I have spent some time sitting with how SOAR went this year. After everything has settled, I have had space to debrief with leaders and reflect on what God did at SOAR this year. There is always personal transformation happening for participants as they are really exploring who God is to them personally as well as to the community around them. We saw four students make first time commitments to follow Christ and many more lay down things that have burdened them and have come in the way of growing deeper in their faith journey. Spiritual soil was cultivated and seeds were planted. I also really rejoiced how God brought together a diverse community; we had socio economic diversity, theological diversity, as well as cultural and ethnic diversities present at SOAR this year. Within this diversity, we all came together as a united community with a Jesus-centred focus.
SOAR had 14 different groups coming from very different communities, but we all had one unifying desire to meet personally with Jesus and have our hearts transformed to serve locally here in Winnipeg. Each participant comes to SOAR with different expectations or motivations. Some come because their parents want them to go, others come to be with friends, some want to serve a marginalized community, and some come to pursue their relationship with Jesus. As I have been debriefing with leaders, I continue to hear stories of how Jesus did an amazing work of transformation in the hearts of their students, often those that came with other motives.
We just finished debriefing the Focus Interns that were out serving around the globe for the last six months. I loved sitting with them and hearing their stories. Everyone in this group was so different and unique and served in such different ways, but each of them spent six months being fully available to how God called them to serve the communities in which they were living.
I have heard many personal stories of both the SOAR participants and these Focus Interns walking away from their experiences with a renewed sense of who Christ is in their lives and how they want to serve the communities they live in. Many are not going back to formal ministry roles but all of them see better how they can minister wherever God places them.
Upside Down Kingdom
The Theme for SOAR this year was “The Upside Down Kingdom”, focusing on a call to lay down everything and come and serve. This theme consistently came through as we talked about prayer, worship, community, servanthood, etc. I love this simple image that we used as our logo this year of Jesus’ invitation to join him.
This year we had 10 students that applied for bursaries to attend SOAR. Thank you so much to all of you who helped support these students. We continue to want to make SOAR a place where all can come and seek Jesus together.
We continue to live in the chaos of five kids ranging from 17 down to 1 year of age. All with so much going on and communities that they are apart of. Here is a brief update on where everyone is at.
Ruth is going to be finishing her two-year Spiritual Direction course at the end of the month. It has been beautiful to see all that God has taught her through this process and witness her ability to help guide people to hear from God.
Finn is going to be graduating from high school next month and will be starting a BA in Creative Communication at the U of W this fall. Caleb is finishing grade ten and was a participant at SOAR this year with our church team; it was a blessing for me to see God at work in his heart. He is also enjoying Ultimate Frisbee at school this year. Lyric is in grade 3 and continues to produce many creative, artistic masterpieces everyday and is really growing in his verbal communication. Ivory is turning 5 and just started outdoor soccer, where I get the joy of herding (coaching) her team. Lincon will be 2 next month and is pleasantly oblivious that he is still living in limbo as we wait for his file to be transferred to a different agency. He is such a happy toddler and loves being outside and running around in the backyard with his siblings.