2017 년 5 월: 그리스도 안에 가족이 된 교회들

We are a family of churches developing people into Christ–likeness and launching them into His mission.  We believe that this statement accurately reflects who we wish to be. It is biblically and theologically focused and its memorable.

  1. We are a Family of Churches: We could have been a bunch of churches or an army of churches or a network of churches or a cluster of churches. But family is more descriptive of who we wish to be. In a family we belong to one another, we are both loved and love. We encourage one another. We serve and sacrifice for one another. Family reflects our common identity in Christ, who is our elder brother. We have the same Heavenly Father who has adopted us into His family and given us work to do.
  2. Developing People: The focus of our common mission is people. We are not cooperating together to build grand buildings, or store up great wealth, or influence powerful people, or make life easier for the family. Our focus is people. People are precious. They are of such great value that God sent His Son to redeem them from their empty, broken lives. So much of the world is transitory, it is passing away, but people are eternal.
  3. Into Christ–likeness: Our mission in engaging people is very specific. We are partnering with God to develop people into Christ – likeness. The goal of God is not just to get people into heaven but to do a transformative work in them so that when they get to heaven they will be ready to enjoy it. And so we intentionally partner with God in creating environments and opportunities for people to grow in the grace of Jesus. The greatest testimony that Jesus is alive are the lives of people He has transformed. And that leads us to the final phrase of our mission statement.
  4. Launching them into His mission: From the very beginning even when we were still in the garden God have us an assignment. The current assignment is to make disciples of the nations. And in order to do that we develop people into Christ – likeness and then send them out to declare the goodness and grace of God in Christ to all people. We launch them across the street to their neighbours, to various communities around BC, and to the various places around the globe. Even tonight, a mission team from Origin is waking up in Greece and preparing to serve and witness to refugees.
By God's grace and with His favour
this who we will become. Hamish Buntain

This is who we want to be. We may not yet be accomplishing this mission perfectly but by God’s grace and with His favour this who we will become.

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2016 Family Fun Day

가족은 매우 특별합니다.

나는 미혼이고 외아들입니다. 아버지는 6남매이고 어머니는 5남매인데 사촌들은 다 나보다 나이가 많고 아이들과 손자들이 있는데 나는 나 혼자 입니다. 때로는 가족모임에 내가 나타나지 않아도 티도 안나겠구나, 가봤자 그저 젓가락 한 쌍을 더 놓는 것 뿐이겠다는 생각을 합니다. 그런데, 지난 달에 외국에 있는 친지들을 방문했더니 모두들 “네가 없어서 허전했다”고 말하는 것입니다.
우리 WestCoast 지방회도 똑같습니다. 교회인 우리들은 함께 할 때 가족입니다. 가족들은 크기도 모양도 다 다릅니다. 우리 교회들도 5명이 모이는 교회가 있는가 하면 50명, 500명이 모이는 교회도 있습니다.

From the 2017 Semi-Annual Family Gathering of the WBA

부모님과 함께 개척교회를 섬기고 있는 청소년 목회자 자녀들을 위한 캠프를 했을 때의 일입니다. 소파 두 개에 둘러 앉아 얘기를 나누는데 한 학생이 말하기를 매년 이 캠프를 기대하며 기다린다고 했습니다. 왜냐하면 그날 둘러 앉아 있던 아이들의 숫자가 매주 모이는 교인들의 숫자보다 많아서라고 합니다. 그러니 여러분, 우리 교회 가족들이 함께 모일 때 참석하는 것도 중요하다는 것을 기억해 주십시요.
가족들은 또 서로를 돕습니다. 두 달 전 쯤, 큰아버지가 갑자기 돌아가셨다는 연락을 받았습니다. 기도 동역자들께 기도를 요청했는데 다음날 많은 분들이 전화와 문자로 격려 메시지를 보내주었습니다. Towers 교회의 목사님은 예배 시작 30분 전에 문자를 해 아버지에게 큰아버지가 돌아가셨다는 얘기를 어떻게 전했냐며 걱정해 주었습니다.
Vancouver Chinese교회의 집사님은 전화로 “뭐든 도울 일이 있으면 알려달라”고 했고 나는 “체면 차리지 않고 필요한 것이 있으면 전화를 하겠다”고 했습니다. 결국 우리 가족 모두가 홍콩으로 떠나야했고 그 집사님에게 공항까지 데려다 줄 것을 부탁했습니다. 그분은 기꺼이 도와주었습니다.

그리고, 저에게는 개가 한 마리 있는데 두 주 동안 개를 돌보는 곳에 맡기면 비행기표보다 돈이 더 듭니다. White Rock에 사는 교회개척 담당자는 우리 가족이 홍콩에 다녀오는 동안 개를 돌봐 주었고 앞으로도 언제든 돌봐줄 수 있다고 했습니다.

이것이 가족된 WestCoast 지방회의 모습니다.

uVillage Korean Church has First Baptism

다음세대에 대한 마음의 부담을 가지고 2011년 9월 부터 캠퍼스 타운에 살면서 Craig O’Brien Family 와 함께 감당하고 있는 Origin Church, UBC 다민족 사역이 벌써 6년째 입니다. 주일 예배, 일대일 상담, 제자양육, 알파 성경공부, 추수감사모임, Inner City 사역, Exam Care Package 사역, 성탄모임등…이번 학기에는 65명에서 85명의 예 배 출석으로 다민족교회 오리진은 어느정도 자리를 잡아가는게 아닌 가 싶습니다.

오리진에서는 효과적인 복음 사역의 필요를 위해 2015년부터 UBC 캠 퍼스에 가장 큰 중국, 한국 그룹을 두고 기도해 왔습니다. 오리진 사 역과 함께 두 가지를 병행하는 것이 가능하지 않기에, 함께 팀을 이루

어 주시면 그것이 기도의 응답으로 생각 했고 다음세대에 마음을 주신 이양섭전 도사, 허재호목사 가정을 목회팀으로 허 락해 주셔서 유빌리지한인교회를 시작 할 수 있었습니다. UBC 캠퍼스에서 예 배 장소를 찿는 것이 가장 큰 도전중의 하나인데 85년된 교회 건물인 VST 신학 교 채플, Chapel of the Epiphany를 적 절한비용에주신것이또한기도의응답 이었습니다.

2016년 10월 유빌리지교회 첫 예배를 시작하며 함께 해 준 여러 교회들의 사 랑이 있었습니다. 재정헙 역할로, 여러 장비와 기자재를 마련할 수 있도록, 팀 티셔츠로, 첫 달 렌트비등으로… 이 모 든 사랑에 어떻게 감사를 드려야 할지요. 현재 10~12명 성인이 함께 예배하고 있 고, 6명의 어린이들이 uVillage Kids에

서 자라가고 있고, 2016년 12월 29일~31일에는 첫 uVillage Family Retreat을 갖었습니다. 더욱 감사한 것은 1월 1일 일요일 새해 첫 예배 에 ‘uVillage 첫 침례식’을 한 것입니다. Jeff 윤 이라는 엔지니어 1학년 학생입니다.

uVillage's First Baptism (Vimeo/uVillage Church)

영혼을 구원하고 젊은이들을 제자삼는 캠퍼스교회 사역에는 함께 해 주시는 사랑과 기도가 절실하게 필요합니다. 하나님께서 우리 가정을 이곳 UBC 캠퍼스로 부르셨고 계속 교회 개척자로 살면서 끝까지 잘 달 려 갈 수 있도록 저희 가정(윤재웅, 이윤주, 현탁, 지은, 지혜)을 위해 기 도해 주세요.

