An Opportunity to Invest in Jess and Dwight

Dear Family,

Each week is incredibly unique, filled with unexpected opportunities – this week is no exception. I would like to share one of those unexpected opportunities with you.

Dwight Bernier called me last Wednesday morning to share a “long shot” dream and to ask for counsel. Acts 29 is hosting a boot camp in Seattle, WA this March 8-11, and its purpose is to call and equip church planters from around the world. This would be a strategic opportunity for Dwight and Jess to learn and connect with men who share a similar heart. Unfortunately, it is just two weeks away and this conference just came to their attention. Another drawback is that neither of them have all the money to pay their own way.

Here’s why I’m writing: I have talked with my fellow elders, and we would love to bless them by raising $1000 or more so Dwight and his finance, Jess, could go to this conference. Trust me, we recognize that this is a lofty goal in these hard economic times.

Here are a few reasons why this trip could be critical:

  • This brief trip could open new contacts for them, since there are other leaders from Quebec who will be sharing about their ministries – leaders that Dwight and Jess have not met yet.
  • Steve Timmis, from The Crowded House, will be sharing a lecture series on Total Church, a book that we have found to be very helpful.
  • Caesar Kalinowski, from Soma Communities in Tacoma, will be leading a session on mission through community (aka, “Missional communities”).
  • This will be a real spiritual encouragement to Jess and Dwight’s hearts – language school is hard. The sermons they hear are almost all in French, and it will really feed their souls.
  • This will be a critical vision shaping time for Jess and Dwight together – time to dream and plan for the work in Montreal as they approach marriage, raising support, and moving to Montreal.
  • We were expecting Geoff Wright to go, to be able to round out the team, but he is unable to attend because he got a job today (answer to prayer)!!

Here’s how you can participate: We plan to take a love offering this Sunday during our time of gathered worship. All money that we receive will go to them so they can get airline tickets ($350 per person), their registration ($150 per person), and arrange housing (we’re working with some of our contacts in the Seattle area so there will be sufficient housing for each of them), and have some money for food and other expenses.

I thank God that Jess, Dwight and Geoff have been so humble and teachable in and through this process. I praise God that I am part of a family that is so willing to prayerfully jump in to a crazy, unexpected opportunity like this, and not just write it off. I thank God that so many of you have been so generous to them already. I thank God that we have the opportunity to bless, because we have been so blessed in Christ.

I love you all,

Pastor Mark for the council of elders.

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