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Pickleball Ministry

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Two years ago, a few of us from SDBC began playing the fastest growing sport in North America: pickleball. Pickleball is often described as a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Initially, we wanted to have some fun in a friendly environment, as well as get some exercise. With everyone learning how to play all at the same time, we had some pretty good laughs. Word of mouth spread and our numbers grew quickly, to the point where we introduced another evening to accommodate the people coming out each week.

Today, we have seven sessions each week, with over a hundred people attending on a fairly regular basis. 75-85% of these players do not attend our church, with a large percentage of those not attending any church at all. God has given us an incredible opportunity to break down barriers of the unchurched entering a church environment. He has opened up doors for us to develop relationships with so many wonderful people in our community and to expose them to evangelistic opportunities like Alpha, Men’s Breakfast, and other SDBC events. We encourage our church members to reach out to friends, family, and neighbours by inviting them to participate in this fun activity.

When asked to write a “God Story,” I didn't think we would be able to point to a specific example of how God is working. We do know that we have met some wonderful people coming through our gym doors who God loves deeply. We often hear that it is a welcoming, friendly community and we have developed many new friendships. We are in our infancy as a sports ministry, but we trust that God is working through us. We don’t know how God will use this ministry, but we do know He loves each person coming through our doors. We are building relationships by coming alongside those we meet. We love them like Jesus.

We would appreciate your prayers and would love you to partner with us in this ministry of SDBC. For more information please click here. If you would like to get involved, please contact Dave Sowerby

Posted by Dave Sowerby

Global Missions Advocates

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Our Global Missions Team and the SDBC Advocates are connected to the missionaries who are supported financially by SDBC. Each of our supported missionaries has an advocate who stays in constant contact with them, praying with and for them, and keeping the GMT and the congregation informed about their work where they are serving.
 
We have several missionaries who live in countries and situations that must remain “under the radar” for the safety and effectiveness of the missionaries. One such under the radar project involves our work in India. Because Christianity in India is not always safe, both physically and politically, our work there is not something we can advertise or promote, especially on the web or on social media.
 
Currently, we have a need for two additional advocates who will accept the role of loving and communicating regularly with one of our missionaries. The role includes corresponding with and praying for your specific missionary, keeping the rest of the advocates aware of your missionary, and joining the rest of the advocates in praying for all our supported missionaries. It may also involve hosting them in some capacity if or when they come to visit us at SDBC.
 
Being involved with individual missionaries will be one of the greatest blessings you will experience this side of heaven. Your support will make you part of a team that is being very missional in sharing the gospel in various places around our world. Chris and I have been involved with some missionaries in the past who still serve in the field, in the area of bible translation. They have become, even over time and distance, some of our best friends, and we pray for one other and our families.
 
I encourage you to ask God if you should serve Him in this way. If you sense the Holy Spirit moving you toward becoming an advocate, contact the church office at .

Posted by Rick Burdett

A Biblical Understanding of Suffering

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John had worked for the same company for most of his adult life and was looking forward to retirement. He and his wife had made plans, or at least his wife, Julia, had made plans for their retirement. It included travel of course, especially to somewhere hot and dry in the winter. But it also included hours of oohing and aahing over a new grandchild. Then, one day, the plans changed.

Julia, who had been feeling “off” for a while, went to the doctor and, several medical tests later, it was revealed she had developed a fast-moving cancer.

A year later, John was in a house that was too big for one person and had too many memories of happier times. His daughter and grandson visited regularly but it was not enough to overcome the loneliness. Friends came by when they could but loneliness was the new normal. There is nothing more discouraging than the feeling of being alone. Aloneness is sharpest when we are suffering.

We can learn a great deal about suffering and pain from the bible. It provides comfort for those that suffer and wisdom for those who care. We are told in Revelation 21:4, that eventually, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain….” But, in the meantime, we are encouraged to “rejoice with those that rejoice; mourn with those that mourn.”

The church is designed by God to function as a community of believers, as one body. Therefore, when one member is suffering, it is natural for other members of the body to feel the pain as well.

As Stephen Ministers, we understand that as long as there is sickness and sadness, Jesus suffers along with us. We participate in His suffering as we come alongside the hurting and offer them the gift of our presence. Often, we weep with those who weep. We understand that your pain is real, it hurts, and it matters. We are willing to enter into the pain of those who are suffering to help them bear the burden.
 
Please contact a Stephen Minister if you need practical support for the challenges you are facing.

Posted by Doug Thomson

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