The Confusion and the Chaos…
On my return to London, my home at the time, I was filled with anticipation as to what doors of ministry the Lord would open to me. Heart and mind filled with truth and understanding, the wondrous ways in which God had blessed and made possible these last three years… I was stoked! It was GREAT being a Christian!
Then, nothing happened!
Away from my college friends, the scurry of exams and graduation past, no assignments due, no appointments ahead, no target requiring disciplined mind and body. All was void. I felt like how Peter must have felt, after the resurrection, after seeing the empty tomb, after several post-resurrection appearances of Christ, waiting… now what? Days pass…what was Peter to do? “I’m going fishing,” he said (John 21:3). I grew bored too, and I needed a job.
I got work as landscaper, good wholesome work, physical, earthy work with long days and dirty hands. But it was empty work… work that earned money and brought good sleep at night, but, as far as I could see, work empty of spiritual purpose. Like Peter again, I toiled on at the task, but “caught nothing.”
Then I pulled a hip muscle! I had to quit.
None of this made any sense to me. What was God doing? What purpose had He in mind?
After two years I decided I would return to Saskatchewan. By my second day there I had found a job. I stayed with friends at first but soon after found accommodation. A local doctor was gaining international attention for his ground-breaking success in treating Parkinson’s—a disease with which my mother suffered. In time, I moved her to be with me and under this doctor’s treatment her condition greatly improved.
Based on essays I had written in Bible College one of my instructors had urged me to pursue writing further and I decided that now was as good a time as any to do so. I signed up for a correspondence course, joined a local writers group, and sent away for writers guidelines. Soon I was published and pursuing a career which became a compulsion… a calling?
I wrote devotionals for church bulletins, Christian periodicals, evangelistic tracts, newspaper items, interview pieces and contributed to writers club collections. My interest in language drew me to study sign languages and in time I wrote articles on deaf personalities, published a monthly journal for a local council on deafness and wrote the history of the Saskatchewan School for the Deaf.
While attending one sign language course I met the woman who soon became my wife. In time, she and I both became sign language interpreters. We formed a visual language charitable outreach organization which ministered in artistic sign, assisted in providing and developing church interpreters, even produced a 13-week, half-hour cable TV program filmed entirely in sign language with voice interpretation added later. The program featured deaf guests on a variety of topics with a signed gospel song and message afterwards. It aired in six cities and towns with cooperation of three cable studios in Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg.
Amidst all this Val and I were married, had two children and worked at two deafness related jobs, We also took in boarders, became an approved care facility for one more individual, ran a home daycare, managed a rental property, taught sign language classes and served in our church. It was a wild and crazy time!
Then my mother died, our jobs ended, and life prepared to take another dramatic turn.