Ever since hearing about the spiritual situation in Canada, and especially French speaking Canada, I have been greatly burdened. I have prayed since that time that God would somehow open up an opportunity for our student ministry to partner with someone who is already participating in ministry there. Well, I really believe that God may have just answered that prayer. Before I explain, permit me to share some of the statistics that I have come to know about Canada and its spirituality (or lack thereof).
While 13.7% of English Canada is evangelical, only 0.54% of French Canada is evangelical. Of the French Canadian people, in a survey done in 2001, a little over 83% claimed to be Catholic; but, even a very small percentage of them claimed to attend services regularly. According to “Outreach Canada,” there are more than 850 cities and identifiable communities in the province of Quebec that do not have a single evangelical church! I recall hearing at M-Fuge that there is something like 1 church for every 2 million people in Quebec! As I ponder these statistics, I am reminded of Romans 10:14, in which Paul asks the question, “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?”
Well, God has opened a door for a small team of us to travel to Quebec in order that at least 40 some students will hear the good news this summer. A partnership between a church planter in Rawdon, Quebec, and our state convention began last summer. This church planter, Ron, has come to find out the the best way to attract students in order to share with them the love of Christ is to invite them to free sports camps. So, each summer (this is his second summer) he offers 3 weeks of such camps: one for soccer, one for basketball and one from baseball. This year, the team that was set to lead the baseball camp had to drop out. So, I was contacted by the same guys that were to lead our Honduras team earlier this summer (that was cancelled) and asked if I could put together a team to fill that void. Isn’t it awesome how the Lord works!?
So, I and three other members of our church (Andrew Stover, Annie Hoxie and Sonya Hoxie) will be travelling to Rawdon, Quebec this Sunday night. Our mission for the trip is two-fold: First, we are going to fill that void for Ron by leading the baseball camp and sharing the Gospel with the students who are already signed up. Second, we are viewing this trip as a vision trip. We are praying that God would see fit for us to develop a partnership with Ron for years to come.
So, I would ask you to pray. First, pray for our team. This trip is very short notice and I pray that we have had enough time to prepare. We know the Holy Spirit will suffice in our weakness! Pray that God will begin to reap a harvest as many seeds have already been planted this summer and last. Second, please pray for vision. Pray that we would know very clearly if this is to extend into a lasting partnership for our students. Third, pray for Ron. Rawdon is fortunate to be in the great minority of of cities that has an evangelical presence. Pray that they would be open as Ron shares with them the greatest news ever proclaimed!