S: A year of blessings
BC: ... now GO! bless others!
FC: A Year of Blessings
1: A family is pieced together with hope and faith. A family is quilted and bound with love and grace.
2: Dear Vanessa & Louis, "There's a time to gather and there's a time to depart." For the longest time I couldn't write you anything here, you came and go like a long-waited summer that storms in and out of my life so fast that I haven't even got a time to taste the flavor of it and the goodies are already been swallowed. Oh my! What just happened???!!! What did I miss out? I ask myself. Oh my dear friend, you make me love and hate the quote above so much. It is God's divine plan that we get a second change to be close friends again and experience " married with kids" stage together. A new chapter of our lives that begins with surrender ourselves to God and let Him change us and our beloved spouse. How amazing is He and how blessed we are to walk this journey hand in hand with each other. I'll store the stories we created together, the tears we shared together, the stupid jokes we laughed so hard about, all these memories, store them dearly in my heart. I know from my long-lived life these things don't come by easily. Thank you my dear friend, for being so true and real to me, thank you for your care and love for myself and my family. I look forward the time we meet again. I believe that quote will always happen now and then, but this time I'm ready! Ready to enjoy it with a big smile and a thankful heart! Bless you so much.... Will, Grace & Faith
4: Louis & Vanessa: It was such a blessing to know your family. Even though we are not in the same fellowship group, we were able to know your family in various ways. It will not be easy for us to say good bye. I can see that Vanessa has been growing in Christ in New Life, especially hanging out with good friends in the fellowship. I pray that you can continue to grow in relationship with Him and allow God to use you in ways that you cannot imagine. We pray for Louis and his practice, pray that God can provide the best possible location for your family to settle down, so you can also grow to know Him intimately and be a witness in your practice. Finally we pray for Ethan. We pray that he can come to know Jesus even in such a young age, and he can adjust to any new environment and new school. We ask God to protect your family as you journey on. Remember He will never leave you or forsaken you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-15 Love, Joe, Evelyn, Shannon, Hannah & J.J.
6: Dear Louis and Vanessa, Praise be to God for bringing you to Canada, not only for Louis to learn and advance in his career, but more importantly for you both to experience God in a deeper way than you ever did before. I have been blessed by your (Vanessa) presence and participation in our inner life group. I have cried with you as you shared openly about your struggles, feeling the pain of your brokenness, yet knowing that it is the hand of God upon your life. At times I laughed along with the sisters about the comical situations you found yourself in, and other times I praised God for revealing Himself to you in supernatural ways. I've been moved many times by your genuine desire to seek our Lord through your sharing and in your prayers. I know that the God who has begun the good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6) Though I haven't had much interaction with Louis, I know that he is genuinely seeking God's will for his future, instead of accepting the most attractive job offer that comes along. I know that God will bless your obedience to Him and use you both in the future. 1 Cor. 2:9 As it is written: “No eye has seen,no ear has heard,no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” We are blessed to know you and share our lives with you. brothers and sisters for eternity, Ken, Patty, Elisa, Gabriel, Elliot and Janelle
9: Dear Louis, Vanessa, and Ethan, Never thought one year ago when we met you at the church retreat, the year would've flown by so quickly and that we'd be so sad that you're leaving us just as we are getting used to Louis's witty comebacks! We are thankful for your friendships, the memories we shared, fellowships, perspectives class, and especially your lamb chops! hahaha... As you move forward to the next chapter of your lives, we hope that you will not forget about the New Life family you have here, the washing machine fetish you were able to rid, how beautiful the 'country' of Toronto is when blanketed by snow, and the 'Calgary' Road book we studied together but have yet to finish (hopefully you will both finish reading that book after you go back to New Zealand). Please keep in touch with us.... we'd like to visit you in the future and travel again with you! And maybe.... just maybe..... you might make Toronto your permanent home someday in the future! We will miss you. love in Christ, Sonia, David, Jonathan, and Matthew
10: " Vanessa, It is so wonderful getting to know you during our fellowship each week. Don't forget you have a family here in Toronto! I am going to miss you a lot. May our Lord bless you with His company!" Love, Christina
13: Dear Vanessa &Louise, (and Ethan) This is not a usual farewell comment so I hope that this below will richly bless your marriage and life together. I hope your experience here in Canada has and will continue to strengthen your marriage and truly deepen your love towards one another. It's hard to show each other love when we are exhausted plus a million other things.My pastor taught me and Chris during our pre-marital counselling... "Marriage is a race to out-give one another." Oh, we've got a long way to go too but its a good yet difficult challenge every day!!! Basically meaning that by humbling ones self, submitting,respecting and learning to surrender your "self," even when it hurts, it always benefits the marriage if one does it with a pure heart. Easier said than done. So I pray blessings for the deep love of Christ to really help lift you both up so that Ethan will grow in an environment that is full of love and compassion,forgiveness and submission to Christ as Head to love through your Lau family, then to the world. Have a safe journey back and Lord willing we may meet again if not on earth then when we rejoice together as brothers and sisters with our Lord one sweet day! Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. John 15:8-17 "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. Love in Christ, Grace,Chris and Sophia Oh
15: Dear Louis, Vanessa and Ethan: Your time with us has been too short! There is still work for you here though Vanessa - you need to stay longer to get Joe to the point where he will stop wearing his gold chain! During your time here, we have come to learn that you guys can be funny and crazy! We see Louis can smile and it has been nice for Joe to see there is another who looks just as scary as him! Getting to know you guys better through family fellowships and our recent trip to Montreal, we learned that Vanessa is so down-to-earth and also so patient. We never see her lose her cool with Ethan! Louis - thank you for sharing your love of fine dining with us! While we ate a lot of food we probably shouldn't have, it was all very yummy! You really surprised us this trip to Montreal. You are beautiful representatives of Jesus and our hope for you is that wherever God leads you, you will be able to share this with another group of people that find you as valuable as we do here. We feel like we will be losing a part of our family and hope one day you will come back here because...New Zealand is too far (and Joe is scared of flying)! hahaha You will be truly missed. Many blessings, Joe, Cassandra, Christopher and Andrew
18: Dear Louis and Vanessa It's been a great blessing to know your family in the last twelve months. I still remember the first time we met you at Christina house and I can't believe it's been an year already. I wish time can go back a bit more so I can get to know you more. We really like your family and Vanessa had showed such kindness to my friend when she was visiting with her baby. You are so genuine that it's always a pleasure talking to you. Also, we have learned so much from your sharing at Easter. It's wasn't an easy thing to show your emotion and even weak- ness in front of people but you always take the initiative of being the genuine one. That is truly inspiring to me. Louis, thank you for doing your fellowship in Toronto so we can get to know you. We'll always remember your lamb chop cuz they were so good!! Your adventure like personality makes you a great traveling buddy! Anyhow, we will really really really miss you! I know it may be hard too keep in touch but you will always stay in our heart and memory. Please remember all the brothers and sisters that love you in New Life. No matter how far away we are physically, we'll always support each other in prayer. Though it's hard to say good-bye, I know God has a great plan for you back in New Zealand. I know He will use your family to bless a lot of people. May God continue to strengthen and bless your family and may Ethan will find great friends like Faith and Abby in N.Z. We hope one day we can save enough money to come visit you in Auckland and hopefully our first kid will be around the same age as your second child. :) Please keep our contact and don't be shy to send us your prayer request whenever you need. We will always be your mental support!! From Daniel and Grace
22: All things grow better with love.