Speaking - or something in Gibsons!
Leanne and I preaching at Broadway Church Vancouver
The last month and the next month are full of speaking, teaching and travelling for Leanne and I. It is cool because we have been asked to do a diversity of things in a wide range of places. I got to speak in Gibsons on Missions with our good friends Jaz and Leslie Ghag – though the pic Leslie took of me could mean that our friendship is at risk! Leanne and I spoke at Broadway Church in Vancouver on their missions Sunday. I love tag teaming with her! Leanne travelled to Kingston, Ontario and did a teaching weekend for women in leadership with Wendy Burton. I was at Horizon Seminary as well as Summit Pacific college talking missions and leadership. This past weekend Kory Sorensen and I travelled up to Fort St. John and did a weekend on mission and leadership. That was particularly cool because Fort St John was where I graduated from high school and was in youth group. This week am in Toronto and then am doing some missions stuff at our District conference in Victoria. Then – Leanne and I are speaking at a marriage retreat in Cold Lake, Alberta before doing a missions Sunday night at WECA in Edmonton. And it continues… but more on that later! It is fun, full of great relationships, fulfilling and tiring - all at the same time!
Collaborating with Kory S and Tony W over coffee - worldchanging!
Leanne speaking in Kingston, Ontario
Darcy speaking in Fort St. John
It’s 6:20 AM and my flight from Halifax boards in just a few minutes. It’s a week of travel and meetings across the country and I am in the middle of it.
Thursday – Langley – Did our personnel staff meetings and prayed over Kirsten Arding, our Global Worker headed to Europe this week! Then flew on an evening flight to Toronto.
Friday – Late for my morning meetings… apparently I was booked into a hotel that was different than the rest and so the team thought I’d missed my flight, and I thought they were late to head to the meetings… oh well. Met with our regional directors and lead team in Mississauga.
Saturday – More regional directors meetings and then met with Pastor Sundar, who has just returned from Bihar, where the Life Campaign is doing a major water project. Then flew on to
Sunday - hosted a panel interview for a beautiful young family who feel called to Africa – and you can watch for them to go public in a month or two. I also took time to meet with Rebecca Harnum and her friend Wendy to do a Birkman assessment.
Monday – Today – flying to Toronto and have a day in our Mississauga office connecting with our team, and catching up on admin.. Need to help one of our global workers come home as they are very ill – wow – I need wisdom.
Tuesday – Is our IM Committee meeting – where I have a couple of presentations to make.
Wednesday – Global Summit Planning meeting with our team – this happens in the Fall and is a cross Canada multi site event. Fly to Saskatoon.
Thursday – Speaking at Horizon College in Saskatoon and meeting with students and faculty before flying home on Thursday night.
All of this and more – requires wisdom, discernment, vision, hard work and depends on your financial support. Thank you.
Dream – Darcy
A burned out church with the cross still standing
Worship in Moscow - Pastor Alexander and his daughter Christina on the front row.
What an awesome day! Leanne and I had the opportunity to minister with Alexander and Elena Purshaga in Moscow on a Sunday. It was an honour to preach at their church and see the place pretty well full! The last time we were in Moscow was 2008, and the church had been torched by an arsonist. They had to rebuild and they are still finishing the inside at this point. It was so cool to stand at the front and say – last time this place was a shell, and now look what the Lord has helped you to do! So cool. And the service was full of joy and life with a ton of people responding to say yes to a relationship with Jesus (including 5 children around 8 years old who had not responded before). Loved it!
Leanne speaking in Altai
Tonia & Leanne
Most of you know already how proud I am of Leanne. She is my wife, my best friend, a great mom, awesome speaker. Now, before you tell me to ‘get a room’ like our kids do, let me just say a couple of things. There are times where I call Leanne my ‘Hilton Girl’ as she generally prefers hotels to tents. That said she has accompanied me to the craziest of places where her gifts as a leader/speaker would not be appreciated like in Fort Langley, where the temperatures are extreme, and where the accommodations are not all stellar. In the midst of all that she shines. This week in Siberia she had the opportunity to do a last minute women’s event. It was announced at the record setting Christmas service of 43 people, and three nights later there were 33 women gathered to hear Leanne talk about self-esteem and confidence. It was POWERFUL. I came in at the end, and an elderly Altaian woman asked if she could sing over us. She had a unique instrument and the things she did with her voice were wild. Pretty significant! Leanne came to Siberia thinking she was not speaking – and ended up preaching 3 times, and is leaving with the thought that there may be a women’s conference in Russia in the future! Glad I married this tenacious, talented and ‘beautiful in a parka’ girl!
We have just spent a special few days with Alexey and Tonia Pankov in Gorno-Altaysk. Monday, January 7 is second Christmas and we had an intense drive on Monday morning in order to make it to the Christmas service. There were definite Altaian (sp?) aspects to the service, and they reminded Leanne and I of our Canadian Inuit culture. Pretty cool in that Alexey and Tonia set an attendance record with their Christmas service with 43 in attendance. All this with 30 chairs! I stood for most of it, and made sure my message was a bit shorter! Alexey and Tonia were encouraged by the day. It was also pretty cool to meet their new adopted son, Dima. He is 12 years old and very athletic, excelling in a number of sports – soccer, swimming, skiing… Alexey and Tonia are going to have quite a time keeping up with him!