다민족교회 Origin Church, UBC와 유빌리지교회 (www.uvillage.ca) 를 ‘다음세대 선교지’로 품고 기도로, 파트너 쉽으로 함께 해 주세요.

Originally published in the CNBC Horizon.  Used with Permission.

저는 Steve Gee목사이고 2016년 7월에 텍사스 달라스에서 밴쿠버로 왔습니다. 지금도 어떻게 제가 밴쿠버에 오게 되었는지 신기하기만 합니다. 도대체 어떻게 된 걸까요?

시작은 저의 아버지입니다. 아버지는 한국전쟁 고아였습니다. 전쟁이 시작될 무렵 남한에서 태어났는데 작은 어촌에 살던 아버지의 가족들은 모든 아이들을 마을에 두고 갔는데 북한군이 아이들을 휴전선 북쪽 포로수용소로 데려갔다고 합니다.

아버지는 포로수용소에 얼마나 오래 있었는지 모른다고 합니다. 그저 옷도 입지 못한 고아들이 많았다는 것만 기억합니다. 어느 날, 잠에서 깨어 창 밖을 보니 미국 군인이 얼굴을 씻고 있는 것이 보여 그 사람에게 뛰어갔다고 합니다. 군인이 아버지를 보더니 미소를 지으며 껌 하나를 꺼내 반을 잘라 아버지에게 주었답니다. 아버지는 전에도 껌을 씹어 본적이 있었지만 항상 군인들이 씹고 버린 것들이었기 때문에 설탕을 맛본 것은 처음이었다고 합니다. 마치 머리 속에서 폭발이 일어나는 것 같은, 정말 놀라운 느낌이었다고 합니다.

다음날 어떤 남자가 와서 아버지에게 오늘 떠날 거라고 말했답니다. 그 남자를 따라가 보니 어제의 그 미국 군인이 있었고 그 군인과 함께 사람으로 가득 찬 기차를 타고 남한으로 건너왔답니다. 고아원에 살게 되었고 가끔 그 미국 군인이 와서 아이들에게 사탕을 나눠줬다고 합니다.

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The American Korean War Correspondent with a Korean Orphan

몇 년 후, 아버지는 미국으로 입양이 되었습니다. 불행하게도 아버지는 그 가정에서 학대를 받아서 정부에 의해 구출되었다가 텍사스 휴스턴에 살던 가정으로 다시 입양되었습니다. 아버지의 부모님은 좋은 교육을 받으라고 사립학교에 보냈는데 아버지는 그곳에서 Unshackled라는 라디오 프로그램을 통해 17살에 예수님을 영접했습니다. 아버지는 이 기쁜 소식을 전하려고 부모님께 갔지만 부모님은 아버지를 고속버스 터미널에 데려다 주고 $100을 쥐어주며 다시는 보고 싶지 않다고 말했습니다.

아버지는 평안이 있다고 생각한 단 한 곳, Unshackled 방송을 내보내던 시카고로 갔습니다. 그곳에 도착하자 Unshackled를 제작하던 Pacific Garden Mission을 찾아가서 청소부로 봉사를 하기 시작했고 Moody 신학교를 다니며 어머니를 만나 결혼했습니다. 아버지는 결국엔 신학대학원도 졸업을 했습니다.

어느날 시카고에서 잡지를 뒤적이던 아버지는 한국에서 고아들에게 사탕을 나눠주는 미국 군인의 사진을 보게 되었습니다. 광고 사진을 자세히 보니 월드비젼의 광고였고 그 군인은 월드비젼의 창립자였던 Bob Pierce였습니다. Pierce는 한국전에 종군기자로 참전했고 그곳에서 고아들의 비참한 모습을 보고 월드비젼을 시작한 것입니다.

The Beginning of World Vision (YouTube/World Vision)

포로수용소에 있던 아버지가 껌 한 개를 통해 어둠을 뚫고 다가오신 하나님의 사랑을 느낍니다. 아버지가 처음으로 경험한 하나님의 사랑은 고아원에 찾아와 사랑해주고 어깨에 올라타게 해준 미국 종군기자를 통해서 였습니다.

이 이야기는 제가 어른이 되고 아이들을 낳아 키우며 저의 삶에 큰 영향을 미쳤습니다. 제가 Lin을 만난 것은 텍사스 달라스에서 선교담당목사로 섬길 때 입니다. Lin은 인공지능 박사과정 공부를 하며 여름에는 마이크로소프트 베이징 지사에서 일하는 똑똑한 학생이었습니다. 함께 만나 예수님에 대한 얘기를 나누곤 했는데 그는 예수님을 믿을 수 없다고 했습니다. 매주 요한복음을 한 장씩 읽기로 하며 이 책을 읽으면 하나님의 아들인 예수님을 알 수 있다고 그에게 말해 주었습니다. 요한복음을 거의 다 읽어갈 무렵 저는 예수님께 이렇게 기도했습니다. “하나님, 이제 2장 남았습니다. 이제 뭔가 하실 것이지요?” 제가 아는 모든 방법을 동원해서 복음을 전했지만 소용이 없었습니다. 그러던 어느 날, Lin을 위해 기도를 막 했을 때, Lin이 저에게 오더니 이렇게 말했습니다. “예수님을 믿고 내가 죄인이며 나를 위해 하나님이 예수님을 보내셨다는 것을 믿어요. 그런데 과학자로서 세상이 7일만에 창조되었다는 것은 정말 받아들이기 힘듭니다.” 저는 정말 좋은 소식이라며 기뻐했습니다. 다음날, Lin은 집으로 저를 찾아왔습니다. “중국 하얼빈에 계신 어머니에게 전화했어요. 상하이에 계신 할머니께도요. 오클라호마에서 박사 공부중인 동생에게도 전화했어요. 모두에게 예수 그리스도를 만나야 한다고 말했어요. 다들 예수님을 믿을 지는 모르겠지만 꼭 예수님을 만나야 한다고 말했어요.” 예수님을 만난 후 마을로 뛰어가 모두들 와서 예수님을 만나야 한다고 말했던 우물가 사마리아 여인이 생각났습니다. 하나님께서는 제 안에 우물가의 이방인, 이민자에 대한 사역의 씨를 심으셨습니다. 그 이민자가 자신의 마을로 돌아가 복음을 전하는 것 말입니다. 저는 Ian Buntain목사와 함께 밴쿠버를 방문했다가 인생의 답을 찾고 있는 사람들로 가득 찬 이 도시와 사랑에 빠졌습니다.

아내와 함께 밴쿠버로 이주하기로 결정을 하며 하나님께 무릎 꿇고 기도했습니다. “하나님, 저는 이 사역을 할 준비가 되어있지 않습니다.” 그 때 제게 말씀하시는 하나님의 음성을 들었습니다. “나도 안다. 밴쿠버로 가라. 너를 보여주지 말고 진정한 목자, 완전한 예수님을 보여 주어라.”

