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I still remember my first day at camp pitch two years ago. I was nervous; being the new guy. It was suppertime, and I was standing behind a red headed guy with a thick beard. He looked exactly what I assumed all BC pastor’s looked like – a lumberjack. 

Cavin Chwyl and I started up and conversation as we stood in line for the food. We ended up sitting together during the meal. I was struck by how open and authentic he was. He was going through a major life transition, and I couldn’t believe how he was managing to keep it together.

Fast-forward two years. We had dropped Jerry Logan home around 1:00am. It had been a long ten hours in the car. We would now grab a few hours of sleep and then continue north to Dawson Creek, where Chwyl lives.

This had already been a productive trip. I got to learn more about Jerry and Cavin’s life stories, and talk about ministry My excitement was growing because once we arrived to Dawson Creek, Cavin had agreed to take me fishing for a couple hours

Cavin is a true man of the north. He has a master knowledge of trees, vegetation, paw prints, fossils, and birdcalls. He even carries a knife on him (even when he preaches). It was late Friday afternoon. We ate Big Franks out of a can, and drank plenty of water. The mosquitoes were vicious. Luckily, Mr. Wilderness had a small can of bug spray with extra Deet. I learned a lot about fishing, as well as some strong metaphors of fishing for men.

On Sabbath morning, I drove up the small hill, where the church is situated in Dawson Creek. I wanted to see if the members were as loving, and warm-hearted as Cavin had bragged. Through the tough four years he had experienced, he said he was fully loved and accepted by his three churches.

The Dawson Creek Adventist Church is the epitome of a family-styled congregation. There is warmth and familiarity that exists from the first moments you enter the building. Nobody is trying to be pretentious. When I asked about a church bulletin, the greeter informed me that they didn’t have one. “Nobody seemed to have an interested in putting it together, so we stopped printing them,” he told me in a pragmatic manner.

The worship service started with a video story by Adventist Missions. We sang songs together from the Hymnal as if we were having family worship in someone’s living room.

Pastor Cavin came forward to preach in a very casual, natural demeanor. He was articulate, and engaging. He taught from Matthew 5, and the importance of the church making a deep contribution in the community for the sake of the gospel.

After church, I stayed for the potluck lunch. Each of Cavin’s churches hold a Sabbath lunch every week. This is dedication! Everybody pitched in, and sat together at a very long table. My experience at the Dawson Adventist Church felt more like an Acts 2 experience “where they met together and had everything in common.” There was a rare sense of unity in the church, and everybody seemed so… I couldn’t quite put my finger on the right word for a couple weeks.

Awe. Yes. They seemed so content.

  Dawson Creek