Student Missions Blog

Vancouver: Seems like home, except when it doesn’t

I really like Vancouver.

Most of it is like Austin, but other parts are different—like when I’m wearing a jacket in June and the locals are sunbathing in bikinis on the beach. 

ashley richardson130Ashley RichardsonI’m staying in a small suburb south of Vancouver called Richmond. It’s pretty independent of its big sister city with plenty to do, eat, see and shop. Richmond is very family-friendly and green. Again, I don’t feel far from home. Everyone loves to recycle here, too.

God has brought all nations to this area. A different language is spoken in almost every home across the street from the church at which we are volunteering. I knew before I arrived that more than half of the people living here are immigrants, but it is a completely different thing to see it and hear it and smell it. It’s incredible. 

People from countries/tribes/sects that are at each other’s throats on the other side of the world are next-door neighbors here. Their children learn and play together. My supervisor said once that, in Vancouver, everyone is a Canadian and everyone is an immigrant.

So many opportunities

It’s overwhelming. We have seen a good bit of everything and for awhile, we were at a loss for where to start and where to invest the next two months. There are so many opportunities to love people and get to know them. We’ve met people of all ages from all backgrounds in the last week.

vancouver revolver coffee425Revolver Coffee Shop, a hipster hangout in Gastown, Vancouver's oldest neighborhood.The possibilities are endless and we’re being pushed to start something, anything, new in Richmond. While trying to figure out what could be “best,” I’m reminded of Jesus’ straightforward command to go and make disciples. I know I could spend the summer planning and trying to figure out the perfect execution of the summer, but then there wouldn’t be any more summer left.

Pray for direction

So, it will be as we go, meeting people where they are and then serving and loving them well. Please pray for direction for my teammates and me—that we would be ready, obedient, and bold when opportunities come up.

A women’s weekly multifaith discussion is in the works, and the words “I don’t know how” keep coming to my mind. Please pray that women would be interested in talking about their own culture and learning about the faiths of others. This could be a great way for my partner and me to meet and disciple young ladies this summer.

Ashley Richardson, a student at the University of Texas in Austin, is serving in Vancouver with Go Now Missions.

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