오늘 저는 아주 간단한 소명을 가지고 이곳에 있습니다. 아름다운 밴쿠버 땅을 거닐며 껌을 내밀어 권하고 완전하신 그 분을 알려주는 소명입니다.

Rachel 교회개척자 가정이 음침한 골짜기를 지나다

River Community 교회는 곧 Richmond Steveston에 새로운 사역센터를 열 예정입니다. 그러던 어느 날, 교회개척자인 Brad목사와 Rhonda사모는 딸 Rachel의 건강에 이상이 있다는 것을 알게 되었습니다.

“2016년 5월부터 Rachel이 기계체조 연습을 하다 보면 가슴이 통증이 있고 숨을 쉬기 힘들어진다는 얘기를 하기 시작했습니다. 또 학교에 다녀오면 낮잠을 자고 잘 시간이 되기도 전에 일찍 잠이 들어서 깨어나기 힘들어 하더군요. 의사는 당장 모든 운동을 그만두라고 했습니다. 좋아하던 체조도 그만두어야 했지요.” (Rhonda사모)

“저는 항상 피곤했어요. 아무것도 하고 싶지 않았어요.” (Rachel)

“사람들은 ‘겉으로 보기엔 멀쩡한데요’ 라고 말했지요. 겉으로 보기엔 괜찮았지만 사람들은 우리의 일상생활을 볼 수 없었고 정확하게 어떻게 아픈지 몰랐어요. 혈액전문의는 Rachel의 혈중 철분량이 너무 낮다며 당장 철분수혈을 시작해야 한다고 했어요. 보통은 철분수혈을 한 달에 한 번 정도 하고 아주 심한 사람들이 두 주에 한 번 하는데 Rachel은 5주 동안 매주 수혈을 받아야 했지요. 나중에야 Rachel이 희귀병인 교원성 위염 (collagenous gastritis)을 앓고 있다는 것을 알았습니다. 콜라겐으로 이루어진 혹들이 위 아래쪽에 끈처럼 형성되어서 철분을 포함한 영양분이 흡수되는 것을 막는 병이에요. 평생 가지고 살아야 하는 병이고 철분이 항상 많이 부족해서 해모글로빈 수치가 계속 매우 낮을 거에요. 지금 먹고 있는 특수 스테로이드제가 혹들을 제거해서 철분제를 흡수할 수 있을 때까지는 철분 수혈을 받아야 할겁니다.” (Rhonda사모)

“의사가 위내시경과 장내시경으로 원일을 찾을 확률이 8%밖에 안되고 그 후에는 무엇을 해야 할지 모르겠다고 했을 때는 정말 겁이 났어요. 병명이 뭔지 알게 되고 왜 내가 철분이 모자라고 아무것도 할 수 없는지 이유를 알게 되어 마음이 편해졌어요.” (Rachel)

“Rachel이 다니는 소화기과에는 같은 병을 앓고 있는 아이들이 7명이나 있어요. 세계에 이 병을 앓고 있는 사람들이 64명밖에 안되는데 이 병원에서 그 중 7명이나 치료를 하고 있다는 것은 놀라운 일이에요. 저는 하나님이 우리를 꼭 있어야 할 곳에 있게 하셨다고 믿어요. 우리가 복음을 전하고 돌봐야 할 사람들을 위해서 뿐만 아니라 우리를 돌보기 위해서 말이에요.” (Rhonda사모)
하나님께서는 Rachel에 대한 기도뿐 아니라 사역에 대한 기도도 계속해서 응답해 주셨습니다.

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A Mission Team serving with River Community Church (Instagram/Rhonda Forlow)

“이곳 Steveston에 온지도 3년이 되었습니다. 우리 가족은 이곳으로 올 때 이 커뮤니티에 완전히 들어가 사람들을 섬기고 아직 믿지 않는 사람들과 친구가 되기로 마음 먹었습니다. 하나님께서는 계속해서 가정들과 아이들, 학생들을 섬길 수 있는 문을 열어 주셨습니다. 지금은 대부분의 사역이 우리집에서 이루어집니다. 알맞는 때에 Steveston Village안에 장소가 정해 지기를 위해 기도해 왔는데 2016년 말에 좋은 장소가 나왔습니다. 커뮤니티와 하나가 되고 지금 집에서 하고 있는 사역들을 할 수 있는 사역의 장이 될 것입니다. 제자양육, 리더십 훈련, 소그룹모임 등 Steveston Village에서 사역을 더 확장할 수 있으리라 믿습니다.” (Brad Forlow목사)

May 2017: We Are a Family of Churches

Korean Edition 한국어

We are a family of churches developing people into Christ–likeness and launching them into His mission.  We believe that this statement accurately reflects who we wish to be. It is biblically and theologically focused and its memorable.

  1. We are a Family of Churches: We could have been a bunch of churches or an army of churches or a network of churches or a cluster of churches. But family is more descriptive of who we wish to be. In a family we belong to one another, we are both loved and love. We encourage one another. We serve and sacrifice for one another. Family reflects our common identity in Christ, who is our elder brother. We have the same Heavenly Father who has adopted us into His family and given us work to do.
  2. Developing People: The focus of our common mission is people. We are not cooperating together to build grand buildings, or store up great wealth, or influence powerful people, or make life easier for the family. Our focus is people. People are precious. They are of such great value that God sent His Son to redeem them from their empty, broken lives. So much of the world is transitory, it is passing away, but people are eternal.
  3. Into Christ–likeness: Our mission in engaging people is very specific. We are partnering with God to develop people into Christ – likeness. The goal of God is not just to get people into heaven but to do a transformative work in them so that when they get to heaven they will be ready to enjoy it. And so we intentionally partner with God in creating environments and opportunities for people to grow in the grace of Jesus. The greatest testimony that Jesus is alive are the lives of people He has transformed. And that leads us to the final phrase of our mission statement.
  4. Launching them into His mission: From the very beginning even when we were still in the garden God have us an assignment. The current assignment is to make disciples of the nations. And in order to do that we develop people into Christ – likeness and then send them out to declare the goodness and grace of God in Christ to all people. We launch them across the street to their neighbours, to various communities around BC, and to the various places around the globe. Even tonight, a mission team from Origin is waking up in Greece and preparing to serve and witness to refugees.
By God's grace and with His favour
this is who we will become. Hamish Buntain

This is who we want to be. We may not yet be accomplishing this mission perfectly but by God’s grace and with His favour this is who we will become.

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2016 Family Fun Day

Family is a special thing.

I’m a single guy and an only child. In my extended family, my mom has 6 on her side, my dad has 5. Their kids are a lot older than me, so they have kids, grandkids, and I’m just me. Sometimes I think if I don’t show up, it really doesn’t make any difference because it’s just an extra pair of chopsticks for us Chinese. However, I had a chance to visit family overseas last month, and they all said “it just haven’t been the same because we haven’t seen you.”

That’s the uniqueness of us as the WestCoast Baptist Association. We are churches, and we get together as a Family of Churches. Families come in all sizes, shapes, and forms. There are churches with 5 people, 50, and 500.

