Wow! What a great time in Canada! Canada always comes through. Have I ever had a non-enjoyable moment in the country of Canada? I don't think so. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all who attended the 2011 Theologue at Gardner Bible College. Everyone was so incredibly nice and attentive and supportive. It was an honor to be there. I got back on Friday evening. It was a long day. I finished up the theologue, had lunch with the attendees, cleaned up my room and drove 3 hours to Calgary. Stopped off at the Olive Garden (YES!!!!!!!!!) for a super quick dinner of infinite pleasure---and then a short stop at the big Canadian Borders-like bookstore (Chapters) and dropped off the rental car at Calgary International. Eight hours to London, three in transit, and 1hr and 20 minutes back to Berlin.
Marco had just returned from his first ever trip away from home. His class of 2nd graders spent 2 1/2 days (that is a LONG time) at a camp 2 hours north of Berlin. We were very much the worried parents...okay I was...and he ended up having a great time. That night I slept like 16 hours! And then last night I slept about 3 hours. So I'm messed up.
It was very interesting to see Calgary. I never did make it to Banff, but I saw the Canadian Rockies from a distance. It was nice to see my friends Dan and Laura in Edmonton who are expecting their first child---Patrick or Patrickella in a few months. Dan is one of only three people that read this diary. On Sunday I visited Gracepoint Church in Edmonton and was very impressed by Pastor George and the whole ministry team. The church is really growing and Pastor George's sermon was great.
After Edmonton, it was down to Theologue for 18 hours of Patrick unplugged. Now they know what it's like to be Jamie. That's a lot of talking, but this was such a wonderful, receptive, and respectful audience. I appreciated their attentiveness.
As I told them in Canada, our CHOG connections extend everywhere. My father was literally born in a broom closet at Gardner College in Camrose, Alberta. I wish I were kidding, but I am not. Apparently that sacred spot was torn down once the new buildings were constructed. Sorry Dad. But it's true...my Dad is from Canada and was named after Harry Gardner. It was very interesting to be in my father's birthplace after hearing about it all my life.
Next week I go to Bulgaria to see the cell in a women's prison where my sister was born.
Okay, thanks again Canada! Unfortunately you gave us Justin Beiber, but it's cancelled out by the fact that you also gave us Rush.