Feedback from Recent Ministry Trips in Ontario and Virginia (Steve)

Over the past month you may have noticed that Debs and I have been traveling a little more than usual. It has been an abnormally busy season for us in our role as team members on the New Covenant Ministries International translocal ministry team but a wonderfully fruitful season too. Here is some feedback from these ministry trips.

Oct 22-27th Debs and I visited a number of churches in the Toronto area…

Central Church, Waterloo ONT (Fred & Catherine Serez)

Some of you might remember CITC praying for Fred Serez. For over a year he has been severely debilitated by a neurological condition that leaves him almost paralyzed by extreme pain in his lower right leg. Not only have he and his family suffered but his church and small eldership team have too. Some of the NCMI and CITC leaders (Debs and I, Nate and Jamie and Dave and Kathy, along with James) who are friends with the Serez’ and their church will be ministering every 6-8 weeks over the next 7 months as we help them through this difficult season. We are full of faith though that God’s grace will be upon Central Church’s leaders and the Serez’s and we’re trusting for complete healing and restoration. Please stand with us in prayer. James and I travel this weekend (Nov 22nd – 24th) to minister and kick-start this season of partnership.

LifeHouse Church, Mississauga ONT (James & Leigh Colgan)

I spent a very encouraging 2 days with James and Leigh, building off a lot of the work Ken Grenfell has done in helping their eldership team through a difficult season.

Elders & Wives from NCMI Partnering churches in the eastern half of Canada

Over the weekend, the eldership teams from all the partnering churches in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and then a few churches from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick gathered at The Bridge Church led by Mark & Bridget Elwood (Pickering, ONT) for a two day get together of worship, fellowship, ministry and teaching that Debs and I led. It was a wonderfully encouraging time seeing the Lord strengthen and equip these great leadership teams.

The Bridge Church, Pickering ONT (Mark & Bridget Elwood)

Debs and I stayed on to minister Sunday morning at The Bridge Church. The church is nearly 100 years old and although it was recently shaken by poor leadership from the previous lead-elder, God has brought great strength and stability through Mark and Bridget and their eldership team’s leadership. Mark sent the following feedback about our time with their church; “We are grateful that CITC was able to release Steve and Debs to come at short notice. The message he brought on Sunday was helpful, as it was along the lines of where we are at as a church, so it spoke directly into our context. Hugely helpful. As one of the elders said “I thought we finished our series last week?” Debs’ prophetic words were in line with other words brought by prophetically gifted people we trust, so that too was helpful. Hopefully the church was able to make the connections, as we did. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know them better. All in all a great weekend.”
While I was in the area I was able to spend a day and night  in downtown Toronto walking the city streets and praying for God to send church planters to this extremely strategic city. Any interest from anyone? 🙂

Nov 8-10th Sudworths & Whiteleys ministered in Virginia…

Last weekend the Whiteleys joined Debs and I on our ministry visit to FreeLife Church in Leesburg VA led by Ken and Michelle Grenfell. Here is some feedback from Nancy; “Our church was strengthened when the Grenfells came to us from Leesburg. How good it was to be able to offer encouragement to Free Life Church, that the Grenfells along with their eldership team lead. It really is good to be in relationship with other churches. We’re blessed by the friendships and the partnerships.

On Friday evening, we joined the youth group. Steve and Chris had to go through an initiation that made for some laughter but the ice was broken. We entered into a powerful time of youth-led worship. This paved the way for Steve to share the Word. A time of ministry followed where Debbie sang over the group. There were prophetic words shared by our team over the group as well as individuals. The youth opened their hearts to the Lord and us and I believe they were encouraged.

(Saturday morning Steve and Chris attended a men’s breakfast where Steve taught out of Ps 23 and they both ministered prophetically over the men.) On Saturday we met with the core leadership team of the church where Steve taught on preaching and teaching and encouraged the group to see this as one of the greater works. He shared insight and keys. This also was followed by a time of ministry where many responded to prayer to be released more in preaching and teaching. Again prophetic words were released to folk by the team. Finally, we all connected over dinner together. Our hearts were warmed once more by this time.

Our last day was Sunday. As CITC does, the church meet in a large high school auditorium and like us are trusting God to fill it with lives given to Jesus. Ministry continued as Steve taught on Acts 16 and our team joined theirs to pray for people afterwards. We trust the church was strengthened as together we worshipped Jesus, enjoyed the Lord’s presence in our midst and also enjoyed continuing to build the friendship we have with FreeLife.”
This past weekend Dave Swart ministered at churches in Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island BC. I’m sure he’ll send feedback in due course but I mention that as a testimony that God has blessed us with a wonderfully strong and gifted leadership team that has enabled CITC to become a base church that seeks to resource Kingdom work in our city and beyond alongside churches that we partner with as the Lord leads.

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