From the 2017 Semi-Annual Family Gathering of the WBA

I remember having the privilege of doing a youth camp for pastors kids, youth that are serving with their parents at their church plants. We’re gathered at couple of couches at the ranch, and one of the girls said she looks forwards to this every year. She said it was because there are more people around the couches that night than the number of people she gets to gather with weekly at the church. Therefore, don’t underestimate the ministry of your presence when our Family of Churches gather together.

Family also helps one another. About 2 months ago, I got news that my uncle suddenly passed away overseas. I sent out a prayer request to our prayer network, and over the course of the next day, people were calling and texting and encouraging. The pastor at Towers Church texted me half an hour before his service that Sunday and asked to see how having to tell my father his brother passed away went.

This is family. Conrad Au

Next thing I knew, I had a deacon family from Vancouver Chinese Baptist call and said “let us know if you have any needs we can help with.” I said, “I’m not going to be Chinese about this — I will call you!” Sure enough, as it turned out, my family and I were to fly to Hong Kong together and somebody needed to take us to the airport. I called them. They said “certainly, of course.”

And there was my dog. When you need to board a dog for two weeks, that will cost you more than the airfare. Our church planting coordinators in White Rock took my dog in, and when I picked up my dog afterwards, they said to bring her back anytime. I said, “I will cash in on that offer as well.”

This is family. That’s the WestCoast Baptist Association.

A Stick of Gum An Unusual Journey to Vancouver

My name is Steve Gee, and I moved to Vancouver from Dallas, Texas in July 2016. I’m still confused how in the world did I get here. How in the world did this happen.

It started with my dad, who was an orphan of the Korean War. He was born in South Korea when the war broke out. His family in the small fishing village left all the children in the village, my dad was captured by the North Korean army and taken over the DMZ and put into the war camp.

There were 2 seasons in the war camp: planting seed leaves, and planting rice. He didn’t know how long he was in the camp. They were a bunch of orphans, mostly without clothing. One day he got up and was looking out of the window and he saw a man, an American soldier, washing his face, so he ran out to him, looked at this soldier who looked up and him, smiled, and pulled out a stick of gum, tore it in half, and gave it to him.

From the 2017 Semi-Annual Family Gathering of the WBA

My father said he had had gum before, but it was gum already chewed out by soldiers, so it was amazing to taste this sugar, his head almost exploded, it was this amazing moment for him.

The next day, a man came up to him and said you’re leaving today. He walked him out of the room, and that same American soldier came, put my dad around his soldiers, and walked onto a packed train across the DMZ into South Korean. This man took him to an orphanage, and my dad said that once in a while that same American soldier would visit the orphanage to hand out more candy, and all the orphans would run up to him and get the candy.

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The American Korean War Correspondent with a Korean Orphan

A few years later, my dad was adopted and moved to the United States. Unfortunately, he was abused, and the American government took him away. He was readopted by the Gee’s in Houston, Texas. The Gee’s sent him to a private school for good education, and he ended up listening to this radio program called Unshackled, and ended up accepting Jesus at the age of 17. He went to his adopted parents, the Gee’s, this pretty good news, but a couple of months later, they took him to a Greyhound station, gave him $100, and told him they don’t want to ever see him again.

Then my father went to the only place he knew was a place of peace, to Chicago where Unshackled is broadcasted from. He finds the Pacific Garden Mission that produces Unshackled, he started volunteering there as a janitor, he goes to Moody Bible Institute, and eventually met my mom and got married. My dad ended up going to seminary.

One day he was looking at a magazine in Chicago and he sees this man, the American soldier who handed out candy to orphans in Korea. He looked at the ad, and it was an ad for World Vision, and that man was Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision. Pierce was working in Korea as an American war correspondent, saw the plight of orphans there and started World Vision.

The Beginning of World Vision (YouTube/World Vision)

There’s my father: One day in a Korean work camp, the love of God penetrated darkness with a stick of gum and broke my dad’s heart. It was his first opportunity where my dad saw the love of God who would come into a work camp to a poor orphan boy through an American war correspondent, who would put him on his shoulders and love him deeply.

This story, as I grew up and now having children, has deeply affected my life. I was serving as a missions pastor in Dallas, Texas where I met an intelligent doctoral student named Lin, has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and worked at Microsoft Beijing in the summers. We would talk about Jesus, and he said he can’t believe in him. We would go through a chapter of John a week, and I told him that this was the book to know Jesus, the son of God. We were getting close to the end of the book and I prayed, “Please, God, we only have 2 chapters left, you’re going to have to do something!” I remember throwing every gospel presentation I had and I fell flat. One day, after praying for Lin, Lin came to me and said “I believe in Jesus, that I’m a sinner and that God sent Him so I can be reconciled to Him…but the 7 day creation trips me up as a scientist.” I said, “well, this is good news!” You can see how this plays out. The next day, Lin comes to my house and tells me “I called my mom in Harbin, China. I called my grandma in Shanghai. I call my brother in Oklahoma getting a doctoral degree. I told them all they need to meet Jesus Christ. I don’t know if they’ll all believe, but I told them you have to meet Him”

It reminds me of the woman at the well who runs back to the village and says you’ve got to meet the person at the well. That’s what Lin did. God planted a ministry in me, a ministry to the stranger at the well, the immigrant, and seeing him run back and tell the village. I came to visit Vancouver with Ian Buntain and fell in love with the city, a city full of people who are looking for answers.

I don't need you to point to yourself
but to the True Shepherd. Steve Gee

When my wife and I first decided to move here, I remember falling on my knees saying “God, I’m not ready for this.” I remember, as audible as I can hear, God saying “I know. Steve, go to Vancouver. I don’t need you to point to yourself but to the True Shepherd, the One who is sufficient.”

Today, I stand with a very simple call, to walk around Vancouver, this beautiful city, handing out sticks of gum and pointing to the One who is sufficient.

Rachel's Story A Planting Family’s Journey in the Darkest Valley

River Community Church is set to open their new ministry centre in Richmond Steveston.  Meanwhile, planters Brad and Rhonda Forlow began to notice concerns with daughter Rachel’s health.

“Starting in May 2016, Rachel started talking about how she was having chest pains, or she couldn’t breathe at gymnastics practice,” recalled mother Rhonda Forlow, “we also started to notice she was taking a nap after school, and not only that, but she would go to bed at regular time or before and sleep all night as well.  The doctors told us that we needed to immediately take her out of any type of exercise, whether that’d be P.E. class, doing things on her own.  Gymnastics was definitely out.”

“I was always being tired,” explained Rachel Forlow, “not feeling like doing anything.”

“It was actually a running joke in our house,” said Rhonda, “the doctor actually wrote on that same note that said ‘no chores at home.’  People would say things to us like ‘well, she looks just fine.’  She did look fine, but they didn’t see our daily life, and they didn’t know actually what was going on.”

“In the meantime, the hematologist had felt like her iron was so low that we had to start iron transfusion.  Normally they would do iron transfusion once a month, some people has to have them once every two weeks, Rachel had to go once a week for five weeks.  Eventually, we found out that she had a very rare disease called collagenous gastritis, where nodules form a band made up of collagen around the lower part of her stomach.  It does not allow certain nutrients to go through her stomach, one of which is iron.  From what we’ve been told, she will deal with this for the rest of her life.  She’ll continue to have really low iron, which will cause her hemoglobin to get really low and will need iron transfusions unless the special steroids that she’s on eventually takes the nodules away enough so that the iron pills will work in her system.”

