The next morning our team split up. Six of us drove on to Canada while three stayed in the states. Around lunch we finally arrived at our destination at the Teen Challenge in downtown Winnipeg. It was well below zero when we arrived and there was snow everywhere. I had never experienced that kind of weather so the new scenery was really intriguing.
After unpacking our stuff we had some lunch and then headed out to a local mission where they feed the needy called “Lighthouse Mission.” There were hundreds of people that came through that place for a meal and to get out of that cold that day. It was an amazing place to minister to the people and get to talk to them. I met a really skeptical atheist named George and spent over an hour talking to him. Eventually he opened up and admitted to numerous addictions, issues with depression and that he had been seriously contemplating suicide the previous 3 days. Before we dropped him off at a hotel that he was staying in we were able to pray for him and he asked Jesus to free him from the issues troubling him and to reveal himself. From the moment we hit the ground in Canada God was opening up doors for us!
One of the important words that God gave us while praying for the trip is to look for “common ground” with the people we were going to encounter. God even gave us names of people beforehand that we could pray for. The man God gave me was named David and when I first looked at the student roster I looked for a guy named David and must have skipped his name. A few days later a guy mentioned to me that one of the guys there was named David. I got really excited when I realized that this was the guy the Lord had given me to pray for.
Our first night at the Teen Challenge we shared during the nighttime devotions that they have. It was another amazing opportunity to share my testimony with a new group of students currently in the program. I love sharing with them so much because I remember so clearly sitting in their same situation just a few years ago. We had a great chance to share with them and worship together before bed.
The first full day that we had there I worked with two brand new students at a church where we helped set up for this massive missions festival at one of the largest churches in Manitoba. It was a great time for us to build relationships with these guys. This actually paid off the next day when on guy, Harley was cussing people out and wanted to walk off in -30 degree weather. My friend Charley was then able to pull the guy and talk to him and call him down. There’s no doubt that he ended up staying because Charley was able to talk to him based on the report we had built while working at the church.
The second night we were there we had an amazing chance to go out to this youth center in a city about 2 hours away. While there our team got to share testimonies and I was able to preach to the group. It was such a cool facility and such an amazing opportunity to minister to the youth there in that small town called Winkler. The name of the place was called the bunker.
So then after we left from this youth center called The Bunker we drove home to Winnipeg. The only problem was that our alternator went out in the van and we got stuck about 30 minutes or so away from where we were staying. That was (conveniently) the coldest night we were there and it got down to -40. Our van lost power and we waited over an hour to get someone to come out and rescue us from our messed up van. Thankfully we all made it back and no one got any frostbite!
This is part 2 of 3-4 posts I’m gonna be sharing about my trip to Canada earlier this month. Check back and I’ll post the next one soon!