Hello! and thanks so much for coming to check out our blog!
I’m excited to get to share with you about two exciting things – the Theology class
and in depth report on what we did on our Vancouver Missions trip.
It’s been an amazing week to see the students digging
through some amazing theology. We were so excited to have one of Briercrest’s
Vice Presidents, Merrill Dyck, come to teach an intensive theology class.
Heading into rooms at night showed that the students are really digging into
the subject matter and trying to figure out what they believe and what Biblical
evidence they had to believe it. The week culminated with a debate on Friday
morning. Students were separated into four different groups. There were two
different debates, one centered around eschatology and premillenialism vs amillenialism.
The other centered on Salvation and if you could lose it not. It was awesome to
get to see the students take sides, even if they didn’t personally adhere to
the side they took.
It’s also great to get to deliver a full report on what the
students did in their Vancouver missions trip. We were able to give a brief
snapshot on what happened but now I get to give the details. We’ll try to do
the same for the Mexico team shortly, since I wasn’t on that trip I’ll have to
find someone to give you the full details then. We went to two different locations
on our missions trip – Potter’s Place Mission and New Beginnings Baptist Church.
We began our trip at New Beginnings Baptist Church. It is located
in East Vancouver near Commercial Drive. We were able to sleep at the church
and help with a number of things there. We were all so impressed with what the
church did in their different ministries. They were an incredible family-oriented
church reaching out to lower income families. They also had an incredible
ministry to First Nations families in the area. The first couple days were
spent in a lot of physical work projects, we were able to tear down walls and
build walls in other areas. We also were able to help with various moving
ministries, helping families move and clear storage lockers and other things.
It was in these moving ministries that we were able to meet Garrett. He was the
church member that had the truck that we did everything on. Hearing his story
was really encouraging because his wife had come to Christ through a family
camp at Camp Qwanoes. Through that and God’s greatness, his entire family had
come to Christ. It was so cool to see the different ministries intersecting and
see how God can change lives through the ministries we are blessed to be a part
of. We also were able to do “home makeovers” where we went into families houses
and helped clean or redecorate or whatever they needed us to do. We absolutely loved
getting to do these projects, it was a real blessing to get to help the church
in this way.
We also were able to help out with a number of church and
youth programs over the time we spent there. We helped a number of times with
the church’s “Say Yes” after-school programs. It was great to get to hang out
with a number of the kids, and some even recognized us from camp! There was also
some nights where we were able to put on kids programs so the adults could have
a get-together time. This seemed to be a real blessing as there were a number
of single mothers in the church and they were able to get out and have some fun
for an evening. One of the most amazing evenings happened on our last Sunday
there, where while we were doing kids programs, 3 people came to Christ
upstairs in the service. God really works through that church and we were really
able to see how God blessed his servants there. We were also deeply encouraged by
the people who worked there (especially Pastors Joe, Joel and Byron).
Between the times we spent at New Beginnings, we went to
Potter’s Place Mission in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This area has been called
“Canada’s poorest neighbourhood” and has a reputation of being “skid road”. We
saw a number of problems that we don’t see usually – drugs, prostitution, homelessness
and it really opened our eyes.
We were blessed to get to spend time with Pastor Deborah
Chien who helped us understand how important the ministry is in this area. Her
passion and love for the area helped us to truly develop the same in our own
hearts. At the mission we were able to do some work projects, tour the area,
hand out flowers to street women and hand out food. We really fell in love with
the people and ministry and I know a number of us would love to go back at some
We also helped with the services at Potter’s Place, it was
so cool to get to see some students preaching hope and salvation! A number of
the students also told their testimony and led worship. When we weren’t doing
these things we were hanging out with the people at the mission. A number of us
made some real good friendships. One of the most touching stories we had was
when a man started crying because one of the students remembered his name! It
was really out of all of our comfort zones, but God was good and kept us safe.
Some nights we could hear the fights and the brokenness outside of our window,
but God provided for us and showed us how much he loved everybody.
I took the students to some upper-class areas in Vancouver
and what struck me the most was just how much darker those areas could seem to
be. When people needed God for their daily bread and for other provisions, they
cried out to Him and really understood how much they need Him .The brokenness
that was there simply amplified a need for God. I was constantly reminded of
Matthew 19:24 where Jesus reminded us of how hard it can be for a rich man to
enter the Kingdom of God. We met so many people who really loved God, who knew
him as father and provider. Inner-city ministries are so important, and I would
encourage anyone reading to get involved at some point in their lives, even
Thank you to everyone who supported us in any way, this was
truly a life-changing trip and I know the students were so blessed by what they
experienced. If anyone reading this is considering the program for next year,
start praying for this now!
I’ll probably have another blog up by the end of the week,
we have had some more exciting stuff happening – including a baptism!