Praise be to God for all the Ministry
that took place over our Spring Break!
Thanks for your prayers!
Home at the Harbour
Our team had the opportunity to serve and care for a variety of groups that the Lord brought to Capernwray Harbour during our Spring Break. It was a pleasure to see friends who have come before and as well to meet those on their first visit. Groups that came included quilters, rug braiders, cadets, youth groups, ladies & mens retreats, church retreats and school groups.
The quilters and rug braiders amazed us once again by their creativity. The cadets joined us for a few days of outdoor activities where principles such as personal growth and teamwork were taught and experienced during activities including the climbing tower, screamer, team initiatives course and the waterfront. A grade ten class from a local Christian high school joined us in activities where we talked about Christ being our standard and making the choice to grow in Him. Truth was applied in the context of the outdoors! A youth group came and spent time in the Word and also enjoyed some activities outdoors. We were blessed to visit with those on the ladies and church retreats and to hear what the Lord is doing in their lives.
It was wonderful to see the guests enjoying God’s creation through kayaking, sitting on the dock, going for walks, and just soaking in the view. The Lord was at work in their hearts and ours and we are grateful for His Life and what He will continue to do.
During the 2 1/2 weeks of traveling through Quebec, a group of students from Capernwray Harbour and Capernwray Quebec visited various missionaries to First Nations Communities, toured Montreal & Quebec City and visited other small towns. We went to each place prepared with testimonies, songs and dramas. We were ready to share the Indwelling Life of Christ as Lord, Saviour & Life as opportunities arose. Our vision and focus was to take time to see what the Lord is doing in the province of Quebec as well as serve alongside and encourage the local Church body. One highlight was our time spent in the town of Roberval. Within the population of approximately 11,000, there are only 3 believers. We asked ourselves what keeps them from the leaving this town? What is their motivation? Who is their motivation? The answer is crystal clear. It's not because they are amazingly strong believers but it is the One who lives in them that is amazing and strong. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the One and only reason these 3 believers are still there pressing on and sharing His love with the people of Roberval. It's never about the quantity of our faith but the quality or object of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ. We realized on this journey that no matter where we are, whether it be the city streets of Montreal, a small First Nations Community or here on Thetis Island, we all desperately need Jesus Christ and how necessary it is to allow Him to be in control of our lives.
Japan is an amazing country! It's a curious mixture of time-honoured tradition and futuristic technology. Japan's population density is high, but you can depart downtown Tokyo (a city of 12 million) and arrive in a remote mountain village less than 2 hours later where you're surrounded by towering trees, clear lakes and bold little monkeys. There are many, many Buddhist and Shinto shrines (very large and very small) throughout the cities and forests, but very few people actually have any faith in anything. The church in Japan is seemingly small, but the testimony of Christ's life in their midst is strong and true. It was a privilege to visit this country of contrast, we are thrilled with the ways that Christ worked in our midst.
Miracle number one: unity on the team that could only come from the indwelling life of Christ. We were quite the odd bunch thrown together!
Miracle number two: as we joined together each day for a time of prayer and reflection in 1, 2 Peter, the Lord Jesus would kindly give us the exact message of hope and life we needed to share with those we would meet that day. It was such a delight to hear directly from Him in this way and to then "be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have" (1 Peter 3:15).
All the other miracles flowed straight from these two, and so we dare to proclaim that the Lord accomplished the mission He had in mind. The pressure to keep up with work and social obligations in Japan is overwhelming (many work 70-90 hours a week) so they simply don't have time to think about spiritual questions. The Christians might feel like "strangers in the world" (1 Peter 1:1), and so they were thrilled to meet our energetic and cheerful students who spoke clearly of Christ's life and love through testimony, drama, music, service projects and private conversation. We made several strategic connections with church leaders and it seems clear that the Lord is building a bridge between the Canadian and Japanese church. It seems this is the beginning of some great fellowship!
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for His own ends..." (Proverbs 16:3,4a)
There was a group of 12 of us in Seattle volunteering at Union Gospel Mission's Women's and Children's Shelter. They are moving into a new facility this month and so we helped with a lot of packing, cleaning and organizing for that move, as well as assisting in the kitchen, planning children's programs, office assistance, sharing devotions and leading a Praise & Prayer night for the ladies.
It was a challenging and encouraging time where each one of us saw growth in ourselves and in one another as we worked alongside each other and served at the Shelter. We expected to be going to encourage and help out the ladies, which we did, but we found that we received so much from them in return! We were challenged by their willingness to be honest and transparent and to really deal with sin (big or small) in their lives. The stories of lives transformed by the Lord were unbelievable. To hear where they had come from and see where they were today, there was no doubt that it could only have been the Lord's work in their lives!
Another highlight was spending time with the women's children. At the start we wondered how we would connect with them and relate to them, but as we spent time in prayer seeking the Lord for wisdom and recognizing that what these kids needed most was love, we began to build relationships with them that were hard to leave at the end of the two weeks.
Throughout the whole trip our prayer was that the Lord's character would be clearly seen in our lives, that we would be the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place, and with great thankfulness we ended our time there as the ladies shared that being with us made them want to know Jesus more and that they were encouraged by seeing His life in us. Work that only the Lord could have done!
God used the experience to greatly impact our lives in personal, life changing ways. Our trip started in Dehli where we spent a day visiting museums and historical landmarks. From there we travelled to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Between these two locations the team was introduced to the reality of the poverty in India which shows a very different face from that of Canada. So many children came to us begging for money and selling worthless trinkets. However, the Lord used these children to touch many of our hearts with His compassion. He also taught some of us about true hospitality in Kil kotagiri when we spent a weekend at Pastor Jesudoss’ house. By our standards, his house was not large yet he opened his doors to 12 people. His family’s kindness towards us was a powerful testimony of Christ’s love. We discovered the unity of the church around the world.
We spent the majority of our trip at Green Valley Bible Centre doing work projects. The girls planted close to 100 banana trees then helped to install a drip irrigation system. They also spent a couple of days painting. The boys worked on landscaping projects, helping to build a couple of patios and a small wall. The team felt blessed to work with the students and staff of Green Valley. It was exciting to get to know them and their culture. We hope that God also used our presence to bless their lives. Being in India was an unforgettable experience where God moved in each of our lives.
We hope you have been blessed in reading
this edition of Harbour Happenings!