Melody has been a very special part of our lives and our church for quite a lot of years now. We have always dreaded her path being directed away from the valley, because ,well she’s part of our furniture. She has been with us through thick and thin and allowed us into her life, through her transparency, her hospitality and her acceptance. It has always been a pleasure and an inspiration. Melody truly never lets anything stop her, she has a big view of God and so, has big dreams and a courageous boldness to follow them. She has a heart that always sees the treasure in other people, and so has become a treasure to many people. She has invested heavily in our church, in it’s children, in my children and in people, and so she doesn’t just leave behind friends, but friends in whom she has made a difference.
Here in her own words is why Melody is off to China
It all began seven years ago…
I innocently went to my first IVCF student leadership camp in 2005, having no idea that when I left, I would be preparing to go to Asia. IVCF is a college/university ministry group. As soon as our director announced the trip my heart said, “yes!“
Armed with a few Mandarin greetings and lots of support, our team of 17 went to Asia. There were many new experiences waiting for us: squatty toilets; a 40% ceremonial barley wine; out-of-this-world noodles, cashew chicken and sweet and sour pork; riding camels and 4x4s; sliding down dessert sand dunes; bartering in an open market; drinking hot water; watching old ladies skillfully play hackey sack; super teamwork made by working together to carry Nicole’s wheel chair up the massive steps and slopes. The greatest new experience was building relationships with our Asian partners. I was initially quite nervous about the “being together 24-7″ agreement. I like my alone time and I wondered if my partner and I would get along. Just as our Father provided funds to go, he provided me with an amazing experience with Eleanor, my partner. When we met, Eleanor jumped up and down with excitement and took my hand for the next six weeks. Through basketball, culture games, meals, singing and evening strolls we became great friends. A love for Eleanor, the other students and Asians began to grow deep in my heart. The next year’s GP in Asia brought more challenging relationships. Our Canadian team was larger with less familiar people and my partner and I did not immediately bond. The honeymoon was over. During tearful meetings, I was encouraged to persevere and reach out in love. Our prayer times as a Canadian team and reading the word became vital. Every morning I was reminded of the verses, “love always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” During the last week, my partner said to me, “I trust you now.” Another Asian student gave me a heart necklace and I knew that the students in that city and their country would always be in my heart.
For the last five years I have been studying for my B Ed with the desire to return to Asia one day. As graduation approaches, that “one day” is coming soon! My initial plans to begin my career in Canada changed when I heard about a Canadian school in Asia that uses the BC curriculum. After an impromptu interview on Easter Sunday and some encouraging phone calls I was hired! So I am fleeing the tough BC job market and looking forward to my own place for the first time ever, cashew chicken, noodles and seeing Eleanor again! I know that our Father has many surprises, blessings, and challenging adventures for me in Asia for the next, 2,6,10 or 20 years! He is our faithful, wise Shepherd.