The Mighty Miramichi…

This past weekend saw us in two churches along the Mighty Miramichi River, in northeastern New Brunswick. In this post I’ll tell you a bit about both of those churches but first, let’s look briefly at the history of Pentecost in that particular region.

The Miramichi River Valley

map_NBFor anyone not familiar with the  Miramichi River, it flows some 250km through New Brunswick from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is home to the one of the largest populations of Atlantic Salmon in North America. People come from around the continent, indeed around the world to fly fish salmon in the pools and rapids of the Miramichi.

As “fishermen” were coming to the Miramichi from all over… “fishers of men” were going out from the Miramichi to other parts of the province. During the 1930’s and 40’s, men like C.B. Dudley were planting churches and fanning the flames of Pentecostal revival up and down the Miramichi River.  Two such churches are the United Pentecostal Church of Gray Rapids and The Pentecostals of Miramichi.

Gray Rapids

photoOur first stop, last weekend was to the UPC of Gray Rapids (pictured right) which overlooks the Miramichi and is currently pastored by Rev. Graham Russell. We arrived Saturday night and stayed with Bro. Russell in his home.

I really enjoyed just listening to him talk about many incredible experiences he’s had during his walk with God, as Liz & the kids curled up on the couch beside. It was kind of like listening to your grandpa… and it felt good. I’m glad my kids got to hear such reminiscing about the goodness of the Lord… doesn’t happen like that very often.   The next morning we spoke during their service and are thankful for their great support.

Pentecostals of Miramichi

photoOn Sunday, after service, lunch and a short rest, we climbed in the car and headed some 35-40 minutes up the river to the Chatham side of Miramichi City. The Pentecostals of Miramichi is pastored by Rev. & Mrs. Peter Long (no relation… that they’ll admit to anyway).

We enjoyed service together, where God’s spirit did some wonderful things at the altar, followed by a nice meal.

It was special to spend time with the Longs as they were the assistant ministerial team in Saint John some years ago when we were still somewhat new to the church. We had had the chance to work together on a number of occasions for various goings-on and during that time I learned, from their example, a number of things about coming alongside the lead pastor and assisting.

Up & Coming…

This weekend, we will be headed to Prince Edward Island, another neighbouring Canadian province where we’ll get to spend the Sunday morning service with Bro. & Sis. Hood, in Charlottetown before heading to Summerside to be with the Wicketts.  By the time we’re there, though, we will have time for one more post, so come back on Saturday morning when I’ll bring you up to speed on the overall progress of our fund-raising to-date.

ps. Sophie has been pleased to read your comments concerning her post this past week… Thank you for your support & encouragement!

From our #AIMKid Sophie

As part of her schooling, Sophie did a written report summarizing her time in France between June 30 and July 10th… we offer it up to you as today’s post on  Enjoy!

In Her own Words…

Hi my name is Sophie, and this year I was privileged to go on the mission trip to France. I was one of the 13 people who went, and my friend Maggie & I were the youngest ones on the trip. picstitchWhile over there we were involved in three places, Châtellerault (Western France), Bordeaux (the Southwest) and Melun
(the headquarters church).

Our first stop was Châtellerault, where we spent three days in the city, prayer walking and holding services. Châtellerault is a church of 20 some people and is also the church we will be stationed at as replacement for the Brochu’s while they are on deputation. During the time we were in Châtellerault a lady came with her friend and we got news that she has continued to come. So the first experience in the city was cool for me, to be able to see the church, meet some of the people, and just get used to the place.

Next was Bordeaux, we spent one and a half days there, and that’s where we did an all-youth service with the youth of Bordeaux on a Saturday night. That night was the day I chose to give my testimony (that was also the night where my head decided to have a migraine it was gone within a couple hours so it was all good). After service the youth took us walking downtown to see some sights and also to go eat. After having a nice meal we started to head back and before we got to the tram, one of the young people from picstitchChâtellerault noticed we had a little problem; we now had one less person. Our friend Nick Cannon had bent down to tie his shoe, saying he’d catch up but had totally lost sight of us. No worries, he was found in about 10 minutes. Once we got to our destination, via tram, we had a five minute walk back to the hotel, and it started to downpour. We got to the hotel wet and tired, but we dried off and had a good night sleep.

We woke up the next morning got ready for church. As soon as the service was over we took pictures with the youth of the church, and headed out to eat. After we finished, we hit the road because we had six hours of driving to get to Melun. The drive was long but with my friends and some hilarious people in the car it made it feel a lot shorter.

The next morning we were going to the headquarters church in Melun (Bro. Nowacki’s church). There we met with the young people for an hour-long prayer meeting to help us prepare for the day. In that prayer meeting a boy from the youth was filled with the Holy Ghost. After praying we went upstairs for some breakfast where we mingled with the youth and got to know some. They brought us outside where they created teams for evangelizing. We handed out invitations to the church, then we went to a square were we sang like a choir. It was really fun too do. Since it was lunch time they took us to a park where we had a BBQ and just had a lot of fun. picstitchThat night we had a service where there was another young person that was filled with the Holy Ghost.

The last day of the trip was dedicated to sightseeing in Paris. It was a rather foggy day but we made the best of it since we were in Paris. We saw a lot of sights and then we headed to the Eiffel Tower. It started raining… then it rained harder. Thank goodness we had ponchos and umbrellas, but our feet were still uncovered. Well, we went to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and it was nice, for a few minutes, then we were all begging to get down. We had finished that day and now we had to get ready to leave. We got all packed and ready, set our alarms, and slept.

And of all the times for our alarms not to work they decided to not work the day we had to leave. We were scheduled to leave at 8:45 A.M. and our alarms went off at 8:00 A.M. we jumped out of bed, threw the last things in our suitcases and got dressed… all in 45 minutes, which we were proud of.

This trip meant a lot to me. For one thing my family will be moving there in the new year and being there in the church that we will occupy, and meeting people that we will see a lot more, just prepares me, I guess, for when I’m over there.

“I hope to make a difference and help with the growth of the church.
I’m not just going to maintain, but I’m going to see growth.”

Your turn…

What do you think of what Sophie had to say. Want to give her a “shout-out” or a “Kudos”? Leave a comment below… she’ll see every one.

Thanks for encouraging (and praying for) our AIMKids!

Washington D.C. an incredible city!

Here is the last installment of our “May Road-trip”…. a truly incredible city, Washington D.C.

Getting there…

On our way down, during the first few days, we’d seen the signs for Washington and thought… “Hmmmm… I wonder if…”, however we had a definite time frame and wanted to be neither rushed nor late to visit with the Mitchells in Montgomery so we just kept driving.  On the way back, however, we had no definite plans so I tossed the idea out to Liz and she agreed that it’d be a neat stop. The kids had done some U.S. history this year and would be able to relate to and understand some of the things that we’d see there.

We left St. Louis early on a Thursday morning in hopes of making the entire trek to Washington in a single day; no small feat as that represented over 800 miles or 1,300km. We were motivated. Why spend time driving two days when you can cram lots in during one, then have more time on site at the destination? 

Off we went… Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania… West Virginia (again), Maryland and finally, very late at night (thankfully… can’t imagine driving there during a weekday. Madness!) we arrived. The next day we slept in a bit but then, shortly before noon, set out to explore what is, without question, one of the most important cities on Earth.


Pennsylvania Avenue and beyond…

Our hotel being in Georgetown, we only had a short walk before intersecting with Pennsylvania Avenue. We turned left and followed the street, knowing that it would eventually take us to the White House. It was Friday so besides the tourists, there was still a great deal of hustle & bustle coming in and out of places like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.  As we walked, there was a real sense of being in a seat of power… a city that breathes world-wide influence. Whatever your political persuasion or ideological viewpoint – whether you agree or disagree with the direction of that influence, there is no denying that it is there.

picstitchWe arrived at the back entrance to the White House… well not literally the back door…. the back, heavily guarded gate. We walked to the White House gift shop and dropped a bit of cash at the till in exchange for a few souvenirs and then headed to the south lawn of the White House, over to the Washington Monument down past the War Memorial and on to the Lincoln Memorial (collectively our favourite).


picstitchRev. & Mrs. Jerry Staten pastor the church in Washington and we connected with them upon arrival. We were able to join them for their “Evanglize D.C.” prayer-focus meeting on Saturday morning where some 40+ people had gathered. Later that day, we joined them for their Spanish service “Esperanza Viva”, and of course for church the next morning.

