November in Abbotsford, BC has brought many challenges to the people in our community but, through it all, God has brought so much fruit. All the flooding, roadblocks, mudslides, and sickness have been such a beautiful testament to these people’s faith, goodness, and resilience.
Since the flood, the heart of this beautiful community at St John Brebeuf school has become so clear. The school was canceled for an entire week due to the number of students who were affected by the flooding, and on our first day back in the building the love in these youth’s hearts just poured out and welcomed everyone so well. My team was approached by many individuals asking if we were safe, if we had food, and making sure we didn’t have too long of a drive. These small questions just made us feel so loved and well-received into their small community, it was hard not to smile hearing my teammates talk about it at supper.
The atmosphere in the school feels different from 2 weeks ago; despite the natural disaster that happened that had affected so many here, there’s this renewed joy and zeal for relationships. The students have banded together and organized fundraisers for flood victims, they’re offering their prayer intentions for them in the chapel in the morning, and they are having a food drive. God is showing me that the heart of this community is service and thanksgiving, even from its youngest members.
This week my team continued our classroom ministry and have been trying to build relationships with the youth again after a week-long absence. On one of our first days back since the school closure, I wasn’t feeling very confident about being back in the school; I felt like the youth didn’t want us there, that they wouldn’t want anything to do with God. I was feeling this very sharply as my team was praying in the chapel before school. Most mornings there would be some students praying in that tiny room, around 5 youth. This particular morning, prayer was just about to begin and no one had shown up yet, which broke my heart as I knew it broke Our Lord’s. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of my teammates up and leave. A minute later there was an announcement for student morning prayer in the chapel. Another minute went by and students were filing into the tiny room – a room that can only seat 15 people had at least 20 people trying to fit inside. Their prayers were heartfelt and sincere and all so full of thanksgiving. My heart was so full and I knew the Lord was smiling at everyone in that room.
The Lord is truly our Joy and that Joy is our Strength. The community here in the Fraser Valley has banded together and turned to God in the face of adversity and it gives so much hope to us as missionaries who can see all the ways the Lord is working through this crisis. Please keep the wonderful people here in BC in your much-needed prayers! I have no doubt that God will hear you and continue to bring joy and healing to these beautiful people, especially the youth. God Bless you all, and have a beautiful Advent season!
Saint John Brebeuf, Pray for us!
Mary Magdalene, Pray for us!
–Written by Rebekah Scott