Discovering God’s Faithfulness Across Canada

Mar 11, 2020

Photos by Chris Montgomery

I recently returned from a trip across Canada and I’m still overcome by the impact of it. What started out as an exciting work trip turned into a rich, spiritual journey across Canadian landscapes, cultures, and history. The common thread I discovered through it all was evidence of God’s faithfulness to restore His people. As we sat under the beauty of the Northern Lights, listened to debates in Parliament, or wandered through art-filled alleys, it continually struck me that God has always been, and will always be, making all things new.

Our Marketing team had the honour of capturing this restorative movement through our family of ministries in Ottawa, Iqaluit, and Montreal. My heart has been both invigorated and burdened by hearing stories of God’s faithfulness as we moved from place to place. I’m excited to share the journey with you. I hope you’ll be as encouraged and inspired by it as I still am.

A Faithful Presence

Our first stop was to the energetic epicentre of our nation — Ottawa. The people here are determined, strong, and focused. We met up with our ministry, the Christian Embassy, and spent the day zipping around the city. We attended prayer meetings, met with ambassadors and Members of Parliament, and even went to Question Period on Parliament Hill!

Christian Embassy is a small but dedicated team of believers who are true ambassadors of Christ. They are a bridge, helping leaders discover Christ and learn to live out their faith in a secularized culture. They walk alongside powerful men and women, inspiring them to connect their heads and hearts.

Like Jesus, the team is incredibly generous and open-hearted. This became so apparent as we were whisked around Parliament Hill. Everyone we met seemed to know them or know of them. They warmly greeted restaurant staff and security guards, prayed for diplomats, and chatted with Members of Parliament about their families. It doesn’t take long to witness the impact of God’s presence on the community here. God’s faithfulness is on the move through this passionate team.

A Faithful Father

I’m in love with the snow-draped serenity of the North. As we flew over mountains and lakes covered in white, I remember feeling alive and full of wonder. This joy was immediately followed by an intense swell of emotions, emotions I’m still trying to understand. I think it’s a mixture of feeling the tension between grief over a past that feels impossibly broken and a deep desire to be a vessel for healing. And all at once recognizing the limits of my own humanity. But as this all swirled inside of me I sensed a peace from God, and I began to see His capacity to fulfill His promises to His children. 

We traveled to Iqaluit to capture the miraculous story of a Nigerian couple who were called through dreams to minister in the prisons here. This couple volunteers through our ministry called Connecting Streams, whose vision is to equip Christians to engage people living in the margins of their communities. Their team has done such an incredible job of paving the way for these passionate individuals to serve in Iqaluit. Their collective humility and servant-heartedness is awe-inspiring. We look forward to seeing how God continues to move through their willingness.

During our stay, we also had the honour of visiting with locals and hearing their diverse stories. God’s faithfulness is evident throughout their painful life experiences and shifting traditions and values. We were moved by how open-hearted and honest they were about their needs and hopes. There is a hunger for more of God’s truth and discipleship in Iqaluit. As a faith community, they are learning to lean on one another in order to see their community healed.

A Faithful Approach

Transitioning to the bustling city of Montréal was a bit of a shock, but after a few pastries and hours nestled in inspirational architecture, we managed well! 

I’ve always been told that Montréal is spiritually ‘tough’ and ‘dark’. But while chatting with Rachel Touchette from Power to Change – Students (P2C-Étudiants), I realized I’d made some assumptions coming in. “Young people in Montréal are open to Christianity,” Rachel shared. “The next generation doesn’t seem to have the same sort of response to church that their parents or grandparents do.” I found this so helpful and encouraging to hear!

P2C-Étudiants is responding to this openness by engaging with young people in some very unique ways. It was especially exciting to hear about their new initiative in Québec City called Le Voisinage (The Neighbourhood). Le Voisinage abides by Christ-like principles by moving into student neighbourhoods “to pray and visibly live out Jesus’ radical love for one another, and for their neighbours”. 

Our ministries in Québec have recognized that perseverance and authenticity are key when building relationships here. “It’s important to communicate a willingness to serve in Québec without strings attached. Once people know you’re here to stay and there’s no hidden agenda, trust is built,” explains Andy Smits, Director of P2C-Students.

This faithful approach to serve Québec has really bonded our ministries together. Strengthened by their unified heart and vision, they are able to collectively reach the needs of the francophone people. 

A Faithful Finish 

Reflecting on this trip, I’ve learned that God is the same everywhere. He is healing, comforting, empowering, correcting, and transforming His people into His image. He is faithful to accomplish all things and not limited by heritage, language, pain, fear, pride, or indifference. And when we unite under His love and purpose, we are helping Christ to weave everything and everyone together from sea to shining sea.

Stay tuned for more in-depth stories from our adventures across Canada! 

 

Written By: Maria Schroeder