We are writing this post from Novokuznetsk, Siberia, Russia. It is -28 outside and we have just finished our first week of ministry. Since arriving on Thursday we have spoken 9 messages and today – Monday – we’ll be speaking at the Christmas service in Altai. Church here in Russia is a little more formal than at home, and so as you can see I was wearing a suit! My Russian is next to nil, and so we needed a translator. In the picture is Pastor Ilya – he translated the 3 Sunday sermons for me. I am sure that by the time the day was done, he could have preached the message by heart! Ilya and Janet are our PAOC global workers here in the city, and they do an amazing job. We’ve seen a great response so far – with people accepting Jesus and having their lives touched by the power of God. Pretty awesome! ok. We are off to Altai with Alexey and Tonia Pankov. It is Russian Christmas today and we have a five hour drive to get to the service!
Ilya and Janet and their family
We thought it would be helpful to show you what some of our global workers go through, and why we felt like a visit to our global workers could be an encouragement at this time! Here are a series of updates that paint a picture of a wild court case:
October 19, 2012 UPDATE:
Dear Prayer Partners,
We really appreciate your continued prayers at this time because this legal battle is very serious. As we previously mentioned, the prosecutor is trying to close all the TC programs throughout Russia. Our lawyer thinks we may lose the case next week because we heard that the prosecutor is friends with the judge. We can’t afford to lose this battle. The court case will begin on Monday, Oct. 22, and will continue every day until the end of the week. Please continue to intercede for this need. Thank you!
God bless you,
Ilya and Janet
The last story we wanted to tell you is from Pretoria where Gerald and Pat Golbeck have been working for a number of years. They are located right downtown Pretoria and have slowly put together a series of pieces of property and buildings for their MET centre. This centre is all about training African leaders in missions which is incredible. They regularly conduct classes both in French and English and then run events like Missionsfest across Africa. It will be awesome to see where this leads in the next few years. The other cool concept that the Golbecks have come up with is this: They need staff to be able to run MET, but don’t have finances to do that. Instead they offer Certification and Training programs for various roles – hospitality, food services etc. This way they have students who do those tasks and then walk away with a certificate that allows them to get a good job. Brilliant! In South Africa a certificate from MET does go a long way to helping people get a job. Kudo’s to the Golbecks for innovation and training in South Africa!
As part of our time in South Africa we made our way over to White River and to the home of Dean and Wendy Skinner. Dean and Wendy were long time pastors in Canada before making their way over to South Africa to work with Emmanuel Press. Emmanuel Press has been around for a LONG time as a tract ministry and printing press (since the 1920′s I think). As we arrived, the thoughts going on in my head weren’t all positive. ‘A tract ministry? It must be on its’ way out…’ But then I started to hear about the 25,000 people being discipled annually. Waaahhaaattt? My North American context had not prepared me for the fact that in Africa people write for more info on the bottom of tracts. And they also sign up for discipleship courses out of that! Somehow an African drug runner imprisoned in Brazil got his hands on the material and now there are 1500 people in Brazilian prisons taking discipleship courses. Ok. Now that is AWESOME. Dean and Wendy and Cindy Smith are our PAOC global workers there, and now they are trying to see if they can link the ministry to text as most of Africa has gotten a cell phone. And they are also working to see how to help the church planters who are coming out of their ministry. It was good, and so very significant. Check it out. Emmanuel Press
Pretoria's great new baker!
There are three stories that we’d like to tell from South Africa – and they all impacted us in a big way. Here is Story No. 1. While in Pretoria we visited with Gary and Marvelyn Schell, who work with PAOC missions in South Africa. Marvelyn has started a ministry in the townships of Pretoria. When I say – township – it is not like the Township of Langley, but rather hillside after hillside of shacks. There are a few legal sections with power and water, but most are squatters. These people have to find work, and provide for their families. We saw a daycare in an abandoned city bus. It was clean and well kept, but different! One of the children there was Big Boy (that is his name!). He is sponsored by a Canadian through ERDO’s Childcare Plus, which is how he can afford to be in the daycare and be well fed. Interesting that in these places of poverty, kids really fight to get into school, while in Canada we have kids drop out. Just a thought!
Marvelyn is a bit of an action kind of lady – and we love that about her. She saw that Adeline – Pastor’s wife in the Townships – was a good baker and Marvelyn saw that there was an opportunity here. She worked through our systems, and set up the ability for Adeline to do a microfinance loan. This loan enabled Adeline to purchase a fridge and a ‘cooker’ and go into business as a baker of cookies and scones! On the morning that we met with Adeline, she had gotten up at 2 AM and after baking took her goodies to the taxi stand at the entrance to the township. She sells out most days to the drivers and to those heading into the city to work. This is life changing for her and her family. One Canadian woman, empowering a South African to move towards a life where she can provide for her family. We loved it, and have been having intense conversations (as Leanne and I tend to do) about how we could get involved and grow the concept so that more lives could be changed by us loving our ‘neighbors’. Look out – dreams are percolating!
A small view of a Pretoria township
BigBoy - A childcare plus sponsored child!