A Trip to the Gulf Islands – A Time of Rest, Awe and Wonder

A Trip to the Gulf Islands – A Time of Rest, Awe and Wonder

I write from the ferry – I’m fascinated by all this: being in a ferry with lots of cars, getting off the car and moving about in the ferry, relaxing, having lunch, shopping. Not only that, I could even go out and stand and gaze on the mountain and ocean as the ferry moves, carrying all of us and all the cars in a smooth sail. I’m loving this! I stand in awe and wonder: contemplating God’s creation from the ferry and being thankful to God for the intellect He gave to human beings to build amazing things like a ferry. The wonder of God’s creation and technology come together here.

We are all interconnected in this life and our lives affect that of others, for better or for worse. We’ve had two deaths in our parishes: men (Gerry and Vern) whose lives affected us for the better. Sometimes in death we realize in a very deep way that we belong to each other and we truly miss our loved ones.

Preparing the two funerals was a hard one for me. I knew the two men well. Some part of us has died. I know that they have returned to the home of our Father; I knew that they’d live again but still I knew that we won’t see them on this part of the shore. Heaven has gained! We must wait for the day of reunion in Paradise. As I look out at the vastness of the ocean, the strength of the mountains, the beauty of the sky, my heart was still, at peace and a simple joy welled up within me. I had a sense that we all, and the whole of creation, is safe in the hand of God who loves us as deep as the ocean and strong as the mountain: the God who is beauty Himself!

Back to the ferry. We are still having a smooth sail. I love it. How did I get here? I’ll tell you. After Vern’s Funeral, our brother Nolan Adam (Director of Providence Funeral Home) said to me: “Fr, you look really tired; my family and I would love to take you to Vancouver Island to get some rest. You’ll enjoy the ocean and its freshness, and spend some time on the boat. “Really?”, I was excited about that and was about to go and begin packing my bag but then I remembered that I’m not taking the whole parish with me and they’ll still show up for Mass on Monday morning. What should I do so that I don’t miss this opportunity? I don’t want to snooze and lose 😊

I spoke to Fr. Harry and he offered to help me for the week. Yay! God bless him! I’m ready now for the trip!

Some Highlights

Almost ran out of fuel: Nolan really knows how to get the boat moving. As I was enjoying the sail, I reminded myself that I didn’t know how to swim so Jesus please make sure nothing happens to us 😊…. We got to a fuel station to refill the tank. “Sorry no fuel”, the lady said. Well, we are in trouble now. We had to sail back to check another station. It’s actually far. It seemed as if we would be getting stranded in the middle of the ocean. Eventually, we made it to another station. When we arrived, Nolan said: “Fr, I was a little worried but I knew I had a priest in the boat, so he better be praying.” Well, we could have prayed for a miracle – to change water into fuel.” 😊

First Mass on a boat: That night we had a Mass on the boat – my first!

Slept on the boat: My first! The boat seemed to tick tok me to sleep!

Goat on the roof: The following day, we went to Coombs. Emma, Nolan’s daughter, had been telling me about goat on the roof and she really wanted daddy to take Fr. Obi there to see the goats on the roof. That was so kind of her. But she also had another reason for wanting Dad and Mum to make sure we went to Coombs: she wanted some new toys! They sell beautiful toys there. Coombs is a beautiful tourist town. For sure, the goats were on the roof, enjoying some grass. We had a delicious Mexican dish and yummy dessert. There was no way we were going to leave without Emma and Noah getting their toys. With toys in their hand, the journey back to the Island (Ladysmith) is sure.

Flying Pig: The following day, we were ready to return but not without making a stop at a restaurant called The Flying Pig. Unfortunately they were closed. My next trip to Vancouver, I’ll make sure to check if they are back in business. The name is really catchy! Abby, Nolan’s wife, told me that it’s not just about the name but they serve good food!

Conference: I spent most evenings participating via Zoom in our annual Charismatic Gathering in the Spirit Conference. This year’s conference was exceptional as he tackled the topic “I am : All who are thirsty come …. come to Jesus!” Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks the fruits of the conference.

I’m grateful to Nolan and his family for such a lovely gift. Every evening, in my daily Mass, I prayed for you and our parishes. I love you all!

Refreshed from a lovely trip, I’m back to work – in the vineyard of the Lord.

Your brother,

Fr. Obi