I pray and hope that all of you had a good summer and are healthy and safe. Unfortunately, our beautiful BC was tremendously affected by the wildfires and many suffered greatly, including some loss of life during this time – Oh, Lord Jesus come sooner!
The Lytton population, including the Lytton First Nation (LFN) were amongst those who faced a very challenging time during the fire. However, amidst the sufferings they went through, the BC Conference Administration and Camp Hope Management were able to organize a plan with the BC Governmentauthorities, and the leadership of the LFN, to provide a safe place for our brothers and sisters during their time of distress. That plan was put in place on a high priority level because the LFN and other people directly affected by the wildfires needed safe accommodation right away. After much prayer and serious consideration, we felt that God had provided us an opportunity to help ease the suffering of those people and show our Christian love and compassion to them in Jesus’ name. Consequently, we cancelled most of our summer programs that included children, youth and other church activities that were to happen at Camp Hope in order to accommodate them. Our decision, with no strings attached, touched the hearts of many of them.
Now, on behalf of our team in the office and Camp Hope, I would like to thank the BC Conference Church members for their understanding as we felt compelled to act as we did. Our action also created a very positive image of our church in the minds of the affected people, including the attention and appreciation of the other First Nation Communities around BC and Canada. That was an amazing and unexpected reward; we pray for its fruition in our relationship with our brothers and sisters who do not share the same beliefs as we do. Yes, we are all God’s children! So, thank you again for your kind patience and understanding as we navigated through this situation! I cannot forget to thank our dedicated Camp Hope Staff and Summer Camp Youth Leadership and Staff for walking many extra miles to facilitate and offer their best possible service to the LFN, even under extreme circumstances. Also, thank you to dozens of volunteers from our Conference who “showed up” at Camp Hope to make their positive contributions to help with that situation. Thank you for the supplies of bedding sent to Camp Hope by many churches and friends. The BC Conference Administration is very grateful for your service and proud of all of you for who you are, by God’s grace — we are a team and a family!
Then, God inspired the hearts of the authorities to invite ADRA Canada to manage a big warehouse near Vernon to receive and distribute in-kind donations given by many generous hearts to the affected people. ADRA Canada’s experience, professionalism, and excellent service provided to the Fort McMurray’s population during the 2016 fire (the largest in AB history) was a key element for their invitation to ADRA’s presence and involvement in BC. Our BC Conference pastors in the Okaganan/Thompson regions were approached by our Conference Administration and they are also volunteering and coordinating other volunteers from their local churches to assist with this project. What a joy to be of service!
Now, as I look back to those busy moments that required our immediate action, I realize that the greatest human response that reflects the glory of God and the character of Jesus Christ is when we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. Then, and only then, can we selflessly and genuinely help those around us who are in pain and are in vulnerable position. True Christianity is meeting others at their lowest physical, emotional, and spiritual points. It is going through personal and/or heartbreaking community experiences to become the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. When we do that honestly and sincerely, we not only assist others in overcoming their hopelessness, but ultimately point them to the One who can solve all human dilemmas.
Also on another note, thank you for “attending” our successful 2021 BC Conference Virtual Camp Meeting (CM) “Joy in the Journey”. God used mightily the preachers and musicians of all our CM divisions, seminar presenters, concert participants, and all who made their contributions through any other form to praise and honour God’s name during that time. CM is still the largest and most appreciated time for our church family to come together as one for spiritual upliftment — God is good!!!
1 – Find below the link for our September Conference video: The Local Church – Terrace SDA Church “Community Garden”– thank you Pastor Errol Palipane for preparing the video. It shows how a simple and practical idea, born in the heart of Leah & Olivier Drouin in Terrace, to serve others can bring people together to live healthier and reveal the love of God. (III John 2)
2 – Let’s pray for our schools – Principals, Teachers, Staff, and most importantly, our students, for a successful and blessed school year starting on Tuesday, Sept 7.
Thank you for your committed service to God and His children & all you do to glorify our Heavenly Father’s name!
In His Service,