Happy New Year everyone! As we close the last chapter of 2013 and jump into 2014, I can't help but feel excited. It's an opportunity to make a fresh start, set new goals and challenge ourselves to tackle obstacles that perhaps got the better of us last year. Whether it's a relationship, a career move, a new activity or a new outlook on life's daily grind, it is a time for new beginnings.
When I reflect on the work that God has done through Living Water over the past 12 months, I am amazed! Our church is impacting our community in such positive and exciting ways, proving that when Jesus is with us we can do anything.
Of course, what comes to mind immediately is Joshua Morrison's Habitat for Humanity penny drive. Talk about reaching the community and showing adults and children alike that anything is possible! Josh's perseverance, faith and optimism have set an example for not only our community, but also for the thousands of people who saw him on Global and CBC news. His dedication to helping others is an inspiration to us all; it's the type of kindness that grows and multiplies as others are inspired to make a difference as well.
Looking back a bit further to warmer weather and the hugely successful Scripture Union Sports Camp, it's yet another great example of God's work through Living Water. The positivity and encouragement that embodied the five-day camp was unlike any other program that I have witnessed. Each volunteer and camp leader put their all into making the experience unforgettable for each child. The camp-goers learned new skills, gained confidence, made new friends and encouraged one another in every activity they undertook. The feedback I heard in the community was wonderful and proved that there is a need and appreciation for this program in our active town!
There was also a number of inspiring guest speakers who gave talks at our church throughout the year, but one in particular captivated me. Jennifer lacob's first-hand account of the challenging situation that Roma children face is always an eye-opener for me, as I think it is for many of us. As part of Living Water's extended family, her commitment and passion to help this otherwise shunned segment of the population is inspiring in itself. Her "short-term" missions trip that is now going on 14 years is a true example of living the life that Jesus has called one to. Jenn's selflessness, compassion and strong faith are obvious and serve as further inspiration for everyone she shares her story with, including those in our congregation who are preparing for their own missions trips. We must listen to what God's plans are for each of us and try our best to fulfill them, spreading kindness and compassion wherever we go. After all, only He knows what this next year will bring and His master plan is worth following.
While these highlights from 2013 portray only a small portion of the amazing work that has been achieved through Living Water and our church family, let us all be inspired to continue reaching out to our community, strengthening relationships, and making positive change happen. God, community, love, youth: Our focus is simple, with profound results possible at every turn. The stage is set; let's dream big and bring God's plans to fruition. I wish you all much health and happiness for 2014!