“It was the scariest when [the doctor] said there’s an 8% chance we would find anything in the endoscopy and colonoscopy,” Rachel reflected, “and after that he would not have known what to do.  I think I’m relieved that I know what it is now and why I have low iron and can’t do anything.”

He's ministering to us. Rhonda Forlow

“The doctors that we were seeing in the GI (gastrointestinal) department are treating seven children, including Rachel, with some form of this disease,” furthered Rhonda, “when there are only sixty-four people in the whole world who has this decease, for them to be able to treat seven of them, is a big deal.  I think God really has us, yet again, exactly where we’re supposed to be, not only because of the people He brought us here to witness and minister to, but also He’s ministering to us.”

As God answered prayers for Rachel, He also continued to answer prayers for the ministry.

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A Mission Team serving with River Community Church (Instagram/Rhonda Forlow)

“We’ve been here in Steveston for three years,” said Brad Forlow, “we came here with the intention to immerse ourselves in this community, to serve the community, and to build meaningful with non-church non-believers, and God’s continued to open up doors for us to minister to families and to kids and students.  Much of our ministry is done in and through our house right now.  We’ve been praying for the right time and location to have a presence in Steveston Village.  Through prayer and talking to realtors, this property came up at the end of 2016 and we’ve taken possession of it now.  This space is great opportunity for us to be part of the community, and we see this ministry space of various things we’ve been asked to do and currently doing in our home.  Discipleship, leadership, anything a small group is doing, this ministry centre gives us space that is neutral as we seek to extend our ministry into Steveston Village.”

uVillage Korean Church has First Baptism

With a heart for the next generation, it has been six years already since my family came to live in and do ministry with Origin Church on the UBC campus with Craig O’Brien and his family. Sunday worship gatherings, one-on-one meetings and discipleship with students, Alpha group, a Thanksgiving gathering, inner-city ministry, exam care packages, and a Christmas gathering. The fall term passed by quickly and 65 to 85 people gather each Sunday to worship together at Origin.

Since 2015, Origin has been praying for effective Gospel ministry in the Chinese and Korean communities, the largest ethnic groups on the UBC campus. With limited resources, we thought it would be an answer to prayer when God sent team workers for ministry. God sent Ian Lee and Jaeho Huh for the Korean ministry, two people with hearts for the next generation. Together we could start uVillage Korean Church. Finding a place to worship is a big challenge at UBC but God answered our prayers and opened doors for us to rent the Chapel of the Epiphany (Vancouver School of Theology) at a reasonable rate.

We are full of gratitude. Peter Yoon

uVillage had its first Sunday gathering in October with many churches assisting in love. One church volunteered to be a financial hub, another church helped us purchase equipment, another paid for uVillage T-shirts, and another paid our first month’s rent. We are full of gratitude.

We had our first family retreat in late December. We are most grateful for our first baptism on January 1, of a first-year engineering student named Je Yoon.

uVillage's First Baptism (Vimeo/uVillage Church)

Love and prayers are desperately needed for the campus church ministry that focuses on reaching out to the young people with the Gospel, and equipping them to be followers of Jesus. I know that God has called our family to the UBC campus. Please pray for our family so that we can continue to live and work well as church planters.

Please keep Origin Church at UBC and uVillage Church (www.uvillage.ca) in your hearts and prayers and be our partners in this work.

Originally published in the CNBC Horizon.  Used with Permission.

No Regrets Churches Challenged to Launch Men’s Ministries

It was while challenging the men in the Association to fast and pray for revival that Casey Cleland of Westlynn Baptist Church first realized how few churches actually have men’s ministries.

“I knew of only two that had would be called a true men’s ministry,” he says. This in turn burdened Cleland to urge leaders to launch men’s ministries as a way to engage the men of their church. “This is critical as I believe men are the answer to a spiritual awakening in this land.”

To help jumpstart this initiative, Cleland organized a conference under the banner of the No Regrets men’s ministry on Saturday, February 4, at Westlynn. The event has been held annually since 1994 out of Brookfield, Wisconsin, with speakers simulcast via live HD video to close to 100 host sites across the U.S. and Canada.

Thirty-six men from seven churches—including at least two from outside the WBA—showed up despite a snowstorm that weekend. Afterwards, 95% rated the conference “very good.” “It exceeded all my expectations,” Cleland says.

Four of the men were from Royal Heights Baptist Church. “The conference was uplifting and inspirational,” says Associate Pastor Glen Watson. “It will act as a catalyst to start a men’s ministry at Royal Heights. We were blessed by what they saw and heard.”

One purpose of the conference is to encourage churches going forward to plug their men into the No Regrets Study Series, a two-year small group discipleship program.

“Church leaders need to seriously consider this for their church,” says Cleland, who has been leading the study at Westlynn. “This is a serious program for helping men understand who they are in Christ. It challenges them and at the same time fostering much-needed accountability and bonds of brotherhood.”

January 2017: 이야기의

I love a good story. I suspect many people do. Stories draw us in and inspire us to think about truths and ideas that we would ignore otherwise. A story has the power to focus our energies, change our minds, and give us hope. Not all stories. Some stories are so bad, some so evil, that they do not deserve a retelling. They need to die.

God stories on the other hand need to be told again and again. The Bible is our primary source for God stories but His Spirit is actively at work today partnering with people to compose other stories that point us to the beauty and wonder of an infinitely great God who loves us in Christ. These God stories have different characters, settings, and plot twists but they all share one theme in common: God is love and in His goodness, He has acted powerfully to demonstrate that reality. He still is. In your life and mine, in your church and in mine, in this weary world God works to show us this truth. These works of God need to be shared so that the stories of God might begin to shape us and point others to Him.

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2016 Family Fun Day at Barnet Marine Park

It is our desire to chronicle the stories that God is writing with you. We want to be one of the avenues by which you can glorify God by telling His story. So share your God stories with us and we will glorify Him together. Allow God to use His story with you to bless others. I pray that as we grow in both skill and capacity to tell His story that it will become the only story that inspires us, and indeed, it will become the only story that people will want to hear.



함께 한 네팔 선교

지난 8월, Immanuel Baptist, Surrey Chinese Baptist, 그리고 Westlynn Baptist 세 교회는 연합으로 IMB소속 선교사 가정이 있는 네팔로 단기선교팀을 파송했습니다.

“네팔에 가기로 결정한 후 우리를 필요로 하는 지역이 어디일지 찾아보았습니다. 복음을 들을 기회가 없는 사람들을 도울 수 있다는 말에 복음을 전할 수 있어 흥분이 되었습니다. 예수님의 이름을 한 번도 들어보지 못한 사람들에게 사랑을 전할 수 있는 기회였습니다.”

