When Michael and I planned on coming to Ontario, we felt we really wanted our time out East to be a time of honoring and encouraging our supporters. We get to see our supporters in Alberta on a semi-regular basis, but for obvious reasons, haven’t been able to connect with our supporters in Ontario as regularly. When we first considered the Titus Project as our next step in ministry, we had all sorts of fundraising ideas we could carry out while in Ontario, but as our time of being out East approached, we realized that that was not what God had for us – it wasn’t the way He intended on providing this time around. There’s nothing wrong with fundraisers for outreaches – we were involved with plenty for last summer trip to Thailand and Nepal – but this year, we felt we just needed to sit back and trust God, and we felt that rather than making our time in Ontario about us, it should be about those who allow us to be in ministry through their support.
I am writing on the last day of our time in Ontario, and looking back on the past two weeks, I would say that we were bang-on when we heard the word “encouragement,” but we have been on the receiving end of so much of that encouragement! We initially had plans to host a party for our supporters while in Alliston (Michael’s home town), but it quickly became apparent that God had other plans, and because of scheduling conflicts, had to reschedule, and eventually cancel, the event. We were initially disappointed, but by cancelling the event, we instead had the opportunity to see most of our supporters in a more personal setting. We were welcomed to barbecues in backyards, we shared a breakfast at Cora’s, we were invited to share at church. We got to hear the things our supporters are doing for the Kingdom of God, the ministries they are invested in, and the dreams on their hearts for more of what God wants to do through them. We spent much of our time in Alliston in a cafe called The Well, a ministry of Alliston Christian Fellowship, and we got to experience first hand what local outreach looks like for this church. We were so encouraged by people who came into The Well – people who ministered and were ministered to as they shared coffee, baked goods, or lunch in this unique and welcoming space. As our supporters and Michael’s home church shared with us about what’s going on in their lives and in their ministries, we were so encouraged and excited for how God is moving and working through those who so generously support our ministry.
In addition to being blessed by spending quality time with our supporters, we leave Ontario feeling so rested and ready for this next season of our lives. We’ve been spoiled rotten by Michael’s parents, and additionally, we’ve seen God provide in huge ways while we’ve been here. We’ve felt so supported and prayed for while we’ve been here, and I don’t know how many times someone has said to Michael or I, “I really loved your blog post on ___________.” Unless you have a blog, you have no idea how encouraging it is to hear that someone actually reads what you write! We’ve been encouraged in every way.
We came to encourage, we’ve left encouraged. Hopefully we’ve been an encouragement while we’ve been here!