By: Laura Bronson

Bonjour, I am writing this as I am returning home from the beautiful city of Montreal. Since this morning I have moved around multiple times to get home. I have now been in a car, a bus, the metro, the via train, go train and then will be getting picked up in a car when I arrive to Burlington. Oh my… I think planes are better and less confusing. This is one of those long days.

On an exciting note, in Quebec we got to give out 100 K.I.R. pocket bibles to youth workers so they can give them out to teens! If you would like to help out with the bible project, we would appreciate your finical gift towards this. As we are getting orders in from across the country, we realize that the shipping is costing more than we expected. Here is an easy link to donate a one time gift to Keep it real click here.donate

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For this past week, the main focus of this trip was to speak at a workshop to other youth workers. I prepared the one hour presentation with everything I had. I talked about making disciples and mentoring. As I looked into the chairs I saw a few people who I look up to and I couldn’t believe that they took the time to come sit in on a rookie’s presentation. A powerful thought came to me before I started talking, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now speaking about mentorship if it weren’t for other leaders that took the time to mentor me. Passing down the baton is so important and because so many leaders have demonstrated that to me, I now want to do the same to friends who are younger. Keep me accountable and make sure I am doing this.

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Let me give you the inside scoop of something that always happens to me as I visit a new province… Most of the time these places steal a bit of my heart and I actually start to picture what it would look like to move there for a few months. My imagination wanders as I start to figure out where I would invest my time and who I would get to help me with the ideas that flow through my head.

As I spent the week in Montreal my heart broke for the lost people there that do not personally know God. I learned some history about  how for the last couple of decades  a lot of the Christians have moved away and there are still language difficulties between the English and the French. Many churches had to close and I was told that even some of the big ones couldn’t afford to pay rent. My friend shared how a church came to them and sold their church building for 1 dollar so that they would take over the building and use it for a place where teenagers could go. Outrageous, this is mind-blowing, people are casually handing church keys over to other ministry’s?

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I took the few spare hours that I had on this busy week to take my questions to the streets. With no fear I approached people making some new French friends. A girl I work with named Sami had a camera with her so I said, “Let’s go interview random people and hear their thoughts on the local church.” As we talked with people, we got a lot of similar responses. Most of the people that we talked to we’re oppose to the church. Many of them focused on the church building and gave it no thought at all that the church could actually be made up of people. My favorite conversation was with a homeless person that spoke softly in broken English. I asked him “What do you wish the church could work on better?” He deeply expressed with his money cup flying around in the air “I wish the church could help bring more peace on earth.”

I guess that’s not totally fair for me to come to my conclusion that fast about the lack of Christians there just through some street interviews, so I decided to sit down with Christian leaders and hear their thoughts. Some of them are passionate about Quebec and some have been in ministry for 20 years so they know what they are talking about.

As I had dinner at my friend David Tracey’s house, I also had the privilege to see a glimpse of what his families world looked like, to hear their heart and point of view on things, it was great. They even taught me how to pronounce a few French words. I almost felt like a pro for that one second. (Not a real pro, just a 1 second pro.) As David drove me that evening to a place I needed to be, I had a good conversation with him about the church of Quebec. I am so challenged after hearing the needs of this place. I think my jaw dropped a few times after he opened up about the reality. In this conversation we had, I almost convinced him to start an indoor skate park in his youth drop in centre. Don’t you think that would be neat? They have a good size gym so this place would be off the hook, flooded with teenagers. He stopped and paused after I gave him the proposal. I could see him thinking about it. Hopefully someday down the road it happens if its meant to be. Maybe that’s something I would possibly temporally move there for, to help them launch this program if they ever decide to do something like it

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On the 2nd last day I was asked to do a large mural in the Dorval area. They let me write whatever was on my mind- I love it when people ask me to do a wall like that. It lets an artist be so much more creative when you don’t put up boarders. Why ask someone to draw a breath taking picture, but than hand them a colouring book with the lines inside that cut off creativity? An open canvas is the best!

At the kitchen table that morning I happened to read Psalms 40. The verse that jumped out to me to graffiti was verse 5,

“You have planned marvelous things for us.”

-(Psalms 40)

 

 

 

Isn’t this verse so true? Let that sink in for a moment. We could hear that short sentence every day and I’m pretty sure it would never get old. Let this bible verse be refreshing for you. God has everything planned out even in the times when your vision seems foggy, in the midst of chaos. Even when life doesn’t make sense and you cry out to him saying, “Make yourself known, where are you today?” he has everything planned out. Let me be that encouraging friend that pats you on the back saying, everything is going to be alright, he’s actually right there beside you. Let God speak to you through the word today as you think that through over and over.

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Let me rap this up by not leaving a negative thought on the Quebec church, In fact I think there’s a bright future ahead for them. While we hear the heartbreaking stories of Quebec there are still good things coming out of that province. I promise you, some of those Christians living there have such a golden heart and I saw it with my own eyes. I originally went there to help encourage them but they actually helped me too.
Quebec is only a 5-7 hour drive from Toronto depending how fast you go, missions can happen in your own backyard. If you’re a youth leader or a youth pastor, why not consider taking a group there? If you need contacts, I have plenty to pass on. Missions doesn’t have to only happen overseas. Everyday can be like a “missions trip.”