Hello St. Peter’s family – I am so pleased to meet you! I really do mean “family” because that’s what St. Peters has been for my husband Rylan and me since we arrived in Vancouver. I am so delighted to be invited to blog for St. Peter’s Fireside, (affectionately known to me as St. Pete’s.)
So this whole blogging thing is pretty new for me, in fact this is my very first. So make yourself comfortable and let’s dive in to the introductions.
I should start at the beginning of my story to explain how I got here: I grew up and went to school in South Africa, where I had a wonderful childhood. There were no pet elephants, but it wasn’t uncommon to have troops of wild monkeys leap their way across our garden.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home so as a family we never went to church, but through my mother’s influence I was given a children’s picture book bible. My favourite story was Daniel in the lion’s den, partly because I love wild animals, but I’d also like to think that I loved it because if God could close the lions’ mouths, he could certainly protect me.
As I grew up I found as I entered my teen years, I unintentionally surrounded myself with friends who loved God even though I didn’t really know much about him. One particular friend took me under her wing, patiently answered my many questions and encouraged me to go to youth group with her at her church. She was a true example of how listening to God allows us to bring our friends to Jesus.
From a young age I have had this inexplicable insatiable desire to travel and be independent and stand on my own two feet. So I moved from South Africa to the UK, a country where I had English family, and London which offered the cheap and easy access to Europe for weekend trips away, calming my itchy feet. I think I love to travel because I love seeing new places, experiencing new cultures, trying new things and exploring this beautiful world that God created for us.
It was when in London that Ry and I decided to do the Alpha course (primarily because it was in the pub and we got free burgers). It was from this and the ensuing community group support that my commitment to God started to really flourish.
Then two Christmases ago, Ry I sat down to decide between two choices, should we settle down in England and start a family and all that comes with it or did we want one more adventure before that, somewhere different. Well we decided on the adventure- to Vancouver.
Once we had decided on our move to Vancouver, God proceeded to fling open doors and windows for us. God clearly paved our way here granting visas and architecting a career move for me as well as guiding us to St. Pete’s. Our pastor in London was in fact an ex colleague of Roger’s and through his introductions, Ry and I discovered St Pete’s. From the moment I walked into that lecture hall in the depths of Robson square I experienced abundant community and felt peace. I love that it’s in a lecture theatre: a symbolic place for learning.
The highlight of my week is now our Wednesday night community group meetings, where I see God’s work in my life: fueling my passion for people and relationships. I’m also so looking forward to contributing more to St Pete’s by sharing my hopes for its vision, at the monthly board of trustees meetings. I feel called for greater personal response in this area of my life.
My hope for these blogs is that God works through me to share my genuine interests and thoughts with you. Like what home means for me now, having travelled continent to continent, and how do we maintain those long distance friendships, with those that we leave behind? Also I hope to engage you by sharing my personal experiences in building teams at work, in marriage, in life and how can we lead a more purpose driven life in God’s eyes? My hope is that my thoughts, struggles and questions are also yours, and that together we can grow our faith.