By CBOQ Communications
Even the most experienced Pastor must go when God calls. This is how Pastor Israel Obieje, with almost 50 years of ministry experience to many different language groups, and East Toronto Chinese Baptist Church (ETCBC) are answering a call. In Fall of 2021 Israel was called to minister at North York Baptist Church (NYBC). Here is the story of how these two churches and this one pastor are bringing hope and healing to a congregation.
When Israel received a phone call asking if he could help out this struggling sister church, he was serving ETCBC as a part-time Community Missionary Pastor. ETCBC prayerfully released him to do the ministry needed, and they were ready to enter a partnership with NYBC in many areas of church life such as discipleship training, missions, and evangelism.
Once Israel began to serve NYBC, the timing was right for them to resume in-person services. The first Sunday back, 10 faithful members attended. Slowly, each week, numbers went up; 20, then 30… and then on Mother’s Day of this year, the sanctuary was full! Israel is certain that prayer, fellowship, and Christ-centred worship are the formula that brought this church back on its feet. The earnest prayer of this church is that God will sustain these great new changes, and any bitterness from the past will remain in the past. This Pastor knows that when we look ahead in our faith, teaching others to be like Christ, healing happens. The shared vision of those attending and their Pastor, is that God would make them a truly mission minded church. They aim to always take advantage of the fact that God has brought the world to Canada for them to reach, for Him.
When Pastor Israel was asked if he has any advice to share with other pastors, this is what he said:
“Facing challenges is common and not a sign of failure. Focus on God, be faithful to God, ask for His guidance, know that God is always with the church and will not forsake the church. Sometimes things will be low, and sometimes they will rise again. There is a time for everything under the sun. God is still in control. Continue to work with the members to deepen their faith and dedication to God. And always pray together.”