Catalyst Project

Facilitating wheelchair services through faith-based hospitals in low-resource countries.

I wrote this yesterday on US Thanksgiving Day. Our Canadian day was in October. Either way, thanksgiving comes in the fall. It's a rich harvest time, but is on the cusp of winter. Here in Alberta, all of nature is downsizing and heading into challenging times. The pasture where I walk our dog gets simpler with the loss of summer birds and leaves. The texture of grass, rocks and flowers is lost under the abstract of windblown snow. For songbirds the time of songs, babies and bugs is over, no more home territory, just a long hard trip to a new place.

A robin is sitting on the snowy branch of an otherwise bare bush.

Most stories have a pattern like the seasons

I had a professor who taught that most literature begins when things seem good, then there is loss and struggle until hope returns. The seasons of loss are the most interesting. What would a story be with no challenges? 

I asked my aunt how she was doing, and she said, “I just get more and more content.” I know she has suffered loss and realized her contentment was a choice. I wanted tips!!! She basically said, as I understood her, “I thank God for all that I had and lost. It is still part of me, and God holds it for me. I leave it in his hands and live gladly in each day he gives.”

We lose possessions, old friends, jobs - shedding them like fall leaves. Maybe they can also be like fall leaves which are remade to foster future growth. Asking a question like, “Whose life would be most blessed by our camping stove?” has given me joy. I've found it mutes the sadness that comes when it’s time to give something up. Even passing on jobs can be like that. For example, God gave us the gift of connecting mission hospitals to resources to care for those with disabilities. That was challenging and fun. Now it time to let that go on to others and watch them fly with it. And encouraging things are happening! 

AT Catalyst website updated with the new team

Stripped down pure beauty

Stepping back, simplifying, packing only what one can carry, has joy. In the end, like the birds, we can each only bring ourselves. I recently heard the last verse of “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” and understood it from a fresh point of view. It says, “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also. The body they may kill, Gods truth abideth still. His kingdom is forever.” There is a clean joy on one clear focus. In photography, they call in minimalism, kind of like the snow drift photo below.

Thanksgiving prayer for you.

Migration for the songbirds is very hard. I pray that your times of loss will lead to a new warm, sunny space.

A large snowdrift is set against a blue sky with a few scattered clouds.

Doing what we can with joy

It’s an encouragement to remember Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord." One thing we seem to be able to keep working at for now is photography. I’m hoping to focus on getting the news out so that our photos of nature can bring joy into homes.

Below is a link to our website. Perhaps either with books or art, there might be a Christmas give there to bring joy to someone.

Our website for art and books

I'm grateful for what we can do and praying for good open doors for each of you to find the work that is still there to do.