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YVR Chaplaincy Ministry

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One of the busiest places today in British Columbia is Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

In 2011 over 17 million travelers passed through the airport. An important service provided at YVR is the Chaplaincy Ministry, founded 30 years ago. Today, senior chaplain Dennis Kirkley, 5 associate chaplains, and a team of 40 volunteers operate the Chaplaincy from a small office and chapel tuck away in the international arrivals area. The Chaplaincy serves not only travelers, but the more than 22,000 workers at YVR. About 10,000 people frequent the Chaplaincy annually.

Chaplain Layne Dagget says, "Most in-house chaplaincies are funded by their institutions, but ours is faith-operated. Funding is provided by revenue from our Thrift store, individual donors, and great Vancouver churches."

"The Vancouver Chaplaincy (VAC) has trusted God to use them to work through each situation they encounter, whether it's providing spritual and emotional support, participating in disaster response, helping refugees, or assisting passengers with flight issues. They deserve to be called The Skyway Good Samaritans." - Agnes Chung, The Sky Talk newspaper

A highlight of this ministry is sharing the gospel with several people at a time of spiritual need. The ministry contacts a spectrum of persons coming to the chapel. Some seek to talk, meditate, or pray and others come in a state of crisis for one reason or another - deported, bereaved, homeless, friendless, and more.

Sometimes people ask me questions like: "Why do you like to volunteer here? Are you a priest or pastor? What religion do you represent? How many languages do you speak?"

I have this opportunity to share my faith in Jesus. I really want the community to better understand my church beliefs, and in turn to make my testimonies more relevant. I want my church to be more visible in the community, to be less subject to prejudice. I love my volunteer work. This is my ministry.

By Edwin Biray Galvan is a member and layman of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Edwin lives in Surrey, British Columbia.

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