Justice or Just Us

Just a few short years ago I retired early from my nearly 30 years airline career retiring as a captain from Air Canada, packed up my household and headed overseas to serve as a pilot-missionary with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Papua New Guinea.  Leaving ten years early represented leaving the better part of two million dollars yet to be earned.

We did what we thought was the “right thing” and hired a financial advisor to help us plant our pension savings earned up to that point, in a safe and productive manner.  The advisor was well known to the community, had promotional material created with folks like Jeff Hutchinson, and Mark Tukesbury among others, who’s images were presented and linked to that of Daniel P Reeve, of DPR Financial, Millionaire In You, and other entities representing Reeve’s business interest.

Mr. Reeve appeared on Canada AM and the local CTV news at times as a commentator on financial matters,  had several published books available at Canada’s largest booksellers, and his  sponsorships for  Crime Stoppers events gave him credibility of the mainstream, perhaps not unlike that of Bernie Madoff may have held before his demise.

I met Mr. Reeve while he attended our local church adult Bible study hour.  He was quite, and well spoken.  He did not approach us, and it was a while even before I realized that he was a financial planner, and apparently successful having several offices located throughout Southern Ontario.  Eventually,  I approached him and asked if he could “fit us in” a consultation to help us plan financially for our intended mission work.    He agreed and that started us down a road of regrets…..  sort of. ( The us and we, my lovely wife Robin of  30 something years )

While we were out of the country on the mission field in PNG when we first began to think  things maybe, had changed back home and just maybe so did our financial advisor.   When we returned to the land of the wealthy we found out that much or our pension funds had disappeared and became untraceable.  We approached anyone and everyone who had even a tacit of connection with Mr. Reeve trying to find out if our suspicions were valid.  Family members, co-workers, insurance companies and even the  Ontario Securities Commission, when notified about our concerns did nothing except defer to others and denied an interest in Mr. Reeve’s activities.  At almost every turn towards “officialdom” a similar response.

Our loss would have seemed unbearable if it were not for the people we came to know whilst serving in PNG.  No matter how much I may have been ripped off,  I know the reality of it all is quite different when considered on the larger world’s terms and our place in it.  That is in the bigger picture of God’s creation.

Those who have had the fortune to be given life in another area of the planet, taught us a lesson of poverty.   Those folks will never have the opportunity I or my progeny have or had for financial gain.  However, in the eyes of many of those “poor” was  in fact a  “richness” with relationships that we Westerners will never have.  You see in our world, the world of the West, there really is little Justice, but there is more of an attitude of “Just Us”.  We hoard for ourselves, without a thought of others.  This is the greater reality.

Tonight as I write this Mr. Reeve is sitting in a jail cell, saving us not only from his greed and predatory nature, but that of our own willingness to share in the wealth he was supposed to protect or have  created i.e. my own greed and selfishness.    I believe he is guilty of scamming manipulating  without a conscience.   Many lost who could not afford to loose their life’s savings at least in the Canadian context.  It has taken more than a couple years to get to the point of a resolution with respect to Mr. Reeve’s activities whilst we were out of the country.  In the end we lost a huge chunk of our savings, but I guess the upside is we learned the real value and wealth from those on the surface with so little, but really, had so much more.  We have enduring relationships to this day from our time spent in PNG.  May the Lord Bless Them and Keep Them, and us all, including Mr. Reeve.

Smiles Within Poverty

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