It’s amazing what you can squeeze into one month! Never did I intend to wait this long to report back to y’all, but this shows me again that time flies when you’re having fun. Thank you a thousand times over for this opportunity; it’s not possible without your support, no matter the form it takes. We’ve had an exciting month with some unique happenings.
We actually began the month outside of Canada to attend Heart to Help Forum at FBC Hammond for some training and idea mining for our growing ministry needs in Canada. We met some old ministry friends and supporting pastors, which was very refreshing to us both. Afterwards, we headed to our final Missions Conference at Prairie View Baptist Church in Lake City, Illinois, which we had scheduled before we got to the field. Though it was difficult to leave our new church family, we got to reunite with a church we love that was so kind to us on many occasions as we passed through. The church spoiled us rotten with a great conference preached by Dr. Tom Williams and wonderful Christmas presents! We left further encouraged for the work.
We hustled back to Canada the night before Canadian Thanksgiving, which occurs on the second Monday in October, so we could be there to help on what we had laboured for and prayed would be a big day. We had a big community dinner planned, and as a church, we had given out very many invitations. We had a great day that was packed out with people! It was so wonderful to see all of the faces representing so many nations. The folks heard Pastor Johnston preach on thankfulness and the good news. Also, I began a new teen Sunday school series on Thankfulness, which corresponded with our Godly Character series. I issued a challenge to our teens that challenged them to give thanks in different ways in order to help them grow in this vital character trait. All would eventually complete the challenge and earn a spot in our first (for us) youth activity. Praise the Lord! It’s the highlight of our week each time we get to meet with our teens.
Since moving to Canada, we’ve grown to appreciate what full-time, go-get-‘em, long-night, where-did-the-time-go days feel like. On our missionary team, I’m responsible for teaching our teens and for preaching/teaching in our afternoon services, along with sharing soul-winning and visitation aspects of the ministry. I find it’s hard work keeping up with just those responsibilities. We have a newly found appreciation for those missionaries who set out on their own and have to do everything for a long time before having any help. I say all that to set up the next part of our month, where Pastor Johnston and his family went on a long-overdue vacation with their entire family, which has never happened since they came to the field. He was able to leave the ministry in our hands while he and his family were gone. I now see what many of you pastors do every week; specifically, I know what Pastor Johnston has done all these years, and my respect of him and of all you pastors across the country has grown so much as I got a taste of what you all do in preparing for teaching and/or preaching up to four times a week. The Lord was with us that week in a special way. We had visitors that Sunday and a great spirit of unity within our church, as everyone pitched in to help me and my wife keep things running smoothly without our pastor. We had another blessing during this time, as we made a follow-up visit to a lady named Elizabeth who, a week prior, had come to visit the church for the first time. Elizabeth sweetly received Jesus in her living room after my wife and I talked with her for about an hour about Jesus and the Gospel! We’re so thankful to have had that opportunity.
Please keep us in your prayers as we begin a new ministry called teenIMPACT in which we will teach and train our teenagers to be Involved in service, Move toward Christ-likeness, Prepare for the future, Apply biblical principles, answer the Call to separation, and Tell others about Christ. Each week I’ll teach them lessons on soul winning and reaching people, and then we’re going to put that lesson to action as we take the teens out soul winning in our community. I’m burdened for our young people to pick up the torch and take responsibility for reaching Toronto for Jesus. We need more labourers here. Why not invest in what we already have? God bless you all. Have a Happy American Thanksgiving!
Pressing toward the mark,