On the back of a Halifax tourisim map it reads “North is freedom, it’s not just Halifax. It’s the north end. Defined by a strong sense of community,intrigue, and history, Halifax’s North End is for dreamers” it goes on to say
“The north end is rooted in multiculturalism and community minded living. It’s a place where culture, diversity and creativity thrive. People aren’t just welcomed they are embraced”.
When Brad asked me to write for the PAX blog he asked the question, “What was the greatest impact the 2012 STOMP missions team had?” Well to start with, from my perspective as a youth leader, I thought maybe the “greatest impact” was all of the preparation such as gospel training, fundraising, team selection, team building exercise, prayer support, van rentals,accommodations,
Another “greatest impact” for me was our group breakout sessions at the end of every day following up on what we saw, thought, what we were a part of, who we helped, or what job we had , what we liked or didn’t like. At these times we really just shared how it affected us personally and as a group. The greater part of that impact was found in starting our day with scriptures that prepared our hearts and mentality for what we were going to be a part of and how we were going to make it through that day no matter what we were exposed to. Daily this gave me and the team a new appreciation of relying only on God’s Word. This was the start of our day that I would call “looking at others through Jesus’ eyes”(ROMANS 15:7), stripping away all of our judgements, concepts of what we want, and just realizing God is the one who has it all figured out if we just follow. The “greatest impact” was that our group followed how PAXnorth is ministering to the streets in prayer, to the hurting streets of the hungry and homeless, to the historical hurt streets, to the lost people on many streets of the north end in Halifax.
I’ve been on many missions trips before where the impact stops as we board the plane, but this missions trip in particular has not only rocked me, but the students and other leaders that were part of this year’s missions trip. The plane and simple reason is that Halifax is not that far away from Ontario, and that we share similar types of streets and have many layers of people in our city as well that need hands to just simply serve and share the gospel and meet the needs where people are in their lives. Never forgetting that it is NOT US that can fix all the problems but trusting in the Lord to be before us in everything that we do.
To finish my endless list of “greatest impact” off, I pray the greatest of all the impacts has been representing Christ in the streets of Halifax downtown, the north end, Citadel Hill, the airport, and all of the different local ethnic restaurants we supported. Praying the impact now becomes a reality in St. Thomas where we live, we breathe, we share, we serve, we worship, where we follow Christ in our community seeking to help meet some of the greatest needs around us starting with simple faith.