Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Changes

I mentioned last week that we're "in the midst of it." At the end of the post, I said we had some changes taking place, and that I'd be able to fill you in soon. I'm finally able to do that, and I'm so excited about it!

I've tried to write this myself a few times, but Wes has written a letter to our supporting pastors that says it much better than I can, so I'll just quote a few excerpts from his letter:
We have labored here in North Vancouver for almost 6 years now.  We praise the Lord for the effect He has permitted us to have in this area of Vancouver.  We have placed a copy of John & Romans in a majority of the homes in North Vancouver.  We have distributed thousands of gospel tracts door to door.  We have taken advantage of different community opportunities to reach out to the people of North Vancouver with the gospel.  We have seen people saved, baptized and discipled.  We have done our best to carry out the great commission in the place where God sent us 6 years ago.

Recently, I was contacted by People’s Baptist Church in Kelowna, BC concerning candidating for the pastorate of that church.  The previous pastor started the work 18 years ago and it had grown to a place of being fully self-supporting.  But in recent years the attendance has begun to decline, primarily from people leaving the Kelowna area in search of work elsewhere.  So, whoever assumes the pastorate would either need to raise or already have support.  The church has voted unanimously to call me as their next pastor, and after much prayer and godly counsel I feel led of God to accept this pastorate . . . 


I had been counseled by several pastors and godly men whose counsel I trust, to recommend to our people at Lions Gate Baptist Church a merger.  There are already several fundamental Baptist churches in Canada that are without pastors, and so to avoid adding another to that list I recommended a merger with another local work that is about the same age and size as ours, and about the same distance that most already travel, just in a different direction.  However, the people of Lions Gate Baptist Church have decided that they would like to pursue a different path and look for a new pastor instead.  Pastor Gordon Conner, pastor of Greater Vancouver Baptist Church, which has been our sponsoring church here in Canada since we arrived, has agreed to help the people of Lions Gate Baptist Church in these efforts.  We ask you to join us in praying that God will give wisdom in this process, and bring about His will in His time . . .

Let me conclude by sharing a little information with you about Kelowna and the surrounding area.  The city proper has a population of about 100,000, the Region of Kelowna is around 160,000.  People’s Baptist Church is the only fundamental work within a couple of hours drive; with the exception of a very young work about 30 minutes away, which also is currently without a pastor due to some of the reasons I mentioned earlier in this letter.  There is currently one family that drives 1.5 hours EACH WAY to attend church in Kelowna.  There is much potential for chapels in outlying areas; communities that population wise probably could not support a work, but still need to be reached with the gospel.
We have purposely waited till now so that Wes could get this letter to as many of our supporting pastors as possible. The last thing we wanted was for this news to trickle down through the grapevine! So you readers are the last to know - I'm sorry! :)

We are moving this week. Yes, this week! Our house is almost completely packed now, and we're tying up the various loose ends here in North Vancouver. We're very excited as we look back over God's leading through the past couple of months and how He opened and closed doors to show us His will. I'm looking forward to sharing with you our new ministry, and we do ask you to keep praying for us as we move to a new area and a new work. And please do pray for the people here at Lions Gate Baptist Church as they seek God's will as they move forward, too!

We'll be without internet access from Friday until sometime next week, so I will still be absent in blogland for a few more days. As soon as I have the chance, though, I will be back with pictures and news . . . and hopefully I won't have to sit on news this big ever again! LOL

15 comments:

  1. Lots of prayers to you and your family.

    I hope your move is stress free.

    God Bless.

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  2. Oh, Susan I am so very excited for you guys! I have no idea how you kept from spilling the news. I can not wait to hear how God works everything out for both the congregations.

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  3. This is so exciting! I was hoping that it was Kelowna. I know someone in the church there, so I knew they were without a pastor. I also know someone in the other church close by. What a blessing that your family is going to be able to help these communities. I can't wait to here more.
    The best part is that you are getting closer, and we may actually meet sometime!

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  4. Amy ~ Thank you for your prayers! So far we've had some stress, but nothing we can't get over! LOL

    Margaret ~ It was very hard to keep this news quiet. We're excited too to see what God does!

    Deb ~ I thought that you might have an inkling of where we were going. Who do you know at People's? We are getting closer, but only by about 5 hours! LOL

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  5. Oh Susan! You're moving?! And I haven't visited you in Vancouver yet! :) Does this change of your location affect your deputation next year at all? I am so sorry that I couldn't have been praying for all the changes taking place, but I will start now. I hope your move goes well and everything falls into place. I wish you the very best!

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  6. I will be praying for you all to have a smooth move and God's Will be done in the churches.

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  7. My dear Susan, I can 'hear' the excitement in your notes! That's a blessing! Looking forward to seeing pics & reading all about your new ministry! Love & prayers. Martha

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  8. I know from our own recent move that it is very exciting, yet there are pangs, too, for the folks left behind, and though some of the changes are exciting, just the fact that everything is changing can take a toll. One phrase that really helped me was from a hymn but based on a Scriptural truth: "Through every change He faithful will remain." I'll be praying for you all during this time of transition.

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  9. Praying for a smooth transition as you relocate and for the Lord's continued blessings upon your family's ministry.

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  10. Deb ~ Thank you for your prayers, my friend! We will get to meet somewhere along the way! :)

    Sharon ~ Thank you for praying. We will all have some transitions in the next few weeks and months.

    Mrs. M ~ What a pleasure to see you here! Hopefully I'll be able to share lots of pictures and reports about what's going on!

    Barbara ~ Thank you for the encouraging words you posted! You always have just the right words - words fitly spoken! :)

    Mrs. C ~ Thank you for praying for us. You know how to pray, having relocated yourself recently! :)

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  11. Praying for your family as you begin new path in your journey for Chris...

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  12. Amen Susan that is wonderful and I pray God's abundant blessings upon you and the church you are going to, God bless you as you serve him there, We will continue to pray for you and your new place of service. Lots of love, Barbara

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  13. Can't wait to have you with us Susan, Bro. Wes & Beth!

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  14. Wow a new adventure! May God bless and I know you will keep us updated on everything. I will pray for all the needs. Will you keep your support from your current churches?

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  15. When I saw Kelowna, I wondered if it was Angela's church. I will be praying for you all and both congregations and the transitions are made! Praying that the Lord will be glorified through it all!

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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