Al and Rita Chretien left their home in British Columbia on March 19, 2011 to drive to a trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was not until March 30, 2011 when they hadn’t arrived home as expected that their family realized they were missing. Family, friends and police have all joined in the search, but no one knows where they are. Perhaps Al and Rita don’t even know where they are. But God knows. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5)
I can only imagine the anguish that this family is going through. They have a grueling and emotionally draining task ahead of them as they search for their parents. Joshua also faced daunting challenges. In Joshua 1:9, he had just become the leader of the Israelites. It was his task to take them across the Jordan River and into the land that God had promised them. Like the Chretien family, Joshua did not choose this role; he was chosen by God to complete it. God had been preparing Him for it, and God would enable him to do it. Joshua’s requirement was to obey the laws of Moses, to meditate on the word of God, and to be strong and courageous. Three times in Joshua 1:6-9, Joshua is told to be strong and brave, but it is not in his own strength that Joshua was to do this. By obeying the law of Moses, therefore being right with God, and by meditating on God’s word, therefore remembering His commands and promises, Joshua would draw his strength from God. Success would not depend on Joshua’s abilities, but on his obedience. God would keep His promise to Joshua and the Israelites, but they had to do their part too.
The fulfillment of God’s promise to the Israelites took a lot longer than they would have liked. In today’s society, we have become accustomed to instantaneous results, and we become frustrated when things happen slowly. God sees things from a different perspective, and His timing is often much slower than we would prefer. He has never promised to give us immediate results, and if we had them, we would surely risk believing that we had succeeded in our own strength and be vulnerable to pride. When the challenges we face are harder than we can imagine, such that we need to be repeatedly reminded to be strong and brave in order to face them, we will know that any positive results we achieve are because of God’s goodness. May all the glory go to Him.
Al and Rita Chretien are parents, grandparents, business owners and much loved members of their community. They were last seen on March 19, 2011 in Baker City, Oregon on their way to Las Vegas. They were driving a brown 2000 Chevrolet Astro mini van with British Columbia plate number 212 CAV. If you have any information about this couple, please contact your local police department and cite Penticton RCMP case file 2011-3395. And please keep this family in your prayers.
More information can be obtained from the family’s Facebook page:
Missing – Al and Rita Chretien
On September 29, 2012, Albert Chretien's body was found by elk hunters, 11 kilometres from where the van had been stranded. He had been going in the right direction to find help, but the terrain was steep and wooded, and the snow was up to ten feet deep at the time. His body was found intact with identification still in his pocket.