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Monday, February 15, 2010

More than Gold 2010 - Vancouver: Days 6-7

On Sunday, the sun came out and we had a beautiful day to work outside. We started the day with worshipping with Royal Heights Baptist Church, which is the church where we have been sleeping. Lee Byrum, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Craig, Colorado and I gave testimonies of what God has been doing through us since we arrived. Then the pastor gave a gift of hats with Canadian Hockey on it and "pastor" written on the back. Here are pictures of us receiving our hats and me sharing some stories of our encounters. (Click on the picture for a larger image):

After church, we served again at Main Street/Science Station. There were SO many people there because it was Sunday and the weekend was ending so everyone and their dog (literally) were out walking around. This station is one of the main spots in town so we were able to talk to a lot of people. However, I was not able to really talk in depth with anyone. I was able to tell many that we came here to give them some hot chocolate and to tell them I serve a God who is caring and who loves them.

As an interesting sidenote, I was interviewed by Baptist Press so I am hoping I will get in an article. That would be a neat momento. For those of you in Colorado, be looking for the article in the Rocky Mountain Baptist.

Mike, our leader, came to our spot and went out with a hot chocolate pack on his back. Here are some pictures of him (Click on the picture for a larger image):

Monday evening, we will be serving at a place called the Hobbit House. I do not even know what that means but it is a little house which is used by First Baptist Church. It is a little cafe where people can come and sit inside and have coffee and hot chocolate. We will be the first group from our group to serve at this place so it should be another aventure. We will serve 4:30 pm to 11:30 pm and then the train and bus ride home. Should be a more relaxed evening. I will fill you in on my next post. Rhonda and I made our way over there today. Here are some pictures (Click on the pictures for a larger image):

Continue to pray for us, for our safety, and for God to work in us to build His Kingdom in Vancouver.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More than Gold 2010 - Vancouver: Days 4-5

Friday we began our ministry in Vancouver. Rhonda and I were stationed at Yaletown Station. After the Opening Ceremonies, they anticipated at least 8000 people coming right by our table where we could serve them hot chocolate and water. They anticipated correctly. Here are some pictures of our serving the crowd. It is dark so it is hard to see. You can see Rhonda talking to a person but I did not want to use the flash for fear of interrupting the moment she was sharing with the person. (Click on the pictures for a larger image):

I had some good conversations with some folks. I talked with an Indian gentleman about what were doing there. I told him we were showing hospitality to show that we serve a good God who is kind and hospitable. I talked to a person I presumed to be homeless who wanted some change because he had not eaten. I gave him Slim Jim’s instead. I talked to a young man named Ryan who was drunk and wanted to use my phone. I told him “No” and told me he lost his girlfriend and needed to talk to her. I figured he meant he did something dumb and she left him for someone else. After a little talking, I realized he meant that he literally LOST HIS GIRLFRIEND. I called her for him (the phone was not leaving my person) and got her on the phone. She told us where she was at and we found her. He was so happy but he was so drunk and could barely understand me. I just told them to hold hands and make sure they do not get separated again.

I had other conversations as well. We got back to the church around 1:30-2:00 am.

Saturday, we had another good day. It was not as long as Friday and had some good conversations with folks. We served at Main Street/Science Station. It is essentially across the river from the Olympic Village. We got to the spot but there was no truck from which we were working so we waited until it got there. We had to wait two hours but God is constantly teaching us that we must be flexible when serving Him.

We walked over to the Science Station where the Russians are staying (I think). They are already preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Soshi, Russia. Right when we got there to look at the place, some protestors began to shout “Soshi: land of genocide!” and the crowd began to curse at them and yell at them to shut up. Rhonda and I got out of there as fast as we could. Here are some pictures of the Russians promoting the 2014 Olympics (sans protestors). (Click on the picture for a larger image):

After that we needed something to lighten the mood. This seemed to do the trick (Click on the picture for a larger image):

The truck finally arrived and we began serving our hot chocolate. We have backpacks which hold and dispense the hot chocolate. So after being filled up with hot chocolate, we walked over to the train station and began serving people hot chocolate. Here are some pictures of the backpacks (click on the picture for a larger image):

