Since our team arrived here in Richmond, British Columbia, the time here has been filled with orientation, praying, hanging with the pastor in the area and his family, reading and living life with the people of Richmond.
Orientation gave the whole Current Canada team an idea about what “church planting” is, and what the director’s vision is for the city. At its root, church planting is gospel planting, and the gospel is the basis for the 27 church-planting missionaries in the Vancouver area.
We are given an awesome opportunity to begin church planting where the Lord leads us. This could begin by engaging people on university campuses, malls, events or coffee shops and building a genuine relationship with the people we meet. The people of Richmond are culturally diverse, and there are many different religions. The church planters or pastors in the area are not going to spoon-feed us by telling us where to be all the time and who to engage and how, but they will keep us accountable and help with the cultural differences. It is different than most mission trips by far, and is different than what people think of when they think of mission trips or even church planting.
I tend to overthink things and analyze often. I have been stressing here and there when I get to thinking about who, where and how God will reach these people through me. But I find peace when God reminds me he is the one who calls people to salvation. I can do nothing without Christ. That has been crucial for me, someone who overthinks many things.
Loaves and fishes
I was reading in Matthew 15 about the miracle of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes recently, and God really affirmed what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me. Later in the chapter, the miracle of the loaves and a few fish is written. I noticed the order of the miracle. In verse 36, Jesus gave thanks, divided the food and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitude. How does the kingdom of God grow? Jesus is Lord, saved and is saving you and me, and we have food for people who have not eaten. The people that were fed that day had not eaten in three days.
The types of people we minister to are those who have not eaten in three days, yet we have food. Praise God, we have the answer—Jesus. Verse 37 says, “So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of fragments that were left.” Jesus lives in us, and the Holy Spirit fills us up, and there is so much more room to grow.
I love that picture. In the last verse, Jesus sent away the multitudes, got in a boat and went to Magdala. Jesus constantly was on a mission, not a trip. Wow, we serve a perseverant Savior.
Andrew Cantwell, a student at Midwestern State University, is serving in British Columbia with Go Now Missions.