September 2, 2023
Hey there, I just wanted to send out a note on something, that I am very
excited about, coming up this Sunday in our morning service! Waylon Kardash
was initially scheduled to share, and it’s not that I wasn’t excited to
hear what he had to say, it’s just that an opportunity presented itself
over the last couple days that I couldn’t not go after! I asked Waylon if
it would be OK with him if we moved him to a later date, and he was
graciously good with that, so keep your ear to the ground for when he
shares as well in the weeks coming up!
So, what’s this golden opportunity you might ask? The whole area of
missions has been on my heart for awhile now as I give some leadership to
this body during this season. As far as I’m aware, the last official
“Missions Trip” we have done out of this church is over 30 years ago
already! I have heard stories about how we went to Mexico, and used to
volunteer quite often at Souls Harbour soup kitchen. And yet I have been a
part of this congregation for over 29 years and those were before my time.
I have had the opportunity to be involved with a couple short term missions
projects in my life. I co-led a Street Invaders team to Australia, and was
on a work team that helped build a school in a hurricane damaged area of
Haiti. Now I am fully aware about how inefficient short term missions are.
The reality is, in talking to various missionaries, and Pastor Dave about
his time in the Philippians, most of the time these teams are a lot more
work for those there, and in reality usually don’t really accomplish that
much. The reality is that the real impact is not usually on the ones we go
to minister too, but rather on the ones that go to minister! My time in
both Australia and Haiti changed me for the rest of my life! I literally
saw the world, and in some ways God, differently after those trips. What
one might accomplish in two weeks will likely not impact those areas you
are going too for that long after. But it can change those going for the
rest of their lives!
This past summer a desire to get us more personally focused on missions was
birthed in hearing Danny Delong speak. He shared at our church camp, and
Springside, about the amazing things God is doing around the world! Having
Ted and Donna Clibbon, long-time missionaries with NAIM on the first
nations just north of us, join us for four Sunday’s in a row only fuel-ed
the fire! To see their passion and drive at their age to continually come
all the way back here every summer was nothing short of inspiring!
With Leona’s funeral this week I knew that Jerry Schuetz, ACOP’s missions
director, would be in town. On Tuesday night I slipped over there to say
hi. Greg Paulson, Jerry, and I were having a bit of a visit when I asked
him if he had any thoughts about an opportunity for us as a church to
possibly start dreaming about a mission trip. His suggestion was to, rather
than reinvent the wheel, contact Danny Delong to see if Regina had anything
coming up and maybe our church could partner with them and a few of us join
them! I got in contact with Danny, and on Thursday morning we had a phone
chat. I don’t know if you know Danny at all, but he’s a tad passionate! He
has no less than three different projects in the works, and literally after
talking to him for twenty minutes I was ready to head home and pack my bags
and head to the mission field! Greg also mentioned that their church out of
Prince George does a project every summer in the Okanagan, and he wondered
if some families from here wouldn’t want to come out there next summer for
a week, as their vacation, and join them in what they are doing.
You might be still asking, OK Mike, so what’s happening this Sunday?!!!!
Well, one of the projects that seemed really interesting, to me at least,
that Danny is doing out of the Regina church in February has deadlines in a
couple weeks already. I realized that both Greg and Jerry are in town
alreadh and will be in church on Sunday. I realized that I would not be
able to pass on what Danny shared with me with a smidgen of the passion and
zeal that literally oozes out of him, so late last night I asked Danny what
he was up to on Sunday…..
And…And….Wait for it…..I am excited to announce this coming Sunday we
will be having a Missions Summit for our morning service!!! Trust me baby,
you don’t want to miss this! We will be having our ACOP missions director,
all the way from Calgary sharing about missions! We have a pastor all the
way from Prince George, BC sharing about another opportunity we could
partner with his church on! We have Danny coming to share all the way from
the sunny shores of Regina to share about some amazing opportunities as
Now I know the idea of personally going on a mission trip excites some, but
totally freaks others out! If you think missions is only getting dropped
off in a sketchy part of town with a stack of pamphlets, it is so much more
than that! Can you swing a hammer? Can you paint? Can you cook? Can you
visit? Can you pray? Do you like to travel? Do you like experiencing other
cultures? Do you like the mountains? Do you have a desire to see God move
in someone’s life? Do you have a desire to see God move in your life?
Please, please, please make it a priority to come! Invite someone you think
might be interested! Maybe you have no interest, or desire at all, too
personally get involved. Just come and hear some stories of what God is
doing around the world! Could I dream for a relatively full church, even in
the midst of harvest, for something like this? Let’s grow together! It’s
just not the same without you here!