Kelsi Goudeau, Southwest Mississippi Community College
July 3, 2018
Wow! It seems just like yesterday we were running through the Houston airport to catch our connecting flight! The joke between the interns is that time doesn't exist here because all of our days are flying by and running together!
A few weeks ago, the interns attended an Iftar dinner on campus, which is a feast hosted by the Muslim community, to celebrate the end of Ramadan. We were all very uneasy and awkward at first, but God opened so many doors to meet new friends, share our beliefs and love others. Through this, we made friendships with girls that attend the University of British Columbia. They suggested us hanging out one day, and we took them up on their offer. We bused over to UBC and spent the day with our sweet friends! It was a beautiful day and a beautiful reminder from our Savior of our call to love others – no matter what religion they profess or views they possess. Our openness to learning about their lifestyle/views also makes them more open to hanging out with us, and a few of them even mentioned attending church with us. Praise God for open doors and willing hearts!
All that said, please continue to pray for my team and me. Please continue to pray for the relationships with our three sweet Muslim friends, and that God's love and grace would pour out of us onto them. Obviously, we want to see them come to know our Jesus, but ultimately, that's all in God's timing. Pray for their salvation. We serve a big God; there's nothing He cannot do!
We’ve had many opportunities to meet/fellowship with other believers during Sunday church gathering, focus club ultimate Frisbee, and Canada day focus club barbecue, but yesterday, we were given the opportunity to serve at a Canada Day Festival/Carnival in Coquitlam with another church planter in the city. We set up a bouncy house and while working it, we got to engage with the parents/children in line. They asked us many questions - who we were, where we were from, and why the bouncy house didn't cost a dime for their kids to enjoy. When we told them we were with a local church and that this ride didn’t cost anything because we were just trying to give back to the community and love on our neighbors, the looks on their faces were insane! Nobody here understands the concept of a free gift. That’s why grace is so hard for them to grasp. They always think there’s a catch or condition. One lady I spoke with was completely shocked that there was even a church in the area. The idea of church and the person of Jesus is unheard of here.
By IMB definition, an unreached people group is a group of people in which less than 2% are considered Evangelical Christians within a population of more than 20,000. The population of Metro Vancouver is approximately 2.5 million with less than 1% identified as Christians, which is less than mainland China. And in that 1%, some may not be technically evangelical, so by definition, Vancouver is an unreached people group, which really puts the need in perspective.
Before my trip here two years ago, I didn't expect this city to be so different from America because it directly bordered us, but I was sadly mistaken and quickly realized I lived in a Bible-belt bubble.
There's always been a slight controversy about foreign missions and the need of the people on your home front, and my answer is yes. Yes, you should be living life on intentional mission DAILY, but there are people right over the border (on the northern and southern sides) who have no idea who our Savior is, and because of that, you should go. Yes, there are people in our hometowns who don't follow Christ, but the odds of that being because they've never heard of Him are very slim. Their decision is usually out of rebellion or pride. But to have a woman on the bus look you in the face and ask you if Jesus 'came with you on the trip' because she thought he was just another one of my human friends and still walked the Earth today is heart-breaking and incredibly awakening.
Share the Gospel with your neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family every single day, but never forget the call God has placed on all of our lives to take the Gospel where it has never been before.
Pray for strength and endurance – being away from home and my people is surely teaching me dependence on God, and I'm thankful.
Pray that we would continue to meet people that need the love of Christ and for opportunities to plant these seeds of hope in their lives - that people with softened and open hearts would cross our paths so that we can share our Savior boldly.
Pray for our relationships that we're building with the locals and pray for salvation. Our God is a big God and He's still in the miracle business. The fact that He can take a lousy sinner and turn them into a Child of the King is absolutely a miracle.
“And thus I make it my ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, ‘those who have never been told of Him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.’” Romans 15:20
In love and grace,