What a crazy, beautiful, amazing, global life we have enjoyed. In our journey's we have lived, and served in the USA, Scotland, Canada, and Russia. God has blessed us with two amazing kids, and a wonderful son in law.
Just a short time ago, we were celebrating a huge milestone, working for the International Mission Board, www.imb.org, for most of the last 20 years. We had been living in Moscow, Russia, only minutes away from Red Square, had learned to speak Russian, and were anticipating many more years of fruitful ministry across Russia, when we were asked to pray about a serious challenge. The IMB was facing huge deficits, and so they asked everyone over 50 (I had just turned 50) to pray about taking an early retirement. At first, both Jeanne and I were a bit annoyed to be honest. Why pray about this? We love Russian culture and people and were very content in our life and ministry there, even though learning Russian was going to be a lifelong battle! But in the end, we earnestly asked God if it was time to return home.
One early Sunday morning, I was bolted out of bed with a word buzzing through my mind. The word...Jubilee. Immediately I went to the Bible and began to read from Leviticus 25 which is all about the Year of Jubilee. God called his people once every 50 years to return to their homeland, to live in freedom and obedience, to treat others right, to live without debts, and to celebrate the goodness of God in their lives. For the next 3 hours, I was glued to the Bible, reading every reference I could find dealing with the idea of "Jubilee". The LORD led me that morning to Ezekiel 37 about the Valley of Dry Bones. "Therefore prophesy (proclaim) and say to them: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel (home). Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open up your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD." Ezekiel 37:12-14 NIV.
So with complete conviction, Jeanne and I both understood that the LORD was calling us home to Canada, and that we were called to proclaim the good news that Jesus still saves. He takes spiritually dead people, and breathes new life into them!
Further, we became convinced that the LORD was calling us home to the Fraser Valley to start a new church. We were once again called to MOVE, though this time, we knew it would be to finally land, and plant deep roots.
Jeanne and I would love to hear your story and get to know you better. Why not call us, email, or set up a Facebook Video Messenger meeting with us. Even better if we can meet up in person! Call Kelly at 604-226-2416 to set up an appointment.
Since Jeanne and I were first married in 1991, we have moved 10 times, (in three different countries, two different states, and two different Canadian Provinces!) which is on average a little over once every 2 years. To be honest, I don't like moving! But the reality is that the life of one who is SENT by God, is one of movement. Anyone who holds dear the Great Commandment and the Great Commission understands clearly that we are all SENT and called to GO and to LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, and SERVE all. Therefore, to follow Christ, requires movement...toward Him. We move closer to Jesus as we love Him more, love people more, and are willing to serve them all in Jesus name. What happens when many people move together toward Christ? God is honoured, and the atmosphere changes! Call this "Revival" or a "Church Planting Movement", or even an "Annointing of the Holy Spirit". The bottom line is this; We trust God in Christ to move us...from death to life, from darkness to light, from addiction to freedom, from defeat to victory, from fear to faith, from sorrow to joy...and we can hardly wait to see God MOVE people spiritually, throughout the Fraser Valley!
That's why we are calling our new church plant MOVEMENT CHURCH. We long to see God birth something beautiful in this new church. It will be a place where everything we are about will be to encourage people to MOVE toward Jesus! We plan from the beginning to become an indigenous Church Planting Church. That's movement! From Day 1, we will be dreaming about the next place where God is at work, where a new church needs to be planted, and where we need to send people.
God has given us a passion to start Movement Church and share the gospel with the University of the Fraser Valley Community!
Abbotsford, being the centre of the Fraser Valley, is poised for significant growth over the next 20 years, and we are aiming at reaching people for Jesus as Abbotsford grows!
U-District is a new development happening right now near the University of the Fraser Valley in our neighborhood. God has called us to reach this community! To learn more about the City of Abbotsford UDistrict plans, click here.