The couple had been involved in an evangelical ethnic Chinese church that was a 25 minute drive from their current home. It was the only church Einer had known since he was a baby, and Laura joined him there when they married in 2000. But they knew their life was now in the Vancouver suburb where Einer has taught elementary school for the last 15 years and they are raising their two children.
One summer Sunday they decided to attend the “movie theater” church, the one they’d seen advertised on a leaflet that came in their mail.
“It’s right here in the community,” says Einer. “We walked there in 30 minutes on the first day.”
It wasn’t that they were looking for a new church. They just knew that God was nudging them to something different.
As they began to attend Community of Hope Church, a Grace Brethren congregation which meets in the Strawberry Hills Cinema, they continued to seek guidance. “We were praying that God would show a lot of affirmation,” Laura recalls. She also remembers the sense of peace and confirmation they both felt in receiving an answer that was “very overwhelming.”
On the flip side, the leadership of Community of Hope had been praying for established, mature Christians to become involved in the ministry that was attracting many new believers.
“I don’t know about mature,” says Laura. “How can you call yourself mature? Experienced?” she adds with a smile.
In the two and one-half years since the family has attended Community of Hope, they have immersed themselves in ministry. They coordinate hospitality ministries, she’s running the church website, he’s serving on the finance committee, and they’ve both been involved in the children’s ministries.
“I think that God providing this new church family was an extreme answer to our prayers,” says Laura, adding that it feels “weird” to know someone was praying for them. “I would just attribute it to God matching, tongue and groove. You know it’s of God when it’s clearly not of your own doing.”