Most often, I share what God has given me in my daily devotions to share with you, but, I’d like to share a few thoughts on what is now our fourth trip to Canada. We have provided music for the ManUp Men’s conference where over 350 men came Friday night and Saturday to hear powerful messages from Brother Curt Skelley and Brother Thomas Shepherd.
Brother Al Stone has led this conference every year and heads up the Bearing Precious seed ministry out of the church he recently pastored. His vision to reach his country for Christ is now becoming a reality. They have been sending a John & Romans to every address across Canada systematically for years and is now over two-thirds complete. Tens of thousands of Canadians have received the gospel in their mailboxes with thousands more to go.
To hear the men sing the songs of God; to see the young men and boys in attendance makes me want this for my country.
I have to say, that if that were all we came for, my heart would leave this beautiful country full! But now Sunday through today, we have been privileged to sing at Bethel Baptist Church in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. Our quartet, the Faithmen, has provided some of the music along with the church’s choir and special music. Evangelist Calvin Allen has preached as God has led, and it has been a Spirit-filled and God-honoring time.
Each and every person we have met have become dear friends over the times we have visited. We’ve wept and prayed for those suffering from cancer; with those who’ve graduated to Heaven since we last met and been encouraged by those whose lives have been transformed by the past meetings here.
I’ve grown to have such a burden for this country. I had the privilege of riding along on some visits with Pastor Alan Feere as we made our way to homes and hospital and nursing home. Seeing his love for his people, the love they have for him, and the spirit of this church means so very much to think that our quartet and the music we’ve shared has had a small part is humbling.
Canada is like any other country – full of saints and sinners alike. But our time here has brought home the fact that this isn’t about music or worship or having ‘church’… its about souls. Everlasting, ever-living souls that will spend eternity in one of two places – Heaven or Hell.
I hear the heartfelt ‘Thank You’ of the dad whose son and family are now on the path to singing and making music as they have witnessed some men who love God sing with all their heart for the Lord. The little boy who idolizes my son Jacob as he plays the piano and says, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you!” To the wife dying of cancer who has to stop the chemotherapy and her husband who feels he can hold it together for just a little while longer while he clings to the hand of God.
As we’ve sung, tears have flowed freely. Hands have been raised in praise and as a testimony to God speaking to their heart. I have seen senior saints, “Keenagers” they call themselves, who have been blest and revived. The youth are moved as well.
As the message is being preached, some have come to kneel at the altar during the sermon. One participating in an illustration was so convicted that while being used in the example, knelt to pray as God moved upon his heart. There was a father so burdened for his ailing son, he asked for prayer. Many men came and put their arms around him and hands upon him as they prayed for his son’s healing. The son came home a day later.
The last two years, we have stayed with a beautiful family. Humble, hard-working farmers who open their home to us and receive us like family. We’ve shared laughter and burdens, and just recently a skunk brought to us through the family dog. Their love for the Lord, loyalty to their church and pastor is evidenced in their willingness to do their part to help. They are giving people who realize that what they’ve been given is from the Lord.
After our service tonight, we will pack up and head home. But we leave with the longing in our hearts that we are leaving dear friends behind. We have truly been blessed beyond measure over and over again.
It is a privilege to sing for the King of Kings; to lift His name on high. We do not ever seek to step into the light to claim any glory for ourselves for fear that precious anointing would ever leave us. I have never found a greater joy than to be in the center of His will doing that which He has given us gifts and talents to use for His glory.
Thank you Bethel Baptist Church for allowing the Faithmen to become a part of your family!