“하나님의 복음을 전하는 선교에 대한 마음이 있었습니다. 처음에는 ‘왜 네팔?’이라는 의문이 있었는데 성령님이 깨우쳐 주셨습니다. 얼마 전에 제자훈련을 받고 있었는데 교회의 십대 청년이 이런 질문을 했었습니다. ‘왜 항상 중국으로만 선교를 가죠? 일본에는 왜 안갑니까?”
— Immanuel교회 다음세대 담당 목사 Brendon Buntain


“그곳의 사람들은 진심으로 마음을 열고 우리와 이야기를 나누었습니다.” “어쩌면 달리 할 일이 없고 삶이 지루해서 왔는지도 모르겠지만 그들의 마음이 지역 목사님이 전하는 말씀을 들을 준비가 되어 있다는 느낌을 받았습니다.” —Surrey Chinese 교회 Jian Ng


“우리가 가기 오래 전부터 하나님께서는 이미 네팔에서 일하고 계셨습니다. 기독교에 대해 좋지 않게 생각하는 것 뿐 아니라 다른 종교를 갖게 되면 가족들에게 멸시를 받거나 버림 받을 수 있는 나라여서 크리스찬이 된다는 것은 큰 용기가 필요한 곳이 거든요. 그런데, 비즈니스를 운영하는 크리스찬들이 있어서 안전하게 함께 모여 친교하고 성경을 배울 수 있는 곳들을 준비해 놓으셨더군요. 하나님께서 그들을 정말 사랑하신다는 것을 알 수 있었습니다.”
—Surrey Chinese교회 Joanne Yiu


“복음이 울려퍼지는 최전방에 가볼 수 있는 큰 축복의 기회였습니다. 네팔 성도들과 함께 복음을 전할 수 있었던 것… 외국인과 함께가 아니라면 가지 않을 곳에 함께 가서 그들이 복음을 나눌 수 있게 도울 수 있었습니다. 성경의 초대교회들처럼 교회들이 세워지고 하나님을 위해 일하는 사람들을 볼 수 있었지요. 성경에서 읽을 때는 쉽게 된 일들 같았는데 실제로 그곳에 가서 산들을 오르내리면서 몸으로 느껴볼 수 있었어요.”
—Surrey Chinese교회 Jackey Lip

“그곳에서 했던 많은 일들은 이곳 밴쿠버에서도 할 수 있는 일들입니다. 가정을 방문하고 여자분들과 차를 마시고 아이들과 놀아주고, 팔찌 천 개를 포장하고… 여기서도 쉽게 할 수 있는 일들이죠. 이웃집에 걸어가서 함께 시간을 보내는 것도 선교입니다.”
—-Westlynn교회 Amity Petrabla

“이번 선교를 통해 배운 것들을 통해 다음에는 좀 더 잘 할 수 있을 겁니다. 이번에 문화적 차이를 경험하면서 네팔이 정말 이런 곳이구나 알게 되었거든요. 한 번 더 가면 좋겠습니다.”
—Surrey Chinese교회 Billy Wu


“제자로 양육이 일어나려면 오랜 기간 동안 꾸준히 투자해서 그곳 사람들이 우리가 선교를 명목으로 온 여행객이 아니라 정말로 그들을 귀하게 여긴다는 것을 알아야 합니다. 그들에게
도움이 되는 것이어야지 우리에게 더 도움이 되는 선교는 하고 싶지 않습니다.”
— Surrey Chinese교회 영어목회 목사 Rob Buntain



청소년들이 그리스도 안에서 단단한 기초를 세우도록 격려합시다

웃음, 기쁨.
우리 WBA 지방회 청소년들은 2016년 SYC여름 캠프와 Rock Solid 집회 등을 통해 다른 친구들과 함께 예수님을 만나고 높여드리는 기회들이 있었습니다.

SYC 여름 캠프에서 변화된 청소년에 대해 VCBC교회 리더인 Brian Lee는 다음과 같이 전했습니다. “Hewe를 처음 만난 것은 2년 전이었습니다. 첫인상이 거칠고 버릇없어 보일 수 있는 아이였지요. 다른 아이들을 통해 Hewe가 배우려는 마음이 매우 강한 동시에 문제도 많이 일으키는 것으로 유명하다는 것을 알게 되었습니다. 강한 인상을 남긴 아이였는데 그 다음해 여름에 캠프에서 다시 만났습니다. 여전히 문제가 있기는 했지만 작년보다 예수님을 향한 믿음과 신뢰에 대해 좀 더 성숙하게 표현할 줄 아는 아이가 되어 있었습니다. 몇 달 후 제가 Hewe가 속한 청소년 모임의 리더가 되었습니다. 매주 모임 때마다 버릇없음과 예수님을 향한 열정이 공존하는 이 아이의 모습을 보며 놀라워했지요.

2016 Summer Youth Celebration

그런데 작년 여름 SYC 캠프를 통해 Hewe가 크게 변하는 모습을 보았습니다. 마지막 날 저녁 Josh Arrington목사의 설교를 들은 후 고등학교를 막 졸업했던 Hewe가 저에게 따로 대화를 하고 싶다고 요청했습니다. 좀 더 성숙한 신앙을 가져야겠다는 도전을 받았고 하나님께서 자신의 경험을 통해 신앙에 대해 씨름하고 있는 다른 청소년들을 축복하기 원하신다는 것을 알게 되었다고 말했습니다. 자신 있게 말하면서도 하나님의 부르심을 겸손하게 받아들이려고 하는 모습이었습니다. 리더들에게 골치덩이였던 아이가 학생들을 위해 자신을 드리는 아이로 변했습니다.”

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#RockSolid2016

WBA 지방회 모임과 함께 모이는 Rock Solid는 찬양과 선교에 대한 간증들, 예수님께 헌신하라는 메시지가 있는 집회입니다. 작년에 이어 2년 째 목회자 자녀들과 친구들로 구성된 밴드인 PKsUNITED가 찬양인도를 했습니다. Rock Solid를 통해 받은 은혜를 다음 세대, 동생들에게 나누게 된 것입니다.

“2012년에 엄마가 Rock Solid에 가라고 시켰는데 전 가기 싫었었는데 찬양팀이 있었고 찬양을 통해 하나님을 섬기고 싶다는 것을 알게 되었어요.”” Gateway 미얀마교회의 Soe Kyaw Thu목사의 딸이며 PKsUNITED 맴버인 Rose San-Aye가 말입니다.

우리 지방회 교회들의 청소년들을 위해서 계속 기도해 주시기 바랍니다. 그리스도 안에서 단단한 기초를 닦을 수 있게 하는 청소년 제자양육을 원하시면 언제든지 연락 주십시요.
(conrad@westcoastbaptist.ca)

With files from the CNBC Horizon.



시리아 난민을 후원하는Cityview교회

Cityview교회는 지금부터 1년 후에 밴쿠버에 도착할 젊은 시리아 난민 청년의 정착을 도우려고 합니다. Mogheer Eid라는 이 청년은 2015년 부모님과 두 형제, 약혼자를 남겨두고 조국 시리아를 떠나 지금은 터키에서 일하며 살고 있습니다.

컴퓨터 공학을 전공했고 영어도 유창한 Eid형제는 석사과정을 공부하기를 원했지만 군복무를 해야 한다는 통보를 받았습니다. Eid형제는 군대에 가는 대신 시리아를 떠나는 것을 선택했는데 이슬람중 매우 진보적인 신앙을 지향하는 Ismaili라는 작은 종파에 속해 있습니다.

