Back in January of this year, my family and I prayerfully decided to pursue a new job opportunity and adventure in ministry in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as a part of Hope Mission. In February we headed out from our home in Connecticut, leaving behind precious friends and family in order to pursue a calling we felt God had clearly opened up. I have been in Canada and in my new position for about a month now and my goodness has it been a ride! At first when we heard of this opportunity to move to Edmonton we hesitated. We were firmly convinced that CT was our home, and that despite our difficult circumstances we would stay the course in Hartford. But as we took this matter to the Lord, it began to be very apparent that God did indeed have different plans for us.
We knew that if we were going to take this plunge to leave behind our loved ones and our way of life, God would have to make it possible for us to get over there. My car at the time had broken down beyond repair, my job in CT was quickly coming to a close and our apartment had gotten broken into. We were in need of transportation to get there and enough money to start over; both of which we were lacking. But trusting in the Lord we moved forward and accepted the job offer to work as an Intake ministry worker for Hope Mission. God blessed obedience and he provided us a vehicle by the graciousness of our incredible Christian family back home. God also blessed us with more than enough money to be able to travel and get started in Canada. The Lord also granted us our passports and visas without any hindrance! But leaving behind all that we had come to know and love was anything but easy. We also had to leave behind most of our possessions, we packed what we could in our Station Wagon and away we went. We made a stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where we said more goodbyes to family and friends. The car ride from Hartford to Milwaukee, and Milwaukee to Edmonton was not something I'd enjoy doing again. The traveling combined with the goodbyes and the anxiety of a new life away from home took an unexpected toil on us all, not to mention we have been traveling with our 1 year old son.
When God calls you to relocate to a completely foreign place where you know essentially no one and have nothing, faith in God's leading is chief. When we arrived in Edmonton, a wonderful Christian couple housed us and took us in until we could get on our feet. I immediately started working and learning the ropes at Hope Mission. Let me explain my new job to you guys. Hope Mission is a Christian non-profit that serves the underprivileged people of Edmonton by serving over 1000 hot meals a day(Breakfast, Lunch, & Supper) and offers a warm place to sleep to over 500 people a night. Hope Mission has specific ministries that reach out to teens, women, men and people who are struggling with addictions. I have the responsibility to work as an intake worker at one of the men shelters and also lead our Turning Point Program which serves men who recognize their addiction problems and are looking to something bigger than themselves to help heal them. During our sessions I teach Bible principles that will lead them to recognize their need for recovery and a Savior, with the hope that they join our 1 year Breakout program which is an enhanced Bible recovery program. It's been a real joy to teach men the Bible and helping them on their road to recovery, and even more, their road to Jesus and eternal life. I have already begun to see the fruit of God's faithfulness and calling to serve Hope to the people of Edmonton.
This has been a time of testing, trials and transition. We miss our friends, family and dear House Church and spiritual family back home. We look forward to meeting and making new friends, and serving people in spiritual need. I also rejoice in the trials that we have endured and the ones we will encounter, for as the Scripture says, "Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4, HCSB)
Pray for us during this exciting time of transition. May the Lord bless you all.