We Do Not Walk Alone!

I like walking alone at times, especially when I’m in Europe. I love exploring with just a backpack on my back and no schedule. However, when it comes to both faith and the work Christ has called us to in the church and his mission, WE DO NOT WALK ALONE.

It takes the whole body of Christ to fulfill the mission that God has called us to. This was never truer than my experience this year with Tidal Impact. From a very generous donation from the Atlantic Baptist Women of around $10,000, to every detail that our host church Birch Cove Baptist, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Andrew Sutherland took care of, I felt a deep sense of the body of Christ working together. The key element that hit me was thinking of all the women from the ABW who participated in or supported the walkathon that raised the money and served us this way: it made the journey for us to Tidal Impact so much easier. This allowed me to focus on discipleship and preparations for the trip knowing that the details of funding were taken care of. My deepest gratitude goes out to the ABW and all those women who gave of themselves to make our journey easier.

As Baptists in Newfoundland and Labrador, being able to join with West End Baptist from St. John’s was a gift. We are separated by many miles, and the whole idea of Association takes on both new meaning and challenges, so, to spend a week with fellow brothers and sisters from a church in our Association was really incredible.

This year, the team from Northern Cross was five kids and two leaders. We took the first-ever youth team from Northern Cross and Labrador only two years ago. To repeat that again this year was awesome to see.

There were a lot of highlights: here are a few. There is something powerful about seeing youth take on roles of ministry and see them actually involved in mission in the truest sense of the word. For our ministry mornings, we put on a VBS-type program for the kids in the surrounding area of Birch Cove Baptist Church. We saw kids of many different background sing about Jesus and have a really positive experience of church. This is priceless, and this year was a little extra special to have my daughter, son, and nephew on the team. It was a real family affair.

Another highlight was the evening rallies. It’s true we do not walk alone. This theme for the Northern Cross youth is so important. Worshipping with 500 youth is not something we experience often up in the north and it only strengthens their faith and reminds them that do not walk alone.

After everything was said and done, my son, Noah, said, “We should have Tidal Impact every year.” That’s significant, that’s impactful, and we can never underestimate the growth in Christ that happens in these events.

More highlights include when servanthood and mission collide happened, like when we went to work at Feed Nova Scotia. There was a group working in the warehouse and another group cleaning out a little storage room. (For those who have teenagers they will appreciate this.)

Our task to clean and organize a dusty cluttered storage room. Most people might whine or complain. Not these teens. In fact, when one of the Feed Nova Scotia staff came down about an hour later, the space was not only clean but organized and transformed. The staff worker was astonished, not only by the work done but with the efficiency the teens completed their task. She went and got other staff to see what they did. That’s impact for the gospel, and that is powerful.

If you had any doubts about the impact of the event and how it affects the teams, be assured it made a difference. In our case, our collective Tidal Impact team hit the media and it was the first time in the history of the local community paper that a religious article made the front page. That’s a powerful witness to the community and is a powerful lesson for all of us in the church.

But here’s my point! Every step the ABW women made, every coin raised, every prayer said played an important part in the overall mission. We can never underestimate the power of this because WE DO NOT WALK ALONE.

Christ walks with us and we walk with each other. In the Middle Ages, people would travel in groups for safety and companionship. Our journey is to be faithful to the Lord and journey till our journey is done … good faithful servant.

Isaiah 41:10 reminds us to “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My right hand” (NKJV).

WE DO NOT WALK ALONE……

I want to thank Joanna Doak, ABW’s Youth & Creative Outreach Coordinator, for all her work, both when she travelled to Goose Bay and also for being a support through the Tidal Impact week. This mission God called us to is a collective effort.
Blessings,
Pastor Jonathan
Northern Cross Community Church

*originally submitted for the Atlantic Baptist Women’s Tiding publication. For more info and to subscribe to Tidings, click here: http://www.atlanticbaptistwomen.ca/tidings-magazine/subscribe-to-tidings-print-magazine



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