We had many good conversations with many different people. It is amazing how peoples’ faces light up when you give them chocolate. There was a group of young people around 20 years old (three guys and one girl). They said they wanted some hot chocolate and I asked them if they were from here (meaning Vancouver). They said they were from Quebec. I told them I was from Colorado and we drove here. One of the guys said, “You drove all the way from Colorado to hand out hot chocolate?” I replied, “Yes. I drove all the way from Colorado to give you a cup of hot chocolate and tell you that I serve a good, kind God who loves you.” They gave a kind and nervous laugh and said, “OK. Well, thanks. Bye.” I just pray that they think about the lengths God goes through to reach one person. It is not that he sent me to Vancouver from Colorado; it is that He sent His Son from Heaven to Earth. That is the lengths to which God will go.

When Rhonda’s and my shift were over, we headed back to the church. I wanted to find a restaurant to sit and eat at but decided we just should go back to the church. We rode the train and then the bus. I was a little disappointed that I had no real in-depth conversations today. When we got of the train, we saw a Wendy’s and thought we should just go there and eat. A young Indian man got off the train before us and was going the same direction we were going. He sort of looked back and I joking told him, “We are not following you; we are just going the same direction.” He smiled and continued walking. Suddenly, he stopped and turned and began to talk to Rhonda and I.
He told us that he had a friend die yesterday when a car hit him. We talked for just a minute to get the details and his name, Dep, and then I told him I wanted to pray for him. He said he does not understand much English, so Rhonda grabbed his hand and I put my hand on his shoulder and I began to pray for him. I am not sure he knew what was going on or what we were saying, but God heard us. He said, “I cannot understand hearing it very good but I can read it good.” I gave him a New Testament and I encouraged him to read 1 Corinthians 1 where it talks about God comforting us with all comfort so that we can comfort others. Then I encouraged him to read John. I pulled out a More than Gold pin and asked if I could explain the colors to him. He said he had to go because he was meeting some friends but he asked if we were part of a church. I told him we were part of Royal Heights Baptist Church just down the street a few blocks. He asked what time he should be there. I told him “10:00 am tomorrow.” I had not clue if that was the right time or not – turns out their service starts at 10:30 so that would be a great time. We blessed him and then he left. I pray he truly was interested in Jesus and will come to the church tomorrow.

I will post more in the next day or two as time allows. Please continue to pray for us.

Friday, February 12, 2010

More than Gold 2010 - Vancouver: Days 1-3

I am on a mission trip to Vancouver, B.C. to reach out to those attending the Olympics. I left on Feb 8 and are here with 26 people from two associations in our state. Here is a picture of our group (click on the picture for a larger image):

We traveled for two days (two FULL days) and arrived in Vancouver on Feb. 9. On Wednesday, we we traveled around the public transportation to get used to traveling on public transportation, to get used to engaging people on the trains, and to see the city. Here are some of the things we saw (click on the picture for a larger image):

This is the building where the Russian athletes are staying (at least that is my understanding). You can see that they are already gearing up for 2014 winter Olympics.

I was able to engage several people throughout the day about our mission there. I gave one lady the More Than Gold pin which explains the message of salvation. Because the train was coming I had to leave somewhat quickly but I left here with the pin and the explanation.

On Thursday, we had More Than Gold orientation all day. However, we took a break because the torch was being passed right in front of the building. The mayor of Vancouver was the one carrying the torch and he passed it to someone else. Here he is (click on the picture for a larger image):

There at the torch passing, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police where there. I have always thought they look sharp in their uniforms (Click on the picture for a larger image):

After this, we went back inside and got a picture with a torch (it was not the one being carried. Here is Rhonda and I.

The first bus I took on Thursday, there was a young lady named Margarita. I began talking with her and asked her if she had any "spiritual inclinations." She was Russian Orthodox. I shared a pin with her and went through the plan of salvation with her. Right when I finished, we had to get off. I do not if she did receive Christ but she heard the message and has the card explaining it to her. I am praying that the seed will be harvested later by someone.

I know the above may not seem like missions but we begin our missions tonight. Rhonda and I will be working from about 6 pm to 12:30 am. We will be working the rest of the week in different parts of the city. I will keep update and my time and straight allow.

Please be praying for us that we would see God increase His Kingdom in Vancouver.