Dear friends and family,
This past year has definitely been a year of big changes. From driving Caleb to Surrey in January to attend Pacific Life Bible College, and Tori graduating from high school and heading to university in Brandon, to our family moving back to Surrey in the fall, the whole year was a whirlwind of transitions.
For the past 24 years, Liza and I were involved in full time pastoral ministry. But all of that changed this year.
In May, Liza and I attended Focus on the Family’s sabbatical retreat centre for pastors. While we were there, we sought the Lord for direction for our lives and family. Even though we already both felt our time in Beausejour was coming to an end, we now had a clear sense of timing from the Lord: the end of summer.
We also felt like we were supposed to return to Surrey, where Liza and I met, got married and started our family.
And so on June 9th, Liza and I made the decision to get the family ready to move, even though we didn’t know what was next for us. We didn’t have a job lined up or any prospects in sight.
Because of some of the challenging trials that Liza and I went through, and the emotional impact it had on us, we felt like we needed a break from the burden and responsibility of pastoral ministry. I was willing to get a job doing whatever I needed to do to pay the bills and look after my family.
But less than 24 hours later, I was contacted by Paul Johnson, the principal of Regent Christian Academy. This school was connected to Horizon, the church we used to attend in Surrey, BC. He felt that the Lord might be calling us to return to BC as well.
The school had a position open up in the school for a guidance counsellor and academic advisor, which would include some teaching duties, and he offered the job to me. As Liza and I prayed about this, we really felt like this was what the Lord was calling us to do. When we shared this with Austin and Hannah, they too were very excited about the prospect of moving back to BC. And so in September, we left our home in small town Manitoba for the west coast of British Columbia!
For the past few months, we have all enjoyed reconnecting with our old church family. We are HOME!
Left to Right: Austin, Liza, Tori, Me, Hannah and Caleb. From Tori’s Graduation.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR IN BULLET POINTS:
- In January, Caleb started the music ministry program at Pacific Life Bible College.
- In February, Tori and Austin starred in local youth community production The Drowsy Chaperone.
- From February – August, Tori, Austin and I worked at the Tim Horton’s in Beausejour.
- In May, I became the Executive Coordinator for the Overcomers Outreach of Canada, a Christian 12-step addictions recovery program.
- In May, Liza went on a trip to London, England with her mom, sister, aunt and cousin.
- In June, Tori graduated from high school with honors with distinction.
- In July, we went to Regina where I performed my sister Jodi’s wedding ceremony.
- In the summer, Caleb interned in the youth ministry at Horizon Church.
- In August, Austin got his full driver’s licence.
- In the fall, we dropped Tori off at her music program at the University of Brandon on our way to BC.
- In September, Austin and Hannah started attending Regent Christian Academy. Both of them made it on the B honour roll. They both lead worship in school chapels and with their youth group at church.
- In October, Liza was hired full time working in the accounting department of our church and our Christian school.
- In November, after two months of staying with friends, we finally got into our own place, a two bedroom basement suite. It’s small, but it is temporary!
- In December, the board of directors of Overcomers Outreach asked me to step into a new role as the President of the ministry. I accepted.
Right now we are working on selling our home in Beausejour. We are looking forward to buying a new home in the Surrey area in the New Year.
As we’re heading 2017, Liza and Hannah are gearing up for our school’s mission trip to Mexico. Austin is participating on the school’s mission trip to Uganda.
This Christmas season, we pray that you and your family would experience the thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicing, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn – celebrating the birth of Jesus the Saviour of the world!
With love and prayers,
Chris, Liza, Caleb, Tori, Austin & Hannah
Through the Years:
You can read our previous years’ Christmas Letters here: