Many of you have prayed for the work of SERVE and still more of you have asked how the event went. Here is the first snapshot which lets you know what went on from the perspective of Tammy Klassen and Brent Weick. Early in the fall when we tell some “stories from the family” we will add some more.
From Tammy Klassen:
I would really like to thank Duncan Christian School for hosting us as well and Mid Island Bus for their generous donation toward transportation; Norm Dueck for arranging projects, Don Paget for coordinating transportation, Chris Climie for dealing with every kind of sickness, and Janet Magdanz for keeping us all so well fed, as well the rest of the leadership team: Tracy Bazinet, Suzanne Perkins, Peter Terpstra, Linda Hicks and Lynda Kinnee; and finally, the many, many volunteers who worked tirelessly to make SERVE a success.
Almost 6000 work hours went into serving the Cowichan Valley and many were blessed, from single mothers and seniors getting help in their yards, to nonprofits seeing the willingness of teens to work for the glory of God, to churches with mostly senior congregations. It was an amazing week. In spite of illness and heat we were able to accomplish so much and God accomplished even more in our lives. Jason Ballard, of Youth Alpha fame, challenged us in our faith and the Fraser Campbell Band led us in some awesome worship. Pray that the seeds planted, both in the hearts of our youth and in those observers in the community, will grow and flourish. Thank you, CBWC, for giving New Life the opportunity to host this event.
A note from “The Hub,” local non-profit community centre:
“Thank you, thank you, thank you to your organization and the hard working youth who hung out with us for four days; you have allowed us to move forward on many projects that we simply didn’t have the manpower or time to take on. We hope the kids enjoyed their time with us, as much as we enjoyed having them. Please pass on our best wishes.”
From Brent Weick:
Location: New Life Church, Duncan, BC
Date: July 6-12, 2014
Actual Received: $45,660
Participants total: 274 = largest SERVE ever
- 226 students and leaders
- 38+ volunteers
BC Churches: 13
AB Churches: 1
SK Churches: 1
MB Churches: 1
SERVE 2014 Cowichan was highly anticipated this year. The last time we came to Vancouver Island was 2006. Perhaps that is why we had record attendance this year with over 270 people participating. New Life Church did an amazing job hosting us this year! The planning team was led by Tammy Klassen (New Life’s Youth Pastor) focusing on logistics and Brent Weick (CBWC Youth Director) concentrating on evening sessions and registration. Overall it was a success with 16 churches participating from all over western Canada, working in 30+ degree heat in the Cowichan Valley.
What a sight to see all these students with a heart to serve, and boy did they work hard! One student in particular came despite battling a bout of cancer for the second time. During SERVE, he started his treatments for a second time, yet worked just as hard as anyone else. He truly was an inspiration. So much so that one evening, some of the students shaved their heads to show their solidarity with him on his journey of recovery! The prayer and compassion was palpable. Wow.
Another highlight was how we saw many doors being opened that were once closed, especially from First Nations people. Several of the students had a chance to meet “Grandma” who lived in an old school house on a Malahat First Nations reserve. We were told she grew up hating Christians because of some of the hurt and destruction that was caused to her and her people over the years. However, this one week, over 20 students and leaders throughout the week helped to paint her house both inside and out and also helped to clean the neighbourhood outdoors. They did a great job at tearing down some walls. The last evening, “Grandma” came to the final session and heard the message and saw the kids worshipping. It was the first time she had entered a Church in years. Her perception of Christianity was changed that week.
Stories like that and others are what make what we do unique. We combine a mission experience with a youth conference, all in one. During the day, students serve the community; practically being the light of Christ and hope of God in a community. They may paint, do light construction, visit seniors, weed in gardens and lead ministry events like VBS. During the evening they experience sessions that include fun activities, quality speaking and worship. This year’s lineup included in depth speaking, by Youth Alpha’s Jason Ballard (http://www.alphacanada.org/run-alpha/get-the-resources/youth-alpha/) and amazing worship led by Fraser Campbell (http://frasercampbellmusic.com) and his traveling band.
At the end of the week, everyone received Drop Cards, which gave access to all the media from the week (sessions of speaker talks, reel videos, music and the group photo). We have never offered this before, but felt we wanted everyone to have access to the memories from the week for free.
All in all, we accomplished our goals and then some. The students can’t wait to return next year for SERVE 2015 in High River. We hope you check out our promo videos on our YouTube channel (The CBWC Youth) and check out the wonderful videos that were professionally done this year of our experience. Please pray for the YLT (Youth Leadership Team) and the leadership from CBWC as they consider how to continue SERVE and other events like it for the future. This event is mainly volunteer driven and is increasingly difficult to find churches who are willing to take on the task. Also, the Youth Leadership Team have a dream to one day have a full time person help shoulder events like this and more as we see the youth to be an integral part of the future of our denomination.
Finally, if you get a chance, please follow us on Instagram (cbwc youth), Twitter (@CBWCYouth) and Facebook (CBWC Youth Workers & SERVE Cowichan 2014 … which will change to SERVE High River 2015) for the latest on what’s happening in youth for our denomination. It’s been such a privilege to work alongside such talented youth pastors and workers in CBWC. We really do have quality people! I am so excited to see how God is going to continue to move throughout CBWC churches!