“Looking back often helps me to confidently walk forward! I see how God ordered some of my most crucial risk taking steps. I know the steps I am taking now include saying goodbye to the people I have grown to love most on earth, the Thais. There is a lament in me, but such pain is necessary to keep me from being frozen in my faith walk. Thailand and it’s people are engraved in my heart. Now we push forward to new territory to follow the high calling that is upon us both.” (Peter DeWit)
Following forward in the great commission.
We will never forget the day we were commissioned at Peter’s ordination. Reverend Jim McKnight and Reverend Don Moore put their arms around us, and with tears in their eyes they affirmed the things that God had put into motion, and they sought the blessing of God on our behalf. At the young age of twenty-two, we’d not only been ordained… we’d been baptized in purpose. For almost ten years we gave our lives to the Kingdom’s purposes in Quebec as Home Missionaries, knowing that one day we would follow forward even further….
And then the time was right. We waited for it and then we knew it, Asia! Eight years later after the first, there was another commissioning. We stood at the front of the tabernacle at Lakeshore Camp, and Reverend Bill and Lil Cornelius, Reverend Keith and Eleanor Morrison and Reverend Stewart and Zelda-Mae Hunter commissioned us, along with many others heading out to the field, as PAOC missionaries. We were heading to Bangkok, Thailand.
We arrived on August 17th, 1991, very eager and very green behind the ears; somewhat naïve and unsuspecting that Bangkok and Thailand would teach us and shape us in ways that couldn’t be undone. We have in good ways been re-evangelized in the process of trying to evangelize others.
About three decades since that first commissioning…
So many people have noticed it; we are kind of turning full circle, the past catching up and influencing our steps. From Quebec, (New France) to Thailand (First missionaries were priests from Portugal and France) and to the next destination, Paris, (Old France!)
“We are in a phase when one age is succeeding another, when everything is possible”~ Victor Havel
Already people are asking, “What is your vision?” Let us answer this way, everything is possible with God. Personally I like the seed picture. In every seed there is a potential forest! We want to plant the Gospel seed and watch it sprout into communities of faith in a land where the populace has thrown off the influences of religion.
We understand that Church exists in the context of culture.
It’s not ‘here’s the trends that are happening and we have to adjust ourselves to them’. That is disempowering. The future isn’t something that is rolling in and we have to make room for, we have to shove over for, we have to adjust to; the future is something we all help create.
While reformation and revolution are part Europe’s history that has shaped religion and faith as it exists today, Ivan Illich, former Austrian priest, gave this poignant insight:
“Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story… one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into the future so that we can take the next step… If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story.”
We believe God desires for Europe to rediscover its redemptive story line.
So, as we transition to France… will you continue to help us create the future?
Prayerfully we will:
- Begin engaging the city, finding networks for evangelism outreach. We will be intentional to connect with the urban refugees, the artist community, international students, university students, as well as all the people who cross our paths in the course of a regular day.
- Establish solid discipleship, and empowering and commissioning believers to live and grow in response to God’s love, to others, and to the city.
- Continue networking with and building into Canadian churches and PAOC churches worldwide by receiving teams, interns and students who would desire to experience the move of God in the European context.
- Establish a Bilingual International Church community in the center of Paris.
- Watch the Lord and jump into the fray as He leads.
Thank you for stepping into this with us. Our forward move is because you have always been there each step of the way. We are working on a way to find a visa to get there. Peter’s Dutch history may be the key. Please pray into this and together we will rejoice in each step, for they are ordered of the Lord! Again, there is much appreciation for you and your love for us and for the Kingdom that Jesus is growing.
Peter, Patricia, Alycia-Rae and Amanda…
Ps. We really do need your prayer support most. We also will need to raise the bar in terms of financial support. Our goal is to get there this July. If you feel something in this regard, please let us know!