Overcoming Barriers to Sharing the Gospel
By Wayne Stapleton
VP of Cross-Cultural Engagement
& Doug Friesen
Associate Pastor at Whyte Ridge Baptist Church
Physical boundaries are not meant to be seen as a hindrance to the message of the love of God carried by his church. Sometimes the Spirit nudges us to travel to faraway lands; other times the Spirit guides us to walk across the room or pick up the phone with a word from God.
And yet, challenge notwithstanding, Christ calls his church to reach the nations. In our efforts to be faithful to him, there are not only hardships but also great rewards. Whyte Ridge Baptist Church (WRBC) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has overcome both geographic and historical barriers in response to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reach the Indigenous community.
In 2008, at a local pastors meeting, Doug Friesen from WRBC was involved in a conversation about Jesus’s prophetic statement in Acts 1 that his church will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The pastors, seeking faithfulness to Christ’s command, asked one another “Where is OUR Samaria?” They decided that their Samaritans, people of a different ethnicity that are not immediate neighbors but are nearby, include the First Nations people in their province.
Doug and his church connected with an organization called Pathway Camp Ministries, led by Rick and Elizabeth Greer. The Greers had a call to reach First Nations people and sold a family business to start a ministry styled after Vacation Bible School in various First Nations communities in Manitoba. Pathway would operate on an invitation-only basis, developing relationships with tribal leaders who would then invite them to come do ministry in their communities. . . .
Meet the New Eastern Association RM
Dana L. Goodnough splits his time between serving as the Eastern Association regional minister and pastor of Discipleship at Pittsford Community Church in the Rochester, New York, area, where he has served since 1985. Dana grew up in upstate New York and is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Calvary Bible College, and Dallas Theological Seminary. He also has a counseling degree from Liberty University and a doctoral degree from Dallas Seminary. Dana serves as an adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary and has published a book entitled Three Minute Theology (Westbow Press). He has participated in several short-term mission trips to places including Russia, Indonesia, Chad, Ukraine, and Brazil. He and his wife, Monica, have three adult children and five grandchildren. In his leisure time, Dana enjoys a good book in an Adirondack chair by a quiet lake.
Dana takes over as RM from Dave Ewing, who retired at the end of last year. You can click on the link below to send Dana an email welcoming him to his new role.
Thank You, Amber Dowd
After eight years on the Women’s Connection Leadership Team – she joined back when it was the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team – Amber Dowd is stepping down to focus on ministry at her local church, Oak Hills Baptist Church in Folsom, California. We are all grateful for the years she has worked with women across the NAB. She has been a valuable team member as the WCLT has walked through many changes.
We have watched Amber dedicate herself to participating in the many activities of her three growing children and looked forward to updates of what they were involved in at school and in the community. Amber gave us a visual example of someone who lived missionally. We looked on as she joined her husband in exciting ministry opportunities.
Amber, we are grateful for all you have contributed to Women’s Connection, Amber, and know that you will be used to further the Word of God as you help develop Community Bible Studies in Folsom, California.
Amber joined our team when she was a young mom with a very busy life. And she made a huge difference! I realized that she thought differently than I did on many issues, and she challenged me to examine my thinking. Even the change of name was significant! I have so appreciated this and have grown so much because of Amber. We will miss her insights and spiritual disciplines, and we will also miss her friendly way of hosting us in California! She has been such a blessing to all of us.
Thank you so much for giving of your time to serve on the team. It’s been a pleasure working with you. I truly appreciate all your work and support for the team and the women in the conference. I pray God continues to bless you and your family in your future endeavors.
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