Too often we feel that the work of God is in our human hands…our responsibility. Too often we limit the work of God by imagining only as far as our own actions and budget can take us. It is true that everything needs to be done ‘decently and in order’, but we need to be careful not to tie God’s hands (as if that was even possible!)
As believers we know that God intervenes in our human experience. God intervened in history when He sent Jesus to us and when the tomb was opened. In our own lives, if you are reading this, you likely experienced the direct touch of God when the Holy Spirit came into you and confirmed that you are a child of God. If that was not your personal experience when you received Christ, hopefully you have had those moments since childhood where you have known the Holy Spirit’s presence. That presence is literally God’s guarantee of His work in you and acceptance of you.
God’s intervention in our lives is so often unseen by anyone else. That is true of so many acts of God done in our heart. The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience/forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When God plants this fruit in our heart, where we even want those items to take over our actions, that is an invisible work of God in us.
Mary and Joseph saw the work of God like no other humans. They knew the whole story that few others could accept while they were in the manger adoring this newborn King. They had heard from angels—in their own private moments—what their minds might have hesitated to accept. This private moment for them was real…and that private moment has and will affect life today and in the future.
May God move you in your private moments, and not-so-private moments, to yield to and worship this King! This act is not only about Christmas, but it is about living in a world that our human hands cannot fix.
Your co-worker, Dennis
Connecting with our Brothers and Sisters from the Congo
In Edmonton, we are working with a worship community of individuals that come from the Congo. They worship in their native language, but are an exuberant and welcoming congregation which has been meeting for about two years. On November 2nd it was my privilege to assist the church in a memorial service for the ninety-nine-year-old grandfather of Pastor Guillaume Munyakuri. On this particular Saturday, the church gathering was about sixty caring Congolese individuals. The story of murder in East Congo was not an unusual one for this crowd as many attending had also lost family members in a similar way in the past. News of the house burning and the initial scattered bits of information left the family short on the exact details. For a while, the pastor thought his cousin had died too—but he had managed to escape. Please pray for this worshipping community as they support one another here and seek to effect positive change back home. The Gospel can bond people together like nothing else can even when separated by oceans. – Dennis Stone
Fun Times at the Fishing Retreat
In September the CBWC Peace River ministerial cluster was invited to lodging at Jasper Park Baptist Church for a few days on a fishing retreat. This group spent some time sharing casually, sitting on boats and enjoying food together. The scenery was phenomenal on Maligne Lake. The moose count was around a dozen or so. In our case, the two fish caught did not multiply, but maybe next time! It was a privilege for me to spend time with them. -Dennis Stone
In the picture from left to right: Herman Friesen – prison chaplain, Michael Hayes – Fort St John, Everett Budd – Peace River, Josh Goetz – Charlie Lake, Peter Ma – Grande Prairie, Nathan Friedt – Peace River, but recently moved to a pastorate in New Zealand.
Visiting Brownfield Baptist Church
It was a privilege in September to be with our church in rural Brownfield. The church has multiple cameras going during the service to facilitate their online outreach. The service is shared with Nanton Baptist Church and that relationship continues to grow stronger, showing increased viability of ministry from one rural setting to another. – Dennis Stone
CBWC Gathering at High River
This year, at the CBWC Gathering at High River, our Ordination Examination Council approved the following to proceed:
- Pam Reichenbach, Strathcona Baptist, for ordination
- Anna Braun, First Baptist Church Lethbridge, for ordination
- Mikel Laurie, Highlands Baptist, for ordination
- Sam Kim, Bonavista Baptist, for recognition of prior ordination
Pictured above is the congregants at Highlands Baptist singing a humourous song to their new ordinand. At that particular service the guest speaker was Mikel’s father. As I met Mikel’s dad, he introduced himself as Wayne, and I gushed out that his name would be easy for me to remember as that is my middle name—then he told me his first name was Dennis. That has never happened to me before. –Dennis Stone
International Conference for World Evangelism
It was a privilege for me to take part briefly in an international conference hosted in Edmonton by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism with a specific focus on the Sikh community. People were there from around the world to hear about ministry to this community often neglected by the church. One fact shared was that about 40 per cent of truck drivers in California are Sikh—which was just one of the fascinating details shared that evening. – Dennis Stone
This Fall sees the return of snowy and icy roads. Please remember to pray for those needing to drive for the sake of ministry, such as your own Regional Minister!
This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email the BCY office: firstname.lastname@example.org