The service tonight was awesome! There were 65 pastors/missionaries/assistant pastors/evangelists there, some with wives and children and church members. The congregational singing brought tears to my eyes; with our small churches here, we haven't heard full, whole-hearted singing like that in a long time. We also sang the national anthem of Canada, which again brought tears to my eyes . . . "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!" How very, very true! The world doesn't realize just how much we pray for their country and try to stand in the gap for her. That one phrase never fails to bring tears.
We heard two sermons tonight. The theme of the conference is "Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ," so the messages so far have been about enduring for the Lord, being dedicated to the job He's given us to do. They were just what I needed to hear tonight, and I thank the Lord that I was able to go.
We met some other missionaries whom we've heard about but never gotten to meet. I believe we'll make some new friends this week! And of course we get to fellowship with our fellow workers here in the Vancouver area, which we enjoy so much but don't get to do very often. One thing I wanted to point out is that this is a nation-wide conference, yet we have well under 100 pastors here this week. Most people who read here are Americans, and being an American myself, I realize that many don't think of Canada as a mission field. They see this country as the same as America, just a little farther north. Not so! There are more than 65 IFB pastors in all of Canada, of course, but we've seen that many pastors show up at a regional meeting in Texas! Pray for the country of Canada. The laborers are so few, just as they are all over the world. And pray for us here to stay faithful and endure!