Every June for the past twelve years, a group of men from Summerland Baptist church and beyond, have spent two weeks touring on motorcycles throughout Western Canada and the US. This year, we embarked on a courageous ride up the Sunshine Coast to the North Tip of Vancouver Island in search of beautiful scenery and sunshine. We found the scenery, but the sunshine eluded us for the most part!
These trips are intentional journeys to be enriched and bonded as men, and also to leave a trail of encouragement, assistance and ‘light’ to those we encounter… hence our name: Road Salt Riders… (Salt and Light of the Kingdom).
This last June saw a group of 11 men from SBC and across BC and Alberta start our trip with cinnamon buns in Summerland, then travelling past Whistler, up the Sunshine Coast (we even visited the Greiners’ ocean hide-a-way!), over to Vancouver Island on the Powell River Ferry, up to Port Hardy and eventually to Alert Bay which was our furthest point North. Alert Bay is a First Nations community which boasts the tallest Totem pole in the world (172 ft) as well as a very informative cultural center. Once a thriving fishing community, Alert Bay is now a tourist attraction with jaw dropping scenery and wonderful cultural history.
Following our time in the North, we travelled down Island to Parksville and then to Ucluelet and Tofino where we camped and did day trips to Long Beach, Schooners Cove (through the rain forest board walk) and then went Whale Watching (Otters, Hump Back and Grey Whales) on our way to Hot Spring Cove where a natural ‘Hot’ Waterfall fills tidal pools with hot mineral water to soak in. Then off to Port Renfrew and Victoria (note Don Bryce’s camp breakfast of champions!) before heading back on BC Ferries to the mainland and the ride home.
We encountered much ‘moisture’ along the way and our raingear was the daily clothing of choice, but we also had wonderful times of sharing, laughing, learning and hearing men share daily devotionals ‘from the heart’! (Rare and significant for us men!)
After yet another unique and rich motorcycle trip, I once again marvel at the artistic hand of God in this diverse land we call home, and the way He speaks clearly and distinctly to each man who tunes in to hear His voice. I am richer for these times, and more convinced than ever that: “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that all men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
God is evident all around us… pray for eyes to see and ears to hear… find others to share what you see and hear!
We want to express our congratulations to Paul Biro who has been nominated for the Canadian Country Music Association Ron Sakamoto Talent Buyer Or Promoter Of The Year.
Please take a moment to read this article in the Summerland Review to learn more about the award and about what Paul does, and be sure to congratulate Paul the next time you see him.
The above article gives you a little glimpse into Paul's work and community life, but we couldn't resist also linking to the Biro's Date Night Challenge submission, as it illustrates so beautifully how as a team (in work and in life) they support and encourage and build each other up. If you missed it the first time, we hope you'll take a moment to read it now.
Congratulations Paul and Sonia!
Back in June, a very special event was held for our Middle School Girls. The whole focus of this Red Carpet Event was to clearly present the message to each girl that she is beautiful. She was created. And she is loved. A wonderful team of women came together to put on this amazing event and to make each girl feel welcome, valued and loved. Not only did the girls feel special and enjoy being pampered, relationships were forged between the volunteers and the girls who attended. We are thankful for the way God used this evening to impact both the girls and the volunteers. Below, Stephanie and Brin share their experiences of the night...
I have a daughter in Middle School so when I heard that Bree was hosting an event for them, I jumped on the volunteer team. A small group of ladies gathered in her living room, each bringing to the table their passion for decorating, food, make-up, hair and beautiful dresses! The idea was to create an evening for Middle School girls who often struggle with self worth and make them feel like the daughter of the King they are! I was inspired to give these girls an awesome evening, even though NONE of these areas are my natural gifts. I signed up to help set up and be at the dress station for the evening.
Upon arrival, many girls were unsure, arms crossed and chins down. They were sent to the nail, hair and make-up stations. When they came into the dress area, they were more confident and feeling pretty. They also were served fancy drinks and food. Chocolate fountain and candy counter? Where has this event been all my life! As the girls eventually flowed into the dress area, we sent them off with a few to try. When they finally said, 'YES to the DRESS!', they were beaming! Each girl who attended could have brought me to tears. To see them feel beautiful on the outside was so awesome!
Under every girl... including the ones who never wear dresses, is a girl who loves to have attention to their importance and beauty from God. We love to occasionally be fancy and spend time on hair, nails and make-up. Add a beautiful dress and our mannerism changes for the better!
Although it is wonderful to feel beautiful on the outside, we wanted these girls to feel beautiful on the inside. That they are created by Christ, in his image and are so special! Amanda Brown spoke to bring attention to this inner beauty they have with Christ. What an amazing evening! One of the funnest events I have EVER volunteered for! Filled me up big time!
Brin also shares her experiences attending the event...
When I stepped into the church gym, I was amazed by the beautiful decorations. A kind face welcomed me and handed me a delicious drink. I talked and laughed with my friends while we waited for the night to start. Soon, Bree Young welcomed us all again and explained the night. And we were off. We got our makeup, hair and nails done while we were served more drinks. There was candy, appetizers, desserts and even a chocolate fountain to taste! Once we were ready we tried on dresses. We tried on as many as we wanted until we found “the one”. We got professional pictures done by Heidi McKelvey that looked amazing! Then we all sat down to listen to Amanda Brown, who talked to us about God’s view of beauty and the world’s view of beauty. She inspired me to remember that God loves me no matter what I look like or how I act. The whole night made me feel so beautiful and loved. I can’t wait to help with the Red Carpet Event next year so I can help with the event and show more girls they’re beautiful.
And some photos of our fabulous volunteers...
Did you know that SBC now has a Red Carpet Closet? Beautiful dresses are available to be borrowed by girls and women attending a special event. If you have a fancy dress in your closet that you no longer wear, and would like to donate it, please bring it to the church office. To find out more about the Red Carpet Closet or to borrow a dress, please click here.
The guide’s voice, well rehearsed and modulated, faded into the background. The size and beauty of the cathedral filled my thoughts as I contemplated climbing the nearby bell tower to capture it with my camera. Santa Maria Del Fiore, Saint Mary of the Flowers, was part of a world heritage site and the largest dome ever constructed in the Renaissance. After many guides in many cities I had developed a habit of self-preservation wherein I listened for a while and then drifted into other thoughts before re-engaging the guide’s monologue. My thoughts were interrupted as I focused again on the guide’s voice just in time to hear these words: "They built the building without knowing how they would finish it."
They did what?
The guide explained that they built the Cathedral knowing that they couldn't finish it. They didn't know how to build a dome 150 feet in diameter and 180 feet in the air. But they built the Cathedral anyway believing that someday someone would be able to finish it. Then they waited and waited and waited some more. Finally, after almost 100 years during which time the faithful met under the open sky, the construction of the dome began. This took another 100 years to complete. In other words, once the walls were up, it took almost two centuries for the cathedral to be completed!
I alternated between wanting to admire their faithful perseverance and lecture them on the words of Jesus. After all, Jesus said that no one should begin a project that they couldn't complete (Luke 14:28). Yet the people of Florence felt that God called them to build the cathedral and that He would also send someone to help them finish it. So, they started what they couldn't finish.
Later that day as I looked at the beautiful dome from my vantage point high in the bell tower across the square, I asked the Lord: “How could this be? They started what they couldn't finish!” Then the Spirit whispered "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). Now I understood.
In our highly pragmatic and strategic world it is good to remember that sometimes faithful obedience means that we will start what we can't finish. God doesn't ask us to understand. But He does ask us to trust that He always finishes what He starts.