"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

On Mission in Canada - Part One

Charlotte Airport - Day One
Melba, Debra, Angie, Cathy, Karen, Paula and Sam
I had the privilege last week of going on a mission trip to Brampton, Ontario, Canada, with Hands on Missions in Shelby, NC. We partnered with a pastor and his church there to minister to the largely Hindu, Muslim and Sikh population. What I learned about being a witnessing Christian from the members of the church, most of them there due to persecution for their faith, has forever changed my perspective on evangelism.

Pastor Robin Wasti and wife, Neena
The Pastor, Robin Wasti, was the director of Campus Crusade for Christ in Pakistan. He started receiving letters threatening his life if he didn’t stop his work there. When his car was shot up he took the threat to his life and the lives of his family seriously. Because of his travel with CCC, he had a visa to the United States and one to Canada. He tried to come to the USA but the details didn’t work out. He had a cousin living in Canada so he moved there, leaving his wife and three children living underground in Pakistan until he could make arrangements to move them. They were separated for almost four years before they were reunited in Canada in May, 2014.

 In the meantime, Pastor Robin was working hard, sharing his faith with anyone who would listen. Some divine appointments in the workplace allowed him to find a basement apartment to live in and he started a house church there with the help of April and Jeffrey Langley, missionaries with the International Mission Board. God blessed Robin with understanding homeowners who allowed the church to use some of their rooms upstairs so they could break out into separate groups for Sunday School.

Some of the children at
Bottomwood Park last week
When Robin and his family were reunited last year and they could minister together, things started popping. The church is growing and they are now having services in a Chinese Baptist Church on Sunday afternoons and evenings. In July of last year, they held their first Kid’s Club in a local park. Every community has a park where families with children gather from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each night during the summer months. A group from Hands on Missions came to help with the first Kid’s Clubs. Each member of the team set up a station where they witnessed to the children about Jesus in various ways through stories, games and prizes. They also played large group games in the center of the parks, performed skits of Bible stories like The Good Samaritan and gave away candy, juice, Bibles and Jesus DVDs in their own languages. Witnessing was going on all around the edges of the parks where the men and women of the community had gathered for their nightly visit. Nearly 300 children heard about Jesus last year through the Hands on Missions teams. Two other teams came after this one and repeated the fun in six other parks.

"I got Kid's Club!"
Last week, all of this was repeated in three parks, but this year over 400 children heard the Good News, along with their parents and others visiting the park. I was amazed at how attentive the children were, sitting quietly, wide-eyed, hardly moving a muscle as I told them about the gift that God gave us through Jesus and how to open and claim that gift for  themselves. Some remembered the Kid’s Clubs from last year and were excited that the team had come back. As I sat in the park one morning making posters to advertise the next night’s event while others went door-to-door inviting families to come, several children came up and asked if they could have an invitation. Four of them danced around holding up their cards saying, “I got Kid’s Club, I got Kid’s Club.”

I kept asking myself while I was there if I would be as exuberant about sharing the Gospel if I had been shot at, persecuted, and separated from my family. Most of my witnessing in my everyday life at home is done silently, being a good example. Occasionally I will take the opportunity to use words. The believers I met on mission in Canada know the cost of following and witnessing about Christ – and do it anyway.

“God help me be more like them. Amen.”

Going out with joy today-