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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Truly the Lord Has Been With Me

Robert Rundle and wife
In celebration of Canada Day, I have decided to look to Canada's colonial experience through the eyes of the missionary, Robert Terrill Rundle. In his journal dated September 7, 1840 he writes:
"Truly the Lord has been with me. I feel He will be my guide even unto death."
He wrote that line on the day of his departure from Norway House, a community north of Lake Winnipeg. Having lived a year on the western side of Lake Winnipeg I can well imagine how difficult it would have been in that harsh land. Indeed, he had a difficult time finding interpreters who would enable him to share the Gospel with the natives in the area. Still, he counted his time there prosperous.

The land he would be traveling to via the Saskatchewan River to what is now Alberta would be just as fierce as Manitoba. Seven years later, he established a mission on the shores of Pigeon Lake in Alberta. Poor health and an injury led to him returning to England. There, he continued as a Methodist minister.

On his journey, he recorded a fierce wind he called a hurricane, a wildfire he described as impressive, and a hailstorm that led him to pen:
"Felt blessed whilst waiting on God in the forest. Thought it was the first time God had been acknowledged in that place and was impressed with the idea that He who created and sustained the forest in which I knelt would also support and sustain me. Felt encouraged to pursue my Mission. May He go with me and ever hold me in His right Hand." (The Rundle Journals, September 25, 1840).
What courage missionaries like Robert Rundle had. They faced nature and man with the same courage that enabled Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
Today we have access to the same faith and the same courage. We also venture into the uncharted regions of our future. Only God knows what dangers we may face, what fear enemies will use to stop or hinder us, and because He knows, we have no cause to fear. He will sustain us. To Him be all glory and honor and praise. Let us all be as brave and confident as missionaries like Robert Rundle.
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." II Timothy 4:1-2

5 comments:

  1. It is so impressive to read about the perseverance, fortitude, and faith so many early settlers endured. Very interesting post and Happy Canada Day! Question, is 1840 considered colonial era in Canada?

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  2. Thank you, Carrie and Carla.

    Carla, Canada did not become a country until 1867. It was indeed still made up of English colonies in 1840. In fact Rupert's Land (which is where Rundle's mission would have been located) did not become a part of confederation until 1870. In 1868 the Hudson's Bay Company agreed to sell the land to the Canadian government (compare it to the Louisiana Purchase).

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  3. Thank you for the interesting Post.
    Happy Canada Day!

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  4. This is interesting, thanks for sharing. I never thought too much about Canada's colonial history; I may have learned a little in school but don't recall anything. I'll have to explore this some more.

    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

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