In the summer of 2020, Mike and I will be moving to California to be closer to my parents.
This is a teachable moment from our time at the WEC home base. To communicate the full eﬀect, I have to share an incident that happened before coming to Canada.
We had been attending my church in Sacramento for two years. Just before we left, Pastor Dan had told us how grateful he was because we never complained and attended all the meetings. He even had us come up to the front to thank us. We had to sort of chuckle between ourselves, because we knew the reason we were so easygoing – we would soon be leaving! We had not become overly emotionally connected. That left us free to serve, and enjoy what God was doing. We weren’t tempted to criticize and try to ﬁx what we thought could be done better. I remember telling God that I wanted always to be free of my own emotions and enjoy what He was doing wherever we would be going.
My story starts with SM, who was at home base between assignments. She was a baker in the country where she served. One afternoon, SM happily made a delicious batch of those chocolate chip cookies with the most buttery smell for World Focus (our monthly Saturday evening public meeting). Not for staﬀ breaks. But for World Focus. They were cooling on the counter right before dinner time so I told her we’d have to move them so candidates wouldn’t eat them. I had come to know this particular candidate class ate… a lot! Plus, add my husband to the mix… and there would be very few cookies left for World Focus. So I had her move them out of the way, which made her clearly, no longer happy. But that was okay – because I was the steward of those cookies. They were of WEC ingredients, using WEC electricity, WEC hot water to wash up, for a WEC function. I was simply stewarding those cookies and therefore justiﬁed in my action!
A few months later, on another easy-going afternoon, I was happily making a batch of cookies for World Focus. Not staﬀ break. They were cooling. There were no candidates so I did allow a few staﬀers to take one. One staﬀ member came for another. That staﬀer could tell from my face that I was stewarding those cookies and was not happy. Over their shoulder on their way out they said to me, “O Laurie. If anyone complains about that cookie missing, you just send them to me, okay?” That’s the sort of sarcasm I was used to growing up — and something that I would have thought was funny in those days, coming from family. But … this time … I was not laughing. In fact, I was becoming a bit angry. And while I stood there at the counter — just in time – the Holy Spirit interceded for me and said, “This is not your kitchen and that was not your cookie.”
It’s not my kitchen. God was showing me where I had gone beyond stewardship – to ownership. He showed me where I was believing it was indeed my kitchen. I had become overly emotionally connected. But it’s not mine. Nothing here is. Mine. In my moving on, I’m not leaving anything behind. It’s God’s. It’s all God’s. That makes it a little easier to leave. Pray with us for replacements on staff at Hamilton for Mike and Laurie Boling. Mike has been leading our ESL program while Laurie managed the kitchen and helped in administration. They also served as deputies to our leaders. Their contribution to WEC Canada is very much appreciated.