An Open Letter …



Dear Calvary Family

Calvary is where it all started for me.

As I take some time to reflect and to think of my walk with the Lord, everything really comes back to the ministry and commitment of those at Calvary Baptist Church.  I was first introduced to Calvary way back when the church was at Centre and John.  Some of you will remember the church building, the side door, gravel parking lot, the creepy bathrooms on the bottom floor, Sunday School, and some of us were even part of the “Time Tunnel” … my first introduction to being in a musical.  Bring back some memories?

I was also one of the kids that was impacted by the Bus Ministry.  Every Sunday, I was picked up at 52 Park Road South.  Thank you to those who drove the bus, to those who picked me up.  Some of those individuals became friends over the years.  Because of this ministry, I was also introduced Day Camp.  Growing up, we did not experience the same lifestyle that we currently do.  I was fortunate enough to attend Day Camp every summer due the generous hearts of Sponsors.  I never did meet or find out who sponsored me to attend Day Camp, however, thank you.  You played an integral part of my upbringing.  Day Camp will be forever a memory … in fact that’s where people began to call me Chilly!!

Fast forward to Stockades / Battalion, Youth Group, FEB Central Winter / Summer Retreats at MBC / Muskoka Woods, SNACS, eating ice cream with two others in the gym storage, getting Baptized, Quebec Missions trip, Worship leading, B.A.S.I.C., His Kids, teaching Sunday School, Jr. High events, car / sound rally’s, progressive dinners, Missionary Conferences – my favourite was always the kids version, VBS, Urbana (this is definitely another Blog). These were and are some of my most memorable memories.  There are so many stories to share.

I am thankful for the life long friendships that were formed over those precious years.  It’s amazing that most of us still have some kind of contact with each other – either via Facebook or some kind of social media.  This past weekend, some of us were able to spend a couple of hours together.  It was such a meaningful time.  Let’s not wait another 20 years to get together again!! We should never take for granted the friendships that we have, nor the ministry at Calvary.

I am also grateful for the men who poured into my life.  Growing up without a father figure, many of you stepped up and walked with me, guided me and loved me as your own.  I have so many memories of Canoe trips, going to a Jays game, picking us up in Stony Creek because of a car problem.  There were men at the church who I looked up to and yet they didn’t even know.  Thank you.  In part, I have become who I am, because of your willingness to be used as an instrument of God.  .

Calvary,  thank you for your faithfulness in sharing the Gospel, your desire to serve the Lord and for your heart for Missions. “To know Him and to make Him known.”  And so, as our family begins a new chapter in our lives, this is our desire – to know Christ more and more and to Make Him known to those who live in Hong Kong.  I was asked by a colleague: “Are you going as Missionaries?” Not officially.  Will there be a missions minded intentionality?  Yes. Growing up, it was a desire to be in full time ministry.  It was a desire to be a Youth Pastor at one point.  I have always wanted to attend seminary.  It was always a “not right now.”  As I consider what we will be doing in Hong Kong, it’s amazing to see how God is moving and working.  “It’s time to go.” I will be in full time ministry.  Given the opportunity to disciple kids every day, being involved in other ministries … plus other opportunities that we are praying about.  It is always about God’s timing.  “His ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.”

Our desire is to do the work of the ministry.  To see lost people saved, saved people matured, matured people multiplied.

Thank you Calvary Baptist Church. Thank you for instilling in me a heart for Missions.  Thank you for equipping so many people over the years.  Thank you for “being steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, … know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Keep in touch and who knows, maybe my family will end up on your Missions board one day!!

You are loved!





Thankfulness …



We are really down to the wire, and it seems like life is just ramping up!  If you come to our home now, you will notice that all of our furniture, except for our beds, are gone.  No more dining table, breakfast table. Our couches are gone … even the ones that our SG  loved so much!  Bookshelves, books are gone … everything.  Sold my guitars, guitar stands, garden tools, some of our camping gear, kitchen stuff, clothing, you name it.  And yesterday, a bit on the emotional side of things, our piano left.  It was picked up by a local piano moving company  and headed toward a music studio.  This was by far the most difficult to let go.

