Sorry we've been silent for a while but we've been waiting on a couple of news items. The first is a good report on the scan of our son-in-law Brad's small intestine. As you know he has a syndrome that causes hundreds of polyps in his large intestine and caused him to have that organ removed last year. We were apprehensive about the state of his small intestine but the scan on Sept. 11th pronounced him clear. We rejoice and thank you for your prayers. You can read the continuing reports of Brad's journey and also see pictures of their family on their web site: www.caringbridge.org/visit/bradlobb.
The other news is that we have made a decision about our future. We know that many of you have been helping us pray this through and are anxious to hear. We were looking at several jobs in the beginning (most with IMB) and finally narrowed it to two last month. We made our planned trip to Canada August 21st to visit with our family there and since the Canadian IMB and Convention offices are near Calgary we were able to have two interviews. In the process things began to be clear to us and after the last interview we decided to move in the direction of relocating to Montreal, Quebec in January, still as IMB representatives. Of course there is a process including medical clearance and trustee approval but we are starting that journey now and anticipating that all will be well.
This is of course (if it happens) a very different location and assignment from what we've been doing. Rather than intense heat we will be subjected to intense cold, for one thing! Rather than relating mostly to a third-world culture we'll be working in a very secular, post-modern situation. And for the first time we are going to a place with which we are totally unfamiliar and to which we haven't ever been! (Some may not remember that we are MKs from West Africa and thus pretty much "went home" when we landed there). We are excited that we will still be working with an unreached people group (the French Canadians, who number 6 million and are less than 1% evangelical). And, we will be going back to the basics of evangelism and discipleship, teaching and training after more than 15 years in administration. A side benefit is that the Canadian IMB and Convention offices are in Cochrane, Alberta, where we spent a semester in 2004, so when we go back for meetings we'll be able to see the family in Calgary! (just about 45 minutes distant)
We ask for your prayer support as we move in this direction. We have plenty of questions and a steep learning curve. We know we will have to emotionally withdraw from West Africa where we have many roots and more than a half century of history, as well as many, many colleagues, friends and other folks for whom we will continue to pray. And while we have striven to follow the Lord all our lives, this time we more truly relate to Abram, who was asked "Go out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house into a land that I will show you." We pray that we may be a blessing there, as was he.
We had an excellent twenty days in Calgary with Brad, Laura, and the kids. We celebrated two birthdays, Carson's (3) and mine (56). We bonded with little Autumn, who is still quite tiny but has a great personality and will soon be walking, although she is already quite mobile. She loves it when we "fight" over her (she knows she's a princess!) Jaren began going to kindergarten while we were there. The boys are both excited about coming to visit us in Georgia for Christmas, and are avidly collecting cans and bottles for "rycycling," as Carson calls it, to help with the trip expenses. If you're interested here's a link to a few pictures:
I had bought an old mini-pickup before going up and with the help of my brother Richard put some bucket seats in it (so Gail can recline!) Brad (an excellent carpenter) built a console for me with storage for CDs, sunglasses, and cupholders. It is absolutely beautiful and looks like it should go in a limousine instead of a pickup! A great birthday present for me, of which I'm quite proud.
Please continue to pray for Brad, as he has a spot on his thyroid. He is to get that checked on the 24th of this month. Laura is also interviewing for an occupational therapy job that she can do part-time, as Brad will not be working as much in carpentry. They will take turns staying with the kids.
We continue to enjoy the great hospitality of Macedonia Church here in Hiawassee. They have graciously allowed us to stay on until we move to our next place. We are well located on the northern border of Georgia, in the mountains, on the banks of beautiful Lake Chatuge, not far from Cleveland, Helen, Clayton, Franklin, or Murphy. Come see us!
Again thanks for your prayers which have helped us to traverse this time of transition. You mean a lot to us and we always love hearing from you.
Yours in His service,
Baker & Gail Hill
PO Box 474, Hiawassee, GA 30546
706 896 4887