SBTC gearing up for Vancouver partnership

VANCOUVER, British Columbia?A Texas delegation spent a week in Vancouver, British Columbia this summer helping lead revival services and a block-party outreach with area Baptists.

The trip to the Canadian province precedes an SBTC-sponsored vision trip to Vancouver Sept. 28-30 for pastors, church missions directors, associational leaders or missions-minded laymen.

Vancouver is one of Southern Baptists’ Strategic Focus Cities for 2006 and the SBTC has planned a missions partnership with Baptists in the Vancouver area.

Tiffany Smith, SBTC missions mobilization associate, and seven members of Farmersville Bible Fellowship, an SBTC congregation north of Plano, ventured there in June to help local Baptists minister to their community and to begin preparing for the 2006 effort, Smith said.

Thomas Faltysek, pastor of the Farmersville church, preached evening services at Gateway Baptist Church just outside Vancouver.

“While in Canada we saw God move in a mighty way in many lives of both the lost and believers there,” Faltysek said. “One of the things that surprised me about Surrey was the large Indo-Canadian population there and the widespread drug use through needle exchanges. There were so many powerful movements of God during our 10-day stay revealing that the Vancouver-Surrey area is ripe for the harvest and ready to hear Christ’s message of his kingdom, the message of hope, peace, joy, and even judgment to Canada.”

The Farmersville delegation included Faltysek and his wife, Jennifer, plus the band “Sevenfaith”?Josh Peugh, Mark Oswalt, Adam McAbee, Seth Payne and Clint Stevens?all members of Farmersville Bible Fellowship. The band led in worship during the revival services.

One convert, Smith said, was a teenage girl who had been involved in some destructive lifestyle choices. Her conversion had a ripple effect on the congregation, Smith noted.

“That young girl had been wrestling with the Lord for a long time. When she came to make her decision and to come out of the lifestyle she had been living, it encouraged her family and led others to come forward and make decisions as well. She became somewhat of a leader in that revival in the following days.”

Several afternoons the Texas team gathered at a sky train and bus depot, playing music and inviting people to the revivals services and block party. The band participated in street evangelism.

“The only thing that we should fear is a fear for the lost,” said Adam McAbee of Sevenfaith. “Those without Christ need to hear the good news and the hope that we find as Christians. Jesus has given us a commission to step out of our comfort zones and do what Jesus did?meet the lost where they are.”

Vancouver is growing by 1,000 people a month. Vancouver pastor Rick Chase of Gateway Baptist said, “I believe that God has brought our church and the SBTC churches together because he wants to show Canada that his word accurately, faithfully preached has the power and authority to change our nation one heart at a time.”

Airfare for the SBTC Vancouver vision trip will range from $350-$800, depending on the departing city.

The SBTC will provide partial scholarships to pastors who travel on the vision trip and then return to Vancouver within a year with a mission team, Smith said.

“We want to be able to connect pastors to ministry opportunities and churches in the Vancouver area,” Smith said.

For more information, call Smith at the SBTC missions office, 817-552-2500 or toll free 877-953-SBTC.

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