By Rev. Phil Styles,
Cambridge Street Baptist
As a church family, we still believe God invites us to make a difference. We want to be a small church that makes a BIG impact. As such, we have three short stories that all conclude with the same three words.
I started at Cambridge Street Baptist Church in November 2016. After several Fireside Chat vision discussions, one area of focus became clear. As a church, we wanted to develop a long-term strategy to be missionally minded towards Rwanda, Ghana, and First Nations. Our rhythm was to do an intentional relationship project every two years. But God had other plans this particular year.
In January 2017, an elder of Moose Cree First Nations, sent a request to an organization in Toronto to help them in their dire needs during the winter. They needed coats, footwear, food, educational materials, and toiletries. The request was redirected to our church. We had one month to gather what we could. To oversimplify, we simply trusted and obeyed. We didn’t market or make posters but the community at large heard about it and God stirred unusual generosity. In one month, we had 22 skids of excellent product! We filled a transport truck! When the product arrived, the Moose Cree First Nations had to open a warehouse to store and sort all the supplies. Their pastor and leaders were extremely grateful. A relationship has been birthed. Thank you, God!
Our church was Partners in Mission with Jonathan and Janice Mills of CBM Rwanda. The Mills and CBM invited us to join Grace Memorial Baptist in Fredericton New Brunswick to form a short-term mission team from “two tribes”. We were also invited by the AEBR (Rwanda Baptist) to come and demonstrate an interactive model of Sunday School. We asked our church if they would support and bless such an endeavour. They said yes, and God took over! God raised up five people for our church team. God gave us over $20,000 without us having to use the church budget for the trip. Our mission trip was August 2-18, 2017 and it made a HUGE impact! It would not be and overstatement to say that God put Rwandan blood into our spiritual veins! It was powerful, meaningful and wonderful. Thank you, God!
We have a knitting group called Hooks and Needles. Last June, before I came, they set what seemed like an unrealistic goal of knitting 1000 items to help infants in Ghana—unrealistic, because the group was small. But the need is great, as the nights are cold for newborns in Ghana. But the ladies said yes and God took over! God then sent us 368 knitters (Pause and read that again)! And in one year they made 6,040 items that were shipped to Moose Cree and Ghana. Can you believe it? Thank you, God!
Three stories all ending with the three words, “Thank you, God!” I can only imagine what God will do when a people are willing to say “Yes” to His whispers.
In His service and yours,
Rev. Phil Styles
For more about the Hooks and Needles initiative, click here!