Christmas Letter 2006
What a wonderful time of year we find ourselves in again! A time to celebrate and
reflect on the memories and moments of another year soon to be passed.
The central meaning of Christmas
to behold the narrative of a child’s birth
Who in frail humanity yet completely divine was sent as our Savior to bring hope and life
Today HE – JESUS - reigns as Lord and King!
This story whether we believe in it or not, impacts our world through the diversity of culture, families and individual narratives in a beautiful way.
This is Christmas
My prayer for you is that His Love, Kindness, Mercy, Compassion, Peace and Joy would rest in your family in a generous way this season spilling into all that you do and, more importantly, resonating in all who you are!
2006 for me has been a year of change, continued personal growth, deep challenge and excitement! As you know, in September of 2005, transition once again was on my doorstep and in the desire to respond in obedience, the call was to move to Los Angeles, California. The reason for this move was to join my good friends David and Anita Ruis in pioneering a community of faith called ‘Basileia’ (Bas-i-lay-ah) Simply stated, we are “devoted to Kingdom Living -engaged with culture and justice”. My home base in Calgary, AB. Canada sent me as a cultural missionary and have been standing with me in friendship, prayer and financial backing. I could not be here today without my Canadian home community, my family and very dear friends! With a 3yr. religious worker visa in hand, most everything sold, Bailey (my lil’ Bichon Frise dog) and I headed south.
I have to say that after the initial 2-3 month ‘honeymoon’ period of driving down one of the many LA freeways and admiring palm trees (one of my favorite things here) and of course the incredible weather wore off, the culture shock of the mass population index, freeway rage, isolated insulated living of this very independent, flamboyant and veneer ridden culture began to set in. Paradoxically, LA is a beautifully lonely place.
These observations created the question which I still ask to this day
How does one penetrate into this mission field and culture of LA? Lord, what are the creative ways?
Then again, perhaps a fantastic question we should all ask daily of our respective places as we live out community life.
…To live the life of Jesus.
Coupled with getting to know my little apartment community (there are 6 units in the complex I live in, here in Tujunga) and slowly in the inception, formation stages of Basileia’s community growth there have been many exciting pieces unfolding! As I have been establishing myself within our community and the greater LA Community (through avenues like Barry’s Bootcamp check it out www.barrysbootcamp.com) relationships are organically being birthed (we have approx. 150 people in a consistent way connected to us), also I have instigated a weekly meeting for young adults where friendships are being formed, and mentorship along their spiritual journey into mission, is slowly unfolding in unique day to day ways that the Lord speaks and moves. I am beginning to love this place I find myself in and appreciate the hidden gems in the midst. I do have to say that we have some very amazing people who now call Basileia home and many of these ones are becoming life long, cherished friends of mine. What a gift!
HIGHLIGHTS In May we were blessed with a loft space of 5500 sq. feet here in LA that we call Basileia’s living room. It came fully furnished with our signature creative vibe and just in time for our live recording project that I was a part of co-coordinating and working on with David Ruis -his band, and visual arts creative team. It was a huge success and we all really believe that it captured the sound and essence of what we are slowly creating and who we are slowly becoming. It is still in the production stages but, you can check out the bootleg version of it on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkqnP4By6eQ This project will be hitting the market in the New Year!
TRAVEL seems to be my middle name! In July I had the privilege of spending 3 weeks in various parts of Germany. The first 2 weeks were ministry focused as a small team consisting of David/Band and friends played (in more ways than one) and ministered in various events. Including Berlin Stadium where 60,000 plus attendees came to be a loud voice of worship. It was a beautiful picture of the unity of His body. The overall trip was incredible! My last week in Germany, a good friend and I, traveled to the very beautiful Heidelberg - a place one must behold!! Then to Bonn/Cologne area where I/we visited with my amazing European family. Fun times - fun times!
Part of August was spent back in Canada where I was preaching/teaching at ‘Street Invaders’ a youth discipleship missions program. This also gave me an incredible time of reconnecting with dear friends and family. Sadly, after months of declining health, on August 28th my grandma Sawchenko passed away to be with Jesus and grandpa. The matriarch of our family left a legacy of faith and strength in such beautiful ways. She is loved and missed.
The remainder of this fall I made a few more trips to various parts of Canada for teaching and training opportunities with many of my long standing friends in youth ministry and beyond. I always look forward to these invitations of investing wherever I can in the young of our generation – speaking out life, truth and freedom! Of course …There are more trips to come in 2007!!
YOUR SUPPORT is crucial to the ongoing work and life that I have put my hands to here in Los Angeles, and beyond. Thank you! As a North American cultural missionary, my entire income is all being raised through individuals like you, ministry honorariums and EPIC Ministries have been a champion in coming alongside and standing with me in this endeavor.
I cannot do this without your giving and lives of generosity. LA is a very expensive place to live, it is shocking, actually, and with the currency exchange I need to raise at least another $500-$750/mo. committed monthly support. Will you join my monthly support team?
If you are looking for a worthy cause, individual or charity to give – I would ask that you consider standing with me in this way. Please contact me directly, for all the details on how you can sign up as a part of my monthly support team. All gifts are tax deductible!
:: Prayer Points ::
+Health – physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally
+The leadership of Basileia – for discernment and unity moving forward
+Protection – physically, relationally, with Bailey
+Relational Connections – growing connects and new relationships
+financial – both one time gifts and committed monthly support is appreciated!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!