A friend leaned in close and whispered, “We certainly live in interesting times, don’t we?”
I am quite sure that fortune cookies are not one of the primary ways that the Holy Spirit leads us, but I couldn’t shake the sense that God was speaking to me through the timing of that small piece of paper. These are days of massive cultural shifts coupled with rapid innovation resulting in unprecedented opportunities and challenges. Accordingly, many leaders are wondering and struggling with the pace and complexities of life, faith and leadership right now. We find ourselves in interesting days, indeed.
I have been praying and thinking about these interesting times ever since that night and while I don’t have a lot of definitive conclusions I do know three things with absolute clarity. While some cultures view living in interesting times as a curse, I don’t think that as followers of Jesus we need to see it that way. I believe that our Lord is with us and will bring us through whatever is to come, and that includes these interesting times. I am also convinced that out of all the branches of the Christian church that I could be in, I am blessed to go through these days with you, my family of churches.
We don’t get to choose the times we live in, but we do get to choose how we live in them. We may always live in interesting times, but I choose to not be afraid, to trust Jesus, and to face these days together with my family of faith.
I invite you to join me in the journey.
Photos from the BC-Yukon AGM & Retreat
An update from YVR Chapel
I hope that your summer has been enjoyable and refreshing! Janet and I just returned from two wonderful weeks visiting our daughters and grandchildren in Detroit and North Carolina, so yes, life is good— indeed, because God is so good! I also enjoyed seeing old friends at my 50th high school reunion (still hard to believe that happened!) and meeting up with 18 close relatives at a Kirkley family reunion. Lots of blessings!
We are also currently saying our goodbyes and words of appreciation to past Board Chair Terry Clements, as he went home to be with the Lord on August 7. His joyful memorial is being hosted by Sunshine Ridge Baptist Church on Sat. August 25, at 1:00 p.m.
Fall Plans: If you happened to miss the Summer BBQ, we’re planning a fall team-building event in early November to increase our team spirit and to motivate us in our ministry at YVR. We want to get excited about our annual holiday drop-in in December, in which we strive to attract many YVR employees to the Chapel for home-made goodies and an opportunity to experience what the Chapel offers them. More details to come soon.
People Stories: Strange passenger stories often occur at the Chapel, and here’s two of them from the summer:
A kind grandmother and her 17-year-old track star granddaughter were stranded at YVR on their way from Dallas-Ft. Worth to an international track meet in Brisbane, Australia (Q1 – why did they come through Canada?). The young athlete had her Australian visa but somehow the grandmother did not (Q2 – how did that happen? Answers FYI: there are always reasons, usually mixed with possible errors and oversights along the way.)
They tried for three days to get the visa from the Australian Consulate in Vancouver to no avail, and slept on chairs at YVR each night! Finally, they were directed to the Chapel where they got a good sleep and a sympathetic ear, but no one was able to change the outcome. I did help them get their Air Canada ticket changed to return quickly to Dallas (free of charge), but we could only pray they might get some of the money returned for their overseas flights.
A tough story, but we were impressed with the faith and resilience of the grandmother and the patience of the dear granddaughter, who never complained a moment about her lost opportunity to compete. God bless them and hopefully she’ll run overseas in the future!
The next day a befuddled Vietnamese woman and her 12-year-old son surrendered four large boxes of goods they were hoping to take from Vietnam to Alaska. Officials had not allowed them through Customs, and I wondered why. I was called to the information counter to help a consortium of airport employees decide what to do with the boxes, seemingly no longer wanted by the family. It was a cultural experience, as the embarrassed mother and her equally embarrassed son stood back, watching sheepishly while different YVR personnel opened and sorted the contents of the boxes. Then I understood why Customs had refused them!
The boxes contained cigarettes, new shoes, loads of sellable nail salon supplies, fragrant artificial flowers and incredibly smelly plastic-wrapped dried fish and crab meat! You can imagine the odors wafting from this scene and why passengers began to avoid the Information Counter altogether. What a sight! I felt for the maintenance employees (from various national backgrounds) who had to deal with the contents, cutting open all the wrappings and separating the meat from the plastic packaging—all part of our ‘western’ culture to properly recycle, eh?
It was quite the diverse scene, even for such an international setting as YVR! In the end I hated to see all of those new items being thrown away, so I was able to salvage a big bouquet of artificial but real-looking tulips, which you can see if you come to visit the Chapel!
Conclusion: Yes, as a Chapel Team, we have many opportunities to serve the traveling public (85,000 per DAY this summer!), and the many thousands who call YVR their place of work. It’s indeed a privilege to show God’s joy and grace to everyone whom we get opportunity to serve, and we’ll only know in Heaven what part we may have played in someone’s journey to discover the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord! Thanks for your part in supporting us through your interest, prayers and gifts. To learn more about this ministry and to support us directly, please visit our website at yvrchaplaincy.org
And remember, you too have opportunity every day to show God’s love and grace to those around you!
God bless you!
Dennis, for the YVR Chapel Team
A number of BCY churches have celebrated a 25th anniversary this years. Give God the glory for so many years of ministry at these churches:
Southside Church celebrates 25 years (pictured below)
Qualicum Baptist celebrates 26 years
Westside Baptist celebrates 28 years (pictured below)
Kits Community Church celebrates 30 years
To see open positions, visit our Careers page: https://cbwc.ca/careers/
- Stephen Carleton, Pastor – Sonrise Community Baptist Church, Calgary, AB
- Brandon Parsons, Youth Pastor – FBC Red Deer, AB
- Nathan Harris, Youth Pastor – Brownfield Baptist Church, AB