Thursday, March 04, 2010
So How does a Canadian end up in the US ministering?
I get this question a lot.
Long Story short: God. I grew up in Canada, went to a church as a young man and was thinking ministry (Due to the influence of the godly men and women from my home church included several families like the Hoovers, Donovons, Kindys, Sevenpipers, Mrs.C, The Ladies Group, and of course Terry Tanner). I was looking at several different schools - then this one from NC came. I didn't have any $$$. They just said - come, God would provide. (And HE did). So I ended up on a campus I didn't even see, and going to school with people I hardly knew except by this Choir Tour.(The school originally was called Roanoke Bible College now Mid Atlantic Christian University)
Originally my plans was to be a youth minister - and go back to Canada. But God had other plans. When I was at school, I was probably the class clown ... but also wanting to do what was right. In my Junior Year, I met my future Bride. We married 4 years later.
I had my first ministry in Ohio and went from student to youth minister and Religious Worker. (According to the then INS) then I went back to school and took some seminary classes at Anderson University's School of Theology. From there I ended up in Virginia as a Associate/Youth Minister with a Christian School ... and then my last youth ministry as the Youth and Family Minister at Cary Christian in Cary, NC.
Several times I had tried and applied to positions in Canada but God had shut those doors. Including contacting Canada Church Growth, Impact Canada, Maritimes Church planting, our 2 Bible Colleges there etc. This last time, God shut the door Big time. I wanted to try to minister in Ontario, but was told the timing was not right.
Somehow God lead me to the ministry I'm currently in. I can't picture myself anywhere else. It truly has been a God thing. I've been married almost 13 years and 3 kids later. The Church I serve now is where God wants me to be.
I get asked a lot ...so what is your current status? I came here legally, I have some final paperwork to do ... (after consulting a lawyer) and going through the final hoops after some work for years. My children can be dual citizens.
Sometimes I joke about being a Canadian missionary to the States. Ultimately my citizenship is in heaven.
So in answer to the question "How does a Canadian end up in the States ministering?" Only by the Grace of God. I'm still amazed He allows such a messy disciple and jerk like me to be serving. Thanks for His indescribable gift.