Planes, trains and automobiles, that has been the past 13 hours of my life. This morning at 9:15 I flew to Vancouver, Canada via Montreal. Then I hopped on the Vancouver sky train to meet my friend Stuart, who drove me to the train station headed for Seattle. I will sleep in Seattle tonight and then catch the early morning train tomorrow for Portland to see my girls. Boy am I pooped.

The reason I am doing all this travel is cause I went home to Winnipeg on Friday, after 4 days of teaching on justice with YWAM in Vancouver. Some of you know this already from reading my twitter stream or Facebook posts, but the reason I went to Winnipeg (where I grew up) was to see my sister who just had a huge piece of cancer cut out of her arm.

It was great to be with Julie for a few days, but also hard. There is something scary and almost uncertain about going home to bad news. I mean most of us grow up wanting to avoid bad news coming to our family, let alone being far away from home when that news comes. My fear was extinguished when I walked into Julie’s house and saw her face, she didn’t look sick, she looked like my sister.

Most of our time the first day was spent talking, watching bad cable tv and making good old Canadian holiday treats, like butter tarts and sausage rolls. There was lots of time catching up on life, talking about family and playing video games on the iPad. All seemed normal, except for the fact that Julie was pretty weak and had a huge bandage on her arm. Then something happened that made me realize that this was real. Julie was counting her pain meds and realizing that she was going to run out before her next doctors appointment on Wednesday. All of a sudden I saw my big little sister afraid. It hit me hard, we are all sitting around hanging out and spending time, but the reason we are here is that my sister has a brutal illness, cancer.

The next two days were filled with more talking, laughing, and planning Christmas. Once in while Julie would say “I hope I’m not to sick during Christmas!” It broke me. I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I did what I thought she needed, we prayed. I don’t remember ever praying for my sister out loud. I mean I pray for her every day, but this time was different, we were together, my arm was on her and we were connecting together with Jesus. it really was all I had to give, and I know that is enough.

More and more I want my life to be marked by prayer. The reason it is so hard and awkward at times to pray for people is because it does work, and we have an enemy who doesn’t want us praying. I will continue to pray for my sister, for her healing and for courage to go through the next 15 months of chemotherapy. I will also make it a habit to turn quickly to prayer, for my family, friends and those around me who are hurting or celebrating. My challenge to you is to do the same.


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