예수님을 만나기 전 같은 Ismaili교도였던 Cityview교회의 Nazim Murji는 지인을 통해 페이스북에서 처음 Eid형제에 대해 알게 되었습니다. 그가 자신에 대해 거짓을 말하지 않고 진실되다는 것을 안 Murji는 Eid형제가 캐나다에 올 수 있도록 돕고자 했고 바로 그 즈음이Cityview교회에서 시리아 난민을 돕는 것에 대해 대화를 시작할 때였습니다.

Murji는 Eid형제가 영어도 잘하고 학력도 있어서 캐나다로 오는데 어렵지 않을 것이라고 믿습니다. 그러나 미혼의 젊은 남성이기에 캐나다 정부에서 까다롭게 그의 난민신청을 심사할 것이기에 캐나다에 오는데에 적어도 9-10개월 정도가 걸릴 것으로 보입니다.

Cityview교회가 아프가니스탄과 르완다 난민을 스폰서하는데 이미 두 번의 도움을 주었던 Murji는 난민을 스폰서하기 원하는 교회에게 온성도가 한마음이어야 한다고 조언합니다. “모두 함께 도와야만 합니다. 성도들 한 사람 한 사람이 각자의 부분들을 담당해 주어야 할 수 있습니다. 그렇지 않으면 두 세 사람이 모든 짐을 짊어져야 하는데…결코 잘 감당할 수가 없습니다.”



CNBD 교단 초창기 리더인 Allen Schmidt 소천

CNBC 교단의 초대 리더였던 Allen Schmidt목사가 지난 9월 25일 83세를 일기로 소천했습니다. 그는 CNBC가 설립된 1985년부터 1998년 은퇴할 때까지 교단리더로 섬겼습니다. 1987년 캐나다 남침례 신학교의 설립에도 큰 몫을 담당했던 Schmidt목사는 BC주 델타의 Royal Heights 교회의 창립목사이기도 합니다.

Schmidt목사의 뒤를 이러 교단의 리더로 섬기고 있는 Gerry Taillon목사는 Schmidt목사가 “하나님을 사랑하고 하나님과 하나님의 교회를 섬기는데 최선을 다했던 분”이었다고 말했습니다.

WBA Church Ministry Catalyst인 Hamish Buntain목사는 “나는 Schmidt목사님을 열여섯에 만났는데 지난 45년간 계속해서 내 인생에 영향을 주신 분입니다. 영적 아버지와 같은 분입니다. 제가 목회자가 되겠다고 하나님께 헌신한 것이 그 분의 사무실에서 였습니다”라고 말했습니다.

Schmidt목사는 Kamloops에서 농사를 짓는 집안의 일곱 자녀들 중 네 째로 태어났습니다. 아홉 살 때 여름 성경학교에서 예수 그리스도를 구주로 만났고 열 두 살 때 하나님께서 목회자로 부르신다는 것을 처음 느꼈습니다. 고등학교를 중퇴하고 트럭 운송회사를 운영하다가 1952년에 Shurpass Pacific College에서 고등학교 과정을 이수하기 위해 밴쿠버에 왔습니다. 1953년에는 밴쿠버의 Ruth Morton Memorial Baptist Church 소속 네 명의 청년들과 함께 미국 텍사스의 Hardin-Simmons 침례 대학에 입학했고 함께 공부하러 갔던 Catherine Lee와 1954년 결혼했습니다.

유가족으로는 아내 Catherine사모와 두 딸, Becky Wade와 Leanne Hart, 아들 Joe가 있고 여섯 명의 손자들이 있습니다.

As first published in the Baptist Press.



WBA Essentials: More Highlights in our extended family.

  • Henry Kwok (Treasurer of WBA): 2017년 지방회 예산안이 지난 11월 연례총회에서 -$25,000로 통과되었습니다. 총회에서 보고했던 대로 지난 몇 년간 지출은 늘어났지만 많은 교회들의 지방회 헌금은 늘지 않았습니다. 교회들이 좀 더 헌신해 주시기를 바랍니다. More>>>
  • Coming Up in the WBA:
    • Saturday, January 14, 2017: BC Society Act Seminar
      10:00am | Surrey Chinese Baptist Church
      Doors open at 9:30am, Coffee Provided
    • Sunday, April 30, 2017: Semi-Annual Gathering
      6:00pm | Location TBA

January 2017: The Power of Story

Korean Edition 한국어

I love a good story. I suspect many people do. Stories draw us in and inspire us to think about truths and ideas that we would ignore otherwise. A story has the power to focus our energies, change our minds, and give us hope. Not all stories. Some stories are so bad, some so evil, that they do not deserve a retelling. They need to die.

God stories on the other hand need to be told again and again. The Bible is our primary source for God stories but His Spirit is actively at work today partnering with people to compose other stories that point us to the beauty and wonder of an infinitely great God who loves us in Christ. These God stories have different characters, settings, and plot twists but they all share one theme in common: God is love and in His goodness, He has acted powerfully to demonstrate that reality. He still is. In your life and mine, in your church and in mine, in this weary world God works to show us this truth. These works of God need to be shared so that the stories of God might begin to shape us and point others to Him.

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2016 Family Fun Day at Barnet Marine Park

It is our desire to chronicle the stories that God is writing with you. We want to be one of the avenues by which you can glorify God by telling His story. So share your God stories with us and we will glorify Him together. Allow God to use His story with you to bless others. I pray that as we grow in both skill and capacity to tell His story that it will become the only story that inspires us, and indeed, it will become the only story that people will want to hear.



On Mission to Nepal: Churches Sending Together

This past August, Immanuel Baptist, Surrey Chinese Baptist, and Westlynn Baptist Churches joined together to send a group of faithful servants on mission to Nepal to work with a missionary family from our partners at the International Mission Board.

“When we decided we were going to Nepal, we were looking for a place where there’s a need,” explained Brendon Buntain, Next Gen Pastor of Immanuel, “it was expressed to us that we could help reach those who don’t have the opportunity to hear the gospel, so that stirred up within me an excitement to share the gospel. To love on those who have never heard the name of Jesus.”

“I’ve always had a heart for mission to spread the gospel of God,” shared Pepin Wong of Surrey Chinese, on why he decided to join the Nepal mission opportunity, “[but] I thought ‘why Nepal’? Then I got the Spirit awakening me…not long ago I was in discipleship training…one youth [in the Chinese church] asked ‘why always China you guys are going to? Why not visit Japan?’”

“The people there were really open to talking to us,” recalled Jian Ng of Surrey Chinese, “even though maybe [they were there because] they were bored, I felt like their hearts were prepared to hear the message that the local pastor was telling them”

It takes a lot of courage to be a Christian there. Joanne Yiu

“God was already working in Nepal long before we got there,” added Joanne Yiu of Surrey Chinese, “in a country where Christianity is not only frowned upon, but if you are not part of the dominant religion, your family would disown or be ashamed of you. It takes a lot of courage to be a Christian there. We met Christians and connected with them where they have certain businesses owned by believers that they can congregate in…and fellowship to learn the Bible in a safe space. God really does care for them.”

“It was such a great blessing and opportunity to be at the frontiers of where the Gospel is going,” reflected Jackey Lip of Surrey Chinese, “seeing and working alongside with local believers and acting as a platform for them to go to places they usually won’t be able to go without foreigners because they would be questioned. To see a lot of parallels of scriptures where the church was first spreading, to get to see these people at work for God. When you read scripture, it seems so simple, but when you’re really there walking these paths going down and back up these mountains, the physicality part is all part of it.”

