I do hope you had a chance to truly enjoy the Christmas season with relaxation and the blessings of the Lord.
It certainly wasn’t a usual time of celebration with government restrictions and lockdowns. Nevertheless, I am confident that God is still in control and He is challenging each one of us to embrace the uncertainty with His certainty.
When I look back over 2020 here is what comes to mind:
Challenge and Opportunity
Suffering and Dependence
As Connecting Streams has navigated a very challenging year of staff changes and pivoting, God has shown His faithfulness and guidance. Was it always easy? Absolutely not! Did we grieve and suffer as you all did in some way? YES and we chose to use this opportunity to strengthen our dependence on God.
In Ann Voskamp’ s Christmas Devotional “The Greatest Gift”, she says “All worry dethrones God. All worrying makes your King and God incompetent” (pg 170).
It wasn’t until I actually stepped back in late November and decided to take a look at how far CS has come, that I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see the progress!
Throughout the year we have, with gratitude, highlighted many “success stories” in these newsletters. I would like to take this opportunity to share a summary of the 2020 praise reports, honouring God for all He has allowed to unfold in spite of the pandemic.
Please join us in this celebration:
January: Donna Mitchell steps into the role as VP of Ministries for Power to Change Canada & I take on the National Director role for Connecting Streams.
February: Dan Byrne takes on the challenge of City Lead for CS Ottawa. He successfully completes his support raising and jumps in.
March: Dan & I start to get comfortable as we learn about our new roles and COVID-19 hits!
April: Zoom calls – the “new norm” in our world! I must confess, I felt like I was turning into a “Zoombie” at one pointed too. We embrace the challenge and focus on pivoting well.
May: Ministries started to pivot – Conversation Cafes moves online, CS Ottawa empowers local churches to reach their isolated community; Addiction Recovery in Abbotsford is able to alter meetings to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions.
June: Widow to Widow groups use online platforms to be able to continue to meet, CS launches the National Ministry Leaders team.
July: Widow to Widow volunteers in Calgary and Ottawa team together to host online Summer Grief Series.
August: We launched our first CS101 online. Since then, we have held 3 of these trainings. We have processed 65 new volunteers since the start of 2020.
September: A new partnership with Harvest Prison Ministries is born; CS partners with local Edmonton prison to meet with inmates over closed circuit television; CS develops a National Operations team.
October: Bridges in Ottawa relaunches with a new COVID-19 friendly format.
November: Conversation Cafe more than triple their weekly attendance; we host our first National CS training with over 100 in attendance (online as per the times!).
December: Edmonton Prison Ministry project raises more than anticipated to bring Christmas cheer to prison partners in Edmonton, CS Ottawa Long Term Care & Seniors team is able to make accommodations to resume ministry, in a new way, in the New Year.
CS Vision Statement:
The Church and society’s vulnerable populations transformed together by Jesus.
And God’s word spur us on!
“Go into the world and teach the Good News to all creation” (Mark 16:15 NIV)
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support as we launch into 2021!
I am excited to share with you as the year progresses.
National Director, Connecting Streams