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Driving to Camp

I love driving on the highway--there are always interesting things to see and driving to the retreat last weekend was no exception. The Red River has been flooded for about a month and is taking its time to recede. At the height of the flood, the main highway, 75, from Winnipeg to the US was 3 meters (over 9 feet) under water and a detour has been created--using the highway to Winkler. Highway 75 is divided, with two lanes of traffic in each direction--because of all the heavy traffic it bears. Highway 3, which is bearing all its own traffic plus the extra US traffic, is undivided with only one lane in each direction and gravel shoulders--dangerous conditions for those who like to speed (and those around them).

The traffic was constant and so, instead of trying to rush and pass people, I decided to follow behind the semi in front of me. Drivers behind me, however, were impatient with the pace—despite the fact that we were going a tad over the speed limit. What really disturbed me was the passenger bus that kept easing out into the lane of oncoming traffic, wanting to pass. When it finally made the attempt, I prayed like crazy.

Something that amazed me was the bridge just past Brunkhild. It is level with the road and the water was lapping both sides of the bridge within a foot of the pavement. I wonder if the road was covered when the water was higher.

The highway turns in Carmen but just before the turn I saw a yard sale. I debated whether or not to stop but at the last minute I decided I would and pulled into a parking lot next door. The sale was the product of about six families of Old Mennonites. These are the people where the women wear long skirts or dresses and keep their heads covered. What sorts of things would they sell?

Top quality shoes, some hardly or never worn, from top brands. I should have spent time hunting through them to find something that would work for me but I didn't. I did buy a large, hand-made blue rug for Mons’ room—the room I want to have a winter/arctic theme when the room is free. It will work well. I bought a framed picture with words about love that I thought very fitting for Tom and me and a small, cubic candle and holder that matches.

The yard sale took time away from my intended lunch at a tea shop in Winkler and didn't leave me time for even a cup of tea. I walked around the store, looked at what they were selling and went back to the car where I sat, doing some preparation for speaking. When I got to camp, I discovered that the place is huge with many buildings and I didn’t have a clue where to find the group I was to be with. Thankfully, the one person I knew had arrived just a minute before me and was getting out of her car. Whew! No hunting needed!

More about the weekend to come.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …