“GET US OUT OF HERE” was the background narrative to everything we did back in 2006. On the verge of getting married, our sights were set on moving overseas. We wanted Canada in our rear-view and everyday our mantra was, “Europe or bust”. By mid-2007 we were married and we began 2008 in Slovakia. Mission accomplished – and by accomplished we mean it was all just beginning.
As Global Workers, we believe that God has wired us and, in fact, has asked us to live and work in a culture different than the one we grew up in. In our zealous drive to be obedient, we did not give much thought to the community of Christians we would leave in Canada. Our focus was forward. Don’t get us wrong, we weren’t jaded towards the Canadian Church. We never thought of the Church as a funding source. It simply was not our focus. As part of the Christian family, we believed it was someone else’s job to look after (we were looking at you, Canadian pastors).
We were wrong.
13 years and 3 countries later, we’ve never felt more excited for the Church in Canada. Now, from our home in Asia, the Canadian Church is constantly in our thoughts, conversations and prayers – but don’t expect us back anytime soon.
We believe in Canada. There’s great beauty there and that’s not just a nod to the landscape. It’s wildly important to us that those we call family, friends, and neighbours, have the opportunity to interact with healthy Christians and not only the hatemongers in the headlines and stereotypes on TV. In the same way that Churches in Canada expect us to represent Jesus well overseas, we have the same expectation of Christians in our homeland. Reflect God well, friends.
Some days we simply want to be present in the communities we once called home. Perhaps it is trust issues and we’re not sure if others would love on our friends the same way we would. Maybe its our desire to always be doing and it is hard to love Canada from a distance. Ultimately, we trust that God has something exciting and genuine and life-changing in-mind for each and every Canadian.
People who have been Christian for a long time regularly refer to a story from the Bible which is found in the book of Acts, chapter 1. Here, there is an imperative to put faith into action while going to all people. There is a clear reference to your immediate community, the wider community, and communities all over the world. In many ways, Global Workers are viewed as helping local churches fulfill this mandate. The Canadian Church by funding and sending and equipping has a worldwide reach. But this is not a one-directional relationship. We, as those who are sent, look to the senders to be that local representation. We need you to be active in seeking the peace and prosperity of the place you call home.
It is not a matter of local, national, and global, but rather all directions and all levels at the same time. As Christians we are part of a diverse and worldwide community. This is not a matter of who sends whom. This is all of us being the best representation of Jesus wherever we are.