“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)
May God’s grace and love be with you especially at this important time.
I remember you well from the 2000 UBF Spring Conference at the Five Oaks Christian Retreat outside of Brantfort, ON. I remember hearing your testimony which was refreshing to me.
Here, you testified as I can recall to God’s work in your life from years past in the United Church (correct me if I am wrong). Sadly, I never had a chance to get to know you even though Hamilton and Waterloo are only 30 minutes apart by car. There always seemed to be relationship difficulties between the Directors of Hamilton and Waterloo which did not allow for relationships to be built between chapters or Canadian students or shepherds. Go figure. I often wondered about this. But I can discuss this at a later time.
My family left Hamilton UBF (at McMaster U.) on November 1, 2001 after I had been in UBF for over 10 years. The words of Micah scrolled onto the front of Erskine Church in Hamilton helped me to make the final decision. It was not easy to leave because of my attachments to UBF co-workers and friends. I had fond memories of many missionaries and was especially fond of co-workers in Montreal UBF even though I could only fellowship with them for a couple of days each year. I was very heavily involved in my chapter as a fellowship leader and a presider, a role which I carried out for 10 years. Through Bible study I met Jesus personally and confessed my faith publically. I learned to love the Bible and I experienced God’s calling (Mk 10:45).
However, over time (5-6 years), I began to feel crushed by this same ministry in every aspect of my life. I witnessed so many Canadian students leave with out any explanation. Some of these were Philip Styles in 1995 (Hamilton), Sandor Szulc (1997), Ryan Collins and Steve Nagy in 1996 (Waterloo)and Dean Fleming (1997). In 1999, my personal Bible reading revealed to me many of the “internal contradictions” mentioned in other RSQUBF postings and my conscience was bothered by many weird directions. When Missionary Tim Hwang (Montreal UBF) left UBF to become a Presbyterian minister I rejoiced that God had blessed him to serve the Lord. However, Hamilton [UBF] missionaries condemned him and said that he only became a minister because he loved money and wanted a salary. This stunk really bad to me. It stunk because I know that as an RN, I make more money than the minister in my mom’s church (Knox Burlington) which has over 500 attendant. I valued Tim Hwang’s decision as a godly one. They didn’t think so.
The rubber really met the road when I saw that my marriage (UBF arranged) was sinking, my job and campus ministry were falling apart. From reading the Book of Acts, I could see that the early Christian Church was not campus mission. But that mission(s)actually came from the church (Read Acts 6).
God opened my eyes to see wonderful things in His word. I asked myself, “Is God’s calling for me to be the`Abraham of Faith'[a UBF term] for McMaster for the rest of my life?”
I began to pray for God’s leading and direction in my life, rather than somebody elses (my shepherd’s) plan for my life. As a baptized and confirmed Presbyterian (PCC), I realized that God could use people in service in a variety of no less penetrating callings.
Today, my family worship at Park Bible Church, Burlington, (an Associated Gospel Church) which has bible studies, Christian outreaches to students, street people, families and the like. The sermons are refreshing. Every 2nd or 3rd Sunday, I attend the evening service at KNox Presbyterian Church (on Spadina) in Toronto which feed my soul with amazing sermons. This is an amazing church. This church has Bible studies, outreach to immigrants, street people, elderly, Uof T students and more. It also has 10 full time missionaries in various mission agencies (such as Wycliffe Bible Translators)around the world. I believe that God will raise me to ministry through this church which looks at the full gospel and accepts that there various parts to the body of Christ.
And against my detractors and nay sayers, even though we have left UBF, we have not stopped teaching the Bible either, although now I use IVCF Bible study materials. My wife recently witnessed one of her Bible students get baptized at Phillpott Memorial Church (Hamilton – ASG Chruch) This brought much joy to us. Our marriage is getting healed now.
I have alot more to say, and it would even be great to meet you some time. But it is late at night, and I have to go to work at 0600 this am. I pray for God’s blessing on your decision to leave. I pray that God may protect you from wolves. “In all your ways Acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:6)
God be with you brother,