Saturday, August 23, 2008

Children's Camp

August 2008

Later in August, Susan & I took a day to visit some of our church children at Kid's Camp. Because we've served Northside Church for 30 years, we've seen a generation of children mature from Kid's Camp to Parenthood. This new generation holds wonderful promise.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Life Purpose for Kids

August 2008

Every year I teach a class of children how to find their life purpose. We begin with a trip to the cemetery to look at gravestones. I ask, "What do you want your grave marker to read?" From there we do a craft and I read my book - Joseph's Excellent Bad Day (Life Purpose for Kids). This year's group was exceptionally enthusiastic & bright!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mexican Foursquare Conference

July 2008

The North American Foursquare Churches are related like family cousins. As president, Susan & I have the privilege of participating in The National Conventions of Mexico and the USA, as their leaders do our Canadian Conferences.

In July of 2008 we were in Monterrey, Mexico. Meme & Graciela Sanchez serve as leaders of the 171 strong Foursquare Churches of Mexico. Here we are with the Sanchez's & Jack Hayford.

Ted Vail serves as co-ordinator of North American Foursquare Churches as well as overseeing Multi-Ethnic ministries in our continent. Sally Frostad and her husband Joel are Canadian Missionaries from Courtenay serving the Mexican churches.

Some pictures of beautiful Monterrey, Mexico. One of our Tijuana pastors has been a professional wrestler, so he kindly gave all of us wrestling masks. I won't name these otherwise dignified Missions leaders.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Burlington & Cambridge

July 6, 2008

Doug & Rebecca flew home after our meetings, while Susan and I drove on to Ontario - to speak at our new two-campus church of Burlington & Cambridge.

We were delighted to get to spend time with Pastor Roland, who with his family, are moving from Saint John, NB to pastor the two campuses.

Between the two services, Susan, Roland & I (Rhonda Berkhiem was also there) stopped in Toronto to meet with our Filipino PCFC family for a picnic. Filipinos love to celebrate - they are wonderful cooks and share with everyone who passes by.

The young adults have become such good friends of Susan and me. It's such an honor for us to spend time with them. Some of them I've known for many years from my visits to the Philippines.


July 3, 2008

From Quebec City, the four of us drove to Montreal. It just happened to be the date of Montreal's Jazz Festival, so we had a very happy visit in Canada's 2nd largest city. The weather was spectacular!

Although the primary reason for our trip to Montreal was to sign documents so that Foursquare in Quebec could be registered as a charitable organization, we also took time to meet another Pastor and his family. Pastor Jacklin & Ketlene were so gracious to the four of us. We enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at their apartment as we got to know them and also discussed their plans for planting our first church in Montreal. We were very excited with the bright future that lays ahead of us all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To Quebec City

July 1, Canada Day! What a great day to fly from the West and East – to the heart of French Canada. I loved sitting on the airplane with Susan and praying from province to province for God’s grace to cover Canada. I thought of the 3rd verse to our National Anthem “O Canada”:

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,

Hold our Dominion, in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.

God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Quebec City was celebrating their 400th Anniversary during our visit. We met Doug & Rebecca Friesen there so we could confirm the Hotel for our 2009 Canadian Foursquare Convention. There could not be a more lovely or historically significant place for us to meet, and to strategize planting Foursquare Churches in Quebec.

My Cherry Tree

July 20, 2008
This isn’t a very clear picture but it is so important to me. A couple of years ago (on our 25th Anniversary of Northside Church) our Children’s Church under Pastor Ingrid Janzen’s leadership, gave me this cherry tree as a memorial of the fruitfulness our church has enjoyed among our children. We have almost 500 kids in the children’s ministry now. Because I’ve seen hundreds of former Kid’s Church members grow into fruitful adults, the cherry tree was very significant to me.

This year was a banner year. These are the first 2 cherries the tree has produced. They were a healthy beginning to a very large harvest in the years ahead. Unfortunately a bear invaded our back yard last week and devoured both of those plump cherries. I do hope he enjoyed them!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Downtown Eastside

July 17, 2008
Today I visited a couple of pastors whom I greatly admire. John Sanders has been pastoring our Street Church in one of the most difficult stretches of real estate in Canada. The 5 blocks west from Hastings & Main are among the poorest and most destitute anywhere. Drugs, crime & alcohol have taken their toll. John has just resigned from the church – he’s given his best with love and diligence.

Trista and her son, Jesse, have moved into the heart of the Hastings strip to give their lives as missionaries to the disenfranchised. I could have listened to Trista’s story all day, but within an hour I’d decided that we need to do a video testimony (hopefully it will be up soon on our Foursquare Canada web page). Trista was raised as a suburbanite in our Coquitlam area, but experienced firsthand the devastations caused by running from God.

I am so excited to watch her see the vision God has given to her fulfilled in the Eastside of Vancouver. I’ll keep you updated.

Trip to Ontario

May 18, 2008

This weekend I made a whirlwind flight to Ontario – the main purpose of my trip was to present the church Charter to Pastor Gina Dolor at Praise Christian Family Foursquare Church.
Pastor Gina and her wonderful Filipino church rolled out the red carpet for Marion and me as we proudly presented their Charter. The Church has flourished over their first 2 years.

After the service they killed the fatted pig and we feasted. I also was privileged to meet Folorunso & Olabimpe Akinniyi who are planting a new Foursquare church in Kitchener, Ontario.

Tom Burke (and Ron Morin) is now serving on staff with Ron at Hope for Tomorrow Church in Toronto. Every time I get to visit Pastor Ron, he announces a new church theirs is giving birth to. I’m sure the Apostle Paul and Ron would have lots of good stories to share. They have similar gifts.

My visit with Kiril & Daniela Popov and their children was inspiring. Kiril has communicated with us over the past several months from Bulgaria. He is a true church planter. As a young man he moved from Bulgaria to Greece, where he quickly picked up the language. Before long he’d started three churches there – Bulgarian, Russian and Algerian. We were so anticipating their arrival in Toronto, but felt the ground was so hard here, he may be disappointed. The Sunday following their arrival in Toronto, Kiril held his first Bulgarian service. He told me last month, he was already holding meetings in Russian, besides the Bulgarian church plant. Not bad for 3 months!

Arabic Conference

May 2008
Today I was invited to be the guest speaker at an Arabic-speaking Conference in Surrey. Guests from Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, and Egypt were delightfully responsive to the teaching. My hosts were Pastor Reda & Tahany Hahna (pictured above).
Nazem & Julia Demian have been friends and members of our church for several years. It was wonderful to spend the day with Papa Nazem. I learned more than I was able to teach from my new friends – the stories of conversion from Islam to Christianity were inspiring.
English Translation: Clean hands we raise.‎
To glorify our redeemer with complete joy.
We shout with power against our enemies.‎
Our Victory is great by Him who loved us.‎