Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Missions trips, to the city and down the coast.

Vancouver Mission’s Trip

These past two weeks 14 students, Shane and I had the opportunity to serve in Down-Town East Side Vancouver City. We spent our time there working within two different organizations, New Beginnings and Potter’s Place Mission. These two places, even though they are close in proximity, have very different focuses in the type of services they provide. New Beginnings is a church that is surrounded by an area that is highly populated by first nations people. This church’s primary goal is too meet first nations people where they are at and to mend the relationships of first nations people and Christianity that had been severed. The students had opportunities to work with the youth and children of this church. Many students enjoyed tutoring and playing with the children in their “Say Yes!” program. This program was an after school program in which kids would come to the church for tutoring, a meal and games. They also served the church by doing projects in the church that the full time staff had not had time to get around too. The staff were very thankful for all the work the students put in that week to help them in these areas

The second organization that we had the opportunity to serve was Potter’s Place Mission on East Hastings Street, Vancouver. This organization provides two services and two meals per day to the homeless in the surrounding area. Everyday at 11 a.m. and at 9 p.m. there is an hour-long church service and a meal that is served at the end of the service. The students led worship and spoke, either sharing their testimony or a message at every service. Every afternoon we were at potters, we helped them in their renovations. In one week the upstairs of potters was completely transformed. Another big part of potter’s place’s ministry is their street ministry. We were able to go on a few walks that week, talking to those on the street and praying with them. Throughout the whole week, the students were touched to hear the stories of those who came into potter’s place. The student’s minds were transformed to the way they think about homeless people as they listened to many of their stories.  Overall, this trip was a very eye-opening for everyone who went. God spoke to us all in different ways and we all left with something that we could take with us for the rest of our lives.

Until next time,

Rachel Nelson, Kaléo Program Intern

Mexico Missions Trip:

God is at work in Mexico. He has been working there long before we went there, and He has continued to work there after we have left. Although we may feel like we were the cause of God working in Mexico, that simply is not true. God blessed us with the opportunity to see how He was at work and that we were merely tools used there for a short time. 

For the Mexico missions’ trip, ten students came down and served alongside the Northern Lights Ministries, proclaiming the gospel to both the Mestizo and Indigenous Mexican people. While we were there we built student housing for married students attending the seminary down in El Papalote. Almost nightly we also had the privilege to work alongside some of the leaders in the area and assist in leading youth nights in various villages around El Papalote. There were also opportunities to see and assist the widely marginalized people of Mexico, from houses holding many disabled people, to people living and working in the landfill. Through all this work, God has been working and making change in the community. There is joy.

Joy is everywhere to be found in the San Quintin Valley. Christ has permeated the communities down there and joy fills the lives of those who follow Him. Now not everyone in Mexico has this joy, just as not everyone has this joy in Canada. Despite the living conditions, despite the poverty, despite the corruption and adversity that everyone must face while living in Mexico, those who have Christ are so evident. They do not put their trust in material things, but in God as we all must do. Even with their interactions with us, when language was a struggle for both sides, they were joyful and wanted to interact with us.

The language barrier that was before us made communicating difficult. Thankfully, God has given us more than just words to communicate with people. The saying "actions speak louder than words," was brought to life for us. How could we possibly tell these people about the love of God? Well God has blessed us with non-verbal communication. We lived out God's love to these people every chance we God. We played with the children, we gave them attention and we loved them as best we could. And they responded. The smiles and hugs that we received from the locals spoke volumes to what we communicated to them and that they returned the expression. With the adults, communication of God's love was a little harder than it was before. But we managed to communicate to them that we wanted to invest in them and build into their community. Through the little bit of Spanish we knew and hand gestures and sometimes a translator, we were able to have communication with many of the locals that we interacted with. The language barrier was a difficult barrier to cross, but God's love still transcended the barrier and brought the two communities together. God's love cannot be silenced, even if we have no idea what the other person is saying to us. 

Pray for the students as they head into their next class, Pauline Epistles. Thank you for taking the time to catch up with our students and investing in them. 

Isaiah Moffatt
Kaléo Intern 

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