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Pastor Neil Peralta grew up on the lower mainland - a city slicker from Langley.  But you would never know it.  He has acclimated to Northern British Columbia, "I love it here," he told me on a recent visit.  

He began his ministry in October, 2014, just as the winter was approaching.  "It was lonely at first, because people were not going out much in the snow," he explained.  During the last six months, Neil has built strong relationships with his members.  "Most of them are old, and I love spending time visiting with them."  

On a recent trip to visit with him, I traveled the entire territory with him to get a better idea of his ministry.  His territory is quite vast. Pastor Peralta travels from Smithers to Hazleton, and Burns Lake.  "I spend a lot of time on the road making my visits."  

The Hazelton Adventist Church is beautifully situated with a gorgeous view of the mountain. Something special is happening with the prayer meeting there.  "We were averaging about 4-5 people each week.  However when one of the key members became injured, they decided to move the meeting into the home of Lorna and Donnie McCloud.  Since then the prayer meeting attendance has grown remarkably.  "We have seen a steady climb each month," said Peralta.  Last week, the attendance was up to 24 people (with an average church attendance of 80).  

The group begins by singing a few songs, then read from the Gospels and discuss what they are reading.  It is quite simple.  And yet community is being built.  

"Our churches are mostly attended by the elderly, but if we are going to sustain our ministry, we will need to reach out to young adults," said Peralta.  That is his plan, to grow, not maintain.  

Dr. Kumar Dixit, Ministerial Director