Thursday, July 3, 2008

Timbuktu Vineyard

Timbuktu (Tim-buck-too): A far away place

Last Sunday Jason and I decided to drive out to a town called Carleton Place, just west of Ottawa. We knew that there was a Vineyard church there called "The Ottawa Valley Vineyard", and we had meant to go check it out since moving here, but it was quite a distance away, so we never got around to it. We also kinda figured "What's the point of visiting? If we like it, we'll only be bummed that it's too far away for us to attend!"

Since moving here to Ottawa, we have visited ALOT of churches. I have to say that I've never ever seen so many Pentecostal Churches in my life! Good lord! There are tonnes! And coming from a Vineyard background, these churches have quite a different culture than we're used to. (you've never heard so many "Hallelujahs" in yer life!) haha.

However, after visiting a tonne of churches, we had decided to stay with one in particular. (yes, pentecostal!) We really liked the pastor tho, and decided that even tho alot of the culture was really different than we would have liked...we really liked the leadership and teaching of the pastor. So we had a couple breakfasts with him and decided to plant ourselves there. We felt that we were there to support this pastor and his wife. It was for that relationship that we had made the choice to stay there. (Despite the fact that in 6 months of attending, no one had spoken to us! We still knew no-one else besides the pastor!)

Anyway...we had decided to take a little break and go to OVV (Ottawa Valley Vineyard) last Sunday. We made the drive...only to find out that it really only took 45 minutes to get there. (I was expecting over an hour drive) that wasn't bad at all! The time really flew by.

When we got there.....well....*deep breath* was like finally exhaling. First...sooo many people came and said "hi". It was lovely! You could feel that they really cared to find out who we were. And tt was just so nice to be around a church culture that was familiar to us! Songs that we knew....language that was familiar. And I'm pretty sure I didnt' hear even one "Hallelujah". It was soooo nice! Jason had a smile on his face the whole time, but i kept poking him whispering "Don't get comfy...we've committed to the other church!"

I have to say...I was pretty confused with God. Why give us this lovely morning at the Timbuktu Vineyard...only to know that we've committed ourselves elsewhere? It was like putting our favourite cake in front of us and then saying "You can look...but you can't eat a piece!" We had to laugh at the irony of the whole situation. But being people of our word, and taking our commitment seriously...we knew that more visits to Timbuktu were probably not going to happen.

We got home after church to find a message on our machine. Our mouths dropped open. Guess what happened at the other church that morning?? The pastor had resigned! We were floored! We just stared at each other in amazement. What was going on!!! (by the's a really wonderful move for the guy...a positive move, nothing horrible)

The entire reason for attending the other church was now gone. But we weren't as upset as we thought we'd be. If we hadn't visited Timbuktu, we'd have been sad...let-down...somewhat homeless feeling. Instead...we saw it as the Lord giving us an exit and a hope all in one.

So we don't know if Timbuktu is where we should be (after all...they don't even know us yet) but it kinda has this "hopeful" feeling about it. Like maybe...just could be home.

Oh yes...and the next day I got a couple amazingly nice msg's from the pastor saying how connected they all felt to us right away...and how they just loved our family being there. How we felt like we belonged to them already. Then, he invited Jason out today for a game of golf...and another guy invited Jason to a mens business breakfast tomorrow morning. Pretty cool to feel so loved and wanted....and they don't even know that we're worship leaders yet! : P

I'll keep you posted.....


Colleen said...

I am so glad you guys are finding your roots. Grow Parks family, Grow!!!

Kristi from Canada said...

That's so awesome!

Deanna Momtchilov said...

I think I've actually been to that Vineyard - many years ago! In 1989 I was part of a King's Kids team that travelled through eastern Canada and we visited a Vineyard just outside of Ottaway. It was my first experience with a Vineyard church actually! :) I then attended a large vineyard conference somewhere in Ottawa several years later (maybe 1993?)with all the big wigs (John Wimber, John Whyte, etc.).

Brigitte said...

I am really happy for you guys and wish that your needs will be fulfill.

One of Freedom said...

I'm so glad you got out to OVV guys. That church is really amazing. We drop in from time to time there, not in the last while though.

You really should check out Hosanna too, it is not as far away and they have really been coming into their own as of late. The pastoral couple there are amazing - Colin and Denise. We drop in there a bit more often (I spoke there a month or so again).

As someone who came to faith in the Pentecostal church, I really know the difference in cultures between the two. If I didn't have a Vineyard to go to I would plant one - wait a minute, that's what I did. :-)


Lynne said...

I am so glad that things have turned out so well. When I heard from Mom and Dad about how devastating it was to hear that the Pastor had resigned, I knew that it was going to be a rough blow but how amazing is God to have led you before that to another church family. It is also so wonderful that Jason has been pursued already. That must be such a great feeling to be pursued. I am so thrilled for you guys . . . . and 45 minutes is doable for sure.

Michelle said...

What an incredible story!!! What a gift you will be to them... and they to you!