What an incredible church!  Extremely multicultural and very warm & affectionate. We felt very, very welcome with these folks. Under their leadership and that of their leadership team, there are over 20 small groups that meet throughout the city and the idea is that eventually, they will form the foundation of daughter work churches.

During the Sunday morning service, they sang a special number in 7-8 languages and there were three people baptized in Jesus’ name, including one in a wheel chair… their sins washed away. Awesome!

Thank you, Bro. & Sis. Staten for your time and the warm welcome we felt in D.C. at Living Hope!  The name is truly appropriate!!

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the D.C. area and looking for a church family, you can find Living Hope UPC at 1200 1st St. S.W., Washington D.C. 20024. Their phone number is (301) 481-7926.

Meet me in St. Louis

In the next two posts, I should be able to finish up detailing our travels from the month of May. Today, I’ll tell you about our time in St. Louis.

North from Texas

Liz had never been to St. Louis and neither had Sophie or Timo (Dominic went down with me in 2006 to help move home a fellow Saint-Johnner who had been living there at the time). Given the fact that we would be in Texas, and from there would begin our trek back north, it wasn’t such a stretch to consider driving through St. Louis.

We left Dallas on Monday morning and were able to get all the way to the Gateway city with relatively little difficulty. The Lord’s hand was on us to protect us as the last 2-3 hours saw very heavy rainfall pelt the highway, causing a number of really bad accidents due to hydroplaning.

The next day we rested in the morning and spent the afternoon touring World Evangelism Center, the headquarters of the United Pentecostal Church International; the organization with which we’ll be heading to France.  Rev. Jim Poitras was our tour guide: He is a former missionary to the West-African nation of Ghana and currently the Director of Education and AIM (Associates in Mission) for the UPCI.

map_STLPart way through the tour, the kids were thankful to be escorted first to the candy-stash closet where they got to fill a ziplock bag full of goodies, and secondly to the Missionary Kids’ Lounge where they could hang out and play Wii (somehow, touring and visiting is not as engaging to kids… thankfully WEC staff have thought of everything!). We then got to enjoy dinner with the Poitrases, at Tucanos, an incredible Brazilian grill.

Heights and Tight Quarters

picstitchThe next day saw us head to downtown St. Louis where we would see St. Louis’ famous landmark, the Gateway Arch.

I never thought of myself as claustrophobic, but when I stood before the elevator that would take us up 630′ (192m) to the top of the arch it was all I could do to get in (imagine trying to fit 5 people into a new Fiat 500 car – minus the windows – you get the picture).  I made it and lived to tell the story!

After the Arch, we got cleaned up and went, with our friends Brian & Shawna Hord, to Winds of Pentecost in St. Charles, MO where Rev. Tom Trimble is the pastor. I met the Hords in 2007 when I went to St. Louis to record the French DVD version of picstitchExploring God’s Word for the then Home Missions Division.

It was my third time at Winds and I’m pretty sure it gets better each time. It was Wednesday night but there was no mid-week-service slump there…. it was going full guns!  We were surprised to see an old friend, Brian Goddard, whose dad was pastor in Saint John when Liz & I first began attending. After service we had supper together with the Hords, the Trimbles, Brian and several youth. So enjoyed this time.


Looking forward to being in my home church this Sunday. Given the extensive traveling of late, it’s been a while since we’ve been there.  Thank you to Bro. & Sis. McGuire for a wonderful day in Millville on Sunday. Thank you for believing in us and for supporting our AIM appointment.

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the St. Louis area and looking for a church family, you can find Winds of Pentecost at 1040 Fairgrounds Road, St. Charles MO. Their phone number is (636) 395-0889.

Dallas, TX… South Fork & North Cities

After spending last week in France…. and sharing details about that time with you, I’d like to once again take you back to some of our travels in the month of May… this time, to Dallas.

A Long History

(pardon the pun)

From the early planning stages of this trip, Dallas was in our sights.  The reason for this particular stop was to see old friends who are definitely part of our whole journey leading to France.


(This picture of them from 2004 still graces my bookshelf… Rachel, you’ve GROWN!!!)

Sometime in the 2002-2003 period, Rev. & Mrs Steven Schobert came to our church on deputation; they were preparing to head to France as appointed missionaries (also replacing the Brochus at the time) and we connected well. In 2004 I went to France to present a research paper in the context of my Master’s studies in French Linguistics and the conference was in the city where the Schoberts lived. We had a couple of nice meals together and I attended church with them on Sunday – This would be my first time in the Châtellerault church. Although we don’t see each other often, outside of conferences, we have remained good friends and enjoy the times that the Lord does allow us to spend together.


French Connection

North Cities UPC has quite a French connection.

  • Bro. Steve Schobert is Associate Pastor there.
  • During their last deputation, the Brochus based out of this church.
  • Former UPC missionary Kathy Miller calls this church home.
  • Wonderful friends, that we know from France but who now live in the greater Dallas area, also call this church home.

It was great to meet Pastor D.G. Hargrove and be so warmly welcomed to his church. We were able to just sit and enjoy service during the morning and then had the opportunity to speak during the evening service.

Thank you for your warm welcome and southern hospitality!


During our time in Dallas we were also able to spend some time seeing some pretty important landmarks in the the area:

  • Dealey Plaza (where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated)
  • South Fork Ranch (inspiration to the 1978-1991 television series “Dallas”)
  • Flying Fish restaurant (home of the world’s first Billy Bass Adoption Center – for real!)

picstitchThe kids got to spend lots of time with their friends Winston & Olivia Wojciechowski, whom they’d only met in November 2013, at the French National Youth Convention…. but even then, they hit it off so incredibly well it was amazing.


The fundraising and promotion continues. Tomorrow morning I get to be with Rev. Trevor McGuire, in Millville, New Brunswick.  On one hand, his church will get to be a bit spoiled, given that we’ve just come back from France and have lots to tell!  Can’t wait.

Open Invitation…

If you’re in the Dallas-North Cities area and looking for a church family, you can find North Cities UPC at 502 Belt Line Rd, Garland TX., 75040 . Their phone number is (972) 530-3668.

#MPTeamFrance 3

in the Homestretch…

France composite pic 3Yes… we’re still in France, and yes… we still have Nick Cannon with us (He may just make it home Tanya & Jason!).

Over the past few days we’ve covered a great deal of territory and witnessed some pretty incredible things!

After saying good bye to the Brochus in Châtellerault, and in Bordeaux, we got to spend a few short hours with Pastor & Mrs. Paul Majdling, while our young people had a service with the youth of their church. We got to meet and hear an incredible testimony by one of the young men in that church before singing, testifying and bringing a message from God’s word.

After church, we headed back to Bro. Nowacki’s church in Melun (roughly a 6+ hour drive from Bordeaux). We arrived rather late and readied ourselves for a full day Monday:

  • Prayer meeting at 8:00am (one of the local young people was filled with the Holy Ghost in that prayer meeting).
  • Breakfast all together at 9:00
  • Downtown to hand out invitations for church from about 10-11:30am
  • Back to the church & then to the Bois de Bréviande for a BBQ lunch
  • Youth service at 8:00pm (another local young person was filled with the Holy Ghost in this meeting… incredible!!)

After a busy few days, Tuesday was a “sleep-in-a-little-later” kind of morning followed by a visit to the UNESCO designated “World Heritage Site”, the medieval city of Provins where the ramparts date back to the 11th & 12th centuries.  This was the first real rain that we had all week, and did it rain!  Later that evening we attended the mid-week Bible Study at the church in Melun with Bro. Nowacki. (to the right you can see our young people mixed in with the young people from Melun).

Today… Paris!

France composite Broch-Majd

Liz & I with the Majdlings (top). Shown with the Brochus (bottom), standing in a field of ripened wheat… with Châtellerault in the background.

As you are reading this, we are SOME-where trekking through the city of Paris. The team is, of course, very excited to see this incredible city!! We got on a bus at 8:30 to take us to the local train station where we caught one of the RER trains that whisked us in to the Gare de Lyon.  From there we begin to tackle the city one attraction at a time!

Ka-BOOM…. Paris!

Since we will end our time in France in the capital, you can be assured of one thing… by the time we hit the airport tomorrow, we will be completely wrung out!! To all family members reading this… please have nice comfy beds ready to receive some very tired bodies!!  🙂

Overall it will be a “good tired” though…. our hearts are full!
Thank you LORD for all the good things you’ve done during these days!!

#MPTeamFrance 2

5 days in…

Châtellerault's City Hall

Châtellerault’s City Hall

On Thursday, I had just left you off as we began our first day of active ministry out and about in Châtellerault.

We had devotionals at church in the morning followed by some instruction on how we would go about our prayer walk… this instruction would apply to both days – Thursday and Friday.

Rather than focusing on the negative and stirring up trouble in the Spiritual realm, we simply prayed that God’s light would spread throughout the city and the region. By necessity, when light enters a room… darkness is banished… so it is on a  spiritual level… the light of Christ pushes back any form of darkness. That was our prayer.

On Thursday, we split up into three teams and went to different areas of the city. Friday’s time of prayer walking focused on the downtown core… including in front of City Hall and (pictured below) in front of a monument dedicated to the glory of the French Revolution… a pivotal moment in French History, which provoked a great shift in attitudes toward God and the Church.

During Thursday’s service, Bro. Ryan Shephard brought the message and his wife Trisha shared a testimony.


France composite pic 2While going through the city, we stopped to take a picture of the team in front of the Henri IV bridge, built in 1564. During WWII the German army had wired it with explosives in an attempt to completely destroy it and prevent American tanks from crossing the river. A German-speaking Frenchman pleaded with and was able to convince the soldiers to disobey that order, thereby saving the bridge… which is to Châtellerault what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris – an irreplaceable and  immediately identifiable municipal landmark.

After Friday’s prayer walk, we had a BBQ at the church with members of the family of God… where the girls got to do something so typically French…. (apparently) … walk around with a bouquet of flowers and a baguette (French Bread) in hand.

*Inside joke alert*
This is something that they’d seen the previous day (which was market day)… a lady walking down the street with a fresh bouquet of flowers and a baguette under the other arm.

Following our BBQ lunch, part of our team spent the rest of the afternoon decorating the Sunday School room in preparation for the new Sunday School year which will begin in August. What a HUGE help they were!  In this way, our time here will be remembered and appreciated each Sunday morning for many weeks & months to come!

To God be the Glory!

In service last night (our final service), a first-time visitor (who’d been visibly moved upon on Thursday) had returned for the second time. Praise the Lord!  She will be moving to an adjacent village at the end of August, but has already left open the possibility of Liz & I coming to visit her upon our return in January. Pray with us for this open door!

Today… Bordeaux!

This morning, we will leave Châtellerault and proceed to the city of Bordeaux where our youth will minister to and have service with the young people of this church.

As always… thank you for following our activities in, and in preparation for, France. Let these updates inform your time of prayer with the Lord.  God bless you today!

#MPTeamFrance 1

3 days in…

 After months of preparation our team of 13 young people are finally in France!  Twelve hail from Mission Point, in Saint John, NB and one from Capital Community Church in Fredericton, NB. All are impacting the kingdom of God! We left on Monday, June 30th on an overnight flight from Montreal to Paris. Both passengers and baggage arrived safely and at the same time! Continue reading