I mentioned in my last post that it has been a bit of a whirlwind the last few weeks. I went with our students to Paradise Nova Scotia at the end of April. We did a mission there which involved a coffee house outreach. The venue was packed and a variety of musicians played and sang out the Good News. The students and I premiered our drama. This was a bit outside my comfort zone but they really needed a guy and I was the best they could come up with. We visited a home for disabled people and a senior’s residence as well but perhaps the highlight was our visit to a Youth Detention Centre. Mike, an acappella Gospel singer, joined us. His soulful renditions of some favourite hymns captured the young men in attendance. They sang with gusto and the Holy Spirit seemed palpably present1 I spoke on the Parable of the two lost sons and the prodigal love of the Father. We had some great cookies and a time to chat afterwards. This one event made the whole trip worthwhile!
The following Saturday we had our graduation. This year all of our students graduated (I am experiencing ‘empty nest syndrome’). John Carroll who teaches Preaching for us gave the address “Why we do not give up.” I trust this stirring message will stand our grads in good stead in the ministry lives ahead of them.
On Monday Charles Price from Peoples’ Church in Toronto spoke about God’s call on our lives using the life of Moses as his template. This too was a very rousing message for all as we prayed for and witnessed the commissioning of five new evangelists.
Tuesday Linda and I flew off to Kola Manitoba where I led a series of meetings. Our topic, as you may remember from last week, was Jesus is Lord. This sounds like it might be elementary stuff for we do begin our walk acknowledging that Jesus is Lord but we must remember that He is the beginning and the end. In fact we will spend eternity focussing on this wonderful reality. As an evangelist I am used to preaching for a conversion to the lordship of Jesus but this was a happy opportunity where we got to go deep into what it means to practically follow Him, to become ‘little Jesus’ to the world. This requires a commitment to ongoing personal holiness and to a missional life style.
The prayer before each service was precious and I believe the Holy Spirit was working in the hearts of people. Many were visibly moved and shared a renewed commitment to Jesus’ lordship in their lives. Kola is a community which was founded for mission. The folks who lived there moved from the heavily Mennonite South East Manitoba to the South west part of the province in order to spread the Gospel. They were not welcomed in several communities but eventually carved a home out of the swampy ground in what is now Kola. While this is their history we know that we cannot coast on our yesterdays. Obedience needs to be fresh and willing. It is my hope that our time together will be used of God for the re-firing of the original purposes of this community.
Now I am back in Saint John and exercising my limited administrative gifts as I cobble together next fall’s program. I thank God that I still have Up Town to distract me from the desk bound existence of a college principal. I’m looking forward to our drop in tonight. I hear things went wonderfully without me last week (that is good news).
As I reflect on it all I can testify that … God is faithful