It’s been a mad dash lately between preparing for South Africa, transitioning out of Ottawa jobs/volunteer commitments and the like. To add to the list, we now have to downsize even further with our furniture, belongings and L-A’s art – since our renter (mind you we HAVE a renter for 12-15 months, thank God!!) wants our place mostly unfurnished. This means extra expense of storage, and we still need people to take in kitchen things and packed china in boxes.
Even though it’s been an intensely busy time, with small ministry events (small because many of the invited guests are as busy as we are), we took two nights/three days out to go to Penn Yan, NY in the beautiful Finger Lake region. L-A had good memories there with her mother in April 2014, and it was time to introduce Tony to some of the delights of the region. We could have easily stayed longer, but we enjoyed what we could. Tony got to read a book called “The God Ask” by Steve Shadrach, which was recommended TWICE by completely different friends – one, missionary that L-A met in Virginia, who is now in Guatemala. The second, a friend who is admin at Ottawa’s OneWayMinistries. We thank both ladies for the leading to tell us about this important book. It’s about partnerships.
During our preparations, L-A has been nudged more than a few times about the importance of regular partners to walk alongside of us. Patricia King was shown this when she was building up Extreme Prophetic and we were “breaker team” partners for ten years. L-A doesn’t regret sowing into this ministry. Then L-A was reading Mattheus Van Der Steen’s “Dare to Dream,” which mentions how the Holy Spirit drew two people to Mattheus who sponsored him exactly what he needed to minister full time and leave a bed store that he worked in. L-A took that as a cue that we needed to find sponsors – not by begging to everyone, but a strategic, prayerful ask of specific people. Iris doesn't believe in begging - we're just sharing our journey, and we're thankful for what God is showing us. He brings people alongside us, so we don't walk alone.
Not all people are meant to be sponsors – some are called to sow smaller amounts, others to encourage, offer practical help and there are the prayer people. All are needed. So for us, apart from preparing to leave Canada (a huge job), leaving jobs and placements, and moving from the condo, we are reaching out to people as well. But this isn’t about money – it’s about relationship. We will genuinely miss seeing these people and care about each of them. We thoroughly enjoy connecting, whether it’s about a cup of tea and share, a latte and a hug, or at one of our ministry events.
L-A learned back in 1993 the importance of relationship while she was in Nairobi, Kenya – on her first mission trip. Relationship and interdependence is very healing. We were created to be in relationship. This doesn’t mean that we look to people to fill our needs. Only God can do that. But God uses people to bless each other. He uses us. He uses you. He uses our friends and family.
Don’t be afraid to accept love through others. Don’t be afraid to step out and bless someone, even if it’s a smile. L-A has been told many times that her smile really touches hearts and makes people feel noticed. We’re not meant to be invisible. We need each other, especially in this social media connected culture, but face-to-face starved world. While we do need to be alone at times, it’s important to not be isolated. We were not created to be lonely, but to be in community.
So while we connect with people, we always remember Iris Core Value #2: We depend on God, and believe in his miracles. Sometimes the extreme grace miracles happen by stretching the resources like a little boy’s lunch to feed five thousand, or the widow whose oil multiplied to fill many, many jars. We’re just putting out the jars and seeing what God will do. Mama Heidi Baker always says that love looks like something. It's true. Love is intentional and stops to say "I see you," without just rushing on in busyness. We've been on both sides, so we know.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to join our newsletter list please contact us via the general contact form on Copplewesterncape.ca via the contact page. To join our prayer people, just let us know that you’d like to be on that list instead.
We also have 24 pieces of art that we need to sell before we leave Ottawa, so please consider buying a piece so we don't have to store them, and the funds will help us set up house in South Africa. We've added a few images at the bottom of this article, so please scroll on!
Laurie-Ann and Tony
If you give online, please make sure to scroll down to South Africa-Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple. God bless you!
Here's just a taste of some of the available pieces
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
L-A's devotional blog
TONY'S DEVOTIONAL BLOG
Tony's south african journal
TONY'S POST MISSION JOURNAL