WestCoast Challenge: Oasis on the West Coast


Heather Bond
WestCoast Baptist Association Church Planter - Ekklesia (North Saanich)


The great and beautiful west coast of Canada is not the typical place that one sees the need for an oasis. With its lush green forests and vast oceans, there is no dry desert land in sight. But even in the midst of God’s great grandeur, He knows that we need margins in our life.

God knew from the beginning of creation that His people needed those margins of rest, reflection and renewal—those times to cease striving and allow Him to meet us in the quietness of His rest.

For pastors and their wives, this margin of rest, of Sabbath, is sometimes quite di cult to accept. The CNBC, together with the WestCoast Baptist Association, provided an “Oasis” opportunity for pastors and wives to nd that margin of time to rest in our Father’s embrace.

Seventeen ministry couples retreated to Barnabas Family Ministries on Keats Island, BC, April 24–26. We were wel- comed by a sta eager to nurture weary couples, pam- pered in luxurious private rooms, nourished with healthy and delicious meals, and enveloped in the serenity of the Creator’s oasis.

Standing in the cool night air on the coast of Keats Island surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the brilliant starry sky above is like being inside the protection of a beautiful snow globe. And if that wasn’t enough, we had the added blessing of having Cameron Roxburgh, Pastor of Southside Community Church in Burnaby, encourage us not only to be faithful servants, but more importantly, to be sons and daughters whose confident identity is found in our Father and whose service is an outpouring of the mission of God.

So what did seventeen ministry couples find at Barnabas Family Ministries? We found an oasis of fellowship, a time to rest weary souls, “a refuge, relief and a pleasant change from our usual, and sometimes difficult” life in ministry. We found a place and a time to rest in the gentle embrace of our loving Father.

Originally published in the CNBC Horizon.