In our home, we have been doing our best to teach our boys to be thankful.  I would think, that most of us understand what it means to be thankful; however, it’s the practicality of living it out that is usually most difficult.  In our North American culture, we seemingly desire or want to accumulate.  We buy a house to fill it with stuff.  We buy more because our neighbours have more than us.  We move to a bigger home, just to get a pool.  Then we forget that we need more things to accommodate the pool.  It’s always one thing after another.

We do appreciate the minimalist movement.  Less is more.  I also think and would say that it’s Biblical.  Scripture tells us “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  This is pretty clear – seek first … seek what?  The kingdom of God.  It doesn’t say seek a bigger property, seek a better job, seek more wealth, nor does it say seek more material possessions.  So why do we constantly try to keep up with one another?  This isn’t even a Christian thing.  It’s a human condition.  We are not content with what we have.  I would say, we are not thankful.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteous … then what?  and all these things will be added to you.  Are you seeking God first?  Is He first in your life?  Do you pursue Christ like you pursue a career change?  Are you just as passionate about Missions like you are about getting a John Deer, pool, new car?

Scripture also tells us that “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  What do you treasure?  Are you storing up your treasures here on earth?

Thankfulness is heart issue.

And so, in our home, as we continue to prepare to leave for Hong Kong and our boys see our couches leaving, piano gone, beds soon to be given away … our prayer is that our boys will come to an understanding that we need to be thankful for what we have.  None of this belongs to us.  It belongs to God.  He is the one who has entrusted to us our possessions.  It’s on loan.  When it’s gone, we should never complain.  Be thankful that the Lord has allowed you to have what you have.  At the end of the day, you can’t take it to the grave anyway.

So what?  Our proper response is to give thanks.  Give thanks with a grateful heart – lyrics from the old Sunday School song.  Ultimately, give thanks that God gave us His Son, to take our place on the cross.  He died so that we might have life.  He died because of His love for us.  Would we strive to live a life, worthy of our calling – which is to make disciples.

Maybe it’s time for you, your family to re-evaluate what your priorities are.

What do you seek first?

You are loved.

An Open Letter …


Dear Harvest Durham Family

We can’t believe how fast the time has past since we launched the church.  So much has happened!  At the beginning there was only a handful of us.  We would worship at Harvest York every Sunday for a year, we had our very own Durham Small Groups – 2 to be exact.  Some of us were single, getting married, or recently just had kids.  It was very different, that’s for sure.  We can still remember meeting for small group in Ajax which eventually led to meeting in the basement of one of our dear friends.  At the time, we didn’t even know Ian.  I met Ian at Sunset Grill in Ajax one day to discuss our possible involvement with Harvest Durham – one conversation which led to many opportunities to serve the Lord.  We are thankful.

From our time in the basement we would see the core group grow, knitted together with a common bond to see a church that would Proclaim the Word of God Unapologetically every week.  We would go through video series, had a time of worship, and break out for prayer.  Ian would show up from time to time via Skype and eventually actually be present in the flesh.

Fast forward to open houses, meetings, Servant Leadership Team, memorizing the entire book of Colossians, more meetings, laughs, driving around Durham looking for a location  – Donald A Wilson Secondary School, which would become our eventual home for Harvest Durham.  Before launching, we had our transition from the basement to Pickering Christian School … that was exciting.  I can still remember when the sound equipment arrived, the banners were made and put in place.  Some of you who are reading this will remember those days.

I remember praying for a location, that God would draw His people to His church, that God would provide drivers for the trailer, prayed for people, prayed that God would provide finances, etc.  Firmly believing in the power of Prayer. Over the past 7 years, its amazing to see how God has provided.  He is faithful.

