Grace Brethren North American Missions church planters Philip and Beth Bryant and family (pictured) recently arrived in Vancouver, B.C., to begin their church planting efforts there. Here’s an anecdote from last Sunday, as reported by Beth, that should be an encouragement to all that God is in this venture:
Sunday started out as a rather ordinary day; it was the first Sunday we’d been in Surrey for about a month. In the weeks that we’ve not traveled, we’ve gone to local churches, just to get a feel for who’s in the area; some have been church plants, others well established.
Saturday night, Philip decided that he wanted to check out the church of a pastor he’d gotten to know through the city-wide Pastor’s Prayer Meeting he’s been attending. He and Kevin had gone to breakfast together once, and a strong bond seemed to form in that short time. Cedar Grove, the church Kevin pastors, is the largest Baptist church in Surrey, and Philip was eager to see this ministry he’d heard about.
I woke up feeling pretty rotten, but Advil Cold worked, so we did the normal Sunday morning stuff, got there for the second service (out of three), got the kids settled in their classes and looked around a bit – nothing too out of the ordinary. On the way to get a bulletin, we bumped into Kevin in the lobby. Philip introduced me, and we chatted for a minute.
The service began, and we thoroughly enjoyed the worship team, the easy way announcements were done, and the way Kevin had people tell their stories to encourage people to be part of things going on in the church. We enjoyed his message, and I found myself in tears at the end as I pondered what God had said to me in that time.
And then, just before he dismissed everyone, Kevin told his congregation that he had some friends he wanted to introduce them to – and called us onto the platform. We blinked. He proceeded to tell his people what we were doing, announce that an offering would be taken after the service for us, and emphatically encourage and give his blessing to anyone from his church who would like to come with us.
We were stunned. Then he prayed for us. Honestly, I can’t remember what he said – I just remember feeling as though the blessing was washing over us and God was saying, “This is mine. I want to do something amazing in the Vancouver area, and I want to use you. But I’ll take care of the logistics – you just obey.”
We’re still processing; I think I’m still stuck on “WOW!” Who knows what will come of this? We’ve been praying – asked you to pray – that God would lead, in His time, and in His way, to people who will form the core, who will link arms with us. Please continue to pray with us as we begin a relationship with this church. Because we know that our God delights in doing “exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or imagine.”
Amazing – we will see where it leads. Continue to pray for this summer and the Great Canadian Adventure, we could use your help in determining the target area. Thanks for your prayers, God is moving because of them.