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!