Over those past 7 years, we have experienced a sweet joy in serving our Lord.   Both Gloria and I had the privilege of serving in Harvest Kids in various roles, thankful for the opportunity to launch Harvest Kids Summer Adventure, hosting lunch in our home for new comers, Party with the Pastor, Pre-Service Prayer, hosting SG training at our home in Brooklin, Praise and Prayer Nights, looking after Assimilation, working with some pretty amazing people – some who are still at Durham as well as others who have left. Being SG leaders over the past 7 years was both a season of trials and growth.  There were years when it was super challenging as well as times of sweet fellowship.  I also had the joy and still do, leading men through Systematic Theology.  Meeting with men once a week to discuss Theology and Doctrine.  These were and are still some real good times.  At one point we even included a small workout session! One of our highlights during our time at Harvest Durham was the opportunity to travel to Nepal.  The initial trip with Ian to Nepal was definitely memorable.  Our trip to Chitwan, the church in the mountains, experiencing church and how our brothers and sisters would Lift High the Name of Jesus in worship! It will forever be etched in my memory.  The second trip to Nepal was just as memorable.  Gloria was able to join me, and the team that I had the privilege to lead.  We had our challenges, however, lives were changed … and we can see how the Lord continues to mold lives as a result of being in Nepal.  We would love to bring our boys to Nepal one day, Lord willing.  One of our desires as a family is to be able to bring our boys on missions trips with us one day – soon.  We want to in-still in our boys the importance of Sharing the Good news of Jesus with boldness! 

We share all this, not to put the spotlight on ourselves, but to show how good and faithful our God is.  He gets all the Glory!!

On Sunday, our SG hosted a farewell party for us.  It was a really sweet time with friends, talking, laughing,  spending time together, eating pizza and for some of us who stayed long enough, we even had dessert pizza!!  It was soooo good.  Thank you SG!  It was such an encouragement to the both us.  We will miss you all dearly.  It was our pleasure to have hosted and to have led our group.  The growth that we have seen in each of you is amazing!! May you continue to strive to be more Christ-like!

Harvest Durham … thank you for the past 7 years.  Thank you for the joy and privilege to be able to serve alongside each of you.  It has been a delight to walk with some of you.  It is our intention, to continue to walk with you while we are in Hong Kong.  We will continue to pray with and for you.  Distance should not hinder us from praying nor from encouraging one another.

For those of you who are new to the church, those who have committed to HD … may we encourage you to continue to Worship, Walk, and Work for the Lord.  Never make it about yourself.  Don’t serve because you want some kind of recognition.  Serve because you love the Lord.  Serving should not be a task or feeling you’re going to work – you are serving the King of Kings.  If you’re not serving, what are you waiting for?  Get off the bench!  Church is not a spectator sport.  Get involved.  If God can use us, He can use you as well.  Be available.  Be humble. Be ready.

Continue to love one another … not just in words, but in action.  When you say, “I will pray for you,”  – do it!  When you offer help … go and help.

Sunday was our last Sunday at Harvest Durham.  We will be back to visit – realistically, in  2 years. You will be missed.  Our prayer for you as we leave in about a months time is that you would remain steadfast.  Praying that your love for one another would abound more and more – people are hurting, marriages are crumbling – life is real.  Praying that you would actually live in Uncommon Community.  Praying for a sincere desire to go and make disciples.  Praying that you would have a heart for Missions.

It’s time Harvest Durham.

You are loved!






IMG_7019.JPGIf any of you know me well, I really don’t like to wait.  I don’t enjoy waiting in line, not fond of waiting in traffic – and some can relate, don’t like to wait for people, just want to get things done.  In some cases, I didn’t mind the wait.  I had to wait 30 years before I met  Gloria!  That was worth the wait!

For the past few months, there has been a lot of waiting.  I had to wait for Peter Pan to be finished at school (a good wait), wait to get my reports done, waiting for the end of the year to be over, waiting for my VISA to be approved!  What??? Yup … we are waiting for the HK Immigration to approve our VISA.  This has been a trying time.  After numerous documents and time and sweat and complaining, we are still waiting.  Handed everything into HK government on March 6 and with 5 weeks to go, here we are.

