This letter is easily my favorite letter out of all the deputation letters I’ve written over these years. The reason being that we are actually finished with deputation! We will officially be moving to Canada on August 11. Thank you for your faithfulness to pray and support our work in Toronto. Now, let me fill you in on an action-packed month.
We had three meetings this month in this order—Faith Baptist Church of Emporia, Virginia; Ronda Baptist Tabernacle of Ronda, North Carolina; and a late blessing to be able to present at Central Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between the Virginia meeting and the North Carolina meeting, we squeezed in a crazy week at our church’s Junior Camp in North Carolina. We both had our hands full with some “interesting” young people. I almost thought I had met my match with the group of boys I was given; but with a lot of prayer, patience, and coffee, we made it through the week. Our team, the Wolves, started out the week in dead last with some pretty low morale, but by the end of the week, our boys and girls had rallied and ended up winning the whole competition. To see them grow as a team and as Christians throughout the week was so rewarding. The truth is that Liz and I grew, too, that week by having to stretch beyond ourselves and depend on God to guide us as we led our team. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Many souls were saved and surrendered that week; I personally got to lead a boy named Henry to Christ after one of the services.
After Junior Camp, we packed up our bags and headed to the Canadian border to apply for our visas—or what we thought were visas. It turns out, Americans don’t need visas to live long-term in the country; we need a Visitor Record. This simple mix-up of semantics cost us a lot of time and ultimately a refusal of what we called a visa. We were allowed to come in for the week and seek housing possibilities. We looked at many places before we found something that worked for us, but hanging over our heads was the fact that we weren’t technically allowed to live in the country yet. Ultimately, we decided to head back to the American/Canadian border to try again with updated paperwork and proper wording to ask for a four-year Visitor Record. All glory to God, after a little bit of waiting, we were granted a one-year Visitor Record. Afterwards, we settled on the apartment, which is at 58 Lensmith Drive, Aurora, Ontario, Canada. It wasn’t all business that week though; Liz and I were both blessed to lead someone to Christ during Thursday night soul winning! Liz sweetly led Shamim, a Persian lady, to Jesus on her front porch. She was so shocked that she could know for sure she was going to Heaven. I led a young man named Benjamin to Jesus as well.
Immediately after we settled our affairs in Canada, we headed to Hammond, Indiana, for FBMI’s first annual Missions University, a variant form of Candidate School that is set in a forum style, where veteran and new missionaries talk about the issues that will help our respective ministries. It was such a great week of listening to some veteran heroes of mine share ideas with us. We also took care of our Final Exit Interview at FBMI in which we made sure we were ready to go to the field. I can’t overstate the blessing FBMI has been in assisting, training, and encouraging us. I’m proud to be an FBMI-assisted missionary. I had one last soul-winning blessing this month when we joined in with First Baptist Church of Hammond’s Super Saturday Soul Winning. Despite extremely loud traffic and some nasty weather, Cameron got saved on his front porch.
We made one last trip to say farewell to our sending church and family in Louisiana. We even inserted a surprise blessing into our plans when I was asked to present at Central Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. It was a simultaneously sweet reunion and sad farewell as we left my family and church behind to start this new chapter in our lives. Without the influence of St. Amant Baptist Church, I don’t know where I’d be today. From the first ride on the church bus to the last youth trip across the country, they were led by God in teaching and training me. Thank you, Preacher Meister and Bro. Chuck Smith, for all your hard work.
Pressing toward the mark,