One of the events that we look forward to with great anticipation each year is our annual Village Missions staff conference. Almost every summer for the past 35 years we have made the trek through the Rocky Mountains to Green Bay Bible Camp on Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna. It is certainly one of the most beautiful spots in Western Canada to spend a few days with our Village Missions family.
There are many aspects to the conference that make it an important part of our yearly calendar. There are the times of teaching and encouragement in the Word of God as we listen to the one who is invited to be our pastor for that week. There are the morning prayer times as we gather in groups to share our burdens and to pray for one another. There is the privilege of being served by the wonderful staff of the camp - the camp managers and the summer staff of young people who can always be seen working and cleaning all around the camp grounds.
But I think the best part of the week is the fellowship. The afternoons are often spent sitting on the beach or in the shade under the trees, looking out over beautiful Okanagan Lake, in groups of two or three or sometimes ten or twelve, sharing about family or travel or ministry. Just catching up with friends that we often have not seen or communicated with since last year, is something that we look forward to.
We love our Village Missions family. We love our church family as well. But the fellowship with our Village Missions family at our annual conference is a time that we would not miss. It is a time when we can unload our burdens and share with others who share many of the same burdens.
The Apostle John, in introducing his first epistle, said to his readers, "...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3 ESV) The key to fellowship is the bond we have with one another in Jesus Christ.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.