In our family worship time and personal time with the Lord, there has been a common thread – “wait for the Lord.”  Ummm … I think the Lord is trying to teach us, teach me something.  Definitely good for our sanctification.

Psalm 25: 4, 5 says “Make me to know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Psalm 27: 14 “Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 31: 24 ” Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 37: 34 “Wait for the Lord and keep his way”

I think we should all be seeing the trend.  Our prayers right now is to continue to trust in Him.  David writes that he “waits all the day long”.  Gloria and I are still confident that going to Hong Kong is where God would have us to be.  Good friends of ours did remind us to hold on to His promises, in times like these.

Practically speaking, we need trust the Lord with His perfect timing.  When do we sell our vehicles?  Will there be enough time for us to pack our belongings?  Will there be time to book our flights?  The answer:  Yes!  We know that God is sovereign overall.  We know that He is faithful!  God does keep His promises.  If God opened the waters for His people, if God can move mountains … everything that we are experiencing then, is nothing compared to His greatness!

Trusting God in all things.  May this be an encouragement to those who find themselves “waiting” on the Lord.  To quote an old Sunday School song, “In His time, in His time.  He makes all things beautiful in His time.  Lord, please show me everyday, As you’re teaching me your way, and I’ll just do what you say. In your time.”

Friends  … You are loved!

You can fly, You can fly!

peter pan jr

It’s been pretty much Peter Pan on the brain all week.  Yesterday was our final performance at my school.  Super proud of the students and their accomplishments – to see the joy on their faces as they performed definitely warmed my heart.  It was also my last musical at my school.  As I looked up at the banners hanging in our gym – Elephant’s Child, Oliver, Lion King, Little Mermaid, Annie and now Peter Pan.  I am going to miss being at my school, my colleagues, the community and the students.  Thankful for my time, for the many memories.  I am thankful for my time at Norman G. Powers PS.

As I consider the process that undergoes putting a musical together, I am again reminded of the importance of having a great team – Musical / Drama / Props / Sound & Lighting / Student Directors.  Everyone has a role.

It’s the same in our Christian walk.  On Wednesday, meeting with my guys, we discussed the importance of having accountability partners – other men to keep you grounded, to remind you when you are in the wrong, men to be praying with you.  We are not alone.  God did not intend for us to walk this life by ourselves.  I am thankful to those who do keep my accountable – friends who are near, as well as those who are across the border.

Proverbs 27: 17  “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

I am thankful for the men in my life who speak into me, encourage me, challenge me and who love me.  I am equally thankful for those in my life who are part of the team.  We, meaning, my wife and kids, cannot do this on our own.  Your support is invaluable and much appreciated.

My wife, Gloria, has been a rock in our family during this season of our life.  Yes, it’s been stressful, and we’ve had our share of heightened conversations, however, I am thankful for her perseverance and unwavering love for me and the boys. We need each other, to support one another, encourage and to lean on each other.

Christian community is of vital importance.  International Christian School, the school that I’m going to in Hong Kong has been amazing so far.  We haven’t even left Canada yet, and we are already feeling part of the community.  We are so thankful that they are praying for us, supporting our transition, offering Small Group for my wife, camp for our boys the first full week after we arrive, the list goes on and on!

We need to be actively, intentionally living out the “one another’s” in Scripture.

 Galatians 5:13 “Serve one another in Love.”

We need to have a passion for loving, serving, encouraging, forgiving, one another in the body of Christ. Trust that you are experiencing this in your life.

Would love to hear from you and how you’re experiencing the “one another’s” in your life.  Leave a comment.

And so … like in the story of Peter Pan –  Wendy, Michael and John learn how to fly, but not on their own. They too needed the help of Pan and Tinker Bell.  You can fly, You can fly.

You are loved.







There is a Purpose …


Happy Tuesday friends.  This past weekend we spent the weekend with some really sweet friends.  We chatted about the future, the days and months ahead and the anticipation of what God is going to do.  Sometimes my mind can spin and often goes to far off distant lands of dreaming.  If you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big! We serve a big God!  I’ve shared my life verse before, “Commit your way to the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”

As I looked around on the weekend, I realized that we all had a common bond, common goal … and the fact that we were all leaving within the next couple of months.  There is a reason why our friendships bonded the way it did.  There is a reason why we are leaving at this time.  There is a purpose.  I truly believe that God has a plan for all us. A greater plan in God’s design.  Perhaps God is calling our family to Hong Kong to be missionaries.  Maybe He is putting into place and plan for us to plant a church.  If you’re one of the many people who have asked us, “Are you going to plant a church?”, please pray and seek the Lord if this is part of His will for us.

We often go through life without any real purpose.  We live our lives doing the same thing over and over again.  Some of us are caught up in the rat race.  Others are trying to “keep up.” As Christians we are told to “Make Disciples” … we are commanded to “Go”.  I often think and have asked, “How many of us actually listen and obey God’s words?”  What is God’s purpose for our lives?  The answer is simple, to give Him much glory.  However, there’s more to it than what we demonstrate in our lives.

And so, we “Go.”

This past Sunday, I was again, reminded of the calling … “To the ends of the Earth.”

If you’re reading this, and you’re not sure … perhaps, the one thing you should be praying about / asking God is “Lord, where do you want me / my family to be?”  For some, it could be next door, and others … it could literally mean … to the nations.  Be available to do God’s work.  One thing I’m confident about, God does not ask people to “Stay.”

For others who are reading this, maybe God is calling you to Himself.  You may not even have a relationship with God.  Perhaps you’re not aware of His love for you.  The fact that God would send His son, Jesus, to take your place on the cross.  He bore God’s wrath so that we may have life.  God loves you.  He desires to have a relationship with you.

Friends … are you living life with purpose?  Seek the Lord today.  Ask Him.  Be bold.

Don’t let people or material possessions hinder you from doing God’s work.


You are loved!

* banner is from *


God in the midst


Today is Friday.  I’m at school … working on reports, cleaning my room and writing this Blog.  I sent a text earlier to let Gloria know that someone was on their way to pick up our couch and love-seat.  This is a big deal.  Our boys have only known in their short lives, the two couches we have ever owned.  We took pictures of the couches with our boys sitting on them as a memory.

I think some of you know where this is headed.  When the couches were on their way out, Gloria shared that our boys sat on the couches until the very last minute … quite upset, cried.  I was upset just to read about their reaction.  This is real.  As raw as it can get.  Our boys being only 9 and 7, are experiencing a trial.  A trial that they are going through … not because they asked for it, but because we decided to move forward with our relocation to Hong Kong.

Friends, I won’t deny it, there are days when I question whether we are doing the right thing.  Is God really asking us to move to Hong Kong for His purpose?  How are our boys going to do with the transition? How are we going to do?

I was reminded again, this morning, that God is in control.  I was encouraged again this morning to know that my new school and staff are praying for us.  Thankful to many who are on this journey with us.

A couple of days ago during our family worship time, we decided to sing some old school worship songs and hymns.  One of which of You are My all is all and This is my Father’s World. The words that really resonated with us, “You are my strength when I am weak … You are my all in all.”  We are trusting the Lord in this matter.  He’s all that we need, all that we have going forward.  My prayer is that God would continue to grow something new in our family, in our lives.  Pray that our boys would see God in the midst of all of this.

James 1 tells us that “trials is a testing of our faith.”  This indeed is true.  May we strive to keep our eyes on Christ.  May we lead our boys and even ourselves with much perseverance and with guarded hearts.

Would this be an encouragement to you, to those who find themselves in a trial.  Remember, that “this is our Father’s world … oh let me never forget … God is the ruler yet.”

I truly believe that God is at work.  In my life and in my family’s as well.  He is sovereign! Resting in His love and grace.

You are loved.