The first stop on our road-trip, was New Haven, Connecticut… nicknamed The Elm City for the high canopy of mature trees which characterize the city, reputedly the result of America’s first public tree-planting program.
Probably most known as the home of Yale University, New Haven was on our mind and has been in our heart for another reason.
Haven of Hope
Back in 2008, Pastor Rick Perry came to Saint John to speak in our annual missions conference, as a representative of North American Missions, since he and his wife Stacey were church planters in The Elm City. Our church partnered with them and two years later, sent a team to help them refurbish a newly purchased building that would become their church’s home… Haven of Hope.
Our friendship with the Perrys has continued to grow over the years, making it impossible to drive by without stopping to say hello!
As we arrived on their doorstep, we noticed a car in the driveway bearing North Carolina license plates. The mystery was unveiled as soon as we knocked on the door, which was opened by missionary to France, Marcus Brainos! How cool!! We, of course, knew the Brainos’ from our time in France and had recently had them visit with us at Mission Point in Saint John (read about that visit here).
What a treat… we got to have a nice supper together with both the Perrys and the Brainos’ followed by a truly authentic cappuccino at Libby’s Italian Pastry Shop (VERY cool & VERY authentic! Also very old-school- don’t go unless you have cash as they don’t accept debit or credit cards).
The Clear Call of God
I’ve always been amazed by the way God called the Perrys to New Haven. They were heading through, on their way someplace else, when, passing in front of the Forest Cinema, God spoke to Bro. Perry about establishing a church there. He didn’t immediately say anything but a short while later, when speaking with his wife about being called someplace, she responded… “It’s New Haven, isn’t it? It was the Forest Cinema wasn’t it?”
God had spoken to her at the same time, and they both knew it, although neither immediately expressed it to the other.
God’s voice isn’t always that clear… sometimes you have to search it out a bit, but it was that clear to me when it came to our call to France, and I’m so glad it was. There will undoubtedly be days when “the going gets tough” but on those days, the clarity of God’s call will help us to continue forward. I have long thought, and it’s been my experience, that you can make it through just about anything if you know, without doubt, that you are in God’s perfect will. I’m thankful that such certainty is available in Jesus.
Open Invitation to a GREAT church
If you live in, or are visiting the New Haven area, you will find a great church in Haven of Hope. They are located at 884 Grand Ave., New Haven, CT 06511 and can be reached at (203) 404-0339 (see link to their website, below).
Next stop… The land of rattlesnakes and water moccasins.
Please pray today:
Two things that I’d ask you to pray about today…
- By the time this post is published, I’ll be on my way to Montreal for the UPC’s Canada Conference, where I’ll have the opportunity to present our project to pastors from across the country. Pray that some of these will partner with us.
- While in the area, I’ll also need to look after details that will facilitate living in Europe for two years. For this I have several appointments in both Montreal and Ottawa. Pray that these appointments go well and that “bureaucratic bog-down” doesn’t happen.