The concluding part to Milly and Steve’s journey to Canada!
Ever since we first started sharing with family and friends that we were planning to move to Canada, we quite naturally got asked the same question over and over – ‘why Canada?’
Some people offered suggestions – were we going for jobs? Or to join family? The answer we’ve come back with – that we’re going because God told us to – has met with varied responses, particularly from our non-believing friends! Confusion, disbelief, sometimes even embarrassment!
But it’s true. We’re going because it’s God’s plan. Steve had a perfectly good job here in Britain; we had a good, contented life here, surrounded by friends and family, a beautiful home, 2 adorable cats; we were settled and happy. It wasn’t our plan to move anywhere!
I can’t even say we’re going because we have a particular heart for Canada and Canadians! I’m just as passionate about seeing the Gospel of Christ preached in Swindon as I am in Vancouver, and seeing lives transformed by His grace in Wiltshire as in British Columbia. My passion is to see broken lives transformed by God, and to be used by Him in that process any way He wants – any where He wants!
Shortly after we first arrived in Swindon the church was going through the process of changing its name from Swindon Family Church to Gateway Church Swindon. At that time Colin gave a word of prophecy describing the Church as an ‘airport departure lounge’. People would arrive, stay for a time, and then they would leave. It was a word for the church – but it stuck with Steve, resonating with him in a way he didn’t at first understand. But as our journey has unfolded, he’s come back to it quite a few times, realising that as happy as we have been here in Swindon, it has been a temporary stopping place in our journey. A place to be equipped before taking the next step.
At the same time (possibly even the same meeting!) Colin prayed for me and Steve. And he prophesied over us that God was going to restore our love for His Church. Colin barely knew us at that time, didn’t know any of our past history or our hopes for the future. But we can rejoice that this is our testimony – that in the years we’ve had in Swindon God has rekindled a passion to see His church built and restored. How amazing is God’s love for us, that He gives us little peeks into His plans for us, to encourage us as we go!
We’re so excited to be going to Vancouver to be involved in a young church plant. We’re not going there with a specific role; you can’t describe us as Church Planters. We’re just going there to get stuck in, to do whatever we can wherever we’re needed, to help build the church in Vancouver and see Jesus’ name glorified. It’s a glorious joining together of a general passion for healing of the broken and for the restoration of the church, with the specific calling of God to a specific destination of His choosing. What’s not to get excited about?
The fingerprint of God
God’s fingerprints have been all over our move. Here are a couple of examples:
- I’ve mentioned how we’re passionate about seeing broken lives restored – last September we had the opportunity to do some training in an inner-healing ministry. The training lasted a year, so we weren’t sure whether we could commit to it – but it felt right to get as much equipping as we could in this area. The training finished on 28 September; when we got our visa confirmations through we were given a deadline by when to enter the country – at the start of November! So we could finish the training, with time to spare!
- When we put our house the market in June – we got absolutely no interest. Zero. Nada. Not a single viewing after the first day. It was a bit disconcerting. Then a couple of months later, we got a text message out of the blue from some friends in the church, saying that they were interested in buying! What was exciting was – about 18months previously I had been praying about our house, and told God how I would love to sell to someone in the church to keep the house in the ‘church family’, and in order to bless whoever took the house on. I even named two families in particular… and yes – one of those was the couple who are now buying our house!
Trusting in God
God’s hand has been so clearly evident in many other ways. So we are trusting Him completely for what lies ahead. Steve has finished work; we’re trusting God for a new job for him (and maybe for me too!) in Vancouver. The house is sold; we’re trusting God for a new home when we arrive. We’ve booked our flights, and on 19 October we’re going – trusting that God has gone ahead of us to put His purposes for us into plan. There are still many question marks, but we know that God knows all things.
If being in Swindon, in Gateway, has been a time of waiting in a departure lounge, then our flight has just been announced. Everyone is boarding, we’re saying our goodbyes, – it’s time to fly!