A lot of the things we did there, we can do here. Amity Petralba

“A lot of the things we did there, we can do here,” added Amity Petralba of Westlynn, “we visited home, drank tea with the women, played with their kids, packaged 1000 bracelets, that’s easily something you can do here. Missions can easily be just walk to your neighbours’ house and spend time with them in fellowship.”

“There are definitely challenges on this trip that we can gain for our next trip,” said Bill Wu of Surrey Chinese, “the cultural difference we encountered [helped] us understand what Nepal really is, so a second trip would definitely be beneficial.”

“Discipleship happens over time through continual investment where [the people there understand that] you value them and you’re not just a quasi tourist that’s also there on this religious trip,” summarized Rob Buntain, English Pastor of Surrey Chinese, “we don’t just want to go to have a mission trip that produces more benefit for us than it does for them.”



Building Solid Foundations: 2016 Youth Look back

The Smiles. The Joy.

Whether through Summer Youth Celebration or through Rock Solid, youth across the WBA had opportunities in 2016 to embrace Jesus with peers from our extended family of churches.

At Summer Youth Celebration, our annual summer youth camp, leader Brian Lee of Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church witnessed life transformation in the youth.

2016 Summer Youth Celebration

“I met Hewe [two years ago], a rugged youth who, on first impression, may appear to be rowdy and disrespectful,” said Lee, “Over conversation with others I learned that he had a strong reputation of being both a passionate learner and an infamous troublemaker. Somehow the memories of Hewe remained strong until the following year when I reencountered him at camp. Though still troublesome, he exhibited a little more maturity in how he communicated his faith and trust in Jesus. Little did I know that I would become his youth intern a few months later. Both his rowdiness and passion in faith continued to amaze me every week in youth group.”

“However, it was during this SYC in 2016 that he showed the biggest transformation. After Josh Arrington’s talk on the final evening, Hewe, now a high school graduate, invited me for a chat in private. He mentioned that he felt challenged to be more mature in his faith, and he felt that God had called him to use his experience to bless other teens who might have struggled with their faith. He spoke confidently, but at the same time he showed reverence to the call from God. Certainly, Hewe had come a long way, from being a giant headache amongst the leaders to becoming one who cares for the youth.”

I saw the worship team and I realized then that I wanted to serve God that way. Rose San-Aye

At Rock Solid, our annual youth rally in conjunction of our association’s Annual Gathering, amidst an exciting evening filled with worship, missional testimonies, and a message of call to surrender to Jesus, we saw PKsUNITED, a band comprised of pastors’ kids and their friends, lead worship for a second straight year, eager to lead Rock Solid for the next generation just as they had been blessed by Rock Solid in the past.

“So my mom made me go to this thing called Rock Solid in 2012, I did not want to,” recalled Rose San-Aye in 2015, member of PKsUNITED and daughter of Pastor Soe Kyaw Thu of Gateway Myanmar Baptist, “when I got there I saw the worship team and I realized then that I wanted to serve God that way.”

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#RockSolid2016

Let’s continue to pray for our youth across our churches. Be sure to contact me (conrad@westcoastbaptist.ca) to get your youth connected to discipleship opportunities to build solid foundations in Christ!

With files from the CNBC Horizon.



Refugee Crisis: Cityview Seeks to Sponsor A Syrian Refugee

A year from now, Cityview Church hopes to be helping a young Syrian get settled in his new home in Vancouver. Mogheer Eid fled his homeland in 2015, leaving behind his parents, two brothers and a fiancée. He is now living and working in Turkey.

A computer electronics engineer and fluent in English, Eid was told when he applied to begin a Master’s degree that he would first have to do his military service. He chose instead to flee Syria. Eid is an Ismaili, a small Islamic sect with very liberal beliefs.

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Our partners at the Canadian Global Response are actively involved in caring for refugees. Learn more at canadianglobalresponse.ca.

Cityview member Nazim Murji, who is himself a former Ismaili, first learned of him when Eid contacted him through mutual friends on Facebook. When he realized that Eid was genuinely who he said he was, Murji decided to help him come to Canada. At the same time, Cityview had started discussing sponsoring a Syrian refugee.

Murji is confident that Eid will be “easy” to sponsor given his education and language skills. But because he is a single, young male, the government will likely scrutinize his application more thoroughly than others. That means it could still take nine or ten months before he is allowed into Canada.

It'll take a village... Nazim Murji

Having twice taken part already in helping Cityview sponsor refugees from Afghanistan and Rwanda, Murji says the best advice he could give other churches wanting to do the same is that everyone must be actively onboard.

“It’ll take a village to get whoever arrives settled here,” he says. “Each member must commit to what they will do when the refugees arrive. That is very, very important, because it can’t fall on just two or three shoulders. It doesn’t work.”



Celebrating Allen Schmidt: CNBC/WBA Pioneer Dies

Allen Schmidt, founding executive director of the Canadian National Baptist Convention, died Sept. 25 in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. He was 83.

Schmidt led the CNBC from its founding in 1985 until his retirement in 1998. He was also instrumental in founding the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in 1987, and founding pastor of Royal Heights Baptist Church in Delta, BC.

Gerry Taillon, CNBC’s national ministry leader and Schmidt’s successor, described him as “a model of someone who loved God and did whatever it took to serve Him and His churches.”

It was in his office that I surrendered to the ministry. Hamish Buntain

Hamish Buntain, WBA’s church ministry catalyst, recounted that Schmidt “touched every decade of my life except the first (I am 61 now. I met Allen when I was 16). He was like a spiritual father to me. It was in his office that I surrendered to the ministry.”

Schmidt was the fourth of seven children in a farming family near Kamloops. He trusted Christ as his Saviour at age 9 at the close of Vacation Bible School. At the age of 12 he had the first sense of God’s call to ministry.

Early in his high school years he dropped out of school and operated his own trucking business. In 1952, he came to Vancouver to attend Shurpass Pacific College to complete high school. In the fall of 1953 he was one of five students from Ruth Morton Memorial Baptist Church in Vancouver who enrolled at Hardin-Simmons Baptist University in Texas, USA. One of the other students was Catherine Lee, whom Schmidt married in 1954.

In addition to his wife of 62 years, Schmidt is survived by two daughters, Becky Wade and Leanne Hart; a son, Joe; and six grandchildren.

As first published in the Baptist Press.



WBA Essentials: More Highlights in our extended family.

  • Henry Kwok (Treasurer of WBA): In the November Annual General Meeting the Association passed the 2017 budget with a projection of a -$25,000 General Fund balance. As I reported in the meeting, expenses have been increasing but the contribution from many member churches has not increased for the last few years. My hope is that the member churches would step up their contribution generously. More>>>
  • Coming Up in the WBA:
    • Saturday, January 14, 2017: BC Society Act Seminar
      10:00am | Surrey Chinese Baptist Church
      Doors open at 9:30am, Coffee Provided
    • Sunday, April 30, 2017: Semi-Annual Gathering
      6:00pm | Location TBA

pc: Terry Teng

Posted by WestCoast Baptist Association on Sunday, January 8, 2017