, she received the news that her boy and one girl had died of the flu, five days apart, and that her 10 year old girl was very sick, but had recovered.

And now, the latest word is that her husband and the eleven year old girl are living on the streets as beggars, because they have nothing and no place to live.


I will go home tonight and sit at a table of food with my family all around and wonder at the amazing grace that happened to me, that I should be born half a world away, and that if I lived a hundred of these lives, I would never know the level of pain and loss that my friend has known during her 30 short years on this unfair planet.

A Close call

I just realized it's FRIDAY THE 13th !!!!!

Whew, that was a close one! Good thing I'm not superstitious!

A Geek Goes To A Christmas Program

Well, it wasn't enough for me just to go and enjoy Micah's School Christmas Concert today. Being the geek that I am, I brought along my Ipaq and recorded parts of the program.

I digitized the audio and placed it on our website; http://www.friesenworld.com/where anyone can access it over the Christmas season.

I tried to get a bit from each class, and I think I succeeded until my memory got full during the last song.

We put it up there mostly for our distant families to hear what the kids are doing for their Christmas programs. It's kinda cool. Last week we got an email from some missionaries in Brazil whose relatives were involved in our church concert (Which is also on our webpage) They were excited to hear their sister play her flute after years of being away. Like I said, kinda cool.

So, any of the kids or staff from Princess Margaret School (Good Ole "PMS", yeah I know!!) who wish to show off to their distant internet connected families, can do so. I will leave it up till after Christmas.


Blessings on you all,
hope you're having a Merry Christmas

Check this attitude

Ok, so somedays I don't have a great attitude. I'm, ... ... sorry.


Yes, you have a Canadian Attitude. Is that okay?
Yes, you have a Canadian Attitude. Is that okay?
You're a conciliatory, wishy-washy, igloo-living, army-lacking, gun-hating,
crossborder-shopping, politeness-overdoing, American-by-Association
Take the What the Hell Kinda Attitude is That? Quiz at aka cooties