• Racism, Community & The Gospel

    Racism and ethnic prejudice were fundamental challenges for the first century church. We see blatant racism in places like Acts 11 when the “brothers and sisters”, or church leaders of the community, were having huge problems with Peter and criticizing him for his gospel inclusion when they heard that Gentiles were being saved. We see it in Ephesians 2 where Paul writes that at one time, Gentiles were “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” We can also see it in Galatians 2 where Paul confronted an entire church for their racism and ethnic prejudice. He wanted them to see how the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection breaks down the racial, ethnic, gender, and socio-economic walls that would naturally divide them.
    Categories: Community,Culture,Written
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  • Child of Mine: Raising India's Future Leaders

    “India is one of the most diverse and sense-assaulting cultures on earth,” says Laurence. “Sound, smell, sight, taste, pace—there’s no blandness in anything.” He speaks about India with more authority than I’d expect from a white Kelowna pastor of British descent. It sounds exciting; but also a bit like a recipe for extreme culture shock. But for Laurence, India isn’t a land of foreign ways and language and people. It’s home.
    Categories: Culture,Global Missions,India,Written
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  • Prepared to Make a Defence

    As a first-year biology student at Queen’s University, Gordon found himself surrounded by fellow science majors who had no respect for God and challenged his faith at every opportunity with an almost anti-theistic sentiment. It was then that he was provoked to start thinking and reading, so that he could be “prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks” (1 Pt 3:15).
    Categories: Culture,Evangelism,Local Missions,Written
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  • Meeting Teens Where They’re At

    Working with the minds of tomorrow means developing a creative and loving approach; but also, as Holly simply puts it, “It means just being there and always showing up”. Holly’s measured effervescence gives her the appeal of combined youth and wisdom, which explains why she so easily fits in with teens; yet why they also lovingly refer to her as “Mom”.
    Categories: Community,Culture,Local Missions,Written
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  • You Yourselves Were Foreigners

    When we talk about overseas missions, Western cities are not typically the first ones that spring to mind. Certainly not Paris—with its shimmering lights, art museums and iconic Eiffel Tower. And yet, that’s exactly where God has called one of Westside’s missionaries, AK.
    Categories: Community,Culture,Global Missions,Missions,Written
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  • Answering the Call

    Harold and Coni are people like you and I. The world might call them unqualified on paper. They may even call themselves unqualified. But they are qualified because they have faithfully followed the Lord’s call. And having emptied themselves, He has equipped them for every good work and appointed them disciple makers.
    Categories: Africa,Culture,Global Missions,Written
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  • A Constant in the Trial

    The proclamation of the gospel as good news has been a real wrestle for Averee the past year. She grew up in a Christian home, with a fairly simplistic understanding of the good news of Jesus; He loves us and died for us. However, Averee admits that working with youth whose lives are often in shambles, and where brokenness and hurt abound, has shaken her idea of God and has forced her to ask the question, “How is the gospel good news?"
    Categories: Culture,Local Missions,Missions,Written
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  • Football, Athletes in Action, and Changing Culture on Campus

    Cody knows that to be a part of culture-change on campus you need to first be a part of the culture. One of Cody’s roles as AIA staff is serving as SFU football’s chaplain. Being the chaplain and also having such a long history with the team means he’s a part of the makeup of SFU football and a large part of SFU athletics. “I know the coaches, I know the physio staff who are aware of what we do,” Cody says, “I love the fact that God is using my story to bring redemption to the campus.” People know him and know his story and God’s using this to bring change to the culture of SFU.
    Categories: Culture,Local Missions,Written
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  • Tilling the Good Soil of the Land, and the Hearts of the Haitian People

    “Why did this happen?!” We ask questions like this when unexpected and ostensibly senseless events occur in our lives…and this is the question Jen cried out to God when year after year she received news of death—the suicide of her graduation classmate, another classmate suicide, and finally the shocking murder of her stepfather. Frustration and depression accompanied Jen as she searched to understand why these events had taken place, and why her church failed to live out the community it preached Sunday after Sunday when she needed it the most.
    Categories: Culture,Global Missions,Written
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  • A Call to Action for Christ

    I shift around in my seat, look down at my notebook, and hear a cheerful and upbeat voice. “Kirsten?” I look up and standing before me is a man with happy eyes, a toque pulled down tightly over his head and a bearded smile: Dave Olson.
    Categories: Culture,Local Missions,Written
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  • I Hugged an Abuser

    There is something about the demonstration of compassion and love toward those who are known to have committed heinous acts of abuse, that evokes within some of us a cry of “Unjust! Undeserved!” or perhaps, ”Beware! Don’t be fooled!” or even “You are being weak! Stand strong!”. I get this. I’ve been on the other end of stories like these many times, and my initial response is often fueled by a desire for justice and protection of the individual who has been hurt. But there is more going on in these stories, in yours and in mine… there is a depth and breadth of pain that must be considered, and stepped into. And there is hope on the other side.
    Categories: Culture,Suffering,Written
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