A few short days after Christmas Olivia and I found ourselves taking a nice long drive from our current hole to the great city of Toronto. It was a planned and much needed trip. We both feel deeply called to the city, but the truth is other then a few day trips we have never really been in the City for more then a few hours.
So we spent 3 days in Downtown Toronto and a few things became very clear. First, it felt like home. Many of you may have heard us say this, but we could not escape the feeling that this was home. The subway we rode, the streets we walked, the food we ate. And yes, even the crowds of people pressing in on the introvert!
Second, there was a deep feeling heartbreak. The first night there we went to the mall, because I forgot to bring my dress pants for church. And as we walked the mall I saw hundreds of faces, Black, White, Asian, Young, Old, and one thought it me, “Do they know Jesus?” A city of over 8 million, do they know Jesus? Does this man sitting with his daughter eating Chinese food know Jesus? Do those two girls walking out of Starbucks know Jesus? But not just do they know him, has anyone told them about them? Do they have a Christian in their life that told them about what Jesus came, lived, and died for. It was overwhelming, and it took all I could not to cry there in the mall. It was hard for me to speak, and even harder for me not to look at the people passing by and wonder, “Who has told them about Jesus?”
Third, the vision felt tangible and attainable. Yes, we were there for only a few days, but while we were there clear more and more ideas came to us on how to engage with the community and try to reach not only its needs, but also share the gospel. I am often said to be a dreamer. But it is one thing to have one or two ideas, it is another thing to be in the streets where you feel God calling you, and as you pass people you and hear about what is happening in the City, more and more ideas come to you. And straggly, they are close to what you felt God calling you to do already.
It was a very short trip. But it was a huge confirmation for us that this is where God has called us. It is hard sometimes to understand a calling. You wonder, is this God, is it me, or is it the cheese I ate last night. But over the past months we have felt over and over the confirmation that this City is where God has called us. This trip serve not only as a motivation for us, but also as another strong confirmation that this is where God has been prepping us to go, and has now called us!
Co-Pastor, Waypoint Wesleyan Church
Christmas has come quickly this year. Soon it will have come and gone. Despite the rapid arrival of the season, we are no less excited by the time of year.
We find ourselves excited by the coming year because of our pending arrival in the city we love - both for our visit in a week, and also for our move in the spring.
Pray with us as we journey to Toronto with potential team members over Christmas break. Pray for their wisdom and discernment as they seek God's plan for the future. Pray with us as we make final arrangements for the trip.
When I was in elementary school, my parents accepted the call to a church that was an hour and 30 minutes away from our home. Often young pastors face things like this as we enter the ministry, but what was unique about this situation was that his internship took place in a cross-cultural church plant. This was my spark towards church planting - the initial call that would shape the way that I responded when God made it clear to David and I that Church Planting was our future.
Our calling to church planting finally came while we were attending Kingswood University in Sussex, NB. There, we were connected to the Church Planter Profiles program, and with the people that would eventually connect us with the Church Planter Assessment Camp. However, our call came years before we would learn what city God was preparing us to come to for ministry.
Backing up a bit, we were both raised in the country life, so knowing now that our calling is to one of the most international and largest cities in the world... well, let's just say that it was a surprise. God has a unique way of preparing us for new ministries in new places, and He has cared for us in big ways as we grow towards our new home. What was once comfortable and familiar to us, now feels out of place. We who loved country life as kids, now find ourselves craving the city, the noise, the bustle, and the vibrancy of life that it holds. The smallest of things can be a big thing on the journey.
This is the start of our journey, and we are excited to share it with you, our family in Christ.