This was the theme for General Assembly 2018, and this was certainly the theme of this past year for our family as we waded deeper into trusting Jesus and discovered a different way of going further on God’s mission.
From the very beginning of my wife’s battle with breast cancer, we have sensed God’s presence and provision…
- From the dream in January 2017 that prompted Joscelyn to wake up and discover the lump in her breast while we were in Niamey, Niger.
- To having a medical doctor and nurse on the Niger team who walked with us and connected us to the expatriate medical community.
- To the Swiss surgeon in Niamey who took out the lump.
- To the short-term team that visited the Niger team and that was able to bring back the excised sample to Canada for testing.
- To God allowing us to receive the results in April while we were on vacation where we would have the time and space to pray and process together.
- To the Scriptures reminding us that “the LORD is good and his steadfast lovingkindness endures forever.”
- To the hopeful song lyrics that says, “Through it all, my eyes are on you; (and) through it all, it is well.”
- To the minimal side effects of fatigue and hair loss in the chemotherapy treatments.
- To the love, prayers and support we received from our family and friends as well as the Alliance family of churches and colleagues.
- To the generous benevolence of the Canadian Pacific District, especially many of the Chinese Alliance churches, that allowed us to pay for a recommended chemotherapy drug that was not covered by BC health insurance.
- To the surgery that allowed doctors to test Joscelyn’s lymph nodes that gave a hopeful result that the cancer had not spread
Through it all, our eyes were fixed on Jesus, and through it all, it is well. As the chemotherapy treatments were finishing and after our oncologist gave us a timeline of the monitoring period, we began to ask God how we can next serve to go deeper in Jesus and further on mission. God answered with an idea. We shared this idea with our Envision Canada leaders at the National Ministry Centre, who spurred us on to develop this further.
The result is Global Semester, an 8-week internship for 4-8 young adults with an intentional learning program and a primary ministry of prayer. Over the next two years, we will be leading cohorts to one field in each of the 5S Regions. Our hope is that each group in this short internship will “taste-and-see” what international cross-cultural ministry is like and how International Workers embody what it is like to be Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, and Mission-focused.
Our vision is that this, as well as the other on-ramp options with Envision Canada, would become a way for our Alliance family of churches to identify, develop, and support emerging leaders to go deeper in Jesus and further in mission.
Jose and Joscelyn are International Workers with the C&MA and have served in several West African contexts. They are currently on home assignment and are developing the Global Semester Internship Program for Envision Canada for the next 2 years. They reside in Richmond, BC with their 2-year old daughter.