we are moving to the philippines!

Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.” 
19th century theologian William Newton Clarke

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”
T.S. Eliot

3 years ago we started on a journey. Long story short…we purchased a home in Burnaby that we affectionately dubbed “the house”. Many people partnered with us as we dreamt. We loved on the community. We explored the dream of living out the reality of Jesus in this city. And we have had so many wonderful encounters with Him and with the people He loves in Vancouver. We lived something that I truly wish everyone could live. Faith. Hope. Life…in the midst of the chaos that we all live through.

I love that following Jesus is a journey. It is not about accomplishment. But it is about obedience. It is about authenticity. It is about walking with Him. It is about pursuing the dream of the Kingdom. 

I was recently reflecting on where we are and how we have gotten here during a conversation with a young leader in Western Canada. He asked me if I still believed in what we were doing. We have worked hard to get here. We have had to spend lots of time raising money and travelling, which is a tiring endeavour. We have chosen to engage our community and learn to breath the air of this city. And sometimes we have had less than kind responses to our passion from fellow believers who ask ,‘What exactly are you doing?’

This is what I know today:
God has a dream. And the dream is called redemption. The transformation of men and women, boys and girls; of people of all races and colours; of all cultures and belief systems; of all languages and geographical locations; of all perspectives and theological persuasions; of all political perspectives and intelligences; of every kind of brokenness and sinful reality; into a people who are called His. 

I am more convinced than ever that Jesus has an incredibly high view of humanity and through the dream of redemption, people have the potential of greatness. I truly believe that He thinks we can change the world.

I think He calls us to dream a dangerous dream of Kingdom Reality. Where the systems and rules of this temporary world are brought into submission to a higher law; the laws of His Kingdom, the law of love. This idea is foreign to so many who have been taught to hunker down and hold on till He comes! God forgive us for allowing the fear of darkness to scare us away from venturing into a place of influence in our communities. 

We truly believe that everyone is longing for Jesus. They are yearning and hungering for what only He can bring. We believe that the role of the Christian in our time is to become translators of the deepest longings of people’s hearts. People are yearning for that which they have no language for…and yet it is a language we speak. The language of His Kingdom.

This means stepping into people’s lives. Into their darkness. Into their brokenness and forsaking the elaborate structures we have built within our own hearts to protect us from the world. A world who desperately needs who we are. 

It’s messy. It’s unpredictable. It’s dangerous. Scared? Look at that word. SCARED. Rearrange the letters a bit. S A C R E D.

We believe that Jesus invites us to venture out…out of where we ‘know’ what we are doing and into places that sometimes require great risk. And sometimes…sometimes we have to venture over mountain ranges without a clear idea of what’s on the other side.

Having said that…we are in transition again. For some time we have been feeling that we are ‘finished’ here in Vancouver. I wish I could explain it more clearly. But that has just been our sense. Whats next? We have had no clue…until now. Chuckle.

As some of you know I have been helping Gentle Hands raise funds. If you are not familiar with what Gentle Hands does, check out www.gentlehands.typepad.or 

They are a child and youth welfare and intervention agency based in the Philippines. They are on the front lines of rescue and rehabilitation, providing for medical, social and educational needs of at-risk youth and children. They work towards improving human community through the love of Jesus and community centred care. 

We have decided that it is time for us to head back to the mission field and throw our energies, efforts and gifting to the work of redeeming the young people of the Philippines and Asia. 

I know, it seems wild. But you have to run with passion. And we choose to.

When? Sometime in the next year. We have much to do in preparation.

We will keep you updated on our journey. I am sure you have questions. Feel free to email us and we will fill you in on the details.

Let me leave you with a prayer by Sir Francis Drake that my best friend, Scott Wall sent me. It has captured my heart and urged me on. May it be so with yours.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth, 
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back 
The horizons of our hopes;
And push us in the future
In strength, courage, hope and love.

Jonathan, Tracey, Caleb n Rosie.

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