This past spring, I was able to visit some churches in the Maritimes as well as in Alberta. The objective of these two visits was the same: to grow the 3M Ministry community. What do I mean by growing the 3M Ministry community? It’s very simple. 3M Ministry is a local ministry at EBETM (Église Baptiste Évangélique de Terrebonne Mascouche) that consists of recruiting, training, and sending future labourers to the harvest in Quebec, a critical mission field. However, EBETM is a church that is expanding which comes with its own challenges as well. Therefore, we want to share what we are trying to accomplish through 3M Ministry in Quebec with partners throughout other provinces in Canada. We are looking for partners who:
- will have a heart to support us financially in our training as well as in our multiplication projects
- will have a heart to pray that the Master will bring new labourers to serve the Quebecers and that He will help us to be faithful in a spiritually deserted place
- will have a heart to share the spiritual needs of Quebec with their entourage and congregation in order to find people ready to commit to serve here or support what we are trying to accomplish for His Kingdom
With this in mind, I went as far as Halifax during my first trip in April 2017. During this trip, I met about 10 pastors coming from many different churches. I wanted to meet pastors with different ministries to have a better idea of the situation that churches experience in the Maritimes. Here are a few things that I learned:
- The Maritimes are becoming more and more hostile to the Gospel, like Quebec
- There is a large diversity of churches and many different denominations
- There is a larger participation in their churches on Sunday mornings
- A majority of churches don’t have a church planting mentality that is as pressing as here in Quebec since there are more churches there
- There is a huge emphasis on the youth group and a great collaboration between youth groups from different churches
In short, these are only certain observations that I noticed during my exchanges with other pastors that I was able to meet with.
During my time in the Maritimes, I had the opportunity to present our ministry during a missionary block at New Brunswick Bible Institute, which is where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. It was a unique opportunity to be able to talk about our ministry of training future leaders to students who will be graduating, as well as roughly 150 people that were present at the graduation. During the graduation conference, I met many pastors and students and I had the opportunity to share the needs of Quebec. My prayer is that some of these meetings will result in good partnerships for the future!
To add to that, I also had the opportunity to have an extraordinary meeting! I met Mrs. Dorothy Clark and her new husband. Mrs. Clark and her late husband Weldon Clark participated in the church plant of EBETM over 40 years ago! It was a huge blessing to be able to share with her what is happening at EBETM and she was very emotional to hear that the little house church that had started at her house 40 years ago has now become a church of more than 450 people and that this church is seeking to continue church planting and forming labourers!
Prayer Requests: Maritimes
- Some churches demonstrated a serious interest in desiring to be partners with us. So pray that partnerships will form
- We will need financial support to continue to maintain these partnerships in concrete ways in terms of time and expenses to revisit them
- Pray that certain students would seriously consider coming to serve in one of the most critical mission fields in the world
After that, Kim and I recently went to see her family in Edmonton, Alberta. So I took advantage of this opportunity to take a week to meet with 11 churches in the Edmonton area to reach once again the same objective that I had when I went to the Maritimes. Also, I tried to see different pastors in order to have a clearer perspective of the context in which these churches are situated.
Here is what I learned from my meetings:
- Churches work independently since there are many churches. This being said, there is little collaboration with other churches that are in a different church family
- Alberta is considered like the “Bible Belt” of Canada. It is the biggest concentration of believers in Canada
- In the 1960s, the Prime Minister of Alberta preached the Gospel on the radio! That lead to many conversions as well as a rapid growth of churches
- Churches attempt to promote events and meetings during the week to be closer to the people
Once again, this is not a complete analysis but instead a few interesting facts that I was able to gather during my meetings.
These meetings were very positive! Many people didn’t have any idea of the critical situation in which the church of Quebec finds itself. It was therefore an amazing opportunity to be able to share the needs that we have in Quebec, especially in the training of future leaders to take over in churches that will soon need new labourers. I would says also that I was very encouraged to hear what God is doing in Alberta. Sometimes, when we are in Quebec, I feel that it’s more difficult to see the things that God is doing because the situation is so difficult. But yet, by hearing the pastors share with me what God was doing among them, it helped me to realize that we are serving the same God and that I have to be more attentive to what He is doing among us because He is indeed at work!
In addition, I was very encouraged to see that certain churches want to start Missional Communities in order to have opportunities of making disciples and for evangelizing during the week. I therefore had the chance to share with them what God has showed us through this process in which we have learned many things! They were all encouraged to hear what we were doing here with our Missional Communities. They would also like me to return there to talk to with members of their groups in order to encourage them and train them a little with the experience that I have acquired from my time with the Youth Group Missional Community and the Missional Community of Laval. So, once again, these were opportunities to bless future partners!
Prayer Requests: Alberta
- I would like to return to Alberta this Fall to visit churches in Calgary that would be potential partners (according to what certain pastors told me!), but we need funds to do this (a plane ticket is around $600 there and back, plus renting a vehicle for a week is about $350)
- Pray that God would show us how we can help these churches from a distance that want to learn from our experience here in Quebec, a spiritually difficult place
- There were many wonderful opportunities for partnership, but pray that these will become a reality
Thank you for your support and your prayers! I am very thankful for these two first experiences of deputation with Kim. I pray that the Lord will bring fruit from what we have sown from these two trips.
In addition, all your donations serve directly to help the church in our training as well as allowing us to visit many churches and people who, by the will of God, will join our 3M Ministry community that we are trying to build!