Thursday, November 16, 2006

1/4 a Reverand

It has been an eventful 11 days here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Amber and I attended an ordination conference just outside the town of Chilliwack. In order to get ordained in BC you have to attend four ordination conferences - I have now completed one, so mathematically I think I am 1/4 of a revere and!

The conference was a great chance to learn and to meet new people. It was also a chance to marvel at the wrath of the storm clouds overhead. I am sure many of you saw the overly full Chilliwack river on your televisions (I know you did, I had to drive past the news trucks). We saw roads get washed out and watched a man shovel unfortunate fish off of his driveway where the river had been the day before. Apparently, 200 cows were swept away, but I did not observe any aquatic bovine. That weekend we attended a wedding in Kelowna. This involved a snow-filled drive through the mountains. Yesterday, the strong winds had their way with most of the province. Thousands of people have been left without power or telephone. I am still waiting for power to return to my home, but have found a nearby Starbucks which has equipped me with a source of electricity, an indoor shelter with functioning heaters, and an endless supply of Christmas flavoured goodies. I survived the great Ontario blackout so this is all old hat to me.
Amber and I spoke at Ladner Christian Fellowship's youth group last night. I am convinced that we drove through at least 4 monsoons and Lake Ladner (also known as the church parking lot) to get there, but I am so glad we did. This youth group was so much fun - I think I laughed more than everyone else. Both Amber and I left feeling so encouraged. It is amazing how God can flip a situation around on you. We went there expecting to encourage / share with a group of people, but by the time we left, it was us who felt encouraged. God is good. I know that sounds cliche and simplistic, but really He is just great.

PRAYER REQUEST: Amber and I will be attending the Eurasian Missions Conference in Turkey. We are leaving in just a few days and will return at the beginning of December. During our time here we are hoping to connect with missionaries from around the world. This is especially significant as we look towards the second portion of our apprenticeship overseas. Please pray that God would make the connections that will not only enrich our lives, but that we somehow can be helpful to those who are currently serving overseas.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The Bare Necessities

As of November 1 I have been a resident of Surrey, British Columbia. I have officially secured a place to live and am renting a lovely, though highly green, basement suite. It really is an answer to prayer as it is in a great location, provides me with easy highway access to get to the District Office in Langley, is not too far from Amber, is relatively spacious and has a dishwasher (which is amazing since dish washing is one of my least favourite household chores). Life is beginning to take on a more solid feel - less transitional and more like my life is grounded here. Everyone needs a homebase to function out of - mine just happens to be decked out in green. I like to think of it as "Matthew and the Huge Granny Smith Apple" (rather than James and his Giant Peach).

At the beginning of the month Amber and I had the opportunity to attend a conference called "Young Mavericks". It is geared towards young people involved in, or looking to be involved in, entrepreneuring business ventures. The conference featured a variety of accomplished speakers who not only took the time to present their experiences, but sat down with those in attendance to discuss ideas one-on-one. I cannot say how much I enjoyed this time. Missions has changed and in my opinion a lot of missional work is driven by a highly entreprenurial spirit. This conference sparked some great ideas in my head and changed my thinking on a lot of topics.

Christians should be leading the pack in creative new ventures. God is the most creative force ever. Innovation, imagination and implementation should be a part of everyone's Christian lifestyle. This first week of November has been great not only because I have covered some of the basic necessities of life (housing), but because I have been challenged to think bigger than I would on my own.