by Hercules Opperman
The mention of Canada always conjured up thoughts of a cold, distant place where South African medical professionals go to escape long hours in government hospitals. After having received the call to go to Canada for so many years (sounded by many Shofar members who moved abroad), we responded by visiting one of the most beautiful places in the world.
After numerous inquiries from Shofar members in Canada, Rudi and Jeanne Botha, who had been faithful members of the Paarl congregation, contacted us in 2014 with an appeal that we become serious about the expansion of our efforts to Canada. They committed themselves to come to South Africa for our Ministry Training Programme and as it was evident that their intentions were serious to see God’s kingdom come in Canada, we wanted to explore God’s hand in this.
Making use of a very wide network of friends and family all across the country, we spread the news of the Canada Camp. As Canada is such a vast landscape with four time zones in one country – the greatest challenge was to get everyone connected in one place! Every region in Canada feels like a country in itself with its own governmental structure. Eventually, we decided on Calgary in Alberta as it was the most central location for everyone to meet.
Myself and pastor Fred went to the Canada Camp in the last weekend of April this year to meet with those who had responded to the camp invitation. Great was our surprise and joy to find a group of 18 people who are resolutely passionate about God’s kingdom – it really felt like family! Not only did we experience love and a wholehearted welcoming of each one that joined us for this weekend, but hearts truly connected and there was a sense of urgency to see God’s kingdom come. From this weekend, some of the group members have given us an indication that they have a desire to be a part of and continue what God is busy doing in Canada, and we have committed to hosting more ministry input camps in the near future.
For us, as a family, it was truly very special to see how sons and daughters in the house had taken initiative to sound the call and created an opportunity for us the leaders to visit and scout the land to hear what God is saying. We believe this is such an enactment of our vision as a church, and we are expectant to see the fruit that will come from this.
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