Grace Lutheran Church

God's timing

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9


At the end of November, Rhonda and Julie went to deliver the Advent calendar kits.  We were blessed with a comfortable and much needed roomy vehicle as it was loaded to the brim. We made our way to the North of Vancouver Island. Our first stop was Ehattesaht where we dropped off our first 31 kits including the community of Oclucje. We were able to talk and pray, through a window, with lovely couple in Ehattesaht. As they have had a few cases of covid, please keep them in your prayers, some of them are in remission but others are still fighting the virus.  We then continued on to Fair Harbor to deliver about 80 kits to be send by water taxi to Kyuquot.  From there, we went back on the 2 1/2 hour long logging road before getting to the highway to Port Hardy for the night. We delivered to a few families in town and the next day we brought around 80 kits to be send on the Ferry to Klemtu.  We went back down Island, we stopped in Port McNeil to deliver around 31 kits to be sent to Kingcome via water taxi.  We want to thank all the people involved in the travel of the kits, assuring  they reach each communities. Finally, we delivered to a few families in Campbell River.  We thank God for the safe travels and for the timing of this mission. The logging road often floods, the rain just started on our way to Fair Harbour. The torrential rain continued after we left Fair Harbor and overnight. Ehattesaht lost electricity through the storm.  We praise God for restoring their electricity in a timely manner.

This season, we are also reminded of God's timing in bringing Jesus into our world. It was back then, a time filled with political unrest. Today, as we are pressed down with covid's restrictions, we have the opportunity to seek God's peace in the middle of the unrest. we can choose to take the time to quiet ourselves and  keep our eyes on Him and focus on the blessings we do have instead of what we are missing. Our prayers is that the comfort of God's promises will warm your heart and fill you with His Joy this Christmas season and always.

"The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned."
 Isaiah 9:2 NIV

Praise God for all of the volunteers  and the CLBI team of students who have stepped up to help cut and sew all of the advent calendars, all 240 were and delivered on time for advent!

We thank God for safe travel and protection for the CLBI team, Rhonda and Julie as they delivered the kits.
Praise God for all the families who received the Advent Calendar kits!

Praise God for the protection over the communities of Ehttesaht and Oclucje who have had positive cases of CoVid-19 in their communities.

Praise God for technology and still being able to connect with friends in the communities while we still can't travel.
 
Prayer for the safety and guidance for staff and students in school.

We pray that the kits are a blessing and an encouragement to each household.

Pray for D who just got out of the ICU and is recovering from CoVid-19. 

Pray for the communities of Ehattesaht, Oclujce, and Ahousat as they are trying to battle the spread of Covid-19. Prayer for quick recovery for those who tested positive. 

Pray for A as she struggles with drinking and some health challenges, and who is looking to get into a treatment center. 

Pray for kindness and fairness to all people in our hospitals, medical clinics, with first responders and other businesses.

Pray for M for healing and relief from pain from his arthritis.

Continue to pray for believers in the communities that they would be able to share God's love and encourage people who are experiencing a lot of anxiety during this pandemic. May they be filled with Jesus's love and be overflowing and creative in how they share His love with others. 

Continue to pray for people who are bound in addictions that they would be set free.

Continue to pray for the mental health of people during this pandemic, that those who are feeling isolated and alone would be able to reach out and get support as they need

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

 
December Update!
 
Dear Friends,

It is amazing to see how God continues to work in unexpected ways as we have had to think outside the box to be able to continue ministry and support to the communities we serve. So much of our ministry is about relationships and being present in people’s lives in person and in their community, and it has been so difficult to not be able to be there. So we have had to continue to adapt and respond in various ways.
 
We were planning to have the CLBI Impact team, a group of second year students, come and serve for two weeks in communities in November and then again in February. By the end of August, we realized that the communities would still be closed to travel, and so we adapted and planned a project where we could make kits for Advent/ Christmas. Once I spoke to all four communities to see how many families we should plan for, I was asked if we could send one for each household in the community. How amazing is that? It turned our small project into a big project that was going to be a blessing to EVERY household in each community we serve.
 
We decided to create more of the felt Advent calendars that we received from some ladies from Michigan a few years ago. After putting out a request, we had enough volunteers that sewed felt backdrops and cut out hundreds of characters for the nativity scenes. We had some pastors that volunteered to write some devotions to go along with each day of the calendar.
 
On Nov. 7, plans changed again as we decided not to send the students through the Lower Mainland and to the Island as restrictions were increasing for the Lower Mainland. So the next plan was to meet at Pines Bible Camp in Grand Forks, and that got delayed by a snowstorm so we ended up meeting up in Kamloops and travelling to Grand Forks the next day. That is where we spent 12 days putting the advent calendars together, and filled the bags with an advent calendar, devotional booklet, a couple of booklets from Lutheran Hour ministries, some crafts, and goodies for each household to enjoy. We also created some videos to go along with each day of Advent that we can post online.
 
I left Grand Forks with a filled vehicle of Advent bags and travelled to the island. Julie and I were able to drive up island to drop of kits for Ehattesaht, Oclujce, Kyuquot, Kingcome, Klemtu and a few families in Port Hardy and Campbell River. It was hard driving through Ehattesaht/ Oclujce area to drop of kits at the Health Center as they were on lock down as there are some positive cases of CoVid-19. My hope and prayer is that these kits will bring some joy at a time were there is some fear and anxiety. We stood in the pouring rain to visit with a couple who was working at the Band Office and we were able to pray with them and encourage them in a time that is challenging. This is the first time that we have been able to reach every household in each community and I am excited to see what God has in store during this time of Advent.
 
We continue to need your partnership in this ministry through prayer, volunteering and through donations. Thank you to all of our faithful supporters even through these uncertain times. Your financial support allows us to continue ministry in new ways as we cannot travel with teams right now. There are opportunities to partner with us through our monthly giving program, by sending an etransfer to donations@bcmissionboat.org, through paypal or Canadahelps, or by sending a cheque through the mail.  Thank you for prayerfully considering how you can partner with our ministry.
May God continue to bless you and your family during this Christmas and Advent season. Although celebrations may look different this year, we can continue to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
 
In Christ,
Rhonda Kelman, Executive Director
 
 
We want to extend again a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who sewed, traced and cut out character from the nativity scene for the Advent Calendars. Thank you also, to all the pastors who created little devotions for each day of Advent.  A special thanks to the Impact team from CLBI who cut out, glued and assembled every kit. It has been a true labor of love and we are so grateful that over 240 families from the Northen First Nations communities of Ehattesaht, Kyuquot, Kingcome, Oclucje and Klemtu  will be able to experience a ray of God's love through these kits.
 
Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.  My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm." Isaiah 51:4-5
  
Our prayers is that each families will be encouraged through those kits and know they are loved as they read God's word each day this advent.

Overcoming Adversity

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;.."   2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ESV


Through this pandemic, the constant has been canceled plans, changes and disappointments.  The obstacles to continue supporting our northern remote First Nations communities have been great. Through this we have been able to truly rely on Jesus and see He is power at play.  As restrictions were put in place and doors closed, God has been faithful in providing new venues and so many willing volunteers to help with this very in depth Advent Calendar project.  


It was good timing for our Mission Director, Julie to start full time on November 2nd, as she was able to help with some of the logistics from all the changes.  Even as the team from CLBI left to go to Grand Forks, a snow storm in the south of BC forced the student's team and Rhonda, to reroute to Kamloops for the night. We pray for safety on the roads and protection for the team and Rhonda.


We are excited as every part of the Advent Calendar project is coming together. We are so thankful to all the volunteers who made that possible and to the CLBI team, that even through many obstacles, is coming to finish each kit for the 240 households in Ehattesaht, Kyuquot, Kingcome, Oclucje, and Klemtu. They will not be able to deliver them because of the Covid-19 restrictions but Rhonda and Julie will be able to drop them at safe drop off points for each community. This will also give Julie an opportunity to see some of our travel for getting to the communities.


We continue to pray and trust God as schools and activities are running and in keeping our ministry communities safe and healthy.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. 4Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal."  Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV

We Thank God for a safe time of gathering in mourning the loss of B's family's love one.


Praise for the protection over the communities of Gold River and Bella Bella who have had positive cases of CoVid-19 in their communities.


Praise God that L's sisters had safe travels and were able to spend time with her before she passed away. 


We Thank God for providing venues and the willingness to move with the changes  for the CLBI team to come put all the kits together.


Praise God for all of the volunteers  and the CLBI team of students who have stepped up to help cut and sew all of the advent calendars so that we will have 240 ready to send out at the end of November!


Praise God for technology and still being able to connect with friends in the communities while we still can't travel.

 

Prayer for the safety and guidance for staff and students in school.


Pray for safe travel and protection for the CLBI team, Rhonda and Julie as they meet and deliver the kits.


Pray for all the families who will receive the Advent Calendar kits that God will go beforehand and prepare the way. We pray that this kits will be a blessing and an encouragement to each household.


Pray for the R family as they mourn their loss of their sister who was living in Nanaimo.


Pray for A as she struggles with drinking and some health challenges. 


Pray for all of those who are still mourning the loss of loved ones. 


Continue to pray for J as he is currently living on the streets in Vancouver. Pray that he would turn away from drug addiction and turn back to his family.


Pray for kindness and fairness to all people in our hospitals, medical clinics, with first responders and other businesses.


Pray for A's daughter who is struggling with addiction.


Pray for M for healing and relief from pain from his arthritis.


Pray for believers in the communities that they would be able to share God's love and encourage people who are experiencing a lot of anxiety during this pandemic. May they be filled with Jesus's love and be overflowing and creative in how they share His love with others. 


Continue to pray for people who are bound in addictions that they would be set free.


Pray for the mental health of people during this pandemic, that those who are feeling isolated and alone would be able to reach out and get support as they need.