We have officially been in Canada for a little over a week! It has seriously been amazing! I am going to try my best to capture in words our experience so far, but I know they just won’t measure up.
Already, we have all learned so much from the people here. They are all so, so amazing. More and more God is affirming that Canada is exactly where we’re supposed to be right now. On Monday, we got to sit down with all of the pastors and their wives and hear their stories, their vision, and what they wanted us to do this summer. Church on the Rock has three church plants. The first couple is Pastor Josh and Lisa Arrington (Planted in Pitt Meadows, Canada seven years ago), Pastor Shawn and Whitney Lynch (Planted in Maple Ridge, Canada two years ago), and Pastor Austin and Ashley Cooper (Planted in Port Coquitlam, Canada almost a year ago). All of these families are from Texas, and they each have the same vision for the church, but they approach it in sometimes similar, but also very different and creative ways.
We all feel so absolutely blessed to be here. I personally feel like I am getting a disciple type of experience. We get to spend a whole summer getting to hear so much first-hand wisdom as well as be given opportunities for first-hand experiences. How amazing is that? I can’t get over it. Seriously. Already I have gotten to hear so many sides of what church planting looks like, and have been given such real advice for how to approach ministry in such a different culture. They can’t do things the same way in Canada because only a very small portion is believers. Their churches are small, but they are mighty. It is so refreshing to meet people in their congregations who are new believers and have such a child-like faith. And that is what the Bible tells us to have– child-like faith.
Children are in awe of the world around them, they follow, they soak up every word they hear, and they cling to you with the strongest of devotion and affections. That is so beautiful to see manifested in the faith of adult Christians here in Canada. For many of them, their new faith is not well received from their family and friends, but still, they continue to be filled with so much joy despite their struggles. That, more than anything, shows the people around them that there is something different about being a Christian. They know how to love one another so well, and they are a family in every way. We all love getting to be a part of it and are sure that these are people we will stay in touch with for years to come.
What is even more inspiring to us, is hearing how much all of the Pastors’ visions of what church planting and evangelism looks like, is exactly some of the conversations we have had as a group over this past year. God is just so awesome. He sent us to a place where the leaders happen to hold the same visions that we do, so then we get to learn from them what that looks like in reality.
This week we had what’s called “Kids Rock”, where we each go to different locations and gather up kids from the communities we are in to play games, sing songs, teach Bible stories, and just love them. All of the kids have so much fun and they are just yearning for someone to notice them and really hear their hearts. I’ve only met them once and my heart is already theirs. I am so excited to see how God is going to use us to minister. He is always faithful to give us great ideas to reach the people around us. So I know he will do amazing things at each of the Kids Rock locations.
If you keep up with us on facebook, you’ll know that we stood out on the dike this week and gave out free watermelons and waters and Gatorade’s. We gave out little cards that said “Just Because” with a smiley face. We went to the park, handed out free bubbles and played with kids and invited them to our July kids camp. Today, we helped the city set up a farmer’s market and got to help with a senior citizens TEA PARTY (AH YES, I KNOW, A TEA PARTY!!!!). So it has been a pretty eventful week, and that’s not even including Pitt Meadows Day, which is a day with a huge parade, and music, face painting, and bouncy castles. At night there’s a big fireworks show, and apparently, here fireworks shows are where all the kids show up to drink and hang out. So we went and did some ministry there, offering free water and bread, and a way out of uncomfortable/dangerous situations. At all of these events, some awesome connections were made with teenagers, kids, and adults, so PLEASE be praying over those. We feel your prayers and need them.
We have loved being here and we have bonded really well with the other interns and people here. I know I have said “love”, “awesome”, and “amazing” a million times, but like I said at the beginning, there’s no way I can capture in words our experience here. Hopefully, the pictures will help. Also, our video from our travels through America is done! So check that out (creds to Tom) by clicking the link below!