MI was a team of young adults who took high school students to several reserves this summer. They also participated in Mission 6:10 and a couple of camps.
In reflecting on the summer, Carissa Vance wrote:
“We spent time in many places throughout the summer, but two of them stand out to me. Montreal Lake First Nation, and La Ronge, Saskatchewan taught our team about some of the struggles facing people on reserves around the country. This also taught us about God’s faithful love for all His children. The kids at these reserves exhibited a sort of joy and love for us that was unforgettable. Many of the teens had a special spirit about them. They were kind and warmed up to us quickly. They also battled dark spirits of suicide and depression. Things like this made it seem as if there was a relentless dark cloud hanging over the community. The thing that we could always lean on, however, was God’s perfect faithfulness. Even though we felt discouraged at times, we were lifted by the presence of outstanding people living and working for God’s glory in both of these places. One memory that I believe I will never forget is driving away from one community in La Ronge. It was a Thursday afternoon, and me and some of our other team members fought back tears as we left. In those three short days, this little town had stolen our hearts. The kids told us they wanted us to stay with them, then ran beside the van and waved until we were out of sight. We felt full as can be.”
A Vision for Church Planting
Rejoice with us! Curtis and Christie Abraham have been commissioned to plant churches with us here in Canada!
On November 15-16, 2018, we held our first Assessment Retreat in Canada, in partnership with Mission Alive. (An Assessment Retreat is an intensive two days of interviews, prayer, vision-casting and discernment.) The result of all that is we are formally inviting this family to plant churches in our network here in Canada! Praise God!
The details: They will be living in Regina for the next two years and completing their training, while also doing research and developing a plan for church planting. The goal of all of our church plants is not just to start one church, but to foster church planting movements.
We believe God has led us, through prayer and discernment, to focus our church planting efforts among the poor and marginalized - and specifically to plant 18 churches across Canada. These will include inner city neighborhoods, immigrant communities, rural areas, Indigenous communities, as well as universities. In short, imagine the 18 toughest places to start a Christian community in Canada, and that’s where God is calling us. Our heart is not only to foster new churches, but through them to transform people’s lives in terms of poverty, addictions, depression and suicide, and the brokenness that oppresses the people.
We invite you to pray for Curtis and Christie specifically as they step into these new plans, that they will do so with faith, courage and the joy of the Lord. And we also invite you to pray for Gentle Road, that the Lord would fill us with his Spirit, with wisdom and with love.
12 New Disciples
This year we were blessed to have 12 people baptized into Jesus Christ.
It started in January with a girl who was hungry for the kingdom of God. Several others followed in the winter. This summer six youth were baptized at Heritage Lake, then one more in Regina this fall. All in all it was a beautiful year!
Baptism re-enacts the death of Jesus (our death to our old life) and his resurrection (we are raised to walk a new life – Romans 6). It is like a wedding (a pledge of a good conscience, 1 Peter 3) and an adoption ceremony (Gal 3) all at once. What a powerful picture of our new status as children of God!
What’s in a number? The Party celebrates 10 years
This year “The Party” (our kids outreach) celebrated 10 years! Woohoo!
326 is the number of kids and youth who came to Gentle Road ministries this year (July 2017-June 2018).
This includes kids who have experienced violence, crime, and addictions in their families. And youth who have been depressed and suicidal. One youth said: “If it wasn’t for Gentle Road, I wouldn’t be here.”
326 does NOT include the kids from our summer program in the park, nor the kids we met on our visits to reserves.
Farewell to Philip Kingsley
Philip served extremely well with us, for 2.5 years. Many tears were shed when we said goodbye. We wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life - school, and mission to the Philippines! We have so many great memories of our time together!
Welcome to Nicole Williams
Nikki hails from Pasqua First Nation, and brings a huge heart and a big smile to Gentle Road. Her knowledge of the inner city is an asset. She loves to share about the Lord and what He is doing in her life. Welcome to Gentle Road!
We are going in March 2019, and will be working in San Cristobal and a small village called Aguacate.
As our youth group has matured and done mission trips throughout SK, we have grown in our desire to serve. Now we have set our sights on an international location in Guatemala. We desire both to work alongside the poor in that country, as well as gain insight into a type of poverty that is much more difficult than we have seen here. This global perspective will be very valuable for us, not to mention the new friends we will make.
We are going in March 2019, and will be working in San Cristobal and a small village called Aguacate. While there we will be helping with construction on a transition house and other buildings, mixing, pouring and hauling concrete by hand, as well as visiting the people in a nursing home and orphanage. A lot of it will be heavy labour and long days, alongside the local people. We are going with a minister who has made many similar trips before, Rick Odell, and his youth group. Their church sponsors a missionary couple there.
We are excited to make this trip as it has the potential to be life-changing! We are grateful to be able to help Rick and their church as they support the local missionary in Guatemala.
Partnering with Gentle Road
We are planning for 2019 and ask for your prayers and financial support.
Canadian friends can give to:
Gentle Road Church of Christ
118 Cityview Estates
Regina, SK S4P 3W8
American friends can give to:
Greenville Oaks Church of Christ
703 S. Greenville Ave
Allen, TX 75002
Attn: Claire Fittz, Re: Gentle Road
Posted on Thu, December 27, 2018
by Kevin Vance