Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break

Today is the first official day of Spring Break at Abbotsford Christian Schools (ACS) where Sandra taught for the past 20+ years. Words cannot adequately describe the amazing support Sandra and all of us as family have received from the ACS community in the past years of Sandra's struggle with cancer. Not only the staff and students, but parents and alumni have been so supportive and giving. 

One of God's daily little miracles happened when we brought Sandra to the emergency room back on January 10 of this year. There were 2 nurses on duty in ER with ACS connections who gave care to Sandra--a parent and alumnus. The porter that day was an ACS parent, The nurse consultant in the early days regarding the pick line was an ACS parent. Sandra's had blood drawn by ACS parents several times over the years. She had a nurse on the oncology ward who was a former student. The quality of care and love from all of them has been overwhelming as consistently they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide comfort and exceptional care for Sandra. I can't possibly list all of the ways Sandra and we as a family have been blessed over the years by the ACS community. Every instance of encouragement and prayer have been appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It is common to travel over Spring Break. Sandra loved to travel. Her last big sightseeing trip was in the summer of 2011. She flew to Newfoundland and attended Festival 500, the international choral festival with her niece. They attended workshops, sang in the mass choir and stayed with a dear friend of Sandra's. They had a few days also for sightseeing on that beautiful island. Here are a couple of pictures from that summer. 

Sandra the coal miner with that great smile on her face

Sandra and her niece in beautiful Newfoundland

In this time of travels--geographically, physically or spiritually, I want to share this prayer with you from an Irish contemplative--appropriate with celebrating St. Patrick's Day yesterday.

Help me to journey beyond the familiar into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways
and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You
to be stronger than each storm within me.
I will trust in the darkness and know
that my times, even now, are in Your hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,
and somehow, make my obedience count
for You. 

--Prayer of St. Brendan

--blog update written by Ardie


  1. ACS is certainly a special place with special people. Teaching at ACS with you Sandra was also an unforgettable time. The students loved going to your music classes and I was always amazed how how you kept them so focused with your quiet, gentle manner. What a gift of teaching you have. AND yes Sandra you loved to travel!! I remember our fantastic trip to Finland...your trips to Holland, and beautiful Friesland where your roots are, and a place you love so dearly. I can't go to Hinderlopen without thinking of you and your dancing aunt and uncle. What a privilege and gift to have spent these memorable times together.

    It is such a comfort to know our God watches over us where ever we are in His beautiful world. Our prayers are with you and your family Sandra. with love, Annette and Sjoerd2

  2. Annette...I agree wholeheartedly with your comments! That trip to Finland was such a wonderful time...I remember it fondly. And Sandra, I have many photo albums and memories of traveling with you! I believe our last Spring Break trip was to the States and I remember going to the tulip festival in La Conner on Easter Sunday!!

    Ardie, thanks for your post. I haven't heard of this Prayer of St. Brendan before...but I sure do love it. And it is such an appropriate one.

    Sandra - I hope you got to enjoy the sunshine today and that it warmed you heart with a reminder of God's love.


  3. Greetings from Nicaragua. It is now about 2 in the morning and the heat of the day has not dissipated much as there is no breeze. Hence, I could not sleep. Travelling is indeed a blessing. I am very much enjoying spending time with new and old friends here. The joy of travelling is getting a small glimpse of just how big God is and how he is at work in his world. Several people here in Nicaragua have asked about you, Sandra, and I know that people here continue to pray for you.
    It is a blessing indeed to be part of the ACS community and I am grateful that it has been such a blessing to you and your family. It is a blessing for me to know you. Though we have never traveled together, not even to Vancouver Island with Joyful Sounds as we did discuss on occasion, we have shared many good conversations. Those remain dear to me.
    I look forward to seeing you again when I return to Abbotsford next week. Rest well in the embrace of God's love.

  4. Holding Sandra and your family in prayer. What a comfort to know ourselves